Southwest Airlines

    Overall Satisfaction Rating
    1.25/5

    Based on 152 ratings out of 613 reviews

    • 5 stars7
      5%
    • 4 stars1
      1%
    • 3 stars1
      1%
    • 2 stars14
      9%
    • 1 stars129
      85%

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Consumer Complaints & Reviews

Flight experience with Southwest Airlines was everything but pleasant. A simple one hour flight turned into delays due to their systems failing, a 40 minute wait sitting on the flight line and another hour wait for bags. Choose another airline, Southwest is not worth the headache!

I was a passenger last year when the flight attendants sold the Southwest Air affinity credit cards in flight. The paper applications bore the initials of each attendant and they shared there was a competition among them. The benefits of the affinity card were misrepresented, by the SOUTHWEST EMPLOYEES who staffed the flight... When contacting customer care - Sara assured me that she confirmed with the attendants DID NOT market the cards or provide paper applications etc. She researched and it is not their job. She maintains that the flight attendants do not and did not market the cards in flight. Anyone else open their Southwest card in flight? (NOTE: Terminal kiosks are not staffed or marketed by Southwest employees.)

We have always had a great experience when flying with Southwest and with their customer service. For this reason, we have always been willing to pay the extra dollars to book our flights through them, as opposed to booking with one of the cheaper airlines. However, the last 3 times we have flown Southwest have been just awful. They lost our car seat the first time, our luggage the second time, and then the third time we experienced a 3 1/2 hour delay followed by a cancelled flight at 9:30pm. On top of this, we have encountered terrible customer service every step along the way in dealing with these stressful circumstances. Each time we traveled the personnel working at the ticket counter have been unbelievably rude. Great way to start the trip.

When items were lost, instead of being helpful and accommodating, the customer service agent working in lost baggage was very brisque, took out her anger on us and actually yelled at us, and then refused to do something as simple as validate a $7 parking ticket for my husband who had to park and come in to help me with the situation since I was traveling alone with our 6 month old. Finally, when we were flying home to Denver, our flight was delayed 3.5 hours and then cancelled. The entire time the woman working the gates to the flight was yelling at people and being extremely rude. We all had to wait 1-2 hours in line to rebook our flights, and then we found out the next day when we called in that they never even rebooked a flight for us.

We will be leaving 2 days after our expected and paid for departure date. On top of all of this, we have not been compensated for any of these inconveniences. Apparently, it's a lot to even ask for an employee of Southwest to be polite, respectful, apologetic and understanding towards their customers in a difficult situation that they have created. This behaviour and treatment of paying customers and families flying with Southwest Airlines is unacceptable. I think Southwest has officially lost their touch. We were going to get credit cards through Southwest but after these recent experiences we will no longer even fly with them. It's very unfortunate to see an airline that used to pride themselves on customer service, fall to such an extent.

I was on flight 771 on 7/14/16 from Raleigh to Nashville. As I boarded the plane the flight attendant did not even make eye contact or say welcome aboard. He was not busy doing anything else at all! As I entered the plane none of the all-male flight crew made any attempt to welcome me aboard or assist in any way. It was more like we were inconveniencing their day. The plane was hot as hell and did not begin cooling off well past 10,000 feet. Everybody was reaching up and adjusting and re-adjusting the cooling vent. I unbuckling my seat belt to ask for a drink. Cary, the male flight attendant in the rear of the plane rudely asked me if I noticed the seat belt sign was still on? I looked at it and said "OK I see it", then he rudely asked me to return to my seat. He could have said "please return to your seat" instead of "I'm going to have ask you to return seat" in a rude tone.

Later when he was passing out drinks and I complained about it being hot Cary said in a dismissing way it's because the doors were open for so long at the last airport and that it would take awhile for it to cool off. This was not my first airplane ride I gotta say, and I knew that line was crap. Basically, none of the flight attendants smiled and when you broke the slightest rule they acted like you were endangering the safety of everybody on board. All I have to say is they (Cary in particular was very rude and unprofessional).

I booked a flight for my wife and I but when I did online check-in I was only able to get a boarding pass for myself. The site would not let me print hers even though we had the same confirmation number. Called SW and got no reply. Very dissatisfied with the experience.

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My family's one way trip to Puerto Rico. First, I am 48 with Parkinson's disease and disabled because of my disease. This is my short version. Three adults and three dogs, one which is a service dog, boarded our first flight out of Denver. We were sitting in the plane for around 30 minutes when the pilot said they were having technicals problems and would need to pull back into the gate. Once we were at the gate the flight stewardess announced all passengers would reach their connecting flights except for the three passengers going to Puerto Rico. This is when the abuse started.

