Southwest Airlines Informative - Nothing Matters - Nobody cares
If all goes smooth, Southwest employees are friendly, happy and well. As soon as problems arise, the employees completely and miserably fail: I arrived at the airport 2 hours ahead, as requested, checked my luggage and was rewarded with an “A” Boarding Pass. I waited in the boarding area and got nervous because the counter wasn't occupied 30 min before takeoff. I wandered around, went to another SW counter, asked and was told that my flight had been cancelled and that I had to take a later flight - there never was an announcement! I guess other travelers are used to cancelled flights and constantly ask at unrelated counters. The person at the new check-in did not care that I would be in a hurry and that I really should get my “A” status back - I was now a “B” and very nervous because I had to connect to a flight to Europe. She almost trashed my luggage claim when she reissued my boarding pass, I found out later that these claims are unnecessary and don’t matter anyway when you fly with Southwest. She also stated that she never heard that people have to check in 3 hours early for an international flight (which was now dwindling down to less than 1 hour). However, I now had time again and went to Customer Service: I explained the situation ... but they also did not care, they actually doubted my statements (no announcements about cancelled flight and the 3 hours advanced check-in) and said the flight would surely wait for me (HaHa) and if not, I could take the next one, HaHaHa. When we finally boarded, an additional 25 min delayed, I couldn't get a seat near the front because of my “B” status. AT THIS POINT, I HAD BEEN AT THE AIRPORT FOR ALMOST 4 HOURS. I was so nervous that I could hardly talk and my heart was beating rapidly. I told the flight attendant that I had to catch a flight to Europe and that I needed assistance to guide me through the airport rapidly, get my luggage, switch terminals and board the overseas flight. She responded very friendly and said that a supervisor would be there when I arrive. I was saved, I thought. The supervisor was there on arrival (I guess they always are, I just never noticed before) and told me to go to the service counter to get help, I know now he also did not care and only wanted to get rid of me quickly. I raced out of the plane to the counter. . . where I received absolutely no help. Opposite, the slow person at the counter took up more of my time and also did not care. I sprinted to the luggage area, couldn’t find my bag, started to run around, shaking, and suddenly discovered my bag, sitting unattended off to the side, close to the exit in an unguarded area. I grabbed the bag, ran into the customer service office to quickly complain and maybe get them to make up my lost time, but they just smiled and said "OK", when I pointed out that anybody could have taken my bag, they also did not care. I was seriously late and still had to find out how to get to the international terminal. . . I caught my flight, but only because I am healthy and in good shape. Bottom-line: I recommend Southwest, if somebody is in no hurry and wants to fly cheap; however, if a person is not athletic and really needs to arrive at a certain time, I recommend traveling with a serious airline that employs educated people who care about future business.