LITTLE ROCK, Ark – A Little Rock family says prices for airplane tickets have gotten out of hand after a family emergency had the couple flying two times a month.
Shateonda and Farris McClain say their daughters were involved in a serious car accident last month in Bakersfield, California.
“I’ll never forget it,” said Farris McClain. “It was April 2 of this year.”
McClain says he and his wife got a call from the local hospital that their daughter was on a ventilator. After they arrived, doctors told them both daughters were ejected from the car.
“I was told by personnel it was about 40 feet,” said Farris McClain.
The McClain family live in Little Rock, about 1,600 miles away from Bakersfield. They say once they got the call, they immediately started looking for flights.
“It’s chaos,” said Farris McClain.
McClain says his wife was able to book a flight for the two to California for $1,100.
“It was crazy,” said Shetonda McClain.
According to a recent study by CheapAir.com, flying out of Little Rock is up 34 percent from this time last year.
While others are canceling trips, the McClains say that’s not an option.
“It’s so overwhelming that my anxiety stays on high about it,” said Shetonda McClain. “But you have to do what you have to do to check on your babies.”
McClain says she and her husband have flown out to California four times since April to check on their daughters’ recovery. Between discounts, she says she’s spent about $3,500 on airplane tickets alone.
Farris says the high prices continue long after they land.
“I actually just physically pumped 6.49 a gallon for gas,” said Farris McClain.
The two say they’re making cuts at home to afford the flight and extra costs out to California.
They say they will continue to travel for the foreseeable future or at least until their daughters recover.
They say in the meantime, they’re just hoping for some sort of relief.