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!
TEXAS -- As an Army wife I dream of my family flying or driving to Texas often to visit family and we are actually taking another flight here in July 2010 to go visit them. Shhhh, they don't know yet! Every flight I have ever taken on SW was very enjoyable and the employees are joyous, laughing, and smiling and working to make your time there fun. The last time I was on a flight (going to TX from DisneyWorld in FL) the fliers were quiet and one of the employees got on the speaker and made jokes and gave us the information for our flight and really lightened up the people there.
My husband and I were worn out from our honeymoon of non stop fun and really needed that last little perk to get us home to our son in a chipper mood. They are very supportive of military families and I have known this before my husband enlisted and I became an Army wife and have seen standing ovations and applauds with plenty of "God bless your precious souls!" to anybody wearing ACU's on board. Traveling with a toddler is always a handful and I either prefer a very quick flight from one place to another or prefer to stop with a little longer layover so my little man can stretch his legs and get something to eat.
As a side note SW still hands out the honey roasted peanuts frequent fliers miss! I often grab a V8 (tomato juice) on ice and pull out the optional take home magazines to enjoy. I love the service, the hospitality, and the friendliness of the employees that work there. On one occasion when the flight AT&T. noted I was having a hard time with my son she brought me extra snacks and distracted him for just a few minutes so I could take a breather and get a bite to eat. That's heavenly for any Momma! They always get our requests fulfilled to a T and the flight itself is always enjoyable.
I have had one flying experience where the pilot gave us a little rough ride landing but ultimately everyone was kind of smiling about it since we were all leaned forward at the almost complete stop! They are happy and cheerful, but take things seriously.
I have seen a man come on handicapped with a child and one particular AT&T. stayed next to him and helped him get comfortable, put away his bag, and help out the child accompanying him and still spending plenty of time with the other people as she is supposed to and getting my coffee right with the number of sugars going in it. Customer service? 5 star. Pilot handling? 4 star! Luggage help and care? 5 star! If SW could make any adjustments that could please me more, it would be a fold out changing table in the bathroom!
Used to fly Southwest from Philly - Florida often and it was great on a short flight like that. No baggage fees, always on time (even early), cheap fares. However, I've recently started flying to LA often and have tried Southwest several times, all being completely unpleasant experiences. First of all there is always a layover which wouldn't be bad if they didn't seriously have a problem with connecting flights. On a flight to LA with a layover in Phoenix we were told to stay on the plane in Phoenix. Wasn't until 20 minutes later when the new flight attendants came on and started talking did we realize they actually rerouted the flight to Orange County! Not one person informed us.
So we got off the plane and headed to the customer service desk only to be blatantly lied to. It was clear it was for selfish profit reasons they canceled our flight since there weren't enough of us going on to LA and stuck us on another flight to LAX 3 hours later. They actually tried telling us the original plane was going in for maintenance when we saw right in front of us people boarding it to go to Orange County. It was disgusting that she was standing there lying to us. After at least 12 of us fighting with her for several minutes we got nowhere. They wouldn't accommodate us for their lack of caring and extreme inconvenience at all. Instead they just lied.
Next attempt at Southwest extreme weather conditions in Philadelphia led us to missing our connecting flight in Denver. I understand weather is out of their control however they promised us in Philadelphia that they would hold the flight in Denver no matter what. Another lie. Not to mention they tried putting us in the C group for boarding even though our original passes were A. They didn't get away with that at least.
I don't like being lied to and these customer service people they have are downright rude. They don't care about their customers at all and will basically say anything to not take responsibility for any inconvenience. I'd rather pay another $20 and not feel like I'm riding a bus.
I spend over 30% of my nine hour day at work booking travel for our company's employees. Dealing with the airlines is never a picnic, but today I am at my wit's end with Southwest. First, I attempted to use their website to book a multi-city flight (i. e., flying from City A to City B, then to City C, then home to City A). Most airlines have this "sophisticated" capability on their websites, Southwest does not. In order to get an idea of what this flight might cost, I checked one-way ticket prices from city to city to city. Satisfied with the price, I attempted to contact the airline to confirm this is how the ticket should be booked.
I waited for over 20 minutes for someone to get on the line to answer this simple question. I immediately went back to their website to book the one-way tickets and the price of one leg of the trip had gone up in that less-than-30-minute span by over $50. I attempted to call Southwest again for assistance in obtaining the rate available before Southwest themselves detained my purchase by their lack of enough people to assist callers, and was told by Claudia that Southwest has no control over their computers. Now that's a scary thought. Apparently these computers enter their own prices, set their own schedules and otherwise create mayhem all on their own.
Claudia did graciously give me a non-toll free number to call, but she had little hope that anyone in that area of Southwest would make the effort to correct the problem either. It has now been one hour and 20 minutes since I spoke to Claudia and tried to call their non-toll free number. It continually rings busy. Does that tell you anything? How many people are calling Southwest to complain about their poor service? Apparently one heck of a lot. This is my last experience with Southwest as I have instructed the rest of the admins in our company to block them when booking airline travel for our employees.