I am a frequent flyer and have been traveling for over 15 years. I fly about every three weeks, so I am seasoned traveler. In my opinion Southwest Airlines is the worst airlines in the industry. On my trip last night Baltimore, MD to West Palm Beach on flight 366, we experienced weather delays because of storms. This is understandable. Our flight was to leave at 5:15 PM and arrive at 7:40 PM. Our flight was late arriving and it was raining hard at Baltimore. We finally left Baltimore at 8:08 PM and arrived at West Palm Beach at 10:05 PM. We boarded the plane at 6:00 PM and waited on the plane for 2 hours before we took off.
Now I was a little aggravated as they kept saying "we will be leaving shortly" and after 1 1/2 hrs. on the plane they decided to give us some water. Just as they started to serve the water, they were told to clean-up to prepare for departure.
The worst part was that after all this when I get my suitcase it was "SOAKED". Paperwork and my clothes were all wet. They left our baggage outside in the HEAVY RAIN on uncovered baggage carts, that's what Southwest uses because they are cheaper to buy. When I went to customer service, I was told "WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE!" "There is no damage, your can put your clothes in a dryer and there is nothing we can do about your paperwork!"
When I asked for a supervisor, they claimed there are no supervisors on-duty and that her word was final. I have been flying Southwest for 5 years and they are getting worse. You have to fight with them all the time and when you're proving your right, they pass you off to someone else to start all over again until they wear you out. This is not the first time this has happened to me, but it is the last time. This airlines motto is "WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING".
They have lost my bags and did not reimburse me even though everyone on all airlines are covered by $2,000.00 of insurance. Damaged my brand new baggage and refused to repair or replace it, claiming it was old and worn out, until I finally got the station manager to look at my account to find that Southwest just replaced the back from my last trip.
Been denied boarding, even though I had a confirmed reservation, because of delays of getting through security even though I was checked-In at the front counter but they cannot communicate that to the gate. Because of cancelled flights from the night before, they decided to board early and leave early as the flight was overbooked.
I was at the gate 10 minutes before departure per their company policy, but still denied and they knew about the crowds at security. I was told to wait and they would get me on the flight as the flight did not leave yet, then All the agents disappeared from the gate. The flight left, then a supervisor showed up, and said that I was not there in time for the flight per their policy when I was.
Southwest company policy is return your full fare for denying you boarding on a confirmed reservation, and fly you for free to your destination, you can see why they argue with you and will always tell you that they are not responsible or delay your ability to complain until it is too late.
People like this airline because of the possibility of getting low fare which are now harder to get. They only find out what Southwest is really all about when there is a problem. That is when the TRUE Southwest Airlines comes out. People are denied their rights because they are not aware of what their rights are or southwest wears you out. That is why they are one of the few airlines making money. "CATTLE CAR AIR" will not get my money anymore!
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- On 1-13-07 my husband and I were at the Philadelphia airport waiting for our flight home to Kansas City (via Nashville). While standing in line about to board the plane we were paged by a Southwest employee. I approached the counter and the young man there told me that our connecting flight from Nashville to Kansas City had been cancelled due to an ice storm in Kansas City. He wanted us to know our options prior to boarding. He gave me a phone number so that I could call and get a distressed passenger rate at either a local hotel in Philadelphia or in Nashville since we wouldn't be able to get home that same day.
I quickly called the number and found that there were no hotels available in Philadelphia but that there were hotels available in Nashville. My husband and I decided to go ahead and fly to Nashville for the night since they had hotels available. We boarded the plane and the flight crew started with their funny antics before the plane even took off. They actually started taking drink orders before take off because it was a relatively short flight and some turbulence was expected. We took off and we got the turbulence. The flight crew had to stay seated for most of the flight but continued to entertain us the entire flight.
Their witty comments and banter back and forth between the flight attendants at the front of the plane and the one at the back were enough to keep everyone in stitches and make everyone forget about the turbulence. Kudo's to everyone on this flight. When we arrived in Nashville we were told where to go to get our distressed passenger document. Again, the employees were very helpful and sympathetic to the fact that we couldn't get home. We were re-booked the following morning on another flight. Went back to the airport on 1-14 in the morning to find that our flight had been delayed.
