Consumer Complaints and Reviews
Don't trust this airline with your business. Especially at LAX. After two days of cancelled flights, this airline did nothing to aid me to get to a short flight away to a business meeting, which will cost my company considerable money. They were nice enough to call an armed guard, who was very nice to me as SWA supplied no refund to my 220 cash payment. This airline is the worst after 20 years of my A-list consumer sovereignty. DO NOT USE SOUTHWEST!!
I go to college in Daytona Beach, FL. I was going home for thanksgiving break. I purchased my ticket a month and a half in advance. I had the option of either flying Orlando to Detroit to Pittsburgh but I was told not to, so I go to Southwest.com and I buy my ticket. One flight at 11 am was $700, so I get the 11 pm flight where I would arrive at 1 am. My ticket said it would cost me $320 round trip, nope. I ended up spending $647.53 more than double the cost of the original ticket. The flight going through Detroit was $270.
So, the night before my flight at exactly 24 hours before the flight I managed to get A29. I had to drop my friends off at the airport so that they could make their flight, I got there 7 hours before my flight took off, the Southwest waiting area is as uncomfortable as their seats, the power ports aren't 120v outlets they are 12v outlets so my laptop couldn’t charge nor was my phone. So, I get on the plane Seat 5F. I put my laptop in my bag and put under the seat in front of me since it was a carry on. The flight attendant was very rude to me when I asked for nuts instead of pretzels, since their pretzels are super salty. I was on a Boeing 737-300 the plane was as old as me,19 at the time, so the seats don't have the metal bar that goes in front of the seat.
As I was watching a movie on my phone, I heard the man in front of me say "where's my bag," I didn't think much of it at the time. Shortly after he said that I noticed that I had a lot of legroom, I didn't think much of it. It turns out that while he was "looking for his bag" he was stealing my $1,000 laptop that I use for school. I didn't notice that I didn't have my laptop until I got home where when I was taking my backpack out of my car and I noticed that it was very light. When I looked into my bag I didn't see my laptop. At first I thought I left my laptop on the plane until I saw that he took my umbrella out of my bag. When I went to find it through GPS I wasn't able to because at the Southwest waiting area they don't have proper outlets.
When I went to report, my laptop being stolen they said "sorry" that "they will not do anything to help me." So, I went on Twitter to complain and all they could offer me was a $50 card for my next flight. I mailed them a very angry mail letter saying that I will never ever fly on one of their flights ever again and if anyone ever asks me if they should fly on Southwest I will tell them absolutely not! I know this sounds like a rant but as a victim I feel I need to inform anyone who is reading this.
First off BUYER BEWARE. Purchased round trip package to see son graduate from Air Force boot camp. Son got hurt changing his graduation dates. Asked for refund and was told "No problem" -- All good so far. But a week later, their e-mail revealed that only the ground part is covered --- not airfare. Where did it say that in the paperwork and protection plan --- it did not. 3 calls to try and remedy the issue, and give them a chance to correct this led up to the facts at hand and you can guess the rest. After being lied to, jerked around, and even more, yep, it means I'm out over a 1000 dollars in airfare that I will not use and there is not a thing I can do about it but say --- Never fly Southwest or use the Southwest Vacations Group. Hope this helps someone out.
I just spent an hour and a half on the phone with various Southwest customer service employees (nearly 50 minutes of it on hold) and all I get out of my time is a big fat "I'm sorry you're frustrated sir." So my wife was flying from Las Vegas to St. Louis on Monday in the late evening hours to land around 10:00 PM. On the weather channel's website, the St. Louis area is under a severe thunderstorm advisory for Monday night and the rest of the state of Missouri for the entirety of Monday. My wife gets anxious when flying and last time she flew had to go through a thunderstorm and it terrified her. So she calls me on Sunday night freaked out about having to fly through weather.
So we search through the list of other flights and find one that goes from Las Vegas to LA then to St. Louis to land about 7:00. The weather is supposed to hit approximately 8:00. So she calls me after she changes it and tells me it cost $369 to change. I was not too thrilled about that so I called customer service to ask if there was anything they could do. After talking to a couple of customer service reps they give me the phone number to the headquarters customer relations office. I called and sat on hold for nearly 50 minutes. I described the same situation I just did above and I was responded with "we have no weather advisories for that flight so there is nothing we can do. You acted proactively and we have no delays on that flight so you purchased an upgrade."
