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Southwest flight change extortion
Posted by Eackerman16 on 08/07/2012
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 and 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.

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Posted by Dukemom on 2012-08-07:
As a frequent flyer I'm sure that understand about fare changes. Any other airline you would be faced with the increase in fare AND their $150 (or whatever) change fee. I think that you're being unreasonable to not expect to pay the increase in the fare.
Posted by jonthethird on 2012-08-07:
Which fare structure did you use when you purchased the original tickets?
The "wanna get away" is least expensive, but very restricted.
The "anytime" is far more expensive, but much more flexible.
If you did the WGA fare, you rolled the dice and hit snake eyes.
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SouthWest Boot Sober Passenger
Posted by Mzchioma on 07/15/2012
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 close proximity. 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."

Erinn 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 dis-empowered; 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.

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Posted by Anna Molly on 2012-07-15:
Who is Erinn? Are you?

Ok...this kind of clears it up:


Posted by madconsumer on 2012-07-15:
i question why the passenger was allowed to take beer out of the bar. all the flights and airport bars i have been in, that has never been allowed.

this appears to be a copy and paste of the news story posted on jezabel.com.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-07-15:
Everything I hear about Southwest makes me want to use them for my next flight.

It is the discretion of the staff to assess such situtations. The telling of this story at Jezebel (which is very one-sided) hints that this was done on purpose as a way of culling passengers from a packed flight - I find that very hard to believe. Word gets around that several people have been accused of intoxication that weren't, and it would reflect very poorly on the airline.

Between the first person and third person, it isn't clear at all who wrote this.
Posted by jonthethird on 2012-07-15:
I fly SW often, have never had such a problem. When there has been a flight delay, they have worked to get me home within a reasonable time. I love SW: get aboard, sit down, eat the peanuts, and dont cause trouble :)
Posted by mzchioma on 2012-07-15:
There are many stories about Southwest and discrimination. Celebrities in particular: Billy Joe Armstong, Leisha Hailey, John Rich, to name a view. Seems like they would've flew another airline but the incidents are not confined to Southwest. Here's one of my favorite stories, so sad......

Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-07-16:
One cannot tell from the odor of alcohol, how much someone had to drink, when they drank, or what they drank, which means one beer recently drank can smell like a brewery. Here we have a person who smells of alcohol, who staggers (limps) to the counter. Also, everytime I have leg pain I have a tendency to shift my weight from leg to leg, which can be interpreted as swaying. Put that together with red eyes from getting up early or flying, and the OP could have appeared impaired. (Drinking in the waiting area probably is not a good thing to do either.)

The OP did nothing wrong, but the review is helpful because it shows the importance of not drinking alcohol, if one's physical condition can be interpreted to be impaired. The airlines actions seem over the top, but certainly this is something that can and did happen.

Posted by Starlord on 2012-07-19:
The decision to prevent a passenger from boarding is totally left to ther discretion of the boarding agent and pilot. Anyone who has watched more than one episode of Airline, knows about this, as almost every episode has a passenger barred from flying due to alcohol use.
Posted by mzchioma on 2012-07-20:
I hate to be technical and I was advised not to respond, but I think people need to realize that Federal laws supersedes:
1. I was not similarly situated, in a pertinent way, to the claim of “drunkenness” asserted by Christine Moore, Southwest Airline representative.;
2. Southwest has, to the detriment of all of America, treated me (as well as others) in a manner that the other passenger(s) has/have not been treated similarly, and
3. that difference has caused embarrassment to my daughter and I significantly

