PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Southwest flights are back on schedule Friday after a full week of the airline canceling thousands of flights that left millions of travelers stranded, including many trying to get to and from Portland.

People traveling for the holidays to and from Portland are finally getting back home after this debacle started last Friday. Countless numbers of people were forced to sleep in airports across the country or pay for hotels, food and even new clothes because their baggage was lost.

A letter, that U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg sent to the Southwest CEO Thursday, said that the federal government would take action if the airline fails to reimburse customers’ hotel and food costs.

A Southwest spokesperson told KOIN 6 earlier this week, that in some cases the company was providing stranded customers with vouchers for hotels and food, but asking other customers to save receipts, saying the airline would reimburse them.

“Thankfully I had my boyfriend’s family’s house to stay at otherwise there were people at Harry Reid without places to stay,” said Southwest customer Hadassah Smolianski, who spent the holidays in Vegas, making it back to Portland Friday, four days later than planned.

“My original return date was supposed to be the day after Christmas, the 26th,” said Smolianski who also told KOIN 6 that if she had been forced to shell out her own money for a place to stay, it would’ve stung quite a bit.

“It’s winter time, my job is seasonal so I’m out of a job, I’m looking for work currently and don’t have a steady income so I definitely would’ve been dipping into savings.”

KOIN asked Southwest if they’re reimbursing stranded customers for money lost when many couldn’t get home to their jobs. The company responded to most of the questions Friday but didn’t answer that one.

According to local economics professor Eric Schuck, airlines aren’t legally required to pay stranded customers for lost wages and the requirements for what airlines must provide for customers got looser decades ago when the federal government lost some power over the industry.

“Southwest is operating the way that Wall Street wants them to operate. Southwest is operating the way that they’re rewarded for operating is that their principal responsibility is to their shareholders, not necessarily what we call their stakeholders, meaning their employees or particular customers.”

KOIN also asked Southwest if they’re paying employees including flight attendants who were scheduled to work on all those canceled flights and they didn’t answer that question, but Shuck said the answer is likely no.

“It varies a little bit across carriers, but generally they don’t get paid until the door closes,” Shuck said. “So all that time that they’re, they’re not actively, you know, that the door is not closed, and they’re, they’re not actually flying, they may not get paid.”

When asked how long it will take to reimburse folks for their hotels and food and the clothing people had to buy because of lost baggage, Southwest didn’t have a specific time but said they are processing those reimbursements as quickly as possible.