An unexpected journey home after a flight cancelation

One Nebraska family stuck in Florida drives home to Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- The Pekarek family was taking their last walk on the beach in Florida when the mother received an email saying their flight home was canceled.  The Pekarek family is a family of 7, with kids ranging from ages 2 to 14, making finding a new flight even harder.

“Ha, so the journey home was an adventure,” said Katie Pekarek.

The airline was going to credit the family $400 per ticket, but that would still leave them paying thousands out of pocket.

“You could find one or two tickets, but it was just impossible to find three or four. I thought I could even separate my family and fly home in two chunks, but we really couldn’t do that for less than $1000 each,” said Katie.

They were able to find one flight where 6 out of the 7 of them could go together, but thankfully they decided not to take it.

“That flight this morning that we would have been booked on got canceled, and then the next one wasn’t available until Friday,” said Katie.

Instead, they decided to hop into their rental car.

“We’re really fortunate that we already had a vehicle because there were no big vehicles to rent when I started searching if there was something else,” said Katie.

Then hit the road for the long journey home.

“We had stop-and-go traffic because everyone else was kind of doing the same thing, and it was a holiday weekend. We hit rain and thunderstorms in Georgia and we had thought maybe we could drive straight through with the 24 hours, but the 2-year-old in the car seat didn’t like that idea,” said Katie.

Despite being much longer than anticipated, and not having any snow clothes, it turned into a whole new adventure.

“It was amazing in the car,” said Gigi Pekarek the 2-year-old daughter.

The Pekarek family finally made it home around midnight Monday night.

“We were really glad we got home. We are blessed that we could get home, we talked to some friends that didn’t have the same luxury, so we’re glad to be home,” said Katie.

The best advice Katie has for anyone in a similar situation,

“Be sweet on the phone. Everybody is in the same situation, everybody is trying to get somewhere and there are not enough workers anywhere in the world right now.”

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