A stewardess came to our seats and said "you three need to get off now and we are flying you to Florida, and you will stay the night there." My wife explained my medication was in our checked baggage and we only carried on enough for our flight to PR. They proceeded to loudly tell me how and where my medication should be kept and it was my fault if I didn't have medication with me. At this point they said "you need to leave the plane," so I grabbed two of my dogs while my wife and family member carried the other dog and the two carry on bags. When I stood up and started walking the stewardess loudly said, "Sir you're gonna have to move faster."

I tried to quietly tell her I had Parkinson's disease and was moving as fast as I can. The stewardess loudly said "Sir, you're going to cause all these people to miss their connecting flights," and she actually walked up behind me and used her body to push me and my dogs down the aisle. The entire time I was having bad tremors and could barely walk. Once we were off the plane a stewardess said they did find a flight so we could make our connecting flight to PR. It was apparent I could not walk because of the tremors and we only had 15 minutes to make it to the next flight. My wife asked 3 workers for a wheelchair and no one did anything.

At this point we had to make our flight so my wife ran ahead to tell the next flight her husband was disabled and please hold the flight. Once we boarded the second plane we went to the back seats by the toilet, this is where I must sit because I can't walk on a plane while it's in motion because of my disease. When we Sat down the stewardess said, "Sir, I'm allergic to dogs. Can you move to another row?" I explained to her I was disabled and must sit where I have safe access to the toilet. At this point we continued to sit down and get ready for our flight.

Once we were sitting we heard the stewardess call and asked to be moved to another flight or moved to a different section because a man refused to sit elsewhere with the dogs. At this point her supervisor came up and proceeded to ask us to move to another seat. Once again I had to announce my disability and told her "I had to sit here." The supervisor and stewardess went to the back and we could clearly hear them talking. The first stewardess said "that ** man isn't disabled. He needs to move." They came back to our seats and again asked us to move again. This time my wife said "I'm starting to feel like you are discriminating against us for my husband's disability and our race."

Once she said this both flight attendants exited the plane, then the other flight attendants left. Meanwhile our family member was outside still waiting to board the plane wondering what was taking so long. At that point she saw all of the crew by the door and they actually stopped the boarding and were discussing kicking the ** disabled guy off the plane because of the flight attendant's allergies. Finally they continued boarding and we arrived in PR. During the entire flight the same stewardess waited on us and never showed signs of allergies nor even acted as if she had a problem.

During our flight we heard several racial and discriminatory remarks made behind our backs and were generally treated like prisoners. Like I had done something wrong for having Parkinson's. The above is only a small fragment of what we went through. This was the worst treatment I have ever experienced, and to be called out publicly because of my disease is unforgivable and unacceptable. The story gets worse when my wife called Southwest to complain. She called and filed a complaint and asked for a refund, they only offered a 200 dollar voucher and said the flight attendants needs come before a passengers.

My wife once again told them I was disabled and the supervisor she had on the phone said, "It doesn't really matter. Our policy is to move the customer to a different flight if we have an employee with a dog allergy." They refused to refund our money even after the abuse and discrimination we suffered. At this point my wife told the lady "this is a clear case of discrimination by a Southwest Airlines employee, not just one but 6 employees." Southwest didn't care, they said "that's our policy and you will not get money back."

During our flight we were humiliated and made to feel guilty for my disease. Our poor sweet pets were locked in their carriers for 15 hours without a break and were crying in agony because of cramping and they needed to potty. We originally had everything worked out so our dogs could potty and stretch between flights but the airlines made sure that didn't happen. The story is too long to write but this is a short of what we went through.

We experienced numerous discriminations based on my disability and our race. The calls to Southwest made by my wife were traumatic to say the least, it was obvious Southwest doesn't care how their employees treat customers with disabilities, not to mention a service dog. I will say this again, this is only a small fraction of what happened and we are needing an attorney to fight this. Also, the early bird flight check in is not what they claim. Just another form of legal fraud to take money from passenger.

I continued to pursue this with a written complaint, now including a complaint regarding how I was treated on the phone. To their credit, a Southwest representative reviewed everything in my email and did all the research before calling me back (the next business day, kudos) such that I didn't have to argue the case verbally again. They were apologetic and acknowledged the mistake and we came to an acceptable solution. Beyond the initial glitch, it seems maybe I just had one really poor customer service rep.

