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Omaha man stuck in St. Louis, takes $500+ rideshare back to metro

<i>KETV</i><br/>After a disruptive few days
KETV
After a disruptive few days

By Abbie Petersen

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    OMAHA, Nebraska (KETV) — After a disruptive few days, Southwest Airlines says it expects to be back to normal operations Friday.

One Omaha man and his wife were one of the many passengers stranded after their holiday away from home.

But they are back in the metro, thanks to one very kind rideshare driver who went the distance for them.

The Omaha man says it all started with a delayed Southwest flight out of Hawaii.

Then his holiday plans snowballed from there.

Three extra hours in Hawaii with a great view around Christmas, doesn’t sound like the worst thing.

But for John Kinney and his wife, it was the start of a long trek home.

“We saw that we were going to be delayed. And that would mean that we wouldn’t make our connection in Las Vegas,” Kinney said.

And once getting to Vegas late, their plane was gone, there were too many winter storms to drive a rental car and they changed two flights. They were finally on a plane to St. Louis.

“We started to look at rental cars in St. Louis and there’s nothing to rent,” Kinney said.

So they looked at U-haul trucks to drive back to the metro.

“I think there was some 24 and 36-foot trucks that we could have rented. But that felt like really expensive and ridiculous,” Kinney said.

Kinney says they were out of options.

They called a rideshare driver to the St. Louis airport, trying to figure out what to do next.

“My wife casually joked with the Uber driver how it would be kind of funny if you could drive us to Omaha in the morning and there was a pause and then the Uber driver said, yeah, I’ll do that,” Kinney said.

So they hit the road on Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It would be 1.5 cents a mile which when we started doing the calculations right away, ended up being a pretty reasonable figure,” Kinney said.

Kinney says it ended up costing them nearly $600 but they got home, and left with some pretty good conversation, too.

“If the Uber driver hadn’t agreed to drive us, I think we’d probably still be in St. Louis,” Kinney said.

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