‘I’m hurt’: Kelso woman misses mother’s funeral after canceled Southwest flight

Susan Johnson’s Southwest flight from Portland, Oregon to Tulsa, Oklahoma for her mother’s funeral was canceled Wednesday. (Source: KPTV)
Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 9:16 PM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - It’s been days since an ice storm hit the Pacific Northwest, yet travelers are still dealing with headaches and heartbreak.

More than 2,300 Southwest flights across the country are canceled for Thursday alone - and over a dozen Southwest flights out of PDX were canceled Wednesday.

Including Susan Johnson’s flight to get to Tulsa.

“She was something. She was a single mom, and she did really good,” Johnson said about her mom Betty.

SEE ALSO: $700k worth of drugs, 26 firearms confiscated from Salem home; 2 arrested

She said they were best friends but this year, her mom’s health took a tragic turn.

“She was diagnosed the day after Thanksgiving this year with liver cancer. She had a 9.9 cm mass. Two weeks later we were told she has six months; she was at home with hospice,” Johnson said. “Then it went from, on the 21st they told me I had 24 hours. That was at 8:30 in the morning. She passed at 8:42 that night so I didn’t get the full 24 hours to get there.”

Johnson quickly booked her flight to Oklahoma to be there for her mom’s funeral Thursday morning, but to make matters worse, her Southwest flight was canceled before she even made it to the airport.

“The service is tomorrow at 11 and I’m not going to be there,” Johnson said through tears. “I’m hurt, I’m mad because whatever’s going on with them, it’s wrong, you know. Whether it’s weather conditions, whatever condition is going on. It’s not fair, not only to me, but other passengers going through this.”

Southwest offered her a refund which could take two weeks or more to get to her. While she’s going to try and get to Tulsa soon, she’s still devastated she won’t be able to say goodbye to her mother.

SEE ALSO: Southwest Airlines flight cancellations continue to snowball

“It’s just still not the same. You know? Not being able to say bye to her physically and giving her a kiss on her forehead. But I know she’s at peace, I know that much,” she said.

Southwest’s Chief Commercial Officer put out a video statement on their website Wednesday apologizing and said they’d do everything they can to make it up to their customers. That includes offering full refunds or travel reimbursements if someone had to make other travel arrangements.