Original Review

I booked a flight for myself and a friend. Everything looked fine from my end at booking. However, apparently through some glitch it only booked my friend and not myself on the flight, but charged me for the two tickets. I didn't notice this until I checked my reservation a week before travel. I talked to a couple levels of customer service and they even confirmed that their historical records show that the going rate on the day I purchased was half of what they charged me per passenger, thus proving my case as straightforwardly as possible. Simple, right?

Well, they refused to fix the situation by giving me a 2nd ticket or even allowing a refund. Their argument is that somehow I made their system charge me more and I chose to pay twice as much for one ticket, because they're system only ever showed one passenger, refusing to acknowledge that if the glitch happened at the initial completion of the purchase, that's exactly what they'd see. The cognitive dissonance required to see I paid twice as much as their own records show I should have paid for the 1 booked ticket, yet still claim everything is right, is beyond words.

They offered me nothing except to CHARGE ME EVEN MORE for a 2nd ticket, at the bogus 2x rate they charged for the first one. Because they were holding the rest of my trip and reservations hostage at this point (and refuse a refund anyway), and at 1 week out competitor prices are no longer better, I had little recourse but to give in to their ransom. Clearly I will continue to contest this going forward.

I have flown with Southwest a number of times, and I have yet to be disappointed. I love the fact that I can check in two 50-pound bags for FREE, as well as bring two carry-on items with me on the plane. I can also choose my own seat upon boarding, which is a really nice. I never get stuck sitting next to someone I don't want to sit by. Aside from the perks that Southwest has to offer, I have been thoroughly impressed with their excellent customer service. I can always count on Southwest to offer the best deals along with the best service.

Southwest delayed my evening flight 3 hours, and then told me that I could hop on a flight the next day at 5:30 am instead. They only offered to refund the points I originally paid (a small amount compared to the cost of buying another flight now) - not like that's going to do me much good at this point. They don't seem to understand that it's not about the points for me, but it's about getting where I need to go on time. I have a very tight schedule and leaving the next day is not an option for me. Because of this delay, I had to break countless plans that I cannot remake by taking a flight the next day. I should have flown with a larger airline that could have transferred me to another flight the same day. The customer agent said that I should choose to fly with another airline if I'm not happy with this sort of treatment. I think I will next time.

I booked the flight on Monday June 26th, and purchased 5,500 points for a total of $151.25. The next day I received an e-mail message that there is a promotion effective June 28th, 2 days later, for a 50% bonus. That would be 2500 points. When I called they refused to give me any credit for the promotion. THE SUPERVISOR AT CORPORATE said that they do not control their own promotions. There is a company called Points Plus that is in charge. Therefore Southwest obviously farms out a lot of their business. I am surprised that a company as large as Southwest has little or no control over their point system. Be warned that this can happen to you at any time. And when you speak to the customer service representatives they sound like they're reading from a book. What a joke!!

I booked a flight recently with my 2 children, ages 12 and 9 through Southwest. I was not able to sit by my kids because there is not assigned seating. My 12-year-old had to take a seat in the middle of 2 strangers, and also my 9-year-old girl was forced to sit in between 2 unknown men in which she was very uncomfortable, not to mention scared of flying anyway and wasn't expecting not sitting near her mother during a nervous situation(flying). We were all separated on different parts of plane. I understand now this is the way they seat. I never expected this though as I have never flew with Southwest. I even checked in early online approx. 20 hours prior but was still one of the last to board the plane, so this is how it goes.

Their policy only allows families to board first in order to sit with your kids if your kids are 6 and under, so be aware if you have a 7-year-old or up you may NOT get to sit with them! On one of the flights (we had 4 flights) a man offered to move in order for me to sit by my daughter, which was very kind of him. But because he did the stewardesses were in return very rude to me and made me feel like I was a horrible person for taking this gentleman up on HIS offer even though it was his suggestion, not mine. So yes, this was my fault for not checking out the seating policy - first come, first serve (which I will now be aware of), but to all who may want to sit with their children be advised! I will make sure I fly in the future only with airlines who have seating where I know I will be able to sit with my kids.

