Southwest Airlines Informative - Bait And Switch And False Information From SW Group Department
COEUR D ALENE, IDAHO -- I own a travel company that specializes in group travel all over the world. I move groups from 10 - 500 people. I have been in the travel industry for 29 years. I have a group of 70 that I wanted to book on Southwest Airlines, but was told by Southwest group department last week I could not book until their schedules became available which is today, November 6.
I was also informed that even though I could not book the group yet, I could expect an airfare of $380.00. Southwest group department told me to call back at 8am, CST to book the group and I could get my seats at this airfare. I am on the west coast. Today I called the group desk at 8am, got right through. I was told NO, they do no have their fares yet, but try back in about 30 minutes. I kept calling every 10-20 minutes to try and book my group. Each time I was told a different time to call back, etc.
When I called back again, I was put on hold for 39 minutes and 26 seconds. (My office phones register the time on hold) I was told I could book my group but the airfare was almost $800.00 per person! I informed Southwest groups there was no way they could have sold that many seats, since the SW group desk told me the seats went on sale 20 minutes ago! I remember the days when Southwest use to employ nice people who liked servicing their customers. I tried to explain to the SW group agent, that I was at my office 6am (8am CST) to try and book my group. To the best of my knowledge and experience in the travel industry Southwest had no intention of offering the airfares I was quoted. Reason #1. The flights became available today. Even on their internet site the airfares they were offering had 0 seats available for the discounted seats. I was also told there were no other groups booked, and the flights were wide open, but that was there "best" airfare.
#2. Even though Southwest offered the lower airfares they had no intention of letting them sell for the lower price as this is spring break. Bait and switch and/or false advertisement at it's best. Shame on Southwest.
Either way, it boils down to screw the customer.
Southwest needs to re-visit their advertising and marketing principals. They also, need to hire back the employees who knew what customer service should be.