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Denied Boarding on Connecting Flight Because Standbys Already Boarded and the Inbound was Delayed

Cable-TV-Guy
New Arrival

My question for the forum is what have been your experiences with Southwest when your inbound flight is delayed and standbys have already been boarded on the connecting full flight you were supposedly confirmed on?  Did you receive any compensation?  When this happened to me, all I got was a $75.00 voucher good for 90 days on any full-fare ticket on that airline.   This happened in 2008 and the outcome was extremely unpleasant with me arriving home in at 3:00 AM almost five hours past my original scheduled arrival after having to take a taxi over 70 miles from the airport I was re-routed to. I've only flown twice since then, in 2010 and 2013. And, only taking direct flights.  After driving cross-country every year since,  I've decided that after almost eleven years to “put feet to my Christian faith” and give Southwest a chance with connecting flights. While my trips require connections, I've hopefully “padded” my schedule with enough time between flights so delays won't impact connections as much. Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance for your response(s)...

8 REPLIES 8

Re: Denied Boarding on Connecting Flight Because Standbys Already Boarded and the Inbound was Delaye

elijahbrantley
Rising Star
Solution

Southwest today always seems to manage connections very well. As a matter of fact, the most impressed I’ve ever been with SW was how they handled my connection from a delayed flight. 

 

It’s my opinion that if you’re close enough to arrive after they have cleared standbys, they might just hold the flight for you )or for you and several others, which may be the case). Of course, they will only hold for so long, and even if they don’t hold, I always hear them make multiple announcements for folks who are missing. So if you have a super tight connection, you must get to your gate quickly. 

 

At at the end of the day, every situation is unique, and it is up to the Ops and gate agents. But if you will be connecting, you might consider things like: are you connecting through a northern city airport in the winter or a TX airport in the summer or a FL airport in hurricane season? If so, you might choose longer connection times. I don’t like to have connection times under an hour and a half ever. Tight connections are amazing most of the time when things are running smoothly, but even with slight delays, that extra time is helpful!

 

Good luck!

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: Denied Boarding on Connecting Flight Because Standbys Already Boarded and the Inbound was Delaye

TheMiddleSeat
Rising Star

It's unfortunate that such a horrible experience 11 years ago has prevented you from flying much since then. In general, I think all airlines have gotten much better with connections, delays, and helping customers complete their trip without problems. Hopefully you'll give flying another chance and your travels are without incident.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Denied Boarding on Connecting Flight Because Standbys Already Boarded and the Inbound was Delaye

SWDigits
Rising Star

Following up on the statement from @elijahbrantley "I always hear them make multiple announcements for folks who are missing" --> this is exactly what happened when we departed on our flight from FLL last week.  They made multiple announcements for multiple passengers then the final announcement stated that all of the folks arriving from the Atlanta flight and heading to the boarded/boarding flight should proceed directly to gate B4 (I think that was the gate).  I presume they all made it.

 

@TheMiddleSeat people have looooong memories.  Speaking from personal experience.


Rick | Southwest customer | Home airport DCA | Community Champion
Highlighted

Re: Denied Boarding on Connecting Flight Because Standbys Already Boarded and the Inbound was Delaye

Cable-TV-Guy
New Arrival

Hi,

 

I want to thank everyone for their answers and encouragement.

 

I've willingly flown only once since then, in 2010.  Had a great trip.  But, that airline was acquired not too long ago by another airline.  Their customer service was outstanding.  But, their corporate existence was fought by competitors from its founding because of ownership and management.  Perhaps they feared the customer service one of its owners is renowned for?  The trip in 2013 was compelled due to a family situation.

 