Eventually it was cancelled and the employee at the ticket counter re-booked us on the afternoon flight. We hung out at the airport and watched part of a football game. A couple of hours before our flight was scheduled to depart, once again, it was cancelled. We were told that we could re-book on the evening flight which may or may not be cancelled. At this point it was late afternoon and my husband and I were tired of the wonderful sights of the Nashville airport and decided to call it a day, go back to the hotel and try again the next morning. The ticket agent re-booked us for the following morning.
We spent another wonderful evening in Nashville and returned to the airport the next morning. Again, the staff at the counter was wonderful and very helpful. Our flight did not get cancelled and finally, after two days in Nashville, we were on our way home. Once again, due to the weather in the Midwest and the turbulence, the flight crew had to stay seated for the duration of the flight. I must say, if you ever get stranded in a city from home, do it in Nashville, the people are wonderful, the city is beautiful and the employees at Southwest in Nashville are awesome!
Initially I was a bit frustrated that my trip was delayed but after spending two great days in Nashville I am glad that it happened. I appreciate the fact that Southwest is an airline that puts safety first and chooses not to fly when the other airlines continue to do so. I must also add that in Nashville as we were in line waiting to go through security my husband realized that he had forgotten to put his pocket knife (a small knife that was a tribute to 9-11) in our checked luggage. He ran out to curbside check in and gave it to the agent who had checked our bags. The agent told my husband that our bags had already been sent "downstairs" to be loaded on the plane.
My husband explained that he forgot to check his knife and that he (the curbside agent) could have it. The agent told him that he would run downstairs and put his knife in our checked luggage. Again my husband told him that he could keep it. Well, guess what? When we arrived home in Kansas City and started unpacking, there was my husband's knife, safely tucked away in his luggage. Many thanks to the wonderful people of Nashville and Southwest Airlines. Just when you start to think that there is no such thing as great customer service anymore, Southwest Airlines comes along and proves you wrong!
Almost three weeks ago now, I flew Southwest Airlines via Midway (MDW) airport to Phoenix (PHX) Sky Harbor Int'l Airport. When I arrived at my destination, my Macbook, GPS & bag of jewelry were no longer in my checked luggage. I pulled directly off the belt. The Phoenix police looked at security tapes leaving only one location left, Chicago. The police in Chicago did nothing but mail me a letter confirming I called them about 7 days AFTER I returned home from vacation.
It could only have been either a Southwest employee after my dad and I dropped our bags off at the curbside check-in or a TSA employee scanning our bags, as my dad received a notification in his bag, but I did not (what thief would promote his job title?). Now to clearly think like a thief, the Southwest employee would have to rush to get our bags on the plane, because we were definitely running to catch the flight. They have no idea what is packed in the bag, and just turn it over to TSA before it enters the belt onto the plane.
The TSA agent, on the other hand, screened the bag, knowing fully well what was inside, with no need to ruffle the bottom portion of my luggage (which was left neatly packed exactly as I had left it and strapped in). So, there is a TSA thief still working at Midway Airport.
Almost three weeks later I finally was able to contact someone at Midway working in TSA who stated, "I received your complaint pertaining to your missing items from your checked luggage. While we have had numerous incidents here at Chicago Midway similar to yours, we have found that no TSA employee at Chicago Midway has been involved with any missing items from passengers luggage. However, we have no problem with investigating this issue for you. In order to do so, I am in need of some additional information." I sent this information all in already, but sure I can forward ANOTHER copy.
With all the talk of the drug rings, money hoards, and IPODS down pants, I assume fully well this guy is going to be no help, not look at the tapes and rather continue to support his lying, thieving employee. Communication with airlines and airline affiliated government programs, such as TSA, is horrible. After three weeks, do you really think you are going to recover my things?
Something should have been done immediately, not just paperwork, but actual physical search of the videos and employees the second that call was made for future customer satisfaction and future flying safety. If this guy is checking bags, what does that say about the safety of our country? Nothing. He's too preoccupied with his own money scheme. All Chicago, Midway fliers need to be aware that their bags are not safe.
