Midwest Airlines

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Horrible Policies And Horrible Customer Service
Posted by on
OAK CREEK, WISCONSIN -- I purchased tickets for my family in March. The flight was scheduled for July 26th- August 9th. To my misfortune, my 3 year old daughter broke her leg on June 21st. Due to the extent of the injury, we decided to cancel the trip. I called Midwest Airlines on June 24th, to inform them of our cancellation. The person I talked to was very sincere, and very understanding, however, he said that the tickets were non-refundable, but if I got a letter from a doctor, they MIGHT credit (not refund, but credit) the $100 change fee per ticket...And there was just a slight chance that they might give me a full credit. I thought to myself, who knows when I will travel again? My kid has a broken leg- her father and I had to change around our work schedules to give her the extra care she needed, and I'm down to part time. Anyway....I figured, I won't get any farther, unless I get a letter from the Doctor.

Few days later, I have the letter from the doctor, I fax it over, and I call the Reservation Center. It's barely 7:45am, and I spent more than 15 minutes on the phone.... A few more minutes go bye, and I finally get someone on the phone. I explain the situation, AGAIN, and she says that I would need to talk to Consumer Relations. Fine... can you transfer me there? No, that department doesn't open until 8:00am, its 7:59. Ma'am, you will have to call back, because I cannot keep you on hold for another 30 seconds, I have to answer other calls. WTF was that about?

Ugh.... I get back to work, call about 20 minutes later.... Spent another 20 minutes on hold waiting for someone from Reservations to give me an excuse that I don't need to talk to Consumer Relations. Excuse me! I have called 3 times, and have gotten no where, pass me to Consumer Relations before I go to the office and raise hell. Finally... more waiting on the phone. I talk to this one chick- very understanding, she let me talk for the most part. I had to explain the situation.... AGAIN! Ugh, she tried to give me the same crap... Tickets are non refundable unless there has been a death in the family, that is what you agreed to, blah blah blah. No freaking kidding. I think I know that, right? Common sense, I understand. I'm not stupid. I clearly explained to her that I didn't want a $300 "credit", the tickets cost almost $1000. You think I'm going to let $700 go down the drain, and keep a "credit" of $300. What am I supposed to do with that? Buy myself a happy meal? Get out of here- that is ridiculous. I'm down to part time, hospital bills are coming in, Physical Therapy is likely for my daughter, more deductibles. I could use that $1000. And not in a credit, I paid them in full, and I called them with more than enough time for someone else to purchase them. And check this- if someone were to buy those same tickets, they would cost $800+ for each. I paid $1000 for all 3.

So, they are making almost $2500 for the seats, plus trying to keep my $700, and give me a $300 credit, that I would have to use with them within a year- and then they told me that they would have to be repurchased by April 9th, 2009. Someone obviously doesn't know their math. Anyhow, I am still in the process of trying to speak w/a member of management. YOu better believe me, I will be at their office if I don't receive a call by 1:00pm tomorrow. I will raise hell, and shove my foot in someone's ass.

Lesson of this story- you won't get a full refund, unless someone dies. This isn't customer service, they are just in it for the money. Midwest Airlines customer service reps suck!
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User Replies:
Ben There on 07/10/2008:
Why didn't you purchase travel insurance? I am very sorry your daughter was hurt, but you agreed to the airlines terms and conditions when you purchased the tickets. They never claim to give you your money back on nonrefundable tickets in the event of an injury - that is what insurance is for.

While I am sure that your daughter was actually injured, who is to say that many people would not fake doctors notes to get out of an airline contract. Nonrefundable except for for death means you don't get your money back unless someone dies, and well, the rules apply to you just like everyone else.

Good luck raising hell...
Anonymous on 07/10/2008:
Tickets are good for one year from the date of purchase. Not travel. That's why they told you to reuse the credit by April 9. BTW, "costed" is not a word.
dan gordon on 07/10/2008:
if your as charming as the language in your oh so well written 'rant' I'm sure they will bend over backwards to keep such a reasonable person happy. What part of non-refundable didn't you understand?
chris513 on 07/10/2008:
Instead of buying 300 dollars worth of happy meals, I would get 300 bucks worth of double cheeseburgers. I just think you get more bang for your buck w/ the double cheeseburger.
Mrs. V on 07/11/2008:
lolz @ Chris ^_^

I doubt that this will work (you *did* agree to the terms when you bought the tickets) but you may wish to do a nice (no ranting) letter, attach the doctors note and send it return recept requested to:

Corporate Headquarters
6744 South Howell Avenue
Oak Creek, WI 53154
Best Care Campus West
Anonymous on 07/11/2008:
I think Dan Gordon says it all, and eloquently.
Hugh_Jorgen on 07/11/2008:
If you really are from Oak Creek, you must be living in a vacuum if you aren't aware of what's going on at Midwest right now. Like everyone else, they are cutting flights and cutting staff like crazy in an attempt to stay in business.