Two things: So you consider getting a longer flight with a worse seat an "upgrade", thanks for that. And second please look at the weather; to quote, "strong damaging wind, hail and possible tornadoes". So you're telling me that you are going to penalize us $369 for not wanting to land in "strong damaging wind, hail and possible tornadoes". As I try to further explain myself and how I feel that it's unreasonable to expect me to wait and either have my flight cancelled or worse, risk putting my wife through another flight surrounded in lightning and gusting winds, the response I get is (my paraphrasing) "we are too slow and because we want to wait until the last minute to delay or cancel a flight, you have to pay $369 to get home safely and mentally stable."
My experience with Southwest was horrendous. I was on the phone for an hour and a half to get zero sympathy, not to mention being lied to. The lady I talked to told me she was the supervisor but I could hear a man behind her talking her through the situation. I asked her about it and she lied straight to my face (over the phone). I don't understand how you can refuse to pass my claim on to higher authority or if I was talking to a supervisor, have zero human sympathy. Maybe they just don't understand spring time weather like someone that grew up in the Midwest. This shows me that Southwest isn't about offering a quality product. They are only out to make money and take advantage of people. Long story long, I will never fly Southwest ever again. This $369 just cost them my long life (I'm 25 years old) of flying Southwest.
DON'T FLY SOUTHWEST!!! Terrible customer service. I am even a rapids reward account holder and I will NEVER fly #southwest again. I cancelled a reservation for $689 and when I tried to use the credit for a family vacation they would only apply part of my credit because my daughter wasn't on the cancelled reservation??? So now you want me to have a useless $177.50 credit that will expire and have to pay full price again for a ticket for my 3 year old daughter and give you $300 more dollars?! Way to screw up our family vacation Southwest. Money hungry piece of ** airlines!! My complaint has just started. You will see me everywhere until I am reimbursed. #shameonsouthwest #dontflysouthwest #ripoffreport #gofrontier
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Rude and discriminatory flight and ground staff attendants. My wife and I were flying with 2 young kids and 2 older parents, total 6 passengers in our party. The ground staff would not let us board with the family boarding option after Group A. However she let another larger family with multiple teenage kids board before us as they were **. Once our party was split and tried boarding the plane the in-flight crew stopped us and started questioning why I had 2 carry-ons. I politely mentioned that I was carrying the additional carry on as my wife could not carry her and the kids' suitcase. However she kept on questioning me as if I was lying through my teeth. The full flight ensured that we were sitting apart. Horrible crew, consider my customer sensitivity training!!
I normally love Southwest and they can usually help if there's a problem, this was not the case. Found a ticket in our budget to fly our daughter home for Spring Break. Proceeded to purchase ticket and by the time we entered her info and payment info we went to confirm and it said the seat was no longer available. Go back because we figured the flight filled up somehow in a matter of less than 10 minutes. Nope, just the price went up over $50 for the same EXACT flight. I'm sorry, now if you don't have reserved seating then the seat isn't taken, you've just decided to raise the price. That's like someone picking up an item at a store for a certain price, changing the price on the shelf without telling the person until they get to the register.
Called their customer service and was told it's based on availability, which clearly the flight was still available. I get companies are there to make money but this is shady price gouging. If someone is wanting to purchase a ticket, at least give them a set amount of time to complete the purchase and if they don't put the ticket back into active buying status for someone else. Very disappointing.
Trying to get the best fare available, I went online immediately after the reduced fare went up on my computer screen. Booking for five passengers took me so long that the fare I first saw was gone and a higher one was my only other option. Southwest should allow us to pay for the best fare as soon as we see it and, only then, continue entering the family's personal information. A confirmation can then be sent to the customer.
I purchased a ticket on August 24, 2016 for $275.96. I had a credit with Southwest for $5.60, I applied to the reservation. All other funds in the amount of $270.36 were charged to my card. I canceled that reservation on November 19, 2016. When I went to apply the credit to flight on February 21, 2017, I was told my credit expired because I used a $5.60 credit when I purchased the ticket. The only thing they could do for me is issue a voucher for $170.36 instead of the $270.36 I charged on a card.