On September 17, 2015 I bought a plane ticket for my son from Seattle to Austin for $127. I later decided to extend his trip and paid $282.98 to extend him on December 3rd. The money from his original flight was applied to the extension and I paid an additional $102. Then December 4th I saw they had a better deal and changed his flight again for the original price of $127 leaving me with a credit for $102. So today I went to purchase him a ticket using the $102 in funds however, they are telling me that those funds will expire on September 16, 2016. The fund are supposed to be good for a year. They want to say they're good from the date of original purchase but I spent those funds and purchased a new ticket on December 3rd.

They are stealing my money and refuse to allow me to use them 5 days after they supposedly expire (9 months after issue). I want him to fly on September 21st. This is ridiculous. The money was spent on December 3rd not September 16th. I am so disappointed in Southwest and want everyone to know they are stealing my money.

I have flown this company for 15 years and I have sang their praises for the last 10. I have supported them and even had my friends fly with me so they could see how good this airline was. But... So on Tuesday SWA screwed up my reservations... I got it resolved by an employee named Roger... Strike 1. Thursday I show up to fly home and the walk flesh would not accept the "ticket" that they issued to me. I have to go back to the gate and the supervisor of customer service takes my ticket to go argue with the flesh at the walkway that yes it is a ticket... Strike 2.

I call to file a complaint with customer relations (what a joke). The flesh on the line Tiffany takes my complaint and assures me that she will call me back at 10 am on Friday... She didn't. Turns out they can't return the calls. She was lying to me... Strike 3. I talk to customer service today which is a subordinate of customer relations and the flesh named Elaine who is a "supervisor" tells me they don't call back, that Tiffany misspoke and that the only way they will investigate and return a call is if I put it in writing... Strike 4. DO NOT FLY this airline has I have made it my personal mission to let the public know how bad this company is!!! I know that this unethical company just a scam on TEXAS. Shame on SWA!!! Shame on Gary C Kelly. This is not the same company that Herb Kelleher strived to build!

I set my luggage a certain way for a reason. I will lay clothing a certain way for a reason and zip my bag to a certain spot for a reason. Once getting my luggage, I realized that it was lighter, and a sizeable portion was open. My flight was an early morning arrival so my husband grab the luggage and we were off. The next morning I made certain that the luggage was in fact open and unzipped it to find that my items were shifted, big spots were open and the strategically placed items on top were not in the correct spot. Mind you, my luggage was packed to capacity after spending 7 days of shopping.

Anyway, I filed a complaint immediately to be told that Southwest is not responsible which is amazing since I have no clue who would be responsible. Certainly I am not responsible for them employing thieves. I was responsible right up until I turned my bags over to them. This has left a bitter taste in my mouth as well as wasted money from the hundreds of dollars I spent while shopping. I promise you that I will let every site that is a site to review, know of my bad experience. Southwest was always my go to airline but I think I need to run away because I don't have money to just waste, especially since no one is responsible. Southwest needs to do a better job with screening before hiring. You never want to be represented and looked upon as thieves.

I made 2 reservations for 2 tickets each to LA and had 2 web browser open to do it since Southwest doesn't allow you to do Points and cash on one reservation. Put through the first reservation for cash and it went through. Went back to the second reservation and it showed points. Put it through. Got my emails but didn't check them until the next day and the points reservation went through as cash. If you ever tried to do this with 2 browser you'll notice that southwest recognizes that and tends to change both browsers to the same thing. I checked the second browser and it said points but when I submitted it, it went through as cash. I called them right away and they said since it had been just over 24 hrs there was nothing they could do for me.

I'm a very good Southwest customer. I do all my flying with them and charge everything I buy with their credit card. I also do my rental cars with them and sometimes hotels. Since the mistake was made by their website I and I was such a good customer I was sure they would make the change for me but they would not. I asked to talk to a supervisor and they said "won't do you any good they won't change it." They gave me the number for headquarters but said they weren't open until Monday, this was Saturday. I called Monday morning and got the same response. Nothing they could do. Not a very good way to take care of a good customer. I'm going to rethink my airline choice and not use them any more!!!

Went to Harlingen last week and flight attendant forgot to tag our car seat for our 6 week old which was also part of her stroller. Flew today back to Harlingen and we get to Houston from Dallas and there was no plane change. They said they needed to move us for a mechanical issue so we moved to gate 27. We ask them if we could go eat and just give us a updated time but they said plane would be there in 10 minutes.

So then 2 hours later we run to get something to eat and sit by the gate. They then tell us this plane has mechanical issues, to go to gate 50 and if we were on the plane then just use our Id. We walk across airport and sit at the gate. We hear our name on the intercom saying to go back to gate 27. So we think the plane is leaving, we run back to get 27 only to be give our pass for gate 50??? So then we go back to gate 50 and then that plane has mechanical problems.

