DALLAS — Southwest Airlines operations returned to near-normal on Friday. But the flood of complaints and demands for refunds were still building as fast as the piles of luggage at airports across the country.
So, stranded Southwest passenger Blaine Moore thought the situation deserved her own Christmas poem.
"It's called the Southwest Christmas that wasn't," she said from her home in Mandeville, Louisiana.
Moore sent the poem to WFAA, along with details of her family's canceled Christmas vacation that was to take them from New Orleans to Big Fork, Montana and Yellowstone National Park during Christmas week.
Southwest, which ultimately canceled more than 15,000 flights this past week in an attempt to recover from a weather-inspired scheduling meltdown, canceled the Moore family's flights on Dec. 22, sending their luggage ahead without them.
"When what to their wondering ears they did hear, 'We're turning around,' said the pilot. 'Don't fear! We'll get you back here for Christmas, You've no need to worry. No need to dread,'" Moore wrote in a Christmas poem complete with emojis. "With that it all started, lost luggage and lies, flight cancellations, our frustrated cries."
"Well, I had pretty much just given up," Moore said, when asked about the four pieces of luggage missing since that first canceled flight. "I didn't really think we were going to ever see our stuff again."
"This has impacted so many people, so many customers over the holidays," Southwest's CEO said in a Friday morning interview with ABC's Good Morning America. "It's impacted our employees and I'm extremely sorry for that. There's just no way almost to apologize enough because we love our customers, we love our people and really impacted their plans."
The good news for people like Moore, after eight days she says her luggage showed up at her doorstep in Mandeville on Friday, delivered via FedEx.
Next, she says she will go through the online process set up by Southwest to recover the estimated $9,000 dollars invested in the Christmas week vacation.
In addition to flights for three family members, Moore says they had rented cabins in two separate locations.
"Yeah, I'm not sure how long it's going to be before we try that again," she said of booking in the future with Southwest.
As for her Christmas poem, it ends with a note of thankfulness... sort of.
"Still we're together, my family and me, back with our pets and our Charlie Brown tree; and with the real meaning of Christmas for free. Merry Christmas to all! We wish you the best! Merry Christmas to all, except for Southwest!!!"