I am upset with Southwest for screwing me out of $100 because I used a $5.60 credit. Southwest was my airline of choice but their customer service stinks and I don't agree with this policy. I would not have used the $5.60 credit if I had known if I canceled my credit would be based on the time period of the $5.60. This policy is unfair and people need to know on the front end when purchasing tickets with a credit. I would have paid the $5.60 to have a year to use the ticket. In fact, this is just a way to collect fees like every other airline. You are not the family friendly airlines with no fee as you advertise.
Since SWA is frequently late and won't let you change flights without upgrading to a last minute fare (unless your flight is over an hour late), I started booking more than one flight on my flight day (like 8:15 AND 9:20 for example) so I could be sure of an on-time arrival. This works well... when I see that my plane is inbound I cancel the other flight and all is good. Not anymore. I logged into my account and saw one of my flights was missing.
Apparently now if SWA sees 2 flights on the same day they cancel one and, in my case, they kept my points and my money until I called to complain. I never received a cancellation notice. The explanation from SWA is that there is a "system sweep" every 24 hours and duplicate flights are cancelled. In addition, when I called in there was a 20 min wait so I left my number. They called back 3 times but the phone only rang once and then disconnected. After the 3rd time I called in again and hung on the phone for 25 minutes to get a rep.
My family had a trip planned in August 2016. My husband, a disabled veteran had to cancel his flight with us due to a work-related emergency. When cancelling, I spoke with a "Vanessa" who explained that our ticket price $144.98 would be usable through May 2017. I explained we would not be flying until June of 2017. She said that Customer Service would grant a "one time gesture of good will extension for 6 months".
I am now trying to book for this summer and I am told that they want to keep $100.00 of our ticket price as a "fee for using this credit". I have been trying to work with their customer service reps, but two weeks later - 8 phone calls and 9 emails, the company is telling us "there is nothing they are WILLING to do". Not exactly what their company's motto is stating? If this is how they treat US Veterans, how can any of the general public trust them? I have contacted the CEO and Chairman many times, but he must be too busy at his mansion to tend to the customers. It's a real shame.
I missed my flight from another airline, and they didn't have anything for another 30 hours. I asked the guy at the ticket counter if they had anything. They looked and gave me a quote. They looked again for something better and found a better one. THEN they went online and found one that was half that! I'm a customer for life after that. Thank you!
I used to be a fan of Southwest Airline. I am actually their A-list member which shows I frequently fly with them. It's been a year since they are deteriorating. Constant delays became their routine now for almost all their flights that I use. Really frustrating. I wish they could keep up with their good job but it looks like you can't rely on them anymore and can't trust their words regarding the departures or arrivals.
Flight had mechanical difficulties and was 47 min delayed. Got to connecting flight at 8:45. Southwest had closed the doors earlier and no attempt was made to accommodate. Manager was unapologetic and lied about the time they closed the doors. This was the most stressful, dishonest experience. Re-routed me via another transfer city which got me home 6 hrs later. Planes were old and in poor condition. Flight attendant on flight 1875 (Chris) was so big he kept banging into passengers in the aisle seats and not apologizing. Pathetic experience with this airline. Don't fly Southwest. They're going downhill fast.
Really Southwest??? Shelley, a mid-30's, overweight and incredibly rude flight attendant, should be fired. Why do you let flight attendants YELL at passengers? The last time I checked passengers actually pay the bills. This was the worst flight experience I've ever encountered. Shelley yelled about an empty middle seat on my flight with NINE seats open. Well, I've decided to change airlines. But, you don't care Southwest. All of the notices listed here have not changed a thing.
For starters I'm never really one to complain about anything, Until I'm really disrespected and that is what happened on this flight. To start Southwest Airlines on boarding process is too chaotic. My fiancé and I have always used Southwest and every time we book our flight early and check in as soon as we can. Fails us every time that we don't get to sit by each other. This was a little frustrating to me, but not the end of the world.
It was until recently our flight home from Arizona to KC on Sunday evening at 120 pm that had my stomach in knots. We of course was in the high Cs since Southwest only does line up and whatever is available you get. We board the plane and find two open seats. Go to sit down, but we can't because every passenger before us put their laptops, purses in the overhead. You would think the flight attendants would direct these passengers to put them under their seat. So I proceeded to find an area for my bag. Only found one open spot for my bag in the very back. Was scolded rudely by the flight attendant Donna that I needed to sit in the back. Well if she was paying attention.. There was no empty seats in the back. I was also told to not hold up the plane and can't go back to my seat. So, I along with 10 others had to wait by their smelly bathrooms in the back of the plane for 5 minutes before going to find an open seat.
