Olivia Laskowski was in Nashville and hoping to fly home to New York on December 27 when she received a text message from Southwest Airlines the night before her flight was canceled. Four days and more than $600 later, Ms. Laskowski and her Siamese cat, Pretzel, are back home in Brooklyn.

The text message from Southwest contained a link where she could look into her other travel options. But when Ms Laskowski, 25, tried to rebook with Southwest, the next available flight was not until January 11. She bought a new plane ticket through JetBlue for $478 (including $125 for the pretzels and $80 for the bag), which got her home on December 30. Southwest has told Ms. Laskowski that she will be refunded for her original ticket, and she also plans to submit her JetBlue receipt for reimbursement. So far, Southwest has offered him 25,000 marks for his trouble.

“Sometimes you get extra expenses in life and you just brush them off and they are what they are,” said Ms. Laskowski, who works as a marketing manager for Partners Coffee. “But it’s the kind of money I’d really like to get back because as a young person who lives in probably the most expensive city in the country, $600 makes a big difference to me.”

Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights in December as bad weather spoiled holiday travel plans for thousands of travelers. But while other major airlines recovered quickly, inadequate computer systems at Southwest left many of its customers stranded for several days. Others hired a car to complete their journey. Passengers also ran up loans to pay for unplanned meals, hotel rooms, and tickets on other airlines. While the Southwest chaos has cleared up, many travelers are still dealing with the financial fallout of making alternate plans to get home.

Southwest is offering customers refunds and reimbursements on flights from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2 that were canceled or delayed more than three hours in addition to 25,000 points for each ticket, company spokesman Chris Perry wrote in an email to New York Was. Times. Points are worth approximately $300 in flight credits.

But for Dan Hughes, 53, who was on his way home to Oregon after spending his 26th wedding anniversary in Nashville on Dec. 21, a refund may not be possible because his travel plans were outside the reimbursement dates.

“You trapped me in Denver on the 21st,” Mr. Hughes said. “At this point, you’re saying, ‘No, you’re on your own until the 24th.'”

Mr Hughes and his wife, who owns a small pizza franchise, were scheduled to fly from Nashville to Denver and then connect in Portland. But his flight from Nashville was stuck on the tarmac in Denver for about two hours, Hughes said, and then he got a notification that his flight home had been cancelled. He booked a flight and then another on Southwest which was delayed and then cancelled.

Finally, Mr. Hughes booked a trip on United Airlines to Las Vegas, which would later connect to Seattle. But he and his wife got stuck in Las Vegas. The couple eventually took a flight southwest to Sacramento and then home to Oregon. They spent about $1,700 on this ordeal, and they still haven’t gotten their luggage back for Mr. Hughes with his breathing machine for sleep apnea.

In addition, Mr. Hughes said, he and his wife spent at their restaurant because they had to pay employees to do their jobs when they couldn’t be there.

“I only make what my business makes, so it turned out to be a bigger financial hit than we had anticipated, not including the additional expenses,” he said.

Suzanne Durham, 56, had to use her bonus to pay for the extra costs of her travel restrictions. When her flight from Boston to Nashville was canceled on December 26, she booked a new Southwest flight for the following Thursday and was able to transfer by Tuesday. Still, she said, she worried it would be canceled (which it eventually was) and bought an American Airlines flight using about $1,000 in purchased points.

He spent approximately $1,100 to $1,200 and was reimbursed $183 for his return trip to Southwest. He also received the 25,000 points Southwest offered.

“I’m going to put my gym membership on hold for a few months,” said Ms Durham, who does promotion and marketing for a record company. “I don’t like taking any loans.”

JR Jones, 29, planned to travel Southwest from Sacramento to Seattle with his fiancée to see his family on Dec. 22, but their flight was delayed and then canceled. Southwest rescheduled their flight for Christmas Day, so the couple rented a car for the 13-hour drive to Seattle. He hoped to fly back to avoid the long drive a second time.

Then on December 28, his return flight was canceled as well, and he had to take another rental car back to Sacramento. The cost of additional travel added up to about $1,000. For the canceled flights, the couple has so far only received flight credits from Southwest in addition to the 25,000 points. While the family of Mr Jones’ fiancee was able to loan the couple around $500, they were expecting a refund to pay them back.

“The rest is going to come from our wedding fund, and hopefully we can get it back before the actual wedding,” said Mr Jones, who works for an environmental engineering firm. “Otherwise, we’ll end up putting some extra stuff on a credit card or something until we can recoup those costs.”

Michael Baxter, 47, was planning a trip to San Diego with his family for Christmas. Their 15-year-old daughter wanted to go to Legoland with her best friend, and this trip was her gift. But when Mr. Baxter’s Tulsa, Okla. flight was moved from December 25 to December 29, he opted to borrow and drive his sister’s Subaru so that his family could leave on schedule.

While Southwest offered to keep him and his family the second leg of their flight, they could not leave their car. He has been reimbursed the full cost of his flight. Still, the family spent more than $500 on gas and had to book a hotel room on the way back, which cost about $400. The family lost $430 by missing the first night at a resort due to the long drive, plus $130 on a car rental they didn’t need.

Mr Baxter and his wife are medical professionals and said the cost would not have a major impact on their finances, but that the ordeal had taken a toll.

“It still hurts,” said Mr. Baxter. “Both my wife and I basically lost two days of vacation.”

Mr Baxter’s wife sent an email to Southwest explaining his situation and was told he would not be reimbursed for the additional costs. But now that the couple has accounted for the full cost of the inconvenience, they plan to approach Southwest again.

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