11-18-2018 12:52 PMcz7p4q
I am a 61 year old disabled veteran. I have had 5 surgeries and have 3 more in my immediate future, including total hip and knee replacements. I have been flying Southwest exclusively for last 10 years, 8-10 round trips a year.
That ends today. I have been pulled off consecutive flights from Baltimore to Ontario, CA. and forced to sleep on a wooden bench inside BWI airport twice.
My reward for getting pulled off yesterday and sleeping on a wooden bench last night was to be booked on a flight departing from gate C13 which is the absolute farthest gate from the Southwest counter. It took me over an hour to walk to the gate.
Southwest refused to give me a hotel accommodation because it was weather related and they don’t have to accommodate displaced passengers.
There is what the right thing to do and what you have to do. If I see a child drowning in a pond, I don’t have to help them but I have because it’s the right thing to do.
I have given 32 years of my life to the US Navy serving and defending this country including Southwest and I didn’t do it because I had to. For Southwest to treat me and others so poorly is inexcusable. And to do it twice on consecutive flights is simply astonishing.
the response from the plane crew was “Then don’t fly Southwest.” I am taking that advice to heart.
11-18-2018 02:16 PM - edited 11-18-2018 02:18 PMdfwskier
Sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience. Anyone experiencing what you did would have been disapponted and frustrated. However, anyone who fly's enough times will run into stuations where flights are cancelled due to weather. It's just the nature of the beast. To have it happen twice is just very bad luck
Unfortunately, no airline provides hotel accomodations when the problem is weather related. So your outcome would likely have been the same had you flown Ameican, or Delta or United. Southwest and other airlines do provide hotel discount "coupons" when weather (or some other event out of the airline's control) is the culprit. You do have to ask fo them, though.
As far as the walk from one side of the airport to the other, airports provide mobility assistance. If the situation ever happens to you again, just ask the airlne rep at the gate to get a wheelchair or cart to help you out.
I hope your future travels are more pleasant.
11-18-2018 08:05 PMcz7p4q
The flight wasn’t canceled. I just wasn’t allowed on the flight because my connecting flight was at risk of being missed. The flight flew on a delay without me.
I know about getting transportation assistance but I had no money for a tip and didn’t want the derogatory look and negative comments. I was under enough stress.
You are wrong about other airlines not providing accommodations. American Airlines gave me a hotel in Chicago when weather affected my flight. I guess they know how to treat customers. They weren’t required to but they did it because it was the right thing to do. Southwest gave me a discount coupon for a room at $160.00 for one night. It works out to over $30 an hour. I didn’t have money to pay it.
When I flew through Chicago on Southwest, one checked bag went to Ontario and the other went to LAX. Riddle me that.
Also this is the second time this year I flew from Baltimore to Ontario. Both times, in June and in November I had to sleep on a wooden bench in BWI airport. That averages out to 100% for sleeping on a wooden bench courtesy of Southwest.
When a passenger is removed from a scheduled flight that passenger is automatically the lowest priority for rebooking. It’s not first in, first out. It’s first in, last out. That makes absolutely no sense. I paid just as much if not more for my trip as the people allowed to fly infront of me.
I have flown Southwest exclusively since 2009. I have ten years experience so I know what I am talking about. Today’s Southwest service is significantly below what it used to be. Problems used to be rare. Now problems happen on every flight. I have flown Southwest nine times this year with a tenth trip scheduled in December. None of those flights were without issues. It used to be issues were rare now issues are the norm. One of the flight attendants suggested I quit flying Southwest. I am seriously considering it. When ever I complain about bad service, Southwest’s solution is to send me a Luv Voucher for free bad service. I pay for good service and that is what I expect.
I have never had another airline force me to sleep on a wooden bench in an airport. Not even Spirit or Jet Blue does that. Only Southwest. I made a sign that says “Disabled Vet forced to sleep on this wooden bench by Southwest Airlines” and I took pictures and a video. I will be posting them on Facebook and YouTube as well as sending them to local and national news agencies. I will tweet them to President Trump as well.
11-19-2018 08:30 AM - edited 11-19-2018 08:31 AMdfwskier
Well, it sounds s tough multiple things went wrong with your trip.
Just to be clear, this is a customer to customer forum. So your issues won't be resolved here.
It sounds as if you are sufficiently angry that perhaps you should share your story with Gary Kelly, Southwest's CEO. He probably won't respond to you directly, but your letter will be routed to someone high enough in the food chain to properly evaluate your compalint and respond to you.