As me and my fiancé are walking back toward the middle where open seats were she stops us and says again she made us go to the back because we were holding up the plane. I just simply stated we understand that, but was trying to find space for our bags. We finally find two open seats. I sat with two big men and was by a window burning up the whole time. My fiancé had to sit in between two heavy set men running into his seat. Not only was it uncomfortable, but exhausting. That part fine... Was not gonna complain until the rudeness from the flight attendant Donna. I thought it was just me until the guy next to me mentioned how rude she was to him.
When she came by to check our seat belts the guy next to me could not bend down and shove his backpack under the seat so he was shoving it with his feet. She came by and rudely told him that he needs to put it all the way under. He kindly stated he was, but because of his size he couldn't bend over and do it. She looks at him and say "Do you have a problem?" He kindly said "No do you?" So she walks up to the plane like a high schooler would do and starts talking crap on us to the other flight attendant. Throughout the whole trip it was like a bully coming over and picking on us. Waking the men next to me up just to ask for a snack. If these men wanted a snack so bad they would have stayed awake to get one. She insisted I tap them and ask them. That just irritated the men next to me more.
So we land and of course since our bags were at the very back of the plane and our seats were at the front we had to wait until every passenger got off. The pilot walked back as people were trying to get off and instead of asking us what's wrong or insisting we go in the back he only cared about himself to get back there.
So a few people were in the back taking their time so I thought I would hop a little to get to our bags. As I'm doing this the other flight attendant was standing there next to Donna and stated "What did you forget something." I kindly said "No, just our bags are back here and our seats were in the front." Instead of apologizing she turns to Donna and Donna starts bashing me for holding up the plane and talking trash like a little high school. Honestly the situation could have been handled in a more mature way. So as I grabbed my bag I looked at Donna and I said "You will be getting multiple complaints." As people were walking off I even heard them mention how rude Donna was to them. I will never recommend or fly Southwest ever again!!!
Flying Southwest reminds me of traveling in a third world country on a bus. Your typical livestock animals and every kind of person regardless of what stature or quality of health there is in life. They only difference is instead of livestock, people bring their entire life's belongings with them in the form of roll on bags, cross country knapsacks, and their family pets in containers that are supposed to fit under the seat. What a joke.
People have a civilian form of PTSD, it's called "Bag Separation Anxiety", they have no concern for others when hitting them with their luggage, or getting others to lift them overhead for them when they finally decide to settle down in their rented space. The really annoying part is the excessive amount of time they take finding a seat sitting down. Because of their self-absorbed lack of concern for others they delay the flight takeoff time and the unload time with their hurry up and hit someone in all of the excitement of trying to unload their crap. Until SW gets their head out of their ass, I will never fly this third world ** bus again.
I have traveled with Southwest Airlines for years and have always received outstanding service by employees in so many departments at Southwest. No business can be perfect, but you truly make traveling fun. P.S. Thanks for the free drinks and peanuts! YUM.
I am trying to get a group travel quote for 15 people to travel from CA to AZ. I have called several times, at different times of the day. Every call I was on hold for over 30 minutes. One time I was on hold for 1hr 36 minutes before hanging up. They never answer the phone. They are closed on the weekends and never answer the phone during the week. It is a ridiculous waste of time. I have written to their customer service number and received no response. The worst customer service ever. If this is how they treat their potential customers prior to a flight, it is a slippery slope.
My daughter attends college in DC and has a severe PEANUT/TREE NUT Allergy. I researched all airlines, allergy networks, Academy Of Allergy Immunology & other's experiences. Since I flew SWA and discussion with the airlines proved to be trustworthy, we transported her through SWA for years. I was pleased and never had problem, matter of fact felt they went above and beyond. One flight attendant held up boarding to inspect the flight.
She flew back to school after the holiday & noticed the odor of peanuts and immediately felt faint, and face turned red and hot on the flight. She stood up and told the tall, bearded attendant that "I have a peanut allergy and the odor was evident." He never went to see where she was seated or if anyone around her had peanuts. No announcement was made, and she was symptomatic, could go into a full blown systemic reaction. She asked for help and suddenly felt intimidated and she should just sit down. He said it is probably in the ventilation system. She put her head in her jacket took medication and held ** close.
