One Nashville nurse was left stranded, but spent a fortune of her own money and drove almost 700 miles to get back to work.
Sarah Bylsma, a nurse practitioner was one of the thousands of people stranded by the cancellation of thousands of flights be Southwest over the last few days. She was in Florida with her family and tried to find another flight, but the system was so overloaded, a new flight wouldn't get her back to Nashville until Monday. For her, that was a no-go.
Sarah spent around $2,000 on renting a car, hotel expenses, and feeding her family on the road to get back to her patients.
"I work. I work 24 hours shifts in a hospital. I'm the only one that does my job when I’m working. I have to get to work,” Bylsma told FOX 17 News.
To you Sarah and all the dedicated health professionals that have been through it all, we say...
As for Sarah, who used to fly Southwest regularly, she's done.
"I have always flown with Southwest. I have a Southwest credit card and I paid with points. I shredded my card. I will not fly Southwest again”
Southwest is sticking to its reasons for those cancellations. They blame weather in Florida, air traffic control problems, and the cascading effects of airline personnel not being in the right places to operate flights. The official statement from the airline:
Southwest Airlines extends a tremendous apology to our Customers and Employees for the flight cancellations and delays which occurred over the weekend and on Monday.
On Friday evening, the airline ended the day with numerous cancellations, primarily created by weather and other external constraints, which left aircraft and Crews out of pre-planned positions to operate our schedule on Saturday. Unfortunately, the out-of-place aircraft and continued strain on our Crew resources created additional cancelations across our point-to-point network that cascaded throughout the weekend and into Monday.
While we do not have specific airport numbers to share, Southwest Teams have been working diligently to restore stability to the network, and we are experiencing less disruptions on Monday. We hope to restore our full schedule as soon as possible. As a note, the operational challenges were not a result of Southwest Employee demonstrations, as some outlets are reporting.
To every Customer that experienced a cancellation or delay, Southwest offers our sincerest regret regarding disrupted travel plans, and we look forward to a future opportunity to demonstrate our safe, reliable, friendly, and legendary Southwest Hospitality – something that Customers should always expect from Southwest Airlines.
If Customers require assistance from Southwest, they can utilize one of the airline’s self-service options for convenience or Contact Us via one of the methods listed on Southwest.com.