A California woman was stuck in the San Francisco International Airport for eight days - not because of the weather or a natural disaster, but because of $60.
Terri Wessinger, from Sonoma County, Calif., was looking to start a new life in Idaho but her plans were derailed when U.S. Airways refused to let her on the plane because she could not pay the $60 fee for an additional piece of baggage.
She had nothing but an airline ticket and $30 in her pocket, reported Michael Finney of ABC news affiliate KGO.
Wessinger had not flown in five years and was shocked to hear that it would cost $60 to check both of her bags.
She said that when she booked her flight on Orbitz she never saw a notification for an extra baggage fee.
She told the U.S. Airways agent that she would pay the fee once she landed in Idaho, but the agent declined. Then Wessinger said she would leave the bag in San Francisco. The agent said that would be a breach of security.
Wessigner then began calling friends to help her out, reports Yahoo News, but unfortunately no one could lend her the money. In the midst of this scrambling, Wessinger missed her flight.
When she went to the airline agents, they told her she'd have to pay her bag fees plus $150 in change fees to get a new flight.
The now-distraught Wessinger had nowhere to stay so she slept the night at the airport.
The next day she was told that since she did not pay the $150 change fee, she would have to book an entirely new flight. This new ticket would cost her a whopping $1,000.
For the next seven days, Wessinger wandered around the San Francisco International Airport. She had to be treated for anxiety at the terminal's medical clinic and, when she attempted to seek police assistance, she was almost arrested on vagrancy charges.
Finally, on the eight day, parishioners at The Airport Chapel of Christ helped her out. These kind-hearted individuals gave her $210 to cover the original charge of the $150 change fee plus the $60 baggage fee.
This entire ordeal happened back in April. Since then, federal rules have forced online air and travel booking sites to prominently feature any baggage fees on their sites.
As for U.S. Airways' side of the story?
A representative for the airline responded, We have apologized to Ms. Weissinger, but unfortunately are unable to offer a refund. 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.
And, with that, bon voyage!