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Bad Customer Service Experience at Midway

emilyftyler86
New Arrival

On Friday November 9th my flight from OMA to CLE was suppose to connect in Chicago Midway. The flight was delayed from 7:30pm to 8:50pm. At the desk in Omaha and on the plane they told us our connecting flights know to hold our flights. Despite being delayed, we still would've been on time. When we landed in Chicago, we sat on the runway for 35 minutes because they couldn't find a gate. They assured us our connections are holding for us. I ran to my gate. When another gentleman and myself got to the gate they had locked the doors and said we couldn't get on. They didn't hold the flight. They weren't able to get us to Cleveland until Saturday night- an entire day later.  I was only planning on being in Cleveland for the weekend to visit a friend so this ruined my travel plans I had been looking forward to. The desk agent was very apathetic to our situation. It took her 10 minutes to get a supervisor. The supervisor Dynna Rogers tried to get a hold of a manager and there was no manager on duty at the airport for Southwest. The supervisor was empathetic to our situation. She got me on a flight back to Omaha the next morning.  They gave us $200 vouchers for a later flight. Dynna Rogers, the supervisor, said this is not the way Southwest should handle a situation. If they said they were holding the flight and they didn't they are in the wrong. She said if we email corporate they should compensate us further. I emailed Southwest customer service Friday evening. 

 

Monday November 12th I got a response mid morning.  

 

Jeremy Bingham, a customer service agent responded to the email. They said they would not cover by Air Bnb that was nonrefundable- even though it was due to their issue my travel plans were disrupted.  They said they apologized and sometimes they need to decide not to hold flights even though they say they will.  He said they hope the voucher I received in Chicago will be used for another Southwest flight for a pleasant experience. 

 

I have been a loyal Southwest Customer for years. I feel that they weren't honest with us. The desk in Chicago and online corporate customer service gives misinformation on how they will handle issues.  

 

I would like to be compensated for my time lost of planned vacation and the Air Bnb but I don't think Southwest is going to do that. 

 

This experience has damaged my experience with Southwest. 

5 REPLIES 5

Re: Bad Customer Service Experience at Midway

dfwskier
Rising Star

Sorry to hear about your bad experience. It is disappointing to be told that something will happen, and then find out that it will not.

 

Although you didn't specifically say that you contacted customer service(edit add: yes you did say that you e-mailed customer service), some of your words indicate that you did, and that you did not receive the type of reply you wanted. I'd suggest that you write the CEO, Gary Kelly, a letter describing the situation, and being specific about what you'd want the airline to do to make things right. Kelly probably won't see the letter, but his administrative assistant will route it to the very top of the customer service food chain, where you will get a reasoned response.

 

Ironically, your situation caused me  to have a flashback to an identical situation in my past. It was 1982 (I think) and I was flying from Chicago to Lubbock with a connection in Dallas on Braniff airlines. My flight out of Chicago was running late, but I was prormised that Braniff would hold the Dallas -Lubbock flight for about 6 of us. That flight pulled away from the gate just as ours pulled in to the next gate over. Braniff employees didn't do anything to help us either, so we rented a car at 11pm and drove all night to get back to Lubbock.

 

I was so angry that I vowed that I would never fly Braniff again, and I did not.

Re: Bad Customer Service Experience at Midway

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@dfwskier wrote:

 

 

Ironically, your situation caused me  to have a flashback to an identical situation in my past. It was 1982 (I think) ...I was so angry that I vowed that I would never fly Braniff again, and I did not.


I think you put them out of business!

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Bad Customer Service Experience at Midway

dfwskier
Rising Star

@DancingDavidE wrote:

@dfwskier wrote:

 

 

Ironically, your situation caused me  to have a flashback to an identical situation in my past. It was 1982 (I think) ...I was so angry that I vowed that I would never fly Braniff again, and I did not.


I think you put them out of business!

 

 


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Re: Bad Customer Service Experience at Midway

emilyftyler86
New Arrival

Thank you I will try that emailing the CEO.

Re: Bad Customer Service Experience at Midway

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@emilyftyler86 wrote:

On Friday November 9th my flight from OMA to CLE was suppose to connect in Chicago Midway. The flight was delayed from 7:30pm to 8:50pm. At the desk in Omaha and on the plane they told us our connecting flights know to hold our flights. Despite being delayed, we still would've been on time. When we landed in Chicago, we sat on the runway for 35 minutes because they couldn't find a gate. They assured us our connections are holding for us. I ran to my gate. When another gentleman and myself got to the gate they had locked the doors and said we couldn't get on. They didn't hold the flight. They weren't able to get us to Cleveland until Saturday night- an entire day later.  I was only planning on being in Cleveland for the weekend to visit a friend so this ruined my travel plans I had been looking forward to. The desk agent was very apathetic to our situation. It took her 10 minutes to get a supervisor. The supervisor Dynna Rogers tried to get a hold of a manager and there was no manager on duty at the airport for Southwest. The supervisor was empathetic to our situation. She got me on a flight back to Omaha the next morning.  They gave us $200 vouchers for a later flight. Dynna Rogers, the supervisor, said this is not the way Southwest should handle a situation. If they said they were holding the flight and they didn't they are in the wrong. She said if we email corporate they should compensate us further. I emailed Southwest customer service Friday evening. 

 

Monday November 12th I got a response mid morning.  

 

Jeremy Bingham, a customer service agent responded to the email. They said they would not cover by Air Bnb that was nonrefundable- even though it was due to their issue my travel plans were disrupted.  They said they apologized and sometimes they need to decide not to hold flights even though they say they will.  He said they hope the voucher I received in Chicago will be used for another Southwest flight for a pleasant experience. 

 

I have been a loyal Southwest Customer for years. I feel that they weren't honest with us. The desk in Chicago and online corporate customer service gives misinformation on how they will handle issues.  

 

I would like to be compensated for my time lost of planned vacation and the Air Bnb but I don't think Southwest is going to do that. 

 

This experience has damaged my experience with Southwest. 


That stinks @emilyftyler86 - I was going to suggest that for anyone reading this to use hotel voucher/coupons that you should get before leaving the airport, but I've reread your reply and think maybe you mean the Airbnb was in Cleveland?

 

I think it would be a long shot to be reimbursed for that, I'm not sure what the delay was in finding a gate but if there was bad weather in the network Southwest would stick to the standard policy that they don't reimburse in that situation. (Chicago weather was fine as far as I remember? Why were the gates piled up so badly?)

 

It is also unfortunate that there wasn't a Saturday morning option, at least to standby since you had to stay in Chicago overnight anyway? If you were traveling solo that might be worth a try next time.

 

But all of that happens during air travel, the bigger issue is that it's not good customer service to say that they would hold a flight, and then not hold it. From the reimbursement standpoint I think the argument is that they might try to do that where possible, but at some point they can't hold that flight any longer - obviously there was an issue with gate access that evening and holding the CLE flight longer would contribute to other planes missing connections and it just keeps cascading into the evening. I hope it was an honest miscommunication by the flight staff where the decision was changed without their knowledge due to the time to find a gate.

 

The CLE leg is Schoedinger's flight - you don't know if they've held it until you get to the gate.

 

Anyway, your best bet would be to call back to customer relations and explain that the $200 voucher doesn't cover the expense of the delay and lost Airbnb stay and that you feel let down from the staff telling you the flight would be held, and it wasn't.

 

Customer Relations 1-855-234-4654

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.