Airline Deal Turns Into Financial Nightmare For Local Woman

Anna Franklin Charged Multiple Times For 1 Southwest Airlines Ticket

A Chula Vista woman is hoping an airline lives up to its promises to return more than $12,000 to her bank account.

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Last Friday, Anna Franklin had plenty of money in her account when she received an email from Southwest Airlines alerting her to a 50 percent off flight sale. She jumped at the chance to book a cheap flight to visit family in Chicago.

"I thought it was a great, unbelievable, but it turned out to be a big problem," said Franklin.

Instead of only charging her $475 for airfare to Chicago, Franklin and many other customers were charged multiple times. Southwest Airlines blamed the problem on a technical glitch due to an overwhelming response to the sale.

"I have 51 charges for $228 on my account now," said Franklin.

Franklin's checking account is overdrawn, and paperwork she shared with 10News showed her balance with a negative balance in the thousands.

The extra charges led to a devastating ripple effect to Franklin's checking account -- 21 pending charges also bounced, including bills.

"My mortgage payment, my car payment, all kinds of other things that I have on auto-pay," said Franklin. "I'm afraid it's going to affect my credit at this point."

10News contacted Southwest Airlines, and a representative said the airline has already started crediting customers for the bogus charges but may be delayed until a bank can process the transaction.

A spokeswoman also said the airline would pay for any overdraft fees.

Additionally, Southwest has issued $150 vouchers to customers for future travel.

In the meantime, Franklin is getting by with what little cash she has.

"I have $20 dollars to my name right now," said Franklin. "I'm eating oatmeal for lunch."

Although Franklin's main concern is to get her financial situation in order, she said she would consider flying with Southwest again if they right this wrong.

Southwest Airlines told 10News it has already taken steps to fix its website so this doesn't happen again.

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