Terri Weissinger from California was trapped eight days at San Francisco International Airport because she couldn’t pay the baggage fees.
Terri Weissinger had decided to move home and booked herself on a flight from California to Idaho.
Eight days after turning up at San Francisco International Airport, however, Terri Weissinger was still in the departure lounge – having not even boarded a plane.
The issue was having booked her flight just before a federal law went into effect requiring ticket brokers to disclose all hidden fees, Terri Weissinger didn’t know about her airline’s extra baggage fees.
Having packed too much, Terri Weissinger had just $30 to her name, while the baggage fee was $60.
U.S. Airways refused Terri Weissinger permission to board despite her offer to pay the fee when she landed or leave one of her bags behind.
U.S. Airways said their policy didn’t allow them to let her board without paying and airport security meant she couldn’t leave her luggage.
While attempting to resolve her situation, Terri Weissinger missed her plane – thereby racking up another $150 in fees.
Terri Weissinger remained stuck, with no option but to live in the terminal. The woman slept in a stairwell and was treated for anxiety at the airport medical clinic.
When she tried to plead with airport authorities for help, Terri Weissinger was threatened with arrest on vagrancy charges.
Speaking to ABC 7, Terri Weissinger said: “[It’s] ridiculous. I couldn’t believe it sometimes, you know, it’s just incredibly ridiculous situation to be in.”
Finally, Terri Weissinger saw a listing for the nearby Airport Church of Christ in a phone book and call them.
Moved by her situation, the church quickly raised the $210 Terri needed to pay her fees and get on her plane.
U.S. Airways said in a statement: “We have apologised to Ms Weissinger for her experience, but unfortunately are unable to offer a refund.
“When you purchase a non-refundable ticket, you accept the terms and conditions. If a passenger cannot travel with their bags, they need to make other arrangements.”