Glendale mom wants $500 rental car reimbursement

A Glendale mom said Southwest Airlines said they'd give her $500 for her rental car after a canceled flight but she didn't get it so she called On Your Side.
Updated: Mar. 9, 2023 at 5:30 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A Glendale woman says a major airline promised to reimburse her $500 for an out-of-pocket expense. Nearly three months later, she was still waiting to get her money back so she contacted On Your Side.

Julie O’Dell decided to surprise her kids this past Christmas by taking them to Disneyland. They had a great time. They were supposed to fly back to Arizona on Southwest Airlines the next morning. But at 2 a.m., O’Dell got a text from Southwest saying the flight was canceled. “I was like, is this for real?” O’Dell said. “And this is the first time I’ve ever had travel disrupted to this extent.”

She was hardly alone. On that same day, Southwest canceled more than half of its flights nationwide. They were in the middle of a meltdown that lasted more than a week, affecting thousands of flights. And it left O’Dell scrambling to find a way home. “There were not even flights going out at all,” she said. “So the next thing is, OK, well, I guess I’ll have to get a rental car because I have to get back.”

Southwest led all U.S. airlines in canceled flights last year, accounting for more than 40,000 of the total 210,000 cancellations

And that’s exactly what she did. For $500, she rented a car and drove from California back to Glendale. According to O’Dell, Southwest had agreed to refund not only her for the canceled flight but also $500 for the rental car. “It was cheaper to get a rental car than to stay another day,” she said.

But things didn’t work out. Southwest uses a reimbursement site called Hyperwallet, which is owned by PayPal, to refund a passenger’s money. However, O’Dell says every time tried to log into Hyperwallet, she kept getting a message saying “error.” She says she contacted Southwest and Hyperwallet, but no one wanted to help. “When I’m getting the runaround and people are telling me, ‘Well, you need to talk to this person. No, talk with this person,’” she said. “And I can’t even talk to somebody and then you say ‘my hands are tied?’”

So O’Dell reached out to On Your Side for help. We got a hold of Hyperwallet. They looked into the issue and immediately sent a check for $541. A big thank you to Hyperwallet for getting on this so quickly and getting that money to our viewer. We brought it to their attention, and they solved it the same day.