I'd suggest you give it a shot to let the airline make things right.
Again, you can send Kelly a letter :
P.O. Box 36647
Dallas, Texas 75235
11-19-2018 12:08 PMcz7p4q
I will do that. I am an educated person as well as a frequent Southwest customer and I understand that nothing will be resolved in this forum. I want other Southwest customers and potential customers to understand loyal Southwest customer issues.
Again, Southwest’s solution will be to offer me free bad service vouchers. I really want Southwest to revert back to their original business model when service was stellar. A cheap flight with poor service and being left stranded in an airport multiple times only to arrive at the destination 24 hours after you were supposed to be there is NOT a sustainable business model. That is what happened to me on two consecutive Southwest trips.
11-19-2018 01:23 AM - edited 11-19-2018 01:30 AMPassenger1C
@cz7p4q Loyalty is priceless! I hear what you are saying about your experiences and can relate. Unfortunately often times employees get so used to giving the same spiel over and over again, they take the human aspect out of the interaction. It sounds like if SW at-least gestured to put you up in a hotel for the night, the most recent issue would be non-existent. Sorry to hear that SW is losing you as a passenger over $160.00. In my opinion, not every stranded passenger situation is black and white when weather comes into play.
As a fan of SW, I think you should give them one more chance. My hope is that they would restore your faith in them. Don’t forget you said you have been a loyal passenger since 2009. My rule of thumb is I generally give a business three chances to win back my business. After that.. it is what it is.
Best luck to you and thank you for your service.
11-20-2018 01:05 PMcz7p4q
It has been suggested that I give Southwest three chances. The reality is I have given them eight chances and been disappointed. This is not an isolated incident or even a rare incident.
I could tell you about Orlando last year where we boarded the plane at 4:15 PM and was still at the gate until 8:45 PM due to a passenger manifest issue. Flight attendants served no drinks or snacks the entire time. We were barred from leaving the plane. I asked for water and the flight attendant said very loudly so the entire cabin could hear “I don’t get paid until the plane leaves the gate and I am not working for free.” Another passenger had a bag of snacks for her kids and walked the aisle distributing them to passengers in need.
I already mentioned flying from Grand Rapids MI to Ontario CA through Chicago and having one bag go to Ontario and the other go to LAX, 85 miles away with no delivery option because it’s too far.
On this event, I had a ticket from Baltimore to Denver to Ontario. I was prevented from boarding the flight to Denver. The flight went to Denver with my luggage but without me. The first leg was not canceled for weather. It flew and arrived. Southwest violated my co
Dont get me wrong. Southwest has some excellent employees but they are becoming an exception not the rule. Martha at Ontario baggage claim is great. She helped locate my bag at LAX because LAX baggage claim wouldn’t answer the phone. She also took care of my luggage for this trip because it arrived 14 hours before me. Laura, the flight attendant on the BWI to Oakland flight is also great. She was very sympathetic and attentive. The gate lady in Oakland was also very helpful and helped me to my connecting flight gate. I am sorry I dont remember her name. So Southwest does have some capable employees.
I could tell you how arriving late Sunday night instead of Saturday as scheduled affected my wife’s early Monday morning major surgery but I won’t because it is too personal.
Doing the right thing is sometimes hard especially when no one is watching and you won’t get credit for it. I suggest you watch the movie “Music Within” and Southwest hires Richard to give their employees a motivational speech. He is also worth it.
11-20-2018 05:04 PMLindsey
Thank you for posting in the Community. Even though - as our other Members have pointed out - we aren't able to resolve Customer Service issues here, I still want to say that I'm truly sorry about the experience you had. Nobody can deny that spending the night on a bench is uncomfortable and unpleasant, and that's even if you don't have medical conditions making it worse.
You've expressed that you're frustrated, and I understand why. Still, I hope you'll accept my apologies on behalf of Southwest Airlines and consider giving us a future opportunity to provide the kind of experience you should be able to expect when you travel with us.
11-20-2018 03:10 PMmlogancpa
Southwest is much better than the stuffed shirts with the other airlines. I prefer them over ANY carrier. I had a horrible experience with another airline a few years back when I was traveling with 2 little boys, from Paris, France. By the time we got home we had been awake for 26 hours. And weather had nothing to do with. It was a cancelled flight that I suspect did not have enough passengers for them to waste their time and money on preserving goodwill. Try getting through an unfamiliar airport with two sleepy kids and 3 weeks of luggage at 1:00 a.m.