The decision to deny my daughter and I to board was based on the fact that I was consuming an alcoholic beverage, it sounded as if I had “slurred” speech, and my gait was impaired. My answer to their claims, as supported by the toxicology report, is listed:
1. A drink in hand does not constitute drunkedness.
2. My accent and vernacular was construed as “slurred” language.
3. A leg disability was perceived as impaired due to inebriation, a fact not supported by the evidence.
4. Personnel made reference to the fact that a medication that I had taken should not be mixed with alcohol. This is not a true fact.
I believe, based on the facts, that the action of preventing my daughter and I was facially discriminatory, as based on the state of mind of the airline personnel and the conclusion of “drunkedness” based upon the broad facts admittedly delineated by the airline. I support that claim based on the following facts:
There was no reasonable inquiry of Southwest stewardess’ of the previous flight, or of bar attendant where I purchased the drink. Such inquiries would have been in the interest of Southwest and of the nation in promoting security by obtaining accurate facts and credible information. The decision of Southwest Personnel were simply based on irrational observations which were unreasonable.
An action is recognized as arbitrary and capricious when "it is unreasonable, without consideration, and in disregard of facts and circumstances of the case." Eads, supra(citingArlington Hosp. v. Schweiker, 547 F. Supp. 670 (E.D. Va. 1982)).
Arbitrary and capricious actions have been found to be closely related to ones that are unreasonable. State ex rel. Eads v. Duncil, 196 W. Va. 604, 474 S.E.2d 534 (1996).
These facts establish that there was no legitimate reason to deny my family to board the plane,as offered in the interest national security or the safety of the other passengers on the flight. I dispute a risk of security as substantiated by the fact that I had just departed one flight approx. 20 minutes earlier without incident.
Every American is afforded the rights of 42 USC ss1981. It is in the interest of National security and the preservation of the civil rights act that there is a probe into the actions that occurred. Please assist me in helping to eradicate this social injustice.
Posted by mzchioma on 2012-07-20:
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Southwest Flight Att Stole My Carry On
Posted by Nirak on 07/09/2012
I was on my way to my daughters wedding -had all VERY imp wedding things in my carry on including jewelry-dress for the wedding-shoes-wedding purse-baby pix of my daughter not replaceable-also meds and imp documents. All in my carry on for safe traveling. That is why I didn't ck this bag.

It wouldn't fit on the overhead so I told the flight ATT what was in it(stupid me) she listened and said she would not ck it! She reassured me she would keep it with her in the galley way. As I exited the plane up front I asked for my bag she said she had to ck it!!
I almost yelled but contained myself. Asked her for the tag she said she didn't tag it and reassured me it would be at the luggage with the rest of the bags. Well you guessed it this happened March 29th 2012 and I'm still with out my bag. I since rebought the wedding dress for myself -shoes etc. I'm still sick over it all.
I've gotten very little satisfaction from the way this is being handeled they are very slow and non informative about searching for the bag. I believe the flight attendant has taken the bag and is enjoying my articles!!

SO UPSET!! Southwest will never see me again and I will be sure everyone knows how they have handled my situation and made my daughter's wedding a very stressful situation.

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Posted by Ben There on 2012-07-09:
There is also a chance that it was gate checked without a claim tag by mistake, and it went to the land of lost bags with no identification on them.

Or, being the last bag checked on the aircraft, it was the first bag out on the carousel and some random person stole it before you got there. It is not uncommon for bags to get lifted if they make it downstairs before the passengers do.

It does sounds weird that the flight attendant offered to keep the bag in the galley. All bags must be secured no matter where they are, and I don't think Southwest planes have big closets like many other airlines since they don't have first class.

I do hope your bag eventually shows up. My friend got a bag back after 7 months!
Posted by Susan on 2012-07-09:
Something isn't adding up right here. First of all, how did you get on the plane with a bag that wouldn't fit in the overhead compartment? And I've never heard of a flight attendant keeping a bag in the galley for someone during a flight. If it was checked you don't have any proof that the flight attendant stole it and it is unfair to make this accusation.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-07-09:
I like to think as a last resort that someone intentionally took something. The bag wouldn't fit in the overhead, so the FA had to do something with it.

I agree that the weird part of the story is that the FA said she would hold it in the galley, but that changed for some reason.

It is quite possible that the bag innocently was sent to the luggage hold and lost in one of the ways suggested in the first reply. It would be hard to track down such a bag without a tag, I would imagine.

