Southwest Airlines Palm Springs
Stephen M. Keller/Southwest Airlines
  • Southwest cancelled 3,000 flights over the weekend due to weather and air traffic control issues.
  • A bride's parents missed their daughter's wedding after two of their flights were cancelled.
  • "This was a wedding. A once-in-a-lifetime thing that they screwed up," the bride's sister told CBS.

Southwest Airlines' weekend of flight cancellations devastated and angered a Chicago-area bride and her family after her parents' flights were cancelled, forcing them to miss their daughter's wedding.

"It's the most important day of my life thus far and I didn't have a single family member present at my wedding," the bride, Kimberli Romano, told CBS Chicago.

Southwest cancelled over 3,000 flights over the weekend due to a combination of bad weather and air traffic control issues. Southwest didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

The family was supposed to fly out of Chicago to the wedding in Las Vegas, but after the initial flight was cancelled, Romano's parents scrambled to book a flight out of Milwaukee instead. Then, their flight out of Milwaukee on the morning of Romano's wedding was cancelled as well.

"I was hoping that even if the flight got delayed a little bit, they would still be here in time for my mom to get her hair and makeup done with me and get ready with me," Kimberli Romano said to CBS. "And then of course for my dad to walk me down the aisle."

Southwest's COO Mike Van de Ven said the spate of delayed flights was also a result of staffing shortages and that the airline may reduce its winter schedule of flights if the company can't find enough workers.

"I wish I could tell you that we are out of the woods, but I cannot. The environment for our entire industry remains fragile," Van de Ven said in a video transcript. The airline is issuing vouchers worth $100 to $250 to passengers who had their flights cancelled.

The Romano family said they wanted an apology and a refund from the airline.

"This was a wedding. A once-in-a-lifetime thing that they screwed up, and we were owed more than that," Romano's sister, Lisa, told CBS.

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