NAPA, CALIFORNIA -- Let me start off by saying I generally have had positive experiences with Southwest in the past. That being said they have failed miserably on my most recent encounter with the airline. My wife and 10-week old son were set to return from a family trip to Iowa this week when my wife came down with the flu. When we tried to move her flight the first time I was charged an additional $142 and I was told it was due to changing the return city from SFO to Sacramento. I understood that and was told IF I needed to change my flight again due to her illness that as long as the itinerary stayed the same I would not encounter additional change fees.
Unfortunately my wife is still down with the flu and I had to extend the return flight this morning once again to give her time to rest. I was told to do so, even though I was using the same itinerary, that I would be charged an ADDITIONAL $150. My original cost was $210 for the return flight. My current cost to get my family home is now $502. All of this and the customer service agent tried to tell me SW does not have "change fees". That is blatant false advertising. They can say they do not have a change fee and claim that "her original fare was no longer available" but this is a change fee no matter how you slice it.
Again, I was fine with the $142 as I changed the itinerary but the last $150 this AM is utter extortion. I feel taken advantage of and I just hope that you don't get sick if you fly Southwest. The irony is my wife most likely got sick on their plane. Great little profit center they have created. Southwest - I am 31 and travel for business at miminum twice per month. You have lost my business along with the business of anyone I can convince not to fly with you and it's a shame because your flight attendants are some of the best in the business. It's too bad your customer service and business practices do not match their professionalism.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Flight 657 (New Orleans to Houston) was delayed; there was about 15-20 minutes between departing 657 and boarding flight 3506 (the connecting flight to Philadelphia). The arriving/departing gates were in closeness. I decided to use the bathroom and then, with my colleague, went to Buffalo Wild Wings for a beer, to go. The bar attendant put it into a clear plastic cup and we walked across to the boarding gate. I sat with my daughter and we both fiddled with our cell phones as they charged. I approached the counter to inquire if flight 3506 had been delayed and to verify that we were at the correct gate.
Many passengers' gates were changed (last minute), and the personnel looked frustrated in dealing with the overcrowding and standby situations. I struggled to limp to the counter because of leg pain. When I approached the counter, the Southwest Customer Service representative stated that our flight would be boarding in 10 minutes, however I would not be allowed to fly. I actually thought she was joking. She stated that I was drunk. I asked her if she was kidding. I offered to recite the Gettysburg address or to say the alphabet backwards.
She asked me if I was on any medication. I disclosed that the only medication I take was for ADHD. She remarked that that medication should not be mixed with alcohol... She handed me a piece of paper with writing on it and instructed that I take it to the Hilton and that they would give me a room. She also questioned if I wanted her to call the cops. I responded that was exactly what I wanted her to do. When the police arrived he spoke with me and informed me that the airline reserves that right to refuse passengers. He also told me that he knew I wasn't drunk but could not give me a breathalyzer, as they are only used in traffic situations.
I was advised by an observer that the situation was not fair and suggested that I go to the hospital for a toxicology report for proof of random mistreatment. The hospital personnel and hotel staff were equally in shock when learning of the situation. They were so embracing. They helped alleviate the distress of the situation.
** says that she called Southwest, but was again told that the airline reserves the right to refuse passengers for boarding. She also received an automated e-mail response from Southwest saying that they are looking into the incident. She says that she feels "so disempowered; as a patron, customer, and a citizen. I just couldn't believe this mistreatment could be legal." She says she will never fly Southwest again.
DENVER, COLORADO -- Today at DIA at Southwest Airlines has been the worst experience my partner and I have ever had. After a 2+ hour delay in Minn-St. Paul due to a mechanical problem the plane finally left for Denver and the rude SWA staff that awaited us. Upon arriving at the airport our delayed flight pulled in moments prior to our connecting flight was to leave. Of course our departing flight was delayed prior to the mechanical problem, which was discovered on the runway, due to late passengers. SWA DIA does not seem to believe in a short delay to get passengers on the flight and instead gave our seats away and closed the door as we arrived at the gate.