I'm glad you didn't name the FA - I'm not sure assuming she stole the bag is appropriate.
Posted by Comfortably_Numb on 2012-07-10:
the fa was teh last person to handle the op's carry on. i hold her responsible to.
Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-07-10:
This is a good review because it shows the absolute necessity of the passenger making sure that their carry on will fit under the seat or in the overhead, if what is in there is so essential and valuable.
Posted by Starlord on 2012-07-11:
Every time I have flown, I have seen boxes at each loading gate. The box is the maximum size for carry-on bags. If the bag won't fit in the box, it must be checked. If it does fit in the box, it will fit in the overhead or under the seat.
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Layover Champs
Posted by Primeval__3 on 04/21/2012
ALL -- What I don't understand is how on your way flying to your destination, they get you there in a reasonable amount of time. However on the way back your first flight before your layover will be 20-50 minutes delayed. And your 2nd plane is almost guaranteed to be delayed 1-5 hours. HOW IS THAT Possible. Then, the counterperson is always reporting( This one is going to be a Full Plane and no extra overhead bin space) NO[snip] I recommend flying a DELTA.

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Posted by clutzycook on 2012-04-21:
How is it possible? Simple. It could be due to weather (local or en route), staffing issues, plane issues, or even congestion on the runways due to delays by other planes/airlines (yes, even Delta) caused by any one or more of the reasons I just gave.
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-04-21:
Were you flying later in the day? Morning flights get delayed less often. Weather in just one city can have an impact on other cities all over the country. The delays snowball and by the end of the day, you could be looking at a one or two hour delay. This is also true with maintenance delays.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-04-21:
Delays are a part of air travel. All kinds of things cause them. As far as overhead bins, if you are getting on a flight passing through a city, there is a good chance they will be full - and more people are carrying on bags to escape the fees.
Posted by Ben There on 2012-04-22:
I find that Southwest tends to have more free overhead space than Delta or American because they don't charge to check bags.

I sometimes pay the extra $10 to be checked in automatically, which greatly increases the chance of a lower boarding number in the A group.
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Extortion and Worst Customer Service
Posted by BRUNO.LAFONTAINE on 04/14/2012
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- We initially bought tickets for the same SWA flight on 4/14/2012, at the same time for a child (8-year old), his father and his grandmother. All 3 tickets were not bought at the same time: the child and grandmother tickets were bought first and then the Dad's.
Later on, the grandmother had to change her plans and called SWA to change her departure time. The SWA representative told her that he needed to change the confirmation number for the child flight, which he did, and assured us that the child and father were on the same flight.
The night before the actual flight, we started the check-in procedure for the child and father, only to find out that they were booked on separate flights.
We called SWA to get the situation rectified. The SWA representation, Shannon (a supervisor in San Antonio TX who would not provide her last name, supposedly according to company policy), flatly refused to correct their mistake and told us that it would be fine for the child to fly from San Diego to Oakland at 8:45 at night by himself!!! She said that it was our mistake not to verify that both father and child were on the same flight, which is wrong because we immediately verified verbally with the SWA representative over the phone when the modifications were made.
In the end, Shannon told us that we would have to pay an extra $48 if we wanted the child to fly with his father and not by himself, which we consider to be extortion. Since we feel that letting an 8-year old fly by himself to be irresponsible, we had no choice but to pay Southwest Airlines the $48.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2012-04-14:
I believe most companies don't allow CSR's to give out their full names. It's a policy that protects the employee from any type of harassment and/or retaliation from an irate customer.

Southwest doesn't charge change fees so that $48 is a difference in air fare. If you were on another airline, you would have paid way more to change the flight.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-04-15:
I had a bit of trouble understanding what happened, starting in the beginning with all tickets were bought at the same time and they were not bought at the same time.

Ultimately, I agree it is the customer's responsibility to confirm who is booked on what. SW is one of the better airlines out there - I'm sorry this happened. Changing flights can be really expensive at some - I agree with shorty.
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SW no longer cares for its customers
Posted by Cotto on 03/22/2012
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I've flown Southwest Airlines for over twenty years and my experience in the past was positive.

Southwest no longer cares about its customers. If I can avoid it, I will not flight SW again. My recent experience on SW is one of the worst ones of my lifetime.

I flew from Dallas to Atlanta via Houston (because of the Wright Amendment.)

After doing a headcount in Houston, we expected to continue to Atlanta. Instead, all Atlanta travelers were taken off the plane. We complied because we were lead to believe we would be leaving soon on another flight.

40 of us stood in line for a long time and no one knew what was going on. Finally, we were given boarding passes on a flight that left 4 hours later.