Let me mention my wife flies companion because of my cc. And I fly business select, so remember if you get moved by Southwest you lose your business select but still have to pay for it. They offered everyone 100 dollar certificates. Really??? My daughter had a function at 5pm, I missed the whole thing. Thanks Southwest Airlines for being cheap and full of excuses. Anyone flying to Harlingen beware. Southwest has done this numerous times and my opinion is they like to delay them to fill flights up. One other thing after 3 flights later which all had mechanical problems. The plane we are on now feels like the ac is broke.

I flew from Vegas to Texas May 31st, returning June 9th. First, the first flight was canceled which was a great inconvenience for me and mostly for my family who have already asked time off at work to pick me up at the airport. This was a nightmare because I was not able to get on time as scheduled. Then on my way back to Vegas, the flight was delayed for two hours and this is not acceptable this time. I miss my shuttle (that was already paid) that would take me back home.

In both flight they send me the flight notification just few hours to my email which I can not see on my phone, they never call me to make sure I was aware of the situation. Plus in one of the emails I got they were very apologizing saying to call to a 1800 number to ask for a refund for the inconvenience. When I finally did the call they were just rude and did not help me at all even when they knew it was their fault I missed my shuttle from Vegas to St. George. Unbelievable that they made me go through the same situation in both of my flights. Southwest, it was a pleasure to met you as you really are.

I am an A List customer and I have about $1084.00 that Southwest should have either refunded or give voucher. But soon I realized that Southwest have decided neither to give me voucher or refund as it has exceeded the expiry date. When I called them they said, "It is our policy". When I said where is the Policy written, they said it is not written for public. I asked the relationship associate to tell me how can I get refund or what are my options. He said, "There is no options, sorry". I am totally disappointing by Southwest. Thanks.

My wife went to a funeral in Boise this weekend, and her 3 PM flight to Denver on Sunday June 12th was canceled 2 hours before leaving due to "weather, etc" which is a lie - there was/is no bad weather between Boise and Denver. Southwest has no more open flights to Denver until Tuesday! They've already checked out of their hotel rooms and returned the shared rental car, so they had to figure out what to do. SW offered no compensation for lost wages or the hotel 4 people, and was fairly unsympathetic to their plight. They had to book a flight to Las Vegas leaving at 8 PM tonight, connecting to Denver at 7 AM tomorrow, fortunately for the same price except for paying for another 2 hotel rooms at the Vegas airport tonight.

Flew Southwest for the last time! The prior time I flew Southwest the flight was delayed 5 hours because the plane hadn't arrived yet. They were gracious enough to give us travel vouchers as an apology but I don't think a travel voucher will work this time. Got on the plane and there was this person wearing khaki shorts and a navy blue polo shirt who was standing in the aisle doing god knows what. I say: "Excuse me"; Turns out, this man is one of the Flight Attendants (though one wouldn't know it by what he was wearing). He turns around with this disgusted look like I said something completely appalling and insulting to him.

After a long silence he replies that he's busy with something and to wait a minute. I said I was sorry so okay, no problem. I thought that was that. I get to my seat all the way in the back of the plane near where all the Flight Attendants sit during takeoff. Then I hear his voice talking about me and what happened earlier with a fellow Flight Attendant and calling me an idiot. Like, I'm sitting RIGHT in FRONT of you! Am I invisible? Very unprofessional and rude. Yes, I used to work at a job that I hated and would talk about customers too but at least I'm careful not to do it in earshot. I would have confronted him but I was in disbelief that this actually happened to me. Never flying at this rude, unprofessional and ** airline any longer.

I just was coming back from a business trip and found out the my grandam was sick en-route on way home. My loving husband and I were having a private conversation about her future health and I got emotional and started to cry. Being a great man, he bought me a Jamba Juice and grabbed a slice of pizza. My Jamba started to leak on my shirt right before boarding. The unempathetic stewardess would not allow me on the plane because she said I was drinking too much. I said yeah... I have been... Jamba juice but not alcohol. I asked if she could bring an officer or security to prove her misjudgment and she refused to. They rescheduled me for another flight 8 hours later which in all costed me $400 more for taxi fees and another night at a hotel. As a result I got to work really late and was not able to be there for my grandmothers needs.

