HOUSTON - A class action lawsuit has already been filed against Southwest Airlines from passengers claiming the carrier did not provide prompt refunds after the airline’s all-out meltdown over the holidays. Have you received your refund?
Southwest is still trying to rebound. At Hobby Airport, Southwest Airlines had six canceled flights and 58 delays at 4:30 p.m., but that’s nothing compared to the thousands of planes that were grounded a week ago causing passengers across the country to miss weddings, funerals, and Christmas with loved ones. Plus, one Houston small business owner says a dream come true for her company almost turned into a nightmare.
"All I thought was all of the work we did to get here, for nothing," explains owner LAMIK Beauty Kim Roxie.
The Houston small business owner launched LAMIK more than 15 years ago and one of her greatest gifts ever? She was scheduled to make her Home Shopping Network (HSN) debut three days after Christmas. "Being a small business owner isn’t easy and a national stage like this, in front of millions of people who I don't even have access to, this was a once in-a-lifetime opportunity." But heading to that opportunity her Southwest Airlines flight was canceled and then so was nearly every Southwest flight and all of the other airlines were booked solid.
"I looked up several different rental car companies, and they were sold out and then finally I found one that wasn’t," says Roxie.
She arrived to secure the rental and the line was out the door. "But I was able to get a car, and then we hit the road and this is my family. I have a 7-year-old daughter," she explained. Roxie started documenting the 17-hour drive with her husband and daughter on social media and Houstonians showed up in droves to cheer her on, hoping she would make it in time.
"I’ve never gotten that many comments, that much encouragement," smiles Roxie.
Southwest has given her a refund, but the airline created a webpage and added a ‘travel disruption’ section on its website because Southwest is still issuing refunds and says it will reimburse passengers for rental cars, food, hotels, and other expenses. Southwest is also emailing some passengers, including Kim Roxie 25,000 bonus frequent flier points.
"Let’s bump it up to 100,000 especially for your loyal customers," says Roxie.
By the way, Houston's cosmetic queen, who is famous for her brow powder said, "Damali, I created this because I have a form of alopecia and I have hair loss on my scalp and as well as my eyebrows." Well, she made it to her HSN appearance right on time.
"When we got there it was everything I thought it was. Thinking about it even makes me emotional because you know, the road isn’t easy sometimes," Roxie said with tears in her eyes.
The small business owner says it will take a little time and research to see what Southwest will change before she feels confident booking the airline again and trusting Southwest will get her to important appointments.