Because I had to drive 4 more hours after arriving in Atlanta and I would not arrive until after 10 p. m, I asked to fly to a location that was closer to my destination. The attendant at the desk was very rude and told me I could go but my baggage could not. He would not help and basically ignored me as I stood asking for help.

On the way home, I got back more quickly. However, we spent 30 minutes waiting for a flight attendant to locate her apron that had been taken off the flight by mistake.

Southwest Airlines has lost its edge. If I have to put up with rude behavior, I'll fly another airline. At least, I know other airlines will notify me in advance if they decide to cancel a flight.

Shame on you Southwest Airlines.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-03-22:
"The attendant at the desk was very rude and told me I could go but my baggage could not. He would not help and basically ignored me as I stood asking for help."

Could you explain this further? It sounds like the attendant did verify you could take this other flight. How was he rude? When you say "he would not help" and "basically ignored me" when did this happen? It sounds like there was the issue of your luggage was unable to be retrieved and then ???
Posted by madconsumer on 2012-03-22:
this is a very helpful review!!

when i lived in dallas, i flew southwest often. now they are not what they used to be.
Posted by mzchioma on 2012-07-15:
They don't care about their passengers, but they do care about bad publicity and low profits. Thanks for getting the message out!
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Not helpful
Posted by Mj.coats on 02/25/2012
My key is stuck in the ignition of my 2004 Honda Pilot. Southwest Honda has given me an estimate of $600 to replace the ignition switch.

There's a video on YouTube that shows that the process takes no more than 30 minutes.

I bought my car, new, at that dealership.
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Posted by Exterminator on 2012-02-25:
Did you ask them for a breakdown of labor/parts, and point out this discrepancy to them?

$600 does sound excessive at a glance, but ignitions can be labor intensive.
Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2012-02-25:
The job was probably done by the book rate. Meaning that if the book says the job takes X amount of hours and the job ends up taking Y amount of hours the customer still pays for X amount of hours of labor. Sometimes this can work to the customers benefit, but that's rarely the case.
Posted by clutzycook on 2012-02-25:
Dealerships frequently overcharge for services. Try to find a good mechanic in your area that does ignitions. I'll bet they'll be cheaper.
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The LUVLESS Airline
Posted by Travelinbry63 on 01/02/2012
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 Michelle R 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 use 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 Reed picked up the phone and called the police. We left to find the police ourselves. Finding them we spoke with them and then to D Danielson who was the supervisor for Mrs. Reed. 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.

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Posted by SteveWiginowski on 2012-01-02:
I'm really curious to know all three sides of the story on this. For both sides to seek the police, I think there's more to this story.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-01-02:
The SWA CSR claimed that you threatened her with bodily harm, but you didn't?

I've never had anyone in cusomer service make up stories about my when I complained. That is unusual, and I would also want the police handy to sort it out.

You say that the people were "little". Were they height challenged, or did they have little minds?
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-01-02:
If your flight is delayed, the airline will not hold your seats on the connecting fight. You weren't there so they were within rights to release your seats. At an airport, all words are threatening words. That's why you were escorted out by police. How did Southwest lie to you a few more times? You went into detail on everything else. Can you please explain how they lied a few more times?
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-01-02:
This is a very unfortunate situation and one that no one will win. I know that it is easier said than done, but when it comes to airline employees there isn't much you can do at the time of the incident because anything you say or do may be perceived as threatening. Your best bet is to be as patient as possible, get on the next available flight and then when you get to your destination let your fingers do the talking by writing to the executives of the airline. You can send an even bigger message by letting your money do the talkiing and refuse to fly this airline any longer.
Posted by olie on 2012-01-02:
Nowadays, a passenger has to be AT the airport at least an hour before the plane is scheduled to depart. It sounds as though you did indeed build in enough time to get to your connecting flight.

But it's nobody's "fault" that your outgoing flight from MSP was delayed for so long. Such things happen, and I know I'd rather be on a plane that was thoughly checked -out, than on one that was not.

In any case, your original flight just didn't get to Denver in time. While it wasn't *your* fault, airline rules are airline rules. Gone are the glory days when an airline would hold a flight for a late arrival.

You could plead your case, but once you were told "No", you should have just asked politely for a seat on the next available flight. And then just made the best of it. (My idea of a perfect few hours is being stuck in an airport with my laptop, wifi, books, magazines, crosswords, and access to food and a bathroom. Since it's not my choice, I can't feel guilty about not cleaning the house or mowing the lawn. Perfection!)

Demeaning the employees by calling them "exemplary" and "little" might make YOU feel better, but really isn't going to get you the resolution you seek.
Posted by onlooker on 2012-01-02:
the plane left late, you had the opportunity to rearrange the next flights while waiting at the airport (even with built in layovers, sometimes it pays to be proactive)

Chances are that the SWA ticket you had in hand was not priced for any special services - like holding the plane, or automatic rescheduling etc.
Did you not change flights to save charges, or there were no other flights....or you assumed you would be ok.

Your original plane was delayed for a time by SWA allowing late passengers on before the mechanical failures.

You then expected that you could get the same service on the next leg - as they held the plane on the first leg right? Mechanical failure was the unexpected delay.

there was alot of attitude going one - but those 'little people' hold the key to you getting to your important meeting, job interview, home on time. So it seems to me that you took a helpful action for some people at the first leg departure and then demanded it for the second. Not cool.
High status does not entitle one to demand, it allows early access to what is provided.

the CSR might have been giving you attitude especially knowing how many people were getting re-routed and venting on them ....kind of hard to keep a smile.

you have the names, dates, flight numbers write to the airline - and see what happens. Corporate offices respond to high status flyers.
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-01-03:
"highest status" what would that be? Status on Southwest is "A" boarding group, so you board with the first of the three groups in the cattle drive.
Considering the egalitarian nature of Southwest (no assigned seating, first class) calling others "little" or "average joes" is interesting....
Posted by Darrell27 on 2012-01-03:
My wife and I have also had issues with SWA @ DIA. Returning from Ft. Lauderdale last year late at night, our commuter airline was waiting for us as our flight was late. SWA refused to call down to the gate and have them wait a few more minutes. I being disabled, asked SWA to call for a cart to take me to the gate but the agent refused. So my wife and I were forced to spend the night in Denver at our expense. The next morning we were told the commuter airline said they only had 2 other passengers on the flight the night before and said they called SWA to confirm we were on their flight. They said SWA were extremely rude and didn't care if we made our connecting flight. They also said the pilot waited for 45 minutes for us AFTER our SWA flight landed and finally took off without us. If SWA had only bothered to give them a call, they would have waited a few more minutes as it was the last flight of the evening. My wife and I have flown SWA many times out of DIA and have never had a pleasant experience with them.
Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-01-03:
Minn-St. Paul is probably the end of the line, so passengers left there would have to wait a long time for another plane, therefore the delay for them. Denver is a much busier hub for SWA, and more flights fly through there, so there would be a shorter delay for passengers left behind.

Why would there be any reason for the op to "exchange" any words, when the rules and practice is always that one must be at the gate, ready to go, thirty minutes prior to boarding, and if not your seats are given to those on standby. (Calculations concerning weight, passengers, fuel, etc. must be completed before the scheduled departure time, and late arriving passengers mean that must be redone.)

Planes follow a schedule. If they delay at one point, the plane is late the entire day, which is one reason they try to leave on time, late passengers or not. (The op flys on one of the busier days, and is upset by delays - imagine a delay on the New Year weekend).