I reported that night - email and phone. The Customer Service Representative was respectful. He said that they take these issue seriously. After no one responded to my email I called and spoke with M in the Relations Dept. He told me "sorry, no guarantees." His statement tells me that if you have an allergy to peanuts/tree nuts we should NOT fly SWA??? Enter at your risk???
Had round-trip ticket from Atlanta to Las Vegas and returning from Reno to Atlanta at a cost of approx $350. Tried to change return flight at same time but one day later and they said it would cost approx $350 to change it. They must have a idiot in their company probably more than one making rules!!! Their advertisement of "No change fees" in my opinion is fraud!!!
I'd like to thank you for your generous policy regarding minors. Like many families, my children spend separate time with both mom and dad. This is already a difficult situation and funds become limited when split between two households. Thank you for your affordable solutions. Thank you for allowing my 13 and 11 year old to travel together with no adult required. Thank you furthermore for not requiring an additional fee. And thank you kindly for ensuring they have been taken care of on their trips (and cancellations).
We panicked when we discovered that one of their legs was cancelled and they would be spending the night alone together at the airport. But Southwest employees, understanding our concern, took our children into a safe room where they had cots. They even went above and beyond buying them both dinner and breakfast! I panicked again this morning when I discovered that my children had missed their flights due to the baggage drop-off. We thought we'd arrived in time but both processes took far longer than normal. Southwest once again came to the rescue and re-assured my stressed teens that they would get home. Thank you for getting my boys on the next flight. Thank you Southwest, there is a reason we fly with you! Thank you for being human and treating us with concern and humanity!
My husband and I flew on Flight 373 from Las Vegas, NV to Albuquerque, NM on Jan. 1, 2017. We were delayed due to being oversold by one passenger. The male flight attendant over the PA called out my husband's name, Gary **, and told him to "Gather up your stuff. You are getting off of this plane." I made these reservations the end of August and was very surprised by the lack of professionalism on the F/A's part. As it turned out it was a non-rev passenger that was taken off the plane. The F/A passed by us at least two (2) times in flight and he never took the opportunity to apologize to my husband.
I have noticed the last several times I have flown your airline the quality of personnel has diminished significantly. As a former Pan Am flight attendant, recruiter and personnel supervisor of 15 years, I recognize this. Upon landing, the gentleman across the aisle from us was asleep with his head on his tray table. Very disappointed with Southwest and their service.
I have been a Southwest Airlines fan for many years and a loyal customer. I even have the southwest credit card which I used to use exclusively. We are a family of four, 2 adults and 2 Children. On New Year Day our flight to Providence was scheduled to leave at 7:05 with a connection through Baltimore arriving at 11:35 In Providence. We arrived early at the airport and I saw online an earlier Flight that left Nashville at 5:40 and arrived in Providence at 10:30 with seats available. So we thought we would check to see if we can switch for free.
The desk agent said "the 7:05 flight is delayed for 3 hours. We can go ahead and change it for free." As it turns out we later learned from the supervisor the flight was not delayed, it was overbooked by 7 people. He then said the 7:05 flight may be full anyway and we would be doing them a favor by switching to the earlier flight. So we said "yes. Get us into our final destination earlier!"
Throughout the whole process the agent was confused and disconnected. He did not inform us of the consequences of switching and he was not truthful to us. He placed transfer tags on the 5 luggage we checked in and provided us with 2 sets of boarding passes - one to Baltimore and one to Providence (our final destination). What he did not warn us about was: 1. He was only changing our flight from Nashville to Baltimore, not the entire path which would get us back to Providence earlier. 2. We would lose our early bird boarding number and have C boarding. I had paid for early bird check in and will now have to pay an extra 30 dollars per person if we want to guarantee we sit together.
When I saw what the agent did, I asked him to please switch us to the earlier flight getting into Providence from Baltimore since we thought he was doing that initially. He said he would have to ask his supervisor for permission. That's when the supervisor entered the picture. She said no they will not do that. We then asked to be switched back to the 7:05 pm flight as I had already paid for early bird on it and we can sit together. They switched us back to our original flight but, what they didnt tell us was we would at this point lose our early bird spots. The agent called the manager back over so we can explain what happened. The supervisor at Southwest in Nashville refused to help our family and was very rude, heartless and scary. She said the following:
1. "We booked you on the earlier flight because we are overbooked by 7 people, not because there is a delay. You said yes to the favor, therefore you need to deal with the consequences." 2. "Call customer service to get a refund on your early bird. I can't help you get an earlier seating but you can pay $120 to get on early with advanced seating." 3. "We don't need a favor on the second leg of your flight, therefore we won't change it."
