TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It was an epic travel disaster that left thousands of Southwest Airlines passengers stranded over the holidays.

Many of those customers are still trying to get their lost luggage back and get reimbursed for canceled flights and out-of-pocket expenses.

One customer, a man in Louisiana, filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the carrier claiming it committed a breach of contract when it offered him and other passengers credit instead of refunds.

Southwest Airlines blames its epic holiday travel disaster on bad weather, combined with outdated scheduling software. The Dallas-based company canceled more than 15,000 flights between Dec. 22 and Dec. 30, according to tracking service FlightAware.

The chaos started with a winter storm but some Southwest passengers found themselves still stranded, even after other airlines recovered in just a couple of days. Even crews and airplanes were stuck – far from where they were supposed to be – causing a ripple effect.

A spokesperson from Southwest Airlines told Better Call Behnken that refunds are in the form of original payment and requests for reimbursements are being processed on an ongoing basis and sent as checks, not vouchers.

Now, comes the frustration of getting bags back and reimbursement for expenses.

Donna Becker, of Clearwater, says she ended up stranded and forced to sleep at the airport in Austin, Texas on Christmas Day after her flight back to Tampa was canceled. She was booked on another flight four days later, and that flight was canceled, too.

Becker and her husband ended up renting a car and driving through the night to get home to Clearwater. She didn’t get her luggage back until Jan. 4 at around 1 a.m. she says, after waiting at the Tampa airport for a delayed Southwest flight to bring the luggage.

Becker is still furious.

“There was a weather issue, but Delta, American, other airlines all got together between 24 to 36 hours,” Becker said. “They were flying … Southwest was just continuously canceling 70 percent of their flights, continues throughout the day.”

The email from the spokesman said, in part, “We have a long and proud 51-year record of delivering on our Customers’ expectations and connecting them to important moments in their lives. But we aren’t perfect, and when we fall short, we aim to do the right thing. We truly hope Customers will accept this gesture in the spirit intended—along with our sincerest apologies, as we are committed to delivering on their expectations and regaining their trust in Southwest Airlines. 

Consumers can go to southwest.com/traveldisruption to request a refund and/or submit receipts for reimbursements related to the recent disruption. Consumers can also obtain information there about missing luggage.

Southwest’s CEO has vowed to prioritize enhancing the system and procedures, in the weeks and months to come.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Transportation is keeping a watchful eye on the situation. Here’s where you can file your complaint: transportation.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint