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Attention Customers Seeking Assistance from Customer Relations

WayneS Employee
Employee

While our operation has returned to normal after last week’s operational disruptions, Customer Contact groups are still working around the clock to respond to your inquiries for assistance. 

 

The Customer Relations Team has been working extremely long hours attempting to connect with as many Customers as possible.  Our Social Care Team works 24-hours each day and typically respond within minutes to our Customers.  However last week, we were receiving almost as many posts per hour as we typically receive in a day.  The same can be said of email and telephone calls.

 

While we typically interact with less than one percent of Customers who fly with us, last week the outage created a significant impact on many more Customers than we typically help in a month, and we have responded to more Customers in just the last week than we usually do in a month.  That means we are working feverishly to respond to all requests Customers have made of us. 

 

At this point, I recommend that if you have emailed us and are awaiting a response, please be patient.  If you are still attempting to reach Southwest via telephone or Social Channels, I would go onto Southwest.com, navigate to the "Contact Us" page, and then select email.  If you need in-the-moment travel assistance, then I recommend you Tweet us.

 

We genuinely regret that so many people were adversely affected, and hope that you will give us an opportunity to work our way to your request.  We will do our best to create a win/win solution that will bring you back to fly with us again.   

 

 

17 Comments
Rodrigo
New Arrival

Hello there,

 

I know this is not the right channel to get an aswer to my issue, but I am tired of trying to get my flight info. I have sent at least 6 messages, besides trying to access my rapid rewards account with no success.

 

On July 21st I bought a ticket from Oakland to Los Angeles, flying on December 9 (flight 2158). I did get a screen with my booking number, but considering there was a message saying the info would be mailed to me, I did not take the time to write down the number.

 

That was on 7/21, and until today I did not get the confirmation number. As I said before, I have sent many messages, and everytime i try to access my rr account, I get an error message.

 

Also, as I already said, I got no reply from costumer service (to the messages I´ve sent). The transaction was confirmed and I have even paid my credit card statement, so there is no chance of not having gone thru.

 

Could you please help me out? I don´t know whatelse to do in order to get my info.

 

Thaks,

Rodrigo

larrylee4u
New Arrival

The aftermath:

 

not sure any airline could have been prepared for what happened last week but a few thoughts:

- the loyalty you built up with so many folks for so many years went out the window in a flash.  hind sight IS 20/20 but the impression that the SWA leadership would spare NO cost  (even buying tickets on other airlines) to attempt to accomodate stranded passengers will prove very costly (you should have made the effort).

- the timing of the extended $69 fare sale was just incredible, just incredible well timed

- suggestion: reach OUT and let folks vent!!

- the front line folks were all great and did the best they could

AshleyMainz Employee
Employee

Hi @Rodrigo

 

I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble accessing your reservation. I sent your comment to the appropriate Team for assistance, so someone should be in touch with you soon.

 

 

 

Ashley

Southwest Airlines

ecdeck477
New Arrival

I was unfortunately caught up right in the middle of the SW computer issue on July 20-21. For me, the problem started in Ft. Myers, FL when I boarded what I thought was a flight to IND that wound up in ATL. I was running a tad late, was sent to the wrong gate for an airplane already boarding (so I didn't hear the preboard announcement), got a pleasant "ding" when my boarding pass was processed under the scanner boarded, sat down and relaxed for what should have been a 2.5-3 hour flight to IND, but in fact was a little over an hour long to ATL. When the flight attended said "Welcome to Atlanta," I knew I was in for a long day (and night as it turns out). While computers do crash, it how companies handle the problem that matters and the SW team in ATL was outstanding.  I eventually made it home, but not without the great assistances and professional help provided by several ticket and gate agents in ATL. In particular, I want to thank Alam Taulton, a customer services supervisor.  Alma listened to my story and quickly worked to resolve my problem.  Needless to say, I was not the only traveler having problems that day, but Alma treated me like I was her only customer and managed to find me a flight home.  For Alma and the rest of the SW team in ATL, thank you.

leonardn
New Arrival

No tears shed for SWA by this customer.  Problem caused by SWA with no support when needed following cancelled flight that disrupted vacation plans.

 

On hold again--exceeding 40 minutes now.  Deja Vu.

 

I would think that SWA would have folks available to clean up their mess.

 

 

leonardn
New Arrival

I got through-after approximately an hour on hold--and was able to talk with a SWA customer representative.

 

My takeaways from SWA customer service.....

1.  refund of unused flight tickets---takes about 7-10 days to process.  No explanation provided as to why the delay.  The ticket charges appear the same or next day on my credit card account.  Seems to me that process response should be similar for charges and refunds.

2.  service request.....

Please allow 30 days from submission for processing.

 

More delay--common theme.

 

The true test of customer service is not when things are running smoothly but when the system is under distress/duress/chaos.  