With that in mind, I don't think they are going to be willing to break their own rules to refund your money. Take the credits and enjoy them.
Anonymous on 07/11/2008:
I think the OP was still quite emotional when she wrote this post and probably doesn't typically use such 'colorful' language. Also, it's not our place to point out her grammatical errors - WHY is there so much of that going on here?!?

I would be pretty upset myself if I was going to lose $700 due to circumstances beyond my control and while it's easy for us to say "you agreed to the terms or what part of non refundable did you not understand," I'm betting most of us would be trying to get our money back too, I know I would be.
Anonymous on 07/11/2008:
Well said, justcuz!! So long as consumers want 'cheap' air fares, they will get Draconian 'rules' and unyielding customer 'service'. As is, paid fares get a passenger a seat on an airplane, no real service from the crew, and faux 'customer service'. Given the circumstances, the OP's request for a refund was not unreasonable.
Anonymous on 07/11/2008:
This one's on you.
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Midwest bad customer service
Posted by on
Outbound from Milw. to Orlando was OK. Half hour late due to light snow, I can understand. However, the return trip was unacceptable! I made reservations in October for my March flight - had seats reserved for my family of 4. Arrived at airport 2 hours ahead of scheduled flight and was given 4 seats, but scattered around the plane. My children were seated rows and rows away from us in middle seats next to strangers for a 2 1/2 hour flight. Strike One. Was told to speak to the guy at the gate. Guy said (no lie) "I didn't make these reservations - it's not my fault". No help at all. I could talk to other passengers and see if they would switch. Strike Two. 30 minutes after scheduled departure time, no information given about reason for delay. Went to ask unhelpful guy. He told us that maintenance was needed. 60 minutes after scheduled departure time, still no information given about reason for delay. These people had an intercom, and did not use it. The only way to get even the slightest information was to go up to the guy who was not "responsible for the problem". Passengers started to go up one by one and ask questions. Finally, an announcement was issued that a previous passenger had "ripped up an armrest and it needed to be fixed". Maintenance had been called. Strike Three, Four and Five. Anyone here who can problem solve?????? How about offering a single passenger a free ticket on the next flight? How about giving us information??? How about duct tape? 90 MINUTES LATER WE TOOK OFF. ALL FOR AN ARMREST?? By this time (10:00 pm - flight was scheduled at 8:30 pm) my kids were NOT in the mood to sit by strangers. Midwest sucks - not for the problems they experienced, but for how they handled them.
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Anonymous on 03/27/2010:
Reserved seats are not guaranteed. You did not think to ask the seat mates to switch so your children could sit with ya'll? That is what we did coming back from Mexico. Changed seats with a couple.
Skye on 03/27/2010:
Seats are not usually assigned. Why didn't you just ask the people who were sitting next to your kids, if they would not mind moving?? You wouldn't know, until you ask.

As for the flight being delayed for take off, that happens sometimes. Not knowing why there was a delay was a hassle, but not everything requires compensation.
Debhemail on 03/27/2010:
We have always had assigned seats. I have travelled extensively and have never been split up from my kids. I can see if we arrived late, but we were there 2 hours before scheduled takeoff. We did ask people to move, but since all 4 of our seats were in the middle, no one was willing.

I did not slam Midwest for the delay - the problem was the lack of communication and problem solving in this situation. I’m not sure why you brought up compensation - I didn’t ask for any. I simply wanted better customer service. Or any customer service at all would have been nice.
Ben There on 03/27/2010:
Next time I suggest that you assign your seats when you book your ticket, or check in online 24 hours in advance. If you choose not to do either of these two things you are very likely to get four middle seats if the plane is full.
Debhemail on 03/27/2010:
I assigned my seats when I booked my ticket. I even had a nice conversation with the lady on the phone about my husband's long legs. She assured me that we had our seats, which for our outbound flight was true. I had no indication that the second flight would be different. Sorry, people - I did everything right. People are trying to put the blame on me and my planning for Midwest's mistakes. I am an experienced traveler and know my way around airline reservations. I welcome other comments!
Ben There on 03/27/2010:
It could be possible that your equipment type changed. I know Midwest and Frontier are now owned by the same company and are switching planes around, so maybe your original Midwest plane was now a Frontier plane with a different configuration. If this was the case online check in might have helped as you would have noticed the change.

Regardless, all airlines can and do change seat assignments as they see fit.
Debhemail on 03/27/2010:
Yes, I usually do check in. We didn't have computer access, though, and when I tried to do this by phone, the wait time was more than an hour. I didn't feel like walking through Epcot on hold. If we hadn't had such a good experience on the outbound flight I would have probably had someone at home check in for me.
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