California Flier Stranded in Airport 8 Days

Cash-strapped woman marooned by baggage fees
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2011 2:51 AM CDT
California Flier Stranded in Airport 8 Days
Terri Weissinger missed her flight to Idaho because she couldn't afford to pay the baggage fees. She had no home to return to, so she was stuck at San Francisco Airport.   (AculticFly)

All she wanted was to get out of town to start fresh. But California would-be flier Terri Weissinger ended up stuck in San Francisco International Airport for eight days, marooned by unexpected baggage fees. Cash-strapped Weissinger was down to three bags, a ticket and $30 when she arrived at the airport, on her way to Idaho and a new life. Because it's been years since she last flew, Weissinger had no idea she would have to pay $60 in baggage fees. She couldn't ditch one of the bags because that's against security rules. Then she missed her plane, and faced a change fee of $150 and new ticket prices as high as $1,000. Because she had no home to return to, she spent days wandering the airport.

"I was tired, hungry, dirty," she told ABC 7 TV. "It's ridiculous. I couldn't believe it. It's just an incredibly ridiculous situation to be in," said Weissinger, who compared her dilemma to Tom Hanks' stranded passenger role in the move The Terminal. Finally, an airport church group raised enough money to cover her costs and she flew out. "We have apologized to Ms. Weissinger for her experience, but unfortunately are unable to offer a refund," said a spokesman for US Airways. "When you purchase a non-refundable ticket, you accept the terms and conditions. If a passenger cannot travel with their bags, they need to make other arrangements." (More US Airways stories.)

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