Southwest Airlines canceled her entire family’s flights and they missed her wedding day

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(Granthshala) – What was supposed to be a special day over the weekend turned into an emotional roller coaster for a bride whose family couldn’t attend her wedding after Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights across the country.

Kimberli Romano and Kyle Hlavaty live in Chicago with most of their family members. The couple flew to Las Vegas for their weekend wedding on Wednesday, October 6th, and they haven’t had a problem.

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A bride and groom’s flight got delayed on Friday. But by Saturday morning, the day before the wedding, the couple were worried that Romano’s parents wouldn’t make it.

Hlawati’s friend was supposed to be on the same flight as Romano’s parents from Chicago Midway International Airport. He called to let the couple know that their flight had been cancelled, and they had no idea what was happening as he was still stuck with customer service.


“So, I immediately called my parents and asked them to double check everything as we had just received information that the flight has been cancelled,” she said. “And, of course, it turns out it was, and I was freaking out. I was very emotional.

“That was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do to get married without my parents.”

Southwest said a number of problems caused the weekend cancellations, including bad weather and a brief problem at the Air Traffic Control Center in Jacksonville, Florida. Those problems caused minimal disruption at other airlines, and Southwest admitted to staff on Monday that things have spiraled out of control because it lacks adequate staffing.
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Granthshala has contacted Southwest Airlines for comment.

Two Year Plan, One Change of Location

Romano and Hlavathi got engaged in October 2019. The couple immediately began planning for an October 2021 wedding, and it was originally scheduled to take place near Chicago.

With everything so fluid due to the pandemic, the couple reconsidered their plans in March 2020 and opted for a smaller ceremony with 18 guests in Overton, Nevada, about 60 miles east of Las Vegas.

Kimberly Romano and her husband Kyle Hlawati.

onyx and arrow photography

Romano’s family looked for flights into neighboring airports in Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Diego — anything they would find in the general vicinity, but to no avail.

“Everyone was scrambling. Kyle and I were trying to find flights. We obviously couldn’t call anyone. We actually went to the Las Vegas airport to try to talk to an agent.” Went to see what we can do.

“It’s unbearable for a lot of people,” she said. “And it’s very, very disappointing. I’ve defended Southwest for so long and been a loyal customer of theirs for so long, and the way we were treated at the airport — they were so rude. And were humiliating and he had absolutely no remorse for it. Anything. It’s very disturbing.”

Romano was able to get her parents on a scheduled flight from Milwaukee at 6 a.m. Sunday, but learned at midnight that that flight had also been canceled.

Apart from Hlawati’s mother and aunt, who moved to Las Vegas earlier this week, the couple had no family present. Her parents watched via FaceTime as their daughter walked down the aisle.

“Service was spotty because we were in the mountains and everything, but my mom said she was able to see the most of it,” Romano said. “She couldn’t hear anything but she could see most of it.”

more than 2,000 miles from home

The couple considered postponing the wedding, but her parents encouraged them to continue.

“We were back and forth on what to do,” she said. “But then again, that was what we were working so hard for. This is what we saved for so long.”

The absence of his family on the way to the wedding was heartbreaking for Romano. The newlyweds plan to celebrate again when they return from their honeymoon, but she says it won’t be the same.

“Honestly there’s nothing they (Southwest Airlines) can do that’s already lost, that’s taken from me, essentially,” she said. “You know, those are memories that can’t be changed by just having one more.”

She still apologises.

“I’m sure I’m not the only person who has been greatly inconvenienced by what happened over the weekend,” she said. “I’m apologizing more sincerely than anything else. Money’s money. Money doesn’t bring back memories.”

The pair are currently in California and plan to fly back to Chicago by car next Tuesday.


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