houston – The vacation travel nightmare has put a huge strain on car rental services as hundreds of people chose to drive instead of waiting days to reach their destination.
“Everybody’s struggling to get home. Everyone’s getting reservations across the city because the airport has closed reservations,” said Jessica Roberts, assistant branch manager at the Enterprise location near the Galleria. I’m here.
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She says she saw travelers pouring in from the airport, desperate for something with an engine and four wheels.
“They came here trying to get a car and are paying $1,000 to $2,000 to get back to Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, California. We are completely carless.” Roberts said.
Massive flight cancellations by Southwest Airlines have left people across the country stranded with only one option to get to their destination.
“Southwest Airlines is not currently flying from Birmingham, Alabama until the 29th,” Darius Cope said.
Coop and his family spent Christmas in Alabama. They were supposed to be back on Monday morning on the southwestern flight. Instead, they drove 10+ hours of him back to Houston.
“There will no doubt be associated one-way charges, but it just means we have to do what we have to do,” Cope said.
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Thankfully they were able to keep the same rental car they had been driving for the weekend, but that’s part of what’s causing the car shortage problem.
“They say the problem is bringing the cars back. The cars they were supposed to have in stock aren’t here because people keep the cars. They’re where they should be.” ‘Let’s go,’ explained Jaime Garza.
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Garza and his family made it from Orlando to Houston, but their connecting flight to the southwest was cancelled. FOX 26 found the rental car waiting to be returned so he could drive five hours back to South Texas.
“My flight was canceled so I’m trying to drive home. But I’ve been waiting here for about an hour to pick up a rental car. I don’t have a car yet, but I think I’ll be fine,” Garza said. Said.
Southwest says it’s paying for rental cars and hotel bills for people who can’t make it to their destination.
Coop told FOX 26 that his family received a $200.00 voucher per person and a full refund.