This women is out of hand and should not have the position she does because she clearly does not know how to make a good judgment call. Just because I have a work trip in Vegas does not mean Im drinking, and even if I would have, what would have been wrong with that. Southwest serves drink on the plane. She never gave me an explanation on what it was that I exactly did that made her think I was out of hand. I do look ugly after crying and with no make-up on, but I don't think that should be cause for me not to be allowed to board.This flight was out of Las Vegas on a Monday night at 7:30pm.

Wow! Southwest used to be my favorite airline... Just tried to use a voucher for a flight I cancelled last May because my voucher expires in two days (first time I ever had to cancel a flight) and I just found out that you actually have to fly by the expiration date! They give you 1 year from when you BOOK the flight to actually FLY! So enjoy my $396 donation Southwest! I think I'll drive from now on...

We flew on Southwest on May 20, 2016. Our flight originated in Ft Myers scheduled to connect in Baltimore to our final destination of Islip Long Island. When we checked, the gate agent said the flight was delayed but there was still enough time in Baltimore to make our connecting flight. When the plane arrived at the gate in Ft Myers we were instructed to line up and prepare for a quick turnaround. The gate personnel repeatedly assured questioning passengers that they would make their connections. Shortly after we lined up to board an announcement was made to relax and sit down because there was a mechanical problem with the plane and they were waiting for the mechanic. Several minutes later an announcement was made that we were changing to a different gate so we would not have to wait for the mechanic and could be sure we would make our connection in Baltimore.

Many passengers asked to verify this before boarding and were again assured that connecting flights would be held in Baltimore and we all would make our connections. In preparation for landing, the flight attendants instructed us all to go directly to our connecting gates. After landing, we ran straight to our connecting gate only to be told by the gate agent, "Sorry, the flight left on time". It was now after 11:00 pm and the airport was basically empty at this hour. We asked what we should do and we're instructed to go out through security to the Southwest ticketing and they would re-book our flight.

When we got to the ticketing area there was a group of approximately 15 angry passengers looking for some accommodations. The only answers we received were, "We are sorry but there is nothing we can do". They did not have any rooms to offer so our only alternative was to stay all night in the Baltimore airport until our reschedule flight at 10:45 am the next day. We tried to lay down in a corner on the cement floor which we gave up on after an hour. We spent the night in those uncomfortable waiting room chairs (with arms so you could not lay down!).

Needless to say, our assessment of Southwest Airlines Customer Service is a "ZERO". Most of the group were senior citizens and two were in wheelchairs. The way we were treated should be classified as criminal. The biggest indictment of Southwest is that they did not take any proactive actions at the time to assist stranded passengers (because of their actions and intentionally misleading instructions) or have not attempted to contact us since. They basically mislead passengers knowing they would not make connections and that they would be stranded overnight in Baltimore. Customer Service? REALLY???

On my return flight I did not have any check on bags as I wanted to make sure I could leave as soon as possible. I got on the plane and then they said they had to check my bag as there was no room available. When I got my new bag back it was scuffed and damaged and when I got home I noticed that they had thrown it around so hard that it broke my award I received. Devastated. They offered a limited $50 voucher... disgusted!

(5/18/2016) I purchased flights tickets and I was charged twice so altogether was $1300. I called the airline spoke with customer relations to get this matter taken care of - the agent advised me they're not showing 2 transactions and advised me to call my bank. NEXT I call my bank, after 2 HOURS of going back and forth RushCard agent and Southwest Airlines rest assured me I will be credited within a few hours, and I was very pleased. (5/19/2016) I check my balance and nothing has been credit to my acct which at this point I'm piss. I'm very frustrated so this morning I'm calling my bank - I speak to an agent who advised me I have to wait for Southwest to release the hold.

Today 5/20/2016 I'm still going back and forth. I'M VERY FRUSTRATED. I'M NEVER FLYING SOUTHWEST EVER AGAIN. I beg, cried, and plead. I can't afford to pay for daycare. My car will be shut off so therefore I'm not able to work!!! I am very piss and I'm don't doing business with RushCard. I never been this piss in my life. I would love to speak to corporate to expedite my request - ASAP!!!

In an effort to make my personal travel experience better and as suggested by the airports, I took the time and paid the money to get TSA Pre. I went to check in to my Southwest flight today for tomorrow, and got an error message that I'd be required to go to the counter for my boarding pass. I'm not checking a bag and have TSA Pre and therefore no reason to go to the counter and wait in line! Now some arbitrary Southwest policy is making me do just that! So be forewarned with this airline. Their policy makes zero sense and will absolutely result in my choosing other airlines over Southwest in the future.

