ST. LOUIS – Travelers facing a travel headache stemming from massive cancellations of Southwest Airlines flights are struggling to find rental cars in low supply.
“Because something’s going wrong with the airlines, don’t put it up on me.”
The reverberations of the mess in the air pushing many to pivot to the roads.
Having to switch from the customer line to the phone line to find a rental car.
When one woman’s flight from Chicago to St. Louis was cancelled, she looked to her fellow, weary passengers.
“It was me and a couple other people form St. Louis, we were like let’s go a rental car, let’s try to get a rental a car and get home, it was Christmas day so we all wanted to get home to our families, and there was nothing open,” said passenger Ava Schmidt.
The lack of rental cars left them sleeping on the Midway Airport floor before some were picked up by their families in St. Louis.
Some without family had to ask strangers to carpool to avoid being stranded for the holidays.
“They cancelled our flight, first they delayed it then they cancelled it so we were going to get a rental car and we couldn’t find a rental car to drive home,” said passenger, Rowena Hudson.
Her husband, Josseph, said they tried Hertz, Mavis, and Budget, to no avail.
“…It just felt like everybody wanted to charge extra,” he said.
The Hudsons were looking at an extra $300.
“They were price gouging,” Rowena said.
“I didn’t do a rental car because it would have been too expensive, so I just drove my car up yesterday,” said passenger Jacob Ficor. “This was supposed to be a two-week trip and I’ve lost four days.”
An official from Hertz said all their employees are working as fast as possible to help.
“On Monday, our U.S. Contact Center experienced record call volume and we continue to see sustained demand for bookings, reservation modifications and one-way rentals,” Hertz said in a statement.
A holiday travel nightmare is now seemingly going into overdrive.