 

 

leonardn
New Arrival

I will share my story that is on the other end of the customer service spectrum.  I would describe as little or no customer service from several contacts at SWA.

 

My family arrived at the Little Rock airport Friday July 22 about 3:45 am for a flight to Oakland via St Louis.  The SWA ticket counter did not open at the designated 4:00 am scheduled time--an ominous sign of things to come.  Several minutes after 4:00, SWA agents opened the ticket counter.  We--my family--was informed that SWA cancelled our flight to St Louis.  Agent indicated we could fly through Dallas with a later arrival in Oakland.  But wait--agent said no--could not book the seats.  Real head scratcher.  But---catch this---we could fly on Sunday.  Remember we are at the ariport a few minutes after 4:00 am on Friday.  I called SWA--not sure what number.  Received lip service--no action/support.  I did receive several canned 'sorries'.  I wanted someone at SWA to take action not offer apologies.

 

Some info about the trip--planned well in advance.  My teenage daughter spent hours on the vaction trip that was squeezed in given family schedules and before daughter headed off to college for the fall semester.  We had a detailed daily itinerary that included hotels, events, activities, and restaurants.  Sunday travel disrupts most of the plans.  Surely SWA can help provide a solution.

 

I called a second customer service number and talked with a supervisor after more than an hour hold.  Result--nothing.  My conclusion--talk is cheap, action requires effort.  I pressed for what considerations SWA would provide given the issue is caused by SWA and dumped in my lap.  Response---no comment/info.  I asked about policy---supervisor would not provide.  The supervisor indicated that she did not want to provide info that might later not be provided.  Surely SWA has a known policy in place for such circumstances.  Supervisor said call back after trip is over.  Wow--talk about deflection.  Talk but doesn't answer any questions.

 

So I booked a flight to Oakland through Delta at a much greater cost.  My family arrived in Oakland and checked in our hotel early Saturday morning.  The entire trip--from the 4:00 checkin at the SWA ticket counter in Little Rock to destination hotel--took almost 24 hours.  Our original plan had arrival in Oakland in afternoon followed by wine tour in NAPA Valley and dinner at Iron Chef Mori Motos' restaurant.    To summarize the support from SWA customer service at this point--little to none.  SWA did not help resolve my flight issues to Oakland on Friday.

 

Now, we are back at home from the trip and I follow the suggestion of the customer service supervisor from the departure date--call back after trip is over for consideration.

 

So I am on the phone again.  After about an hour wait, I talk with a SWA customer service agent.  I request a refund of the unused SWA tickets.  SWA will refund the ticket cost as a credit to my credit card---in 7 to 10 days.  I am not clear about the delay.  SWA is capable of charging my credit card the same or following day of making a flight reservation.   Next topic of conversation---how will SWA participate in the flight cost for Delta Airlines on the Friday when SWA cancelled the departure flight?  Agent managed to not provide any info.  Surely SWA has a policy in place that the agent can disseminate to customers.  Agent advised me to submit a Service Request providing details and supporting costs.  I submitted the Service Request and received the following info.....Please allow 30 days from submission for processing.  Not a joke---I couldn't make up this stuff.

 

Over the whole ordeal---I don't know how many times I received the standard 'sorry about the inconvenience'.  Or the disingenuous recorded message---Your call is important to us.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

 

On reflection given my experience and contacts with SWA customer service, I can't say that customer service provided much if any value.  I spent over 2 hours on hold to receive little or no valuable info.

 

 

GDtravel
New Arrival

Our family is seeking reimbursement for expenses we incurred 21-23 July 2016 due to the SWA computer issues which delayed our travel two additional days.

 

On July 21, 2016, our flight from MSP to LAX was canceled and the soonest available flight through SWA was two days later. The SWA agent at the MSP airport and the SWA Customer Service phone operator told us to contact Customer Relations in order to address the expenses we would incur. They also said to submit any expenses incurred and SWA would be addressing the issue soon.

 

On July 26, 2016 we called Customer Relations and they told us SWA would be addressing the delay issue soon and they would be sending an email but they could not address the reimbursment issue at this time.

 

Until this incident, SWA has provided us with great service and we hope that they will stand by their word and good reputation and reimburse us and anyone else who incurred expenses due to this delay.

 

 

 

 

gsbond
New Arrival

I am looking for a resolution to a couple of claim #'s I have filed with Southwest over 90 days ago.  I filed the appropriate documentation, have sent an email follow-up, but have heard nothing from Southwest.    There are only 2 pieces of documentation to review for the claims.  It involves over $800 in tickets.   This is unacceptable customer service.

gsbond
New Arrival

UPDATE.  After many calls to Southwest, both my claims have been honored in full.  Southwest did the right thing, although it took longer than expected, but the bottom line is, I am satisfied with the outcome. 

