Family says vacation ruined after getting stranded at Charlotte airport

CHARLOTTE — A Kentucky mother is upset with American Airlines after her family missed out on their vacation when they got stranded at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Robin Phelps was flying from Kentucky to New York with her husband and their two kids.

“It was supposed to be just a quick little layover in Charlotte,” Phelps told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.

She said they boarded a plane in Charlotte, but there was severe weather so they sat on the tarmac for more than an hour-and-a-half and had to eventually get off the plane.

“My kids were starving. We hadn’t had a proper dinner at that point. It’s past bedtime. We already missed naptime for the baby, so now we were getting to bedtime,” Phelps said.

She said her toddler was screaming.

“And then I started crying. I just at some point lost it, and I’m not like that. I’m usually very in control of the situation, but because she hadn’t slept and she hadn’t eaten and for a mother, that’s the most stressful thing in the world,” she said.

Phelps said they ended up getting a hotel room in Charlotte, then rented a car and drove all the way back to Kentucky. She said American Airlines wouldn’t pay for any of those expenses and even lost one of their bags.

“This has been my nightmare -- getting stuck with children in an airport,” she said.

So Phelps sent a tweet to the airline: “Stranded my family with no flights/hotels/food/luggage. Kids hadn’t eaten or slept all day stuck on planes.”

“I gave them a very hard time on Twitter and finally they start messaging me,” she told Action 9.

The airline refunded the flights the family didn’t use and their baggage fees.

“I don’t think they’re going to agree to refund the rental car and the hotel, which they absolutely should, but I don’t think there’s any way that’s happening, which is really disappointing. We were out a lot of money for a vacation back home, basically,” Phelps said.

Stoogenke emailed the airline for Phelps. A representative said, “American Airlines makes every effort to care for our customers by providing a safe, reliable travel experience. Unfortunately, severe weather on June 30 restricted our operation at CLT -- causing a number of delays and cancellations. Our team has reached out to [Phelps’ family] to apologize for their experience and to provide a refund for the remainder of their trip and all checked baggage fees.”

Phelps said the airline did end up giving her an extra $500 credit for each person in her family.

Stoogenke says the airline industry is one that really responds when you complain on social media. He says if you’re traveling and run into problems, try calling and emailing the airline first. If that doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to go public on social media.

(WATCH: American Airlines says it will cancel flights at Charlotte Douglas to ease strain)