We basically went round and round, back and forth. We explained we were taken advantage of, we are not millionaires, not to mention when traveling for work we are able to take an earlier flight out of D.C. She was very unpleasant the entire time. She was holding on to our boarding passes and at last stated "I'm not going to let your family fly out tonight. You'll have to fly out tomorrow morning because we are getting nowhere." At that point we apologized and said we will pay the extra fee at the gate so we can all sit together. We got our boarding passes back and walked away in shock and tears.
When we arrived in Providence our luggage was not there. The baggage officer checked our luggage tickets and said the desk agent had made a mistake and checked our bags in to Baltimore, not our final destination. At that point we explained what had occurred and she said there was a disconnect with what he did. Something was not right with him. He was easily distracted, confused and made many mistakes that made our trip miserable. We have Items such as medicine, food, clothing, electronics and school books that we need right away. We were separated from our luggage, and have no idea who has had access to them.
Although the woman at baggage claim (in Providence) was helpful & considerate, she mislead us by saying the luggage would arrive in Providence at 7:30 this morning and would be delivered to our house by 8:30; it did not. After making a few calls to a number which was very difficult to find, I finally found that the luggage was delivered on much later flight. My husband had to drive all the way back to the airport, pay for parking, rent a luggage cart and grab the luggage off the luggage belt. I received no phone call that the luggage had arrived, even though we specifically told her that we had perishable items that needed to stay frozen as well as medicine in the bags. There was no human decency, empathy or heart.
I recently took a vacation over the Christmas Holiday, and put my trust in Southwest Airlines to get me there. They failed both getting me there and getting me home as I wanted it. I see these commercials from Southwest parody the Journey song, "anyway you want it" and that is pure fiction. This was not the first time SW has disrupted my travel plans, but it is definitely the last. I would rather hitchhike across Syria or Iraq rather than pay to fly Southwest again.
They say the definition of insanity is to keep going the same thing over and over expecting different results. Well if you fly Southwest after one non weather related cancelation, delay, lost bag (bags fly free and get delivered wherever they want), forced to sit a middle seat between the two fattest people on earth or for any other reason that was not the "way you wanted it" then shame on you because you have been warned. BEWARE they will screw up any vacation, or trip you are using them for.
SW Airlines has a policy which states that if you do not appear in time for your outbound flight your flight is canceled and you forfeit your seat and fee. This is fair. If you cannot make a flight and you do not notify the airline prior your flight is cancelled. However, in the same scenario SW Airlines also cancels your return flight and your fee is forfeit regardless of your ability or intent to take the return flight.
On 12/14/16 I missed my flight inbound to San Francisco. SW Canceled my trip. I flew on Virgin to SF. On 12/15/16 I called because my Return flight appeared to be cancelled as well. SW informed me that by missing my first flight my return flight was also cancelled and my fee was forfeit. My return flight is 12/16/16. SW charged me for my 12/16/16 flight but will not allow me to ride the flight home. SW informed me they would be happy to help me purchase a ticket for the 12/16/16 flight even though I already paid for the same item. I believe this is against the law. I spoke to Agent ** from the Georgia office 12/15/16 via phone.
We had booked our tickets to go to Cabo from LAX via Southwest last week. We checked in 24 hours before and everything was fine. We go the airport and to our shock, they said the flight was cancelled due to some aviation regulations. We said we never received any notice of cancellation either via email or text. The staff kept defending themselves and finally after nearly three hours of waiting, a representative named Lolita re-booked our flight the next day via Alaska Airline. They gave us a hotel near the airport to spend the night. This resulted in losing one night stay at our destination and got charged for it. We also for charged for ground transportation from airport to hotel since we were a day late. All along the Southwest personnel kept saying that all this would be taken care of if I saved all our receipts and contacted customer relations.