Lindsey
Rising Star

Hi Gsbond,

 

I'm so glad to hear that we've been able to satisfactorily resolve your claims. I know the wait has been difficult. Our Customer Service Representatives continue to work dilligently to make sure we address the concerns of everyone who was affected during the event a couple weeks ago. 

 

Lindsey

Moderator

The Southwest Community

Jamtayken
New Arrival

I want to send a special thank you to the Southwest Airline Team and Captain. I was scheduled to fly from San Jose CA to Burbank on Flight 2803 when I received an unexpected call regarding a family emergency. I was in a panic as I was speaking to the attendants at the check in station. I asked to get my luggage pulled as I wasn't going to by flying and needed to drive home (2 hours away). I was told all luggage was already on the plane, so it would go to Burbank then onto Las Vegas before it returned to San Jose. She said she would have it flagged so it could be pulled and put safe into unclaimed baggage. I was asking for a time frame as another attendant was calling my name over the intercom. I went over to speak with her, to let her know I wouldn't be boarding the flight. I didn't realize the Captain was also standing nearby,  they both went aboard the plane but only the attendant returned. She told me the Captain was not going to leave the ground with my luggage on board. This act of kindness sent me into another pool of tears. I was not able to catch the Captiain's name, but his willingness to leave late to ensure my bag was pulled was both very kind and heartwarming.  I was able to make it home with my luggage in tow and be with my family. Thank you Captain, your kindness and concern for my family emergency puts a new perspective on the Southwest Airline Heart! I am so very grateful that you were the pilot that day!

kfreeman
New Arrival

I submitted a stolen item claim. I was promised a call back with in 24-48 hours it has now almost been 30 days and no one chas called or resonded to the stolen items that took place at the ATL airport. There still hasnt been a follow up and this should not be the way business is handled

egage89
New Arrival

Hello Southwest,

 

Since there is a 40-50 minute wait time every time I call and no way to receive a call back from your corporate custom relations number (855-234-4654), I reluctantly decided to send you a detailed picture of my horrific experience flying Southwest this past week. I am actually sitting on hold as I type this…

 

The nature of my trip was business, a broker seminar in Hartford, CT. I flew out of San Diego with a layover in Chicago's Midway airport. On Flight 1419 departing from Midway to Hartford, our planes right engine failed, resulting in an emergency landing at O'Hare. This is something I have never experienced in my fairly extensive flying experience, so you can imagine it was a very scary event. One thing that was extremely concerning was, after watching flames come out of the right engine (I was sitting just above the wing), immense turbulence, drops through the air and much fearful confusion from everyone aboard, it took the flight attendants and captain 15 minutes to even let us know what was happening and make an announcement. Allowing a full flight of your customers to sit in idle panic with no explanation was unacceptable customer service and seemingly improper protocol.

 

Since Southwest does not fly out of O'Hare, we had to hook the compromised plane up at a United gate and United proceeded to take very good care of us after our brief and extremely rattling flight. We were then told to come check back in an hour for answers on how we would now get to our final destination of CT. After five hours of checking back every hour on the hour with no real news or update, a SW plane and some semblance of Southwest staff arrived to fill us in on next steps. We boarded the plane with much confusion about order and took off. Our flight finally landed in CT around 10:45 pm. At that point, I had been up since 4 am San Diego time. 

 

As we sat in wait for hours on end at O'Hare, I was actually supposed to arrive in CT around 4 pm, in order to make it to a 6 o'clock dinner reception that I was speaking at. I cannot tell you how much it outraged me to miss this crucial piece of my business trip.

 

Fast forward to this past Thursday June 14, when I called Southwest to update my Friday, June 15 flight to depart CT @ 12:30 instead of 4:45. I had to call because, as I later found out, there were "glitches" on the website that prevented me from updating my flight myself. I spoke with a woman named Leah out of Oklahoma City. Throughout the course of our 1 hour and 15 minute phone call, Leah was sweet but very slow and unmoved by my dilemma - putting me on numerous holds (lasting 20 and 30 minutes). I called thinking I was simply updating my flight and stepped outside of my business seminar to make the call, but apparently Leah discovered there were many "errors" connected to my return flight and account that had to be straightened out. I lost over an hour of my seminar, mostly on hold, in excruciating and mindless agony, for Leah to perform a task that should take no more than 10 minutes of a customer’s time and I should have been able to do myself. Leah put me on hold for 30 min without ever checking back to take a pulse with her customer and let me know she was working with a manager, the system, etc. she just let me sit there, wondering if she would ever come back and when she did come back on the line after 30 min, she was actually laughing it off and apologizing as an afterthought for the long hold. I have worked in a call center and consistently in customer service and this is just not acceptable. It was not until I began sobbing out of frustration (yes, sobbing - listen to the tape) that she began to take me seriously and offer any sort of viable customer service and successfully update my flight. I then asked Leah if I could speak with her supervisor, she put me on hold again (this time only 10-15 minutes) and then came back to tell me she couldn't get her supervisor and she suggested I call the corporate customer relations line. Which I did - about 10 times since last Thursday and every single time there is a 40-50 minute hold time, with no way to leave a call back number and receive a call from someone, anyone. I assume this strategy is because you guys hope angry customers will eventually give up calling. I also  sat on hold for 45 minutes and managed to speak with a supervisor named Bobby – out of Albuquerque who was extremely unhelpful and would not even oblige me by taking notes on my account to document that I had called trying to receive help with my return flight errors.

