Family makes it to Disney World following Southwest flight cancellation

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After three long days on the road, the Moreno family finally made it to Orlando, Florida Wednesday at midnight.

You may remember the travelers — three out of more than a hundred left behind at the Albuquerque International Sunport Monday, after Southwest Airlines canceled their flights. The Morenos said they were desperate to get to Disney World as a Christmas present for their young daughter, Maihemp.

“We’re just thinking about renting a vehicle and driving for 20 hours,” Cindy told KOB 4 at the airport Monday night.

That is exactly what the family did.
“We were able to rent with Avis, and we’ve been driving since Monday,” Cindy said in a follow-up Zoom interview from her Orlando hotel room Thursday.

She said they finally made it to their destination late Wednesday and checked into their hotel around 2 a.m. They were up again just a few hours later so that Maihemp could finally enjoy her present— a day at the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

“I’m really happy, even though my legs hurt a lot,” Maihemp said. “I’m just really happy and excited to go on more adventures with my cousin and everything.”

“That’s mainly the thing that counts is that we’re finally here with our family and being able to just hang out— what we were originally wanting to do,” Cindy added.

The Morenos took on Universal Studios Friday. But even though they safely made it to Florida, Cindy said her family’s journey is far from over.

“We’re hoping that we’ll actually get reimbursed for our car rental and for our extra lodging,” she said, adding that Southwest Airlines asked them to hold on to their receipts.

“I just hope that people are able to get home and get home safe, and also those that had to have extra expenses out of their pocket do get reimbursed,” Cindy said.

“I’m just happy that we’re here, and I can’t wait to make more memories,” Maihemp said.