On our return journey again, we were told one day before that we would be flying into Orange county instead of LAX. We booked the shuttle service again to come back home from Orange county airport. Few hours later SW informed us again that we would land in LAX. We had to move our ground transportation again back and forth. This was very frustrating. After returning to Los Angeles, I called Southwest customer relations this morning and the representative was rude, forthright, and said they would not refund one night hotel fee that we lost. She kept arguing that it is not SW's fault. I am very disappointed with the crappy service and poor customer relations. No professionalism whatsoever!!
So, where shall I start. I purchased R/T flight to PVR in October. SW had not yet completed the process to start a new route into PVR but a posted notification assured the customer that this would not interfere with flight plans. Since this was SW, I attempted to check-in for my flight at the 24 hour prior to flight time mark. When I tried to check in, I got an error message that said I needed to check in at a SW kiosk since it's an international flight. My flight was out of LAX and rather than wait until the following day to check in, I thought I'd be proactive and check in at Burbank since it's only 7 miles away.
Once I got to Burbank, the SW employees had a hard time trying to figure out how to "check-in" an international flight as they had not been trained in 3 years. A supervisor was called and he couldn't figure it out either. Ultimately, they called what I assume is the SW head office and were told that flights to PVR that day and the following day (my day of travel) were canceled. I couldn't believe it because I had received NO NOTIFICATION whatsoever. You would have thought we I tried to check-in online initially, that at least the notification would tell me I couldn't check in because the flight was cancelled instead of telling me I had to check in at a SW kiosk. Now I am in a quandary because I am all but ready to go on vacay.
The SW agent said they could book me on a flight from OC. I had her put me on the flight because I thought at least I can get there and my return flight wasn't canceled. Although going to OC is an 80-mile drive for me. Once I got home, I called SW to inquire if my return flight would be cancelled as well since the reason for SW canceling the outgoing flight was because there was an issue with the paperwork to fly into / out of Mexico. The SW agent said she did not know but it was likely that it would be cancelled since my return flight was on Sunday. I could not take the chance of getting stuck in Mexico as I had a standing commitment upon my return. The agent suggested to change my return flight to fly back into OC.
Unfortunately, the flight was not Nonstop and stopped in Denver for 4 hours (if not stuck there due to snow). I wouldn't make it to OC until 10PM and that's before customs and the 80-mile drive back home. I ended up canceling the flight altogether. The agent suggested I contact Customer Relations for a voucher or credit since the cancellation was not my fault. She said she couldn't tell me how much the credit would be but that I should be sure to contact them. So the following day (the day my flight would have been), I called Customer Relations and spoke to a Supervisor, who to my surprise and dismay, told me that there was nothing they could do since this was not Southwest's fault. They refunded my points and that's it.
They weren't going to offer me a $10 voucher or 5 flights pts. In other words, I get absolutely nothing for having to cancel a vacation. I called back and spoke to a different supervisor who had me on the phone for at least 20 minutes only to finally tell me the same thing after telling me that Southwest was just as surprised as the customers that Mexico didn't accept the paperwork for the new route. I told her I was never notified of the cancellation. She then said SW sent out an email the previous morning. I told her it was funny that I have received EVERY email from Southwest with the exception now of this (mystery) email. Now even more frustrated, I decided to send SW a complaint via email. I explained how I had to cancel a vacation, I was previously informed of the cancellation, and I purchased flight miles specifically for the flight that was canceled.
A day later, I received the following response from SW: "Thank you for your email. Your concerns are of the utmost importance, and we appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns regarding the change to your itinerary. We sincerely apologize for any dissatisfaction that arose when you learned your flight between Los Angeles (LAX) and Puerto Vallarta on December 8 was canceled especially if your frustration was compounded after speaking to our Customer Relations Representatives by telephone. Please allow me to explain that a new agreement between the United States and Mexico was implemented this year in an effort to increase air traffic between the two countries.
"Southwest Airlines became the first carrier to operate new flights under this agreement, and we are fully compliant with the terms of the agreement. However, as with any new endeavor, unexpected challenges arose, and we are having to work through certain issues created by not having received administrative paperwork from Mexican aviation authorities. In order to minimize Customer's inconvenience associated with delays or misconnections, and considering the impacts those changes would have on the operation, we made the decision to proactively cancel our flights scheduled Wednesday, December 7 through Friday, December 9 (in both directions), between LAX and Cabo, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta.