Adding insult to injury ** who was a Customer Service Supervisor that came from the far regions of hell on this fine 2nd day of the year arrived at the desk to talk to us with attitude. Waving her hands and disrespecting us as customers she took the approach that instead of defusing the situation as a good customer service agent she would threaten to have us removed from the airport and not fly and only further inflamed the situation. After a few words were exchanged, none of which were threatening in any way, Mrs ** picked up the phone and called the police. We left to find the police ourselves.
Finding them we spoke with them and then to ** who was the supervisor for Mrs. **. Of course this exemplary employee for Southwest went on to accuse of threatening her with bodily harm. Evoking the great power these little people have over every one of us that flies. Ultimately we were escorted out of the airport by the police. Lied to by Southwest Airlines a few more times and booked on a flight home the next day leaving us stuck at DIA without getting to important business and with a very bad taste in our mouths for an airline that speaks of LUV and the best customer service in the business.
Actually, based on this interaction they have gate agent supervisors that are willing to lie to empower themselves beyond the power they should hold. I write this to say beware of SWA and the DIA staff. You may not get to where you are going and be accused of being a terrorist because SHE can. By the way I have the highest status with SWA. Imagine how this child of the devil would be with the average Joe.
I have a Southwest Airlines Chase Credit Card. The one where if you sign up and use it, you get a free flight through Southwest Airlines. I saw that there was a promotion from May through July that said if you used your Southwest credit card 25 times per month for May, June, and July, then they would issue you an $100 credit to be used for Southwest Airlines.
I made sure that I used my credit card 25 times during those months, and have verified when calling the number on the back of the card to verify that I was to receive the Southwest credit. I was told that it would take 6-8 weeks for me to receive the credit. After 9 weeks (October 1st), I decided to give them a call to see what was going on. I was informed that it had only been 8 weeks (even though it had been 9 weeks) and it would arrive in the upcoming week. So I looked in the mail everyday for something, but nothing arrived.
On October 8th I called again to see what happened. They said that they were not sure why I didn't receive anything. They did double verify for me that I was to receive it. They said that they would give me a call within 72 hours to let me know the status of what was going on.
Today, October 15th, I decided to give them a call as I had yet to receive any call from them. I was then informed that there was a back order for the $100 credit and that it could take several more weeks until I receive the $100 credit. I asked why I didn't receive a phone call, and was informed that they sent something in the mail on October 12th.
The customer service people who I speak to on the phone are very nice and understanding to why I am frustrated. I have a flight coming up in early November that I would like to use part of the $100 credit so that I can sign up for early-bird check in ($10 per flight). Now that I'm being told I might not get it in time to use it for that reason, it's becoming more frustrating to me.
I was told today that if I don't receive anything within a week, to call them again next Friday and ask to speak to a supervisor to see if anything can be done in terms of that early-bird check in for my flights in early November. Hopefully something can be done. Other than the lack of the $100 credit, the credit card and customer service that they provide is excellent.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I traveled on Southwest from CLE (Cleveland Ohio) to SFO (San Francisco California) on July 26th with two bottles of wine carefully wrapped in clothes & protected by several layers of more clothes wrapped tightly inside my checked luggage. I have been flying SW, as well as other airlines, for over 20 years and have transported hundreds of bottles of wine in this same fashion. Never has a single bottle broken.
These two particular bottles went from SFO to CLE on Southwest just fine on July 19th, but on my return flight on the 26th from CLE to SFO, connecting through Midway Chicago, they were removed from my bag with a note written on a SW ticket sleeve saying "Wine bottles removed by Southwest Airlines." This is ABSOLUTELY unacceptable. Thank god they weren't rare bottles that could not be replaced, but they did cost a total of $76.80. The following day I flew on Alaska Airlines to Cabo and my husband had no problem with the wine packed the same way in his luggage.
I am very disappointed in SW and I'm considering never flying with SW again due to this gross abuse and molestation of my personal belongings. I'd love it I could have my wine returned to me, however I suspect that an employee has already decided to sample the confiscated bottles. Besides if they haven't been stored properly, they are probably ruined anyway. I cannot express how much disappointment, anger and annoyance I have experienced as a result of this situation.