Posted by Fred Payton, Jr. on 2012-05-06:
I drove from Livingston, Tx. to pick up my wife arriving from Albuquerque, New Mexico yesterday. But since I have a problem occasionally with frequent urination, I needed to go to the restroom, so I was going to park in the garage and walk inside the terminal, but could not get into the parking garage because I don't possess a credit card and I don't have a cellphone. I feel this is a gross discrimination against people who, for religious or other reasons, cannot use airport facilities. And it is wrong. KEEP THE AIRPORTS OPEN FOR THE COMMON MAN AS WELL. This is not the first time I have had a frustrating experience with airlines. 5-06-12
Posted by doingsomethingaboutit on 2013-04-06:
I agree with you 100% I had a situation that is mind blowing and I am going through the legal system. If travelinbry63 could give me a way to contact him, I would like to get his affidavit. Thank you.
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Airline Theft
Posted by ErinBrogan.2669 on 11/02/2011
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I flew Southwest Airlines from Midway to Phoenix two months ago and am still battling with Southwest regarding the employee who stole my laptop, GPS, jewelry and house keys from my checked "free" luggage. It's been a long, expensive battle of sending packets of papers into Southwest's customer service in Dallas who continue to tell me that because my items were of value, they are not responsible. How exactly is a company of such high standards "not responsible" for their corrupt employee? Needless to say, this employee is still working for the company. I have been in contact with everyone from the baggage claim specialists in both cities to the police, the TSA, the CEO and Board of Directors of Southwest, the BBB and the Department of Transportation Aviation Section. Southwest refuses to budge. They stated they'd send a $200 credit voucher (not worth 10% of what my stolen goods cost and won't even get me a roundtrip flight) to shut me up and keep my business, then they never even sent it! Southwest Airlines has some serious customer service issues to fix. They treat their consumers paying their salaries like cattle in the desert. Not to mention as consumers we pay a mandatory "security fee" for what? They can't even complete the simple task of trasportating passenger's luggage from one city to the next in full.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2011-11-02:
I do not condone theft of any sort, but I have to ask why would you pack such valuable items in your luggage? Do you know the identity of the employee that stole your items? If you do not, it is your word against theirs and unfortunately, you will come out on the short end of the stick.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-11-02:
Really good example of what not to do when traveling. Problem is, there is no way to prove what was in your checked baggage. Take what they offer and run. Just don't do it again.
I thought Midway was closed.
Posted by At Your Service on 2011-11-02:
So out of curiosity, can anyone explain why one cannot lock their baggage any more? Aren't they able to X-Ray the baggage to determine of what might be a problem?
Posted by madconsumer on 2011-11-02:
AYS, it has to do with the ability to do inspections.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-11-02:
You can lock it. It has to be an approved lock by TSA and they can open it.
Posted by madconsumer on 2011-11-02:
jkt, sad part is with a tsa lock, THEY can open them. so the tsa lock won't prevent theft by tsa agents.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-11-02:
that's what I said.
Posted by Old Timer on 2011-11-02:
There are signs everywhere at the airports from curb to gate telling people not to put valuables in their checked bags. If you read the fine print it says the airline is not responsible, period. Feel bad for your loss but they warned you the best they could.

With the billion$ the TSA spends you wonder why they can't put a few video cameras in the areas where the thieves are stealing the stuff?
Posted by db1105 on 2011-11-03:
It just shows what a joke our government is when billions of tax dollars are spend on our security but the can't secure or protect our property.
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Theft from Checked Luggage
Posted by ErinBrogan.2669 on 09/23/2011
Almost three weeks ago now, I flew Southwest Airlines via Midway (MDW) airport to Phoenix (PHX) Skyharbor 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 checkin 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 full 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 full 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.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-09-23:
I never pack any valuables (jewelry, electronics, etc) in checked luggage, mostly due to the risk of the bag being damaged or lost.
Posted by Skye on 2011-09-23:
Something you might want to consider for the future. We always send our valuables ahead, using Federal Express, this way we know they'll be there when we arrive at our destination. I never travel with lots of jewelry myself personally, so that's just another precaution we take.

Yes, a hassle sometimes but worth the price and peace of mind, since you cannot trust what happens to your luggage in the interim, with all the hands and departments it has to pass through.
Posted by At Your Service on 2011-09-23:
Very good comments trmn8r and Skye. Spot on!
Posted by Fisher1949 on 2011-09-24:
Crime is rampant within TSA and they protect those guilty of robbing passengers.

Last year there were over 1,000 theft complaints at LaGuardia alone and only three arrests.

There have been 52 TSA screeners arrested this year for serious crimes, including two this week, one for rape and the other for murder. Of these, nine arrests were for sex crimes involving children.

They can’t prevent crime within their own ranks, but we’re supposed to trust this agency with airport security.

No wonder TSA complaints are up 40% over last year, This version of security is unacceptable and those responsible must be held accountable. TSA needs to be abolished and Pistole fired for mismanagement and malfeasance.

TSA Crimes & Abuses
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