Southwest Airlines Complaint - Do you want to be treated like cattle?
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI -- Do you want to be treated like cattle? You want to be assured that as an airline passenger that you have the Rodney Dangerfield experience of getting NO RESPECT from the airline? If that's what you want, then Southwest is your perfect airline.
This was our first experience with Southwest. Previously, we've always flown America West from Kansas City to Phoenix and back. We've flown that route many times and only had GREAT experiences with America West.
This time we made the huge mistake of booking with Southwest.
The fun started when I went online just before we were ready to leave for the airport to check the departure gate. To my surprise, I discovered that the flight had been cancelled FIVE HOURS earlier due to what was described as a "maintenance issue".
Anyone with any grasp of geography knows that you can fly an aircraft into Kansas City from ANY point in the USA in less than four hours. I believe this was a bogus excuse for canceling the flight. In reality, it's likely that it was cancelled because Southwest did not sell enough seats on that flight to earn the profit they wanted.
I find out that my original non-stop flight now requires a plane change in Las Vegas and will arrive in Phoenix TWO HOURS later than my originally scheduled flight.
At 2 AM in the morning, I had printed an online boarding pass to get me into group A in their cattle car system. I went online after I had been rescheduled on another flight and could not use the online system for generating a boarding pass.
I arrive at the airport believing that I could at least do curbside check in with the Southwest Skycap. Wrong again. I was told I would have to go the ticket agent inside where I'd have to stand in an endless line with the other disgruntled passengers.
I then spoke to my wife speculating that the REAL reason for the cancellation was to the lack of profit on the flight, not because there was a maintenance issue. I expressed the view that it was a bogus cancellation. A Southwest Skycap overhearing a private conversation became angry and belligerent as he invaded my conversation and screamed, "Southwest does NOT cancel flights!" and continued arguing with me about my statement and his assertion that Southwest is a God among airlines.
Later, I returned to the Skycap area to get his name so I could file a complaint against him and he got in my face once again. Unbelievable!
When we finally worked out way to the ticket counter, my original "Group A" boarding pass morphed into a "Group C" boarding pass. The ticket agent refused to put me in Group A and had this attitude that I should be happy that I'm getting ANY flight out to Phoenix. Excuse me for living!
When we finally boarded with our "Group C" group, I ended up in the very last seat of the plane. My wife found a seat in the middle somewhere. I couldn't even see her from my seat.
Because of the callous disregard Southwest has for the passengers in implementing this "cattle herd" boarding system, my wife and I were unable to sit together on either the outbound or return flight.
The return flight, though it departed as scheduled, wasn't a picnic either. I was unable to sit with my wife because even though we ended up in "Group B" on the return flight, there were not two seats together anyplace on the flight. All the people with kids, strollers, canes, and wheelchairs boarded first. If I had advice for flying Southwest, I would advise bringing a cane to the airport and faking a disability so you have some chance at a decent seat. That's about the only way you're going to do it!
The return flight was without joy as I sat behind the "Demon Child". This two-year-old brat was screaming at the top of his lungs during the flight. No attempt to assist in quieting down this child was made my any flight attendant.
The only way these flights could have been worse is if the plane had crashed. Flying Southwest is a hellish experience brought to you by Southwest management in their single-minded pursuit of profit over people.
I'll never know why people choose to fly this vile airline. They have absolutely no regard for their passengers as people. They see each passenger as profit on a ledger sheet, but not as humans.
I'll never again suffer the indignity of being herded like so much livestock into a plane and be forced to sit in the noisy bouncy last seat and be separated from my traveling companion when I fly.
Those who enjoy this treatment by Southwest airline are in serious need of psychological counseling. Almost any airline has more decency and respect for their passengers than does Southwest. To me, it's the Offensive Way to Fly!