I understand that Southwest has liquor/wine policies. So does every other carrier in the U.S. Not only has this never happened to me with SW before, but it has never happened on ANY other airlines I fly with, which accounts for hundreds of bottles of wine transported in exactly the same fashion (including international flights) over the last 20 years. Besides, if they are going to use "policy" as an excuse for this situation, then SW should apply the "policy" consistently.
I believe I should, at the very least, be refunded the total cost of the wine $76.80. If they are unable to resolve the matter satisfactorily then I no longer have any desire to give SW any more of my business after being a loyal customer for 20 years, and I will make sure I inform many other people like myself in the wine industry via the internet about the gross liberty Southwest Airlines has taken.
My husband and I were on a flight on July 26, 2010 from San Francisco to Oregon and were traveling with four children. Two of our kids are little and weren't able to carry on their two allowed pieces, so the last person in our group was carrying an extra piece of luggage. The flight attendant, Peggy, wasn't able to keep track of the count (ie. unable to count to 11) and we were told that because she lost count she would have to take the last carry-on and check it in. What?
We purposely didn't check any luggage in because our flight was arriving at 10 pm and my husband had to work the next morning, and we didn't want to spend any extra time waiting at baggage claim. Now we would have to waste our time waiting to retrieve that ONE piece of luggage.
I tried telling the flight attendant that we had X amount of people in our group and were allowed X amount of carry-ons, but she rudely said, "move along, keep walking, thanks for understanding." After we were seated, my husband went back and tried explaining that we were well within the allowable baggage count and that we wanted our luggage back. He was told there was nothing she could do, despite the fact that the luggage was within reach of my husband and the flight was not full. Needless to say, my son's asthma inhaler and other necessary items were in that confiscated carry-on.
So now we are at our final destination, Oregon, and we go to baggage claim and of course, our luggage is not there. We then spend another 45 minutes at the Southwest office trying to track and locate our ONE piece of luggage to no avail. 26 hours later our ONE piece of luggage is delivered to our home. I start making calls to "customer relations" and after 10+ attempts of talking to the wrong people, busy signals, waiting and getting disconnected, etc., I finally get through the next day.
I reiterate my story to the representative via a 16 minute one-sided conversation, and was told there was nothing they could do and offered me a very insincere and unapologetic quasi-apology and gave me a piece of advice. "Next time tell the ticket agent that you have kids who can't carry luggage and that this person and this person will be carrying extra." What? Moral of the story, don't fly on Southwest. If you do, load up your pockets with whatever you may need for the next day or two.
TEXAS -- I was on flights from Phoenix to Baltimore then on to Buffalo. NOWHERE on the Southwest site was there information that the first leg also stopped in Austin. What a surprise! For a few moments, I thought I was on the wrong flight!
The most egregious problem, however, is that a Southwest employee in the window seat was using her cell phone to text someone AFTER the flight crew said to turn phones off. While we were taking off, she quickly shoved the phone in her pocket. When we were in the air, she whipped it out again and (probably) turned it off or put it in flight mode.
Just as grievous is that a young woman next to me had her electronic book reader turned on during on the whole flight and NEVER turned it off when we landed. She was in the aisle seat (with me in the middle); not a single crew member said anything to her even though they came down the aisle to check before we landed. The Southwest person in the window seat said nothing either. You should have seen this young woman jump when we bumped to a landing; she had no idea we were landing.
These are direct FAA violations, so I will also notify FAA. It is not my job to ensure passenger safety, so don't tell me I should have said something. Moreover, I was too tired, too hot (see paragraph below), too sick to my stomach (from eating too fast) to deal with this.
Finally, my flights were booked so close together that my choice in Baltimore was to eat OR to use the restrooms. I chose to eat because all I had all day were the awful "snacks" Southwest provides. I had to wolf down my food and run to make the flight to Buffalo. Once on the flight, the airplane was stifling hot, AND we were not allowed to use the restrooms because "we're serving drinks" -- mostly alcoholic beverages.
Is this how Southwest stays a discount airline -- no flushing of toilets, no air conditioning, violating FAA rules, and trying to serve alcohol (for which they charge money) rather than attending to general passenger comfort and safety? Beware Southwest Airlines!