"Although we did our best to notify affected Passengers and work with them to find alternate travel plans, I regret if you did not receive this notification and were inconvenienced as a result of this flight irregularity. That being said, I understand that you chose not to be re-accommodated, and I confirmed that a refund of your airfare was requested. However, while we recognize your frustration in this situation, we must respond unfavorably to your request for travel credit for this experience. We are sorry for any disappointment in this regard, and we have shared your feedback with our Senior Leaders. We wish that we could erase such an unpleasant memory; unfortunately, we cannot, but we can encourage you to let us create a new one by traveling with us again soon. Your patronage is very important to us."
Below is my response back to Southwest: "Southwest - You could have saved your canned dissertation about Southwest's reasons for canceling customer flights to PVR. That is so not my concern. For your information, I chose to not be "re-accommodated" by SW because doing so would have 1) added 10+ hours to my trip; 2) forced me to drive 160 miles to catch the "re-accommodating" flight (which is another 3+ hours depending on LA traffic, and 3) cost me an additional $150-$200.
I understand that I was "refunded" my "points" (as I should have been), but the bottom line is that I wouldn't have forked over the cash for those points if not for booking the flight to PVR. At no point, did anyone at SW suggest re-accommodating me with another, dare I say "RELIABLE" carrier. If I had read through the numerous complaints about SW beforehand, I wouldn't have been so surprised to witness Southwest's complete and total lack of any best practice customer retention efforts.
Of course, things happen that are out of ones control, but in the end and in this situation, YOU SOUTHWEST are accountable, not Mexico and not the customers. How dare you make customers feel as if it's THEIR mistake / THEIR fault for booking with SW in the first place. How dare you make customers feel like their TIME doesn't matter. Way to provide EXEMPLARY CUSTOMER SERVICE, SOUTHWEST. And one last thing, the last paragraph of your response to my complaint is the absolute height of hypocrisy: "We wish that we could erase such an unpleasant memory; unfortunately, we cannot, but we can encourage you to let us create a new one by traveling with us again soon. Your patronage is very important to us."
Clearly neither my nor other customer's patronage is important to you SW. Give me a break. Feel free to share this feedback with your SENIOR leaders as well. I imagine it will be yet another exercise in futility. In summary, I should have simply booked with an airline that has an "established" and reliable route to PVR. When I told one of the Customer Relations Supervisors that they will be losing a customer, she responded "You have to do what you have to do". Well alrighty then and Merry Christmas to you too."
As an A-Lister who flies SWA 3-4 times per month, I have accumulated a lot of points. I redeemed points (a lot) for my daughter and son-in-law (live in Texas) to travel to my mother's (in Ohio) the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. During the reservation process, I informed the agent that my grandson (22 months) would be traveling with them which the agent noted and repeated back to me. When my daughter & son-in-law arrived at the airport they checked in, went through security but at boarding, they were asked for a BIRTH CERTIFICATE for my grandson. Of course, no one travels with such a document and no one had mentioned it. They were DENIED boarding. The agent + supervisor said w/o the certificate they could buy a seat for him but none were available until later the FOLLOWING DAY (which was Thanksgiving).
They called customer service, I called customer service and SOUTHWEST was unapologetic and unmoving - no certificate, no boarding. We canceled the flights and my daughter and her family ended up DRIVING from Texas to OHIO to be able to spend time together as a family at the holidays. Southwest may do fancy marketing and their CEO may have written a clever book, but as often as I fly them my experience does not match the brand promotion they try to espouse. Clever marketing does not make up for chronically late flights, lost baggage and inept service/uncaring/unflexible service. After this event - I actively try to look for other flights even if I have to take a connection or pay MORE on some other brand. Frankly Southwest is NUTS in the way they dealt with the situation.
I purchased a flight for my stepdaughter with my credit card. The stepdaughter's estranged mother, who we do not get along with, got the confirmation number, called Southwest and CHANGED THE TICKET. I called Southwest to complain and I was told that whoever has the confirmation number can change a flight at any time. The representative actually said, "We don't get involved in family disputes. Once we send you the confirmation number, we are done." Absolutely ridiculous!!! The policy does not protect the person who purchased the ticket. In speaking with a friend in the airlines, seems all airlines have this policy. What I am most upset about is the crappy customer service and nonchalant attitude of the Southwest Airlines representative.
Southwest Airlines Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Southwest Airlines
- Year Founded:
- 2702 Love Field Dr.
- Postal Code:
- United States