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KVUE's Rob Evans among those stranded after Southwest Airlines cancelations

Life is a journey, after all.

AUSTIN, Texas — By now, you've hard the stories of Southwest Airlines passengers stranded after thousands of flights were canceled over the past week. And maybe you noticed KVUE's Dominique Newland filling in for Rob Evans on Daybreak.

That's because Evans and his family were also stranded after their flight was canceled.

Here's a recap of the Evans family's ordeal, straight from Rob:

It started out great. The flight to St. Louis wasn't all that late. We were still in time to surprise my family at dinner and check out the Christmas decorations around Old Town St. Charles – which I highly recommend. 

Then it was time for a trip to the store for some gifts for the kids at our family gathering.

Then we noticed our flight on Christmas Day was canceled. No notice – we just happened to look it up before we took the trip to the airport. 


No biggie. Dominique said she could fill in on the anchor desk Monday, so it just meant more time to play in the snow. Although, we weren't packed for the occasion: you can see from my daughter's high heels in the snow. I told her, but she's 13. 

The next day, we realized this was a serious situation. Thousands of flights had been canceled. I waited on hold with Southwest for more than an hour, several times, before the call was dropped. Then the app failed, and the website wouldn't respond. Another day, stressed about how to get back, with no answers from the airline. 

Dominique came through again to fill in, as we entered another day of confusion. 

At that point, we knew we had to get back. My wife had to work Wednesday and instead of waiting to see if flights would open up, we threw our suitcases – in trash bags – in the back of a snow-filled pickup truck and set out on a 15-hour drive. 

I always tell my kids that life is a journey, not a destination, so we made sure to make the best of this trip. We did things that wouldn't have been possible if we had flown back. We stopped in Springfield, Missouri, to see my little brother, Tony. Then went on to see my daughter's best friend from years ago – "Malala," as she used to call her. My, they have grown so quickly. 

We made sure to add a stop to check out the lights in the middle of a small town in Oklahoma. And by 3 a.m., we made it back to Austin – and back to KVUE. 

And speaking of back: my back is screaming at me for my drive in a 4x4! A reminder of a trip that I'll never forget.

Rob Evans on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

KVUE on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


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