Medford, Ore.- What was meant to be a tropical vacation turned into a traumatic experience for a Grants Pass couple. Dawn Dalton and Micah Pitts were stranded for a week on the island of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
While the weather caused the initial problem, the couple says their airline made everything worse. They call it a traumatic experience that has Dalton still shaking.
The two are newlyweds who have already been through quite a bit.
They were in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria moved through. Dalton and Pitts saw the devastation first hand.
“Trees were down, blocking the road. Power lines — you had to drive over the power lines,” the couple recalled.
But Hurricane Maria didn’t ruin their trip. In fact, they said because of the excellent service at their hotel, the hurricane felt like a rainstorm to them.
The difficulty of witnessing the aftermath and they people they met during the hurricane though, inspired them to take the next step in their relationship.
“We thought getting married after a hurricane would be the most incredible story ever,” said Dalton. “There we 70 people that I’ve never met at my wedding and I had four bridesmaids who I met like three seconds before.”
But their nightmare began after the quick wedding when they started their journey home.
As they arrived at the airport, they say United Airlines wasn’t there to support or direct them.
According to Dalton,”There was a piece of paper written in Spanish with a bottom half torn off”
The pair called the number on the note only to be told they had to book another flight for a week later on September 30th. Then, their flight on September 30th was also cancelled.
Dalton and Pitts weren’t sure what to do next, but their hotel had a plan.
“They had arranged for anyone who wanted to go on through the cruise ship through Royal Carribean to get on,” Dalton says.
Pitts and Dalton took the cruise ship to Fort Lauderdale, planning to fly from there back home.
Dalton tells NBC5 News, “I called United and said we have to change our flight from San Juan to Fort Lauderdale and they said, ‘Well that’s $250.'”
When they explained they were stuck after their flight had been cancelled twice they were told it was their fault.
“We were told the $250 was completely warranted because we had changed our travel plans,” Dalton said.
And when they told United they had seen other airlines flying out, United came back with an unexpected response from one their representatives. Dalton told NBC5 News that she was told they’ve should’ve picked another airline instead.
Now Dalton and Pitts are out thousands of dollars and still looking for answers they’ve yet to receive. They’re considering taking legal action against United, but Dawn Dalton says there’s one thing she’s learned.
“I wouldn’t change the experience at all, I would go through it all again. Except I wouldn’t fly United.”
NBC5 News Reporter Emily Biehl graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor’s degree in Television and Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Leadership Studies.
Emily interned at KNBC in Los Angeles and was a reporter and Executive Producer for Chapman News, Orange County’s only live newscast. She also recently produced a documentary about homelessness.
Emily loves baking, spending time with family and friends and telling people what animals they resemble!