Flight on May 4, 2016 at 8:10pm from FLL-TPA-MHT. We arrived at FLL and see that all but 2 flights are delayed or canceled - but not ours. However, as time ticked away, we learned the flight to Tampa was delayed (although the board still showed ON-TIME right up until we boarded!). The gate rep was nice and announced twice that "all 18 of my Manchester-bound passengers don't worry - they know you are coming in Tampa and they WILL hold the plane". I think you know what happened - no plane in Tampa.

They tell us to walk only a short distance to the reps at another gate to be re-booked. That rep (and soon several other reps that joined her) told all 18 of us that they called FLL and were told that they never said that the plane would be held. So it got a little ugly, and I eventually chimed in saying "so are you saying that all 18 of us conspired in the short walk over here, making up a story, when we have never met each other?". That seemed to set off a whirlwind of other complaints boasting the same thing, to which the rep finally said "we do not offer free anything for weather related issues (some folks asking for free hotel stay), but we will give you all $200.00 vouchers for another flight. That was nice, but after reading all of these other complaints I fear how easy it will be to actually use them in the future.

So now we are re-booked for 6am but have no hotel. When we finally get one, we only stay for 4 hrs since we need to be back at 4am. Well here is the real kicker - our tickets didn't show it and the rep didn't say that we were making 2 stops before getting home. May seem like no big deal, but we thought we had a super long layover in Baltimore and planned to eat there... We were so damned tired and Tampa had very little to offer at 5am for food. So we were shocked when they announced we were landing in Raleigh-Durham. We were scared that we were on the wrong plane. We find out the reason but had to bed the flight attendant to let my husband off so he could run and get something to eat and board before they boarded everyone else. They did let him and he ran fast and got back, but this was very upsetting and added to the whole crazy ordeal.

Reading all of these other reviews, though, I realize that our situation was not bad comparatively. What I am sad to learn is that Southwest is not a good airline to fly after all. If my complaint was the only bad one, then I would not say they are bad, but given everything else I am reading I think I will join the others and not fly with them again... That is after I attempt to use these vouchers they gave us. Perhaps I will be back on this site again after that trip with more "fun things" to report. More to come...

I had purchased a ticket for a friend and I. We cancelled our ticket and repurchased the same date and time for a higher price. I wanted to use the credit from the previous ticket applied. It only applied one ticket price, but not my friends. They charged me for another ticket. I called patient relations to let them know that I wanted the other ticket applied to the current ticket and have my money refunded instead of charged to my account. They wouldn't do it! I've been flying with them for years and they couldn't even apply a credit for a ticket already purchased. Will not fly with them again. They will not have my business anymore.

On Saturday, April 16, my two sons and I were scheduled to take a Southwest flight from Salt Lake City to New York, connecting through Denver. The primary reason for our trip was that my oldest son has been admitted to Columbia, and the university was holding an admits weekend on April 17 and 18. Besides accompanying Sam, my reason for going was so I could spend two days researching in the Morgan Library (I'm a university professor). And since my younger son had never been to New York, we decided it would be a good experience for him to come along as well.

A half hour before we were supposed to leave from our home in Provo for the airport, I received an e-mail from Southwest saying our flights had been cancelled due to storms in Denver. I immediately called the airline to see what our alternatives were, and they told me our best option would be to drive to the airport and meet with a Southwest representative there, who would be best equipped to help us out.

So we made the hour-long drive to Salt Lake, waited in line, and met with one of their agents at the check-in desk. Despite her genuine efforts to be helpful, she said the best she could do was get us on a flight 48 hours later. In other words, we would arrive on Monday night, after Columbia's new-student events were over. When we told her this wasn't an option for us, she apologized and said that Southwest would refund our fare but company policy prohibited her from attempting to book us a flight on another airline.

When I told her that the best same-day alternative flight would be a $595 one-way flight on Delta, she suggested that, were I to contact Southwest's customer relations department when it reopened on Monday, they might be willing to compensate me either in flight credits or actual money for the difference between our original fare on Southwest ($195 per person) and the replacement fare on Delta ($400 per person higher). With this encouragement, I went ahead and booked the Delta flights, assuming that Southwest would cover most or all of the extra $1,200 I was paying because of their inability to get me on a flight sooner than 48 hours after my original scheduled departure.

