KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some Kansas City families are struggling to get home after Southwest Airlines canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend.
While some travelers only had a 45-minute to hour-long delay, it became a more substantial ordeal trying to get back to Kansas City for many others whose flights were canceled.
Grain Valley resident Jessica Boos was on vacation near Tampa with 16 members of her family, who were enjoying their last big family dinner Friday when they started receiving texts that Southwest had canceled their return flight.
After another canceled flight and a problem getting one of the family's children re-booked, Boos said she and her husband decided to rent a car for the trek back to Kansas City.
"It's exhausting — just mentally, physically, emotionally, just draining," Boos said.
She said that, while she loves Southwest and it's always her airline of choice, she wants to know more about the reason behind the cancellations.
"It just seems like none of the other airlines were having the same issues," Boos said. "If it's weather, I just kind of feel like other airlines should have had issues as well."
The airline said several factors are at play — including weather, air-traffic control issues and staffing shortages.
The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association said pilots did not walk out to protest the company's vaccine mandate.
Some travelers, like Asish Harilal, don't buy it.
"I'm thinking it's just the staffing issues mainly," he said.
Harilal said he always chooses to fly Southwest, but now he will consider other airlines in the future.
"My flight was delayed 45 minutes, so now I'm only going to have 15 minutes to catch my next flight," Harilal said. "I just hope I make it and don't get stranded in Chicago."
Despite the inconveniences, Boos said she's trying to focus on the positives.
"We just spent an amazing week on the beach, and we will get through this and it'll be OK," Boos said.