 

Throughout this horrific experience, I have lost 7 + hours of time on a business trip, been scared for my life at the engine failing with no reassurance from SW staff, and been frustrated beyond imagination. The frightening moments during the engine failure that have been left unexplained would have been enough to make me question your airline but that has now been compounded with repeated and extremely unsatisfactory customer service. 

 

I received a $200 voucher as recompense for my "inconvenience" which I have to tell you is just not going to do it. This in no way makes me, as a customer, feel whole again after such a terribly inconveniencing and scary experience. In my opinion, as someone in sales and client retention, a billion dollar company like Southwest should have called each and every customer affected by this engine failure, explained in a clear and concise manner what it was that even happened and WHY it happened - apologized for inconveniencing everyone (especially affecting the livelihood of those individuals on business trips) and provided vouchers refunding the entire trip. This would have been a more appropriate response, instead you sent an email with a $200 voucher, which comes off as a last minute consolation, not a true apology for the frightening experience and incredible amount of lost time. I have been a loyal customer, exclusively flying Southwest since I was an infant and always stuck with you - loving your rapid rewards program and otherwise, great customer service, but I am beyond disappointed with my experience and will now be vetting other airlines. 

 

I know this letter is lengthy but please take it to heart and consider methods to avoid the above customer service blunders in the future, if you wish to avoid losing further business. 

 

Sincerely,

Erin Gage

LoVal
New Arrival

While I can understand what happened last week, I have still been unable to resolve an issue from JUNE!  I was flying a puppy back from Las Vegas to Milwaukee.  When I had to reschedule my flight, customer service told me I better make sure the pet carrier met Southwest standards as stated on their website.  So, in a panic, I order a Southwest Airlines pet carrier on June 29 with 2 day deliver since the 4th of July was coming up.  I called and emailed customer service on July 3rd to find out if I could get tracking information on when the carrier would be delivered since my flight was on Friday.  No one responded.  On Wednesday the 5th I called and left another voicemail, and emailed again on the 6th.  On July 7th, I left work in a panic to pick up a carrier at the pet store and make my flight on time.  As of today (7/26/17) I have still not received the pet carrier and no one from Southwest has been in contact with me.  I have filed a dispute with my credit card company since the charge is still there.  I paid an additional $17 for 2 day delivery and I STILL do not have this bag.  Obviously I no longer need it, my puppy came home just fine, but I was very dissappointed that no one has contacted me or credited my account.  

 

Lory

Kdbrangood
New Arrival

Last year, my 86 year-old Mom had a bad stroke, spent 5 1/2 months in rehab and then subsequently passed away.  Because she lived in Texas, and we lived in California, I was flying SJC to DAL for 10 days every month, so I could visit with her, make sure that she was being well taken-care of, and take care of her house. Since she passed, I have continued to make the same trip because we are trying to settle her estate and dispose of things.  During that time, the Southwest flight attendants and ground personell have been so kind and helpful to me.  Many times, they bent over backwards to make sure that I was comfor- table, made all connecting flights and was able to manage all the paperwork that I needed to be carrying back and forth.  Everyone was so nice, and I was grateful, every time, that I chose to fly on SOUTHWEST!!!!  THANK YOU VERY MUCH, and GOD BLESS!!!!!

jjames
New Arrival

I booked a flight from Houston to Mexico City on January 2019 for my May 2019 trip.

Yesterday, I found out "myself" that Southwest cancelled this route and last flight will be end of March 2019.

 

When I called Southwest they said it has been decided a month ago (February 2019) that this route will be cancelled and they tried to blame the Southwest Vacations claiming "we are two different companies" when I purchased both hotel and flight from their website.  

Further, I have received no calls or emails about this cancellation.  I found out when my friend was considering joining my trip and found out there were no flights for May 2019!

Now if I have to book the flight and hotel for same dates I have to pay additional $400.00. 

 

After endless waiting on the phone, customer relations representative lady on the phone was very rude.  She basically told me it was my loss and Southwest will not do anything about it except refunding my money.  When I brought up now I have to pay additional $400 for the same trip, she hung the phone on me.

 

Thanks a lot Southwest for screwing your customer in the best possible manner.