KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The travel nightmare continues for thousands of Southwest Airlines customers across the country on Wednesday; cancellations are now driving up demand for hard-to-find rental cars.
“If I had a choice, they would be not first,” frustrated customer Russ Bryer said.
After his Southwest flight was canceled, he had to spend an extra $900 to rent a car to drive all the way to Tampa.
He wasn’t the only flyer stranded at Kansas City International Airport who chose to rent a car.
“I think I saw the next available flight that I could get on would be like Jan. 2, and I have to get back to work,” Courtney Ellis said. “I got online right away and just got a car.”
She and her friend were gearing up for a 17-hour drive back to Washington D.C.
Rental car companies like Hertz are trying to keep up with the increased demand.
In a statement sent to FOX4, Hertz officials say they received a record number of calls on Monday for one-way rentals and continue to see an increased demand in Kansas City and across the country.
“They probably added about $1,000 in additional expenses to this trip with hotel stays, Ubers, the rental car, all that,” Brandon Storey said. “Not how I thought I was going to be spending this vacation.”
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Travelers like Storey say they’ll be expecting some reimbursement from Southwest for all of the hassle.
“I actually just opened a Southwest credit card, so I’m a little yeah upset about that,” Storey said. “So we’re gonna have a conversation with them sometime next week when the hold times aren’t about seven hours.”