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Strangers snag last rental car, drive 23 hours home to Austin after Southwest flight cancellations

Meanwhile, a travel insurance lawyer says the firm is getting hourly calls about suing the airline and travel insurance companies.

AUSTIN, Texas — Three strangers are on an unexpected road trip from Baltimore to Austin after their Southwest flight was canceled on Monday.

"We met in line 24 hours ago," the crew told KVUE.

The thousands of Southwest flight cancellations have turned strangers into fast friends.

"Our only option was a flight going into Dallas on Friday, and that was on the waitlist," the three said. 

So Tuesday morning, Erica Haworth, Kerry Sherin and Jasper Gulliver all pitched in for a quicker way out. 

"We were lucky to get the last car because they were completely sold out, and looking at Avis, Hertz and all of the other ones at the local airport, it said no cars available this morning," said Sherin.

They said other airlines were charging over $2,000, while their rental car was only $250. 

With the extra hotel, food and rental costs, the group hopes Southwest will reimburse them, but travel insurance lawyer Derek Potts said the airline is not obligated to do that.

"The law just isn't there to do much for them, and hopefully that will change that," said Potts. 

Potts said while travel insurance is helpful, his firm has gotten multiple calls an hour from people wanting to sue the airline and insurance companies.

"The travel insurance policy can be complicated," said Potts. "What they will cover and not cover is very important. We got to be very careful when purchasing."

He said it is essential to read the fine print of your ticket and the travel insurance. He added choosing the right insurance for your needs is very important because if not, it could be for nothing.

At this point, these three are just counting their blessings and hoping their luggage will be one of them.

"I think we're all grateful that we're here and we're on the way, almost halfway there," said Sherin. "We're sending our wishes to everybody that, you know, maybe isn't in that same situation, wasn't able to get a car and is still wondering what is going on."

UPDATE: The group was able to find their luggage at AUS. 

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