The couple received vouchers from Southwest for a hotel stay that night and booked a rental car online from the Baltimore airport, which they planned to drive back to Orlando. But when I went to pick up the car, I couldn’t find it. Eventually, they moved to Virginia with Mrs. Benitez’s brother found them a rental car there, picked them up from Baltimore and dropped them off at a rental company in Virginia.
Mrs. Benitez and her husband drove 12 hours back to Orlando and arrived home on Tuesday to finally open Christmas presents, she said. Southwest “gave us vouchers, but that doesn’t make up for your time or the loss of joy or Christmas spirit,” he said.
Despite the turmoil of the past few days, Southwest has built a reputation among loyal customers over its five-decade history, said Jason Mudd, chief executive of Axia Public Relations, which helps companies. Facing crises but not as a Southwest client.
“Usually it’s another airline or another brand in the industry that experiences the most delays and cancellations,” Mr. Mutt said. “Southwest tends to be more reliable, or at least has a reputation for being more reliable, timely and efficient.”
Mr. Quoted by Mutt Tylenol poisoning of 1982, someone put potassium cyanide in extra-strength Tylenol, causing seven deaths in Chicago and leading to similar attacks. Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Tylenol’s manufacturer, responded by adding new safety features to its bottles.
“When it’s done well, companies are going to do the right thing by putting people above profits,” Mr. Mutt said. “In this case, I’ll figure out what to do in the Southwest.”
Southwest’s stock price rose about 4 percent Thursday after the company’s announcement.