SWA saved our vacation
I've never purchased travel insurance, but after our near-fiasco last week, I will do so in the future. Delta didn't just cancel our original flight, and book us on an earlier one without telling us, they then cancelled the new flight after keeping us hanging around the airport for hours and would not provide us with another one until late the following day. We would have lost two days and one night of our brief vacation.
To add insult to injury, a Delta "customer service" rep lied about there being no flights taking off or landing at the airport where we were waiting (as I could hear the flight announcements over the airport's PA system) and insisted they would not refund our four fares since the cancellation was due to weather. Actually, Delta had diverted our plane to another city, promising to bring it down ("it only takes 30 minutes to get it back here - don't worry") and then clearly decided not to fly the now-empty plane down to pick up all of the waiting passengers. I eventually prevailed about the refund, since the supervisor on the telephone could hear the announcements and no longer deny that all carriers, including Delta, were indeed flying there.
We were about to make the 13 hr. drive when I remembered that most airlines will not check Southwest's schedule when looking for alternate flights. I called SWA and found a flight leaving from an airport located two hours from where we were, so we headed there instead. Even with the drive to the airport & the wait there, we arrived more than six hours sooner than if we'd driven, and we didn't have to depart at the crack of dawn for the trip home. I am SO thankful for SWA!