After arriving in New York on the Delta flight, I followed the airport agent's instructions and e-mailed Southwest's customer relations department to request compensation for the $1,200 in additional fare I had paid. The next day (Monday, April 18), I received a form letter of sorts saying that they regretted my inconvenience but that Southwest had a firm policy against compensating its customers who were forced to rebook because of weather-related cancellations. If this weren't disappointing enough, the e-mail came from a "no-reply" address, essentially suggesting that this wasn't open for discussion.

Still hoping I hadn't been misled by Southwest's airport agent, when I was back in Utah three days later I called the customer relations department to explain the situation. Unfortunately, the results were the same: they were very sorry for my inconvenience but, despite other airlines' practice of rebooking bumped passengers with seats on rival airlines, paying for a seat on a rival carrier was something Southwest would never do.

Galled by the disconnect between my experience and Southwest's much-vaunted reputation for putting the customer first (e.g., their webpage boasts, "We like to think of ourselves as a Customer Service company that happens to fly airplanes," - on schedule, with personality and perks along the way). I took my case to their corporate head of customer relations. Once again, I received a response from a "no-reply" e-mail address saying that they felt my pain and hoped I would give them another chance but they would under no scenario consider covering the difference between my original and rebooked flights or offering any other sort of compensation.

Increasingly realizing my case was futile, on Monday, May 2, I e-mailed Southwest's CEO, explaining that it was impossible for them to treat customers like I had been and to still call themselves a "Customer Service company that happens to fly airplanes." This time, I received a call the next day from a customer relations representative, but his message was the same: "We're so sorry, but there's no chance whatsoever we're going to make this right, regardless of what our rivals do in similar situations."

So here's where this becomes a public-interest story rather than one man's crusade. Sometime in the coming months a family in America is likely to book a family vacation on Southwest and then have their flights cancelled because of a tornado in Oklahoma or lightning in Dallas. They'll then have the choice of waiting for Southwest to rebook them (which, at least in my case, would have taken 48 hours and would have resulted in two non-refundable nights of expensive pre-paid lodging in Manhattan) or paying for exorbitantly priced last-minute seats on a rival carrier and hoping that Southwest will abide by its code of putting the customer first.

If it's a large family, this could mean that their original decision to book with Southwest could end up costing them thousands of dollars in unexpected charges. Meanwhile, had they booked on another major carrier, they perhaps would have paid a bit more upfront, but they could have rested easy that that carrier would get them to their destination with relatively little delay, even if that meant purchasing seats on a rival carrier.

Southwest has had my money for a trip that had to be cancelled. The credit with them expires on June 12th. I am trying to use the money, they have had for 11 months, as partial payment for a trip I am taking on July 1st. I'm buying the ticket almost two full months in advance. They are taking my money two months in advance of the flight. The $240 credit is valid until June 12th. But they won't let me use the money they have been holding to partially pay for the trip today because the actual fight is the 1st of July. They are bandits stealing my money!

Expert Review

Erika ArmstrongAirlines Contributing Editor

From the front desk of a busy FBO to the captain's seat of a commercial airliner, Erika Armstrong has experienced everything aviation has to offer. She is the author of A CHICK IN THE COCKPIT and her aviation articles can be found at Consumer Affairs, Plane & Pilot, Flying.com, Disciples of Flight, NYC Aviation, Contrails, Mentor, General Aviation News and Business Insider.    More about Erika→

After incorporating in 1967, Southwest Airlines did not start taking passengers until 1971 after a long battle through the court system. Today, Southwest is the largest budget passenger airline in the U.S., launching more than 3,800 flights per day on peak travel days.

  • Discount pricing: Southwest is best known for its low-price philosophy and offers very competitive prices on flights throughout the U.S.
  • Cargo flights: Southwest combines passenger flights with cargo to offer fast shipping when needed, with top-tier options guaranteeing delivery on the next flight out.
  • Budget corporate travel: Businesses that do more than $100,000 in travel per year can build a customized travel program.
  • Bags fly free: Southwest offers every passenger two free checked bags that weigh fewer than 50 pounds.
  • Package discounts: When booking airfare and ground transportation through the Southwest website, access to exclusive discounts are available.
  • Best for Vacationers, business travelers, holiday travelers and frequent fliers.

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Southwest Airlines Profile

Basic Information

Company Name:
Southwest Airlines
Address
2702 Love Field Dr.
Dallas, TX 75235
United States
Year Founded:
1967
Website:
http://www.southwest.com/