Flight delay ruins $25K trip, 20 years of credit card points

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – It's every traveler's worst nightmare – flight delays.

Stuart Cooke and his wife saved 20 years worth of credit card points and planned for almost half a year to take their triplets on a special European cruise featuring the kids' favorite TV stars.

Despite arriving to the airport two and a half hours early, flight delays kept the Cooke family grounded and prevented them from landing in Barcelona, Spain.

Stuart said he and his family spent almost three hours trying to make their connecting flight, but all that time wasn't enough to make it to Philadelphia in time for their next flight.

Stuart plans vacations for a living, so he had every angle covered.  Every stop along the way was charted.

"It couldn't have happened to us," said Stuart.  "We had it all too perfect, we had it all figured out."

What Stuart couldn't control was the airline controlling their destination.  The plane they were supposed to board didn't make it to Wilmington on time and US Airways had no backup plan to accommodate resulting issues.

"I stand there making suggestions of ways to get me there and they kept looking it up 'that won't work, that won't work,'" explained Stuart.

The family never made it to their more than $25,000 trip and Stuart wants to know who's going to pay him back.  He said no one could give him a straight answer. Stuart said the next flight delay he faces won't be such a disaster because he won't rely on airlines for all the answers.

US Airways is going to court because there are accusations pilots are being encouraged to delay flights.  The Pilot's Union denies those allegations.

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