Bride’s parents miss wedding due to Southwest flight cancellations

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 3:47 AM EDT
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(CNN) - A pair of newlyweds from Chicago are blaming Southwest Airlines for most of their family, including the bride’s parents, missing their wedding.

Kimberli Romano and Kyle Hlavaty got married last weekend in Las Vegas. Their families were expected to fly in to attend the ceremony, but Southwest unexpectedly canceled thousands of flights, including theirs.

The first warning sign was when a bridesmaid’s flight was delayed Friday. Then, the morning before the wedding, Romano’s parents’ flight was canceled, and the family couldn’t find a different one.

“Everyone was scrambling. Kyle and I were scrambling to try to find flights. We obviously couldn’t get anyone on the phone. We actually went to the Las Vegas airport to try to talk to an agent to see what we could do,” Romano told CNN.

The couple considered postponing the wedding, but her parents encouraged them to continue.

In the end, the only family members at the ceremony were Hlavaty’s mom and aunt, who had flown in earlier in the week. There had been 18 people on the guest list.

Romano’s parents watched via FaceTime as their daughter walked down the aisle.

“That was probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do was to get married without my parents,” Romano said.

The new bride says Southwest was rude, disrespectful and had absolutely no remorse over the cancellations. She would like an apology from the airline.

“I’m more so just looking for a sincere, authentic apology about what happened, why it happened and why we weren’t informed sooner of these cancellations. Because had we had just a couple more hours, I really think that the outcome could have been different,” she said.

The newlyweds plan to celebrate again when they return from their honeymoon.

Southwest said the cancellations were due to a number of issues, including bad weather, inadequate staffing and a problem at the air traffic control center in Jacksonville, Florida.

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