Southwest Airlines Complaint - Wine Removed from Checked Baggage
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 am 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.
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