CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP)– Southwest airlines cancelled thousands of flights during the holiday travel rush that caused chaos, and extra expenses for many travelers.

If you were one of the thousands of people whose travel plans were disrupted over the holiday, you will likely be able to to get most expenses covered by the airline.

Travelers who were effected by a flight cancellation or delay from December 24 through January 2nd are able to get refunds from the airline. The first step is to go to the airline’s website and fill out a form. You’ll need your reservation confirmation numbers, but you’ll only have to fill out the form once for all the travelers on your reservation.

Travel experts saying in the light of this debacle, there are ways to protect your travel plans moving forward.

“You always want to know the terms and conditions of your ticket and you always want to ask is this changeable, is this refundable, can I get a credit if I cancel, ” said Anne Lischwe, travel sales manager at AAA Northeast.

Southwest is also reimbursing what it calls “reasonable” requests for hotel, rental cars, food, and other expenses incurred due to the disruption. Customers submit receipts via the forms on the company’s website.

Southwest attributed the historic holiday meltdown to severe weather forcing operational changes of an unprecedented volume.