As for the incident in 2008, I got to see the door being shut on what was supposed to be my LAS-IAD flight!  This was a RNO-LAS-IAD routing which ended-up being  RNO-LAS-BWI instead.  With the original routing, I would've been at home by 10:30 PM that night.  Instead, I got home at 3:00 AM as I live 70+ miles from BWI.  Imagine trying to get a taxi at almost 1 AM at BWI with a driver willing to take a fare to Northern Virginia!   BTW, I live under the downwind of 19L at IAD.  Between the way I was treated by that airline's representatives at LAS and BWI (and at IAD where I had to go to pickup my suitcase after putting in a day at work  (There was room on the original plane for my suitcase.  But, not for me!  I guess either the ramp people at LAS cared more about customers than customer service in the terminal did.  Or, freight was more important than people.), and being sent 70+ miles away when I live about 8 miles from IAD, it left quite an impression.  But, as we say in the business I just retired from, 'Customers give you one chance to make a bad impression.  Don't make it.'  As for the airline, while they are supposedly "legendary" for customer service, I didn't see it that day.  So, I'm taking a chance.  Perhaps it's not "fair" to judge an industry by one horrific experience with one business.  But, it happens in cable all the time!  If this flight goes well, I'll might try flying again.  There are a couple of places in Europe I'd like to go to next year.  I realize much has changed for the airline passenger "experience" since my first trip in 1965.  So, I'll see what happens and share with this forum how this trip with Southwest goes.

 

Thanks for letting me share.

Re: Denied Boarding on Connecting Flight Because Standbys Already Boarded and the Inbound was Delaye

SWDigits
Rising Star

@Cable-TV-Guy wrote:

There are a couple of places in Europe I'd like to go to next year.  I realize much has changed for the airline passenger "experience" since my first trip in 1965.  So, I'll see what happens and share with this forum how this trip with Southwest goes.

 

Thanks for letting me share.


That would be great for you to come back to share about your next experience with Southwest!

 

We love to travel and sometimes have to roll with the punches.  We just came back from Spain, obviously with another airline, and our flight back to the States was delayed a few days by hurricane Dorian (hooray for trip delay insurance courtesy of our credit card).  Then when we finally did fly home the flight was delayed a few hours because of a "technical issue" (hooray for lounge access courtesy of our credit card).  Even with the hiccups and delays there is no way in the world I would trade our time in Spain to avoid them.

 

I hope you have a great time and I hope you get to those places in Europe soon!


Rick | Southwest customer | Home airport DCA | Community Champion

Re: Denied Boarding on Connecting Flight Because Standbys Already Boarded and the Inbound was Delaye

Cable-TV-Guy
New Arrival

Rick,

 

With all due respect, if either I or the company I just retired from after almost 36 years of service, expected our customers to "roll with the punches", it's improbable that we would've celebrated our 120th anniversary last year.

 

The U.S. domestic airline business has changed much since "deregulation".  And, not much for the better from either the customer (passenger) or employee perspective.  For one thing, the tarmac is littered with the cremains of not just legacy carriers unwilling/unable to adapt; but the memories of "post deregulation knockouts"..  Carriers that tried entry but for a variety of factors, didn't survive.  And, there are the carriers which fell victim to the business dictum of "if you can't beat 'em, buy 'em".  As a result, there are fewer long-haul carriers now than perhaps the 1950's.  The absence of competition on too many routes has increased fares (except where "The Southwest Effect" applies) , lowered service standards, and depressed compensation for employees.   

 

That is why when I travel overseas, it'll likely be on a foreign flag carrier.  And, what I liked about Virgin America.  The employees seemed to value the customer.  It was probably the closest we'll ever see to a foreign flag carrier flying domestic U.S. routes.

 

Maybe I was Blessed where I worked because we had a customer-centric culture.  What was best for the customer was at the heart of our decision-making.  Our organizational charts were "hub and spoke", with the customer at the center.  Then again, our competitors referred to us as "the asylum designed and operated by the inmates"!   

    

 

        

Re: Denied Boarding on Connecting Flight Because Standbys Already Boarded and the Inbound was Delaye

SWDigits
Rising Star

Oh wow, it's amazing in a bad way how my tangential comments were interpreted.  That specific wording was in reference to my own travel experience where weather threw our plans out the window.

 

It makes me sad that you want to see more in Europe but haven't.


Rick | Southwest customer | Home airport DCA | Community Champion

Re: Denied Boarding on Connecting Flight Because Standbys Already Boarded and the Inbound was Delaye

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@Cable-TV-Guy wrote:

My question for the forum is what have been your experiences with Southwest when your inbound flight is delayed and standbys have already been boarded on the connecting full flight you were supposedly confirmed on?  Did you receive any compensation?  When this happened to me, all I got was a $75.00 voucher good for 90 days on any full-fare ticket on that airline.   This happened in 2008 and the outcome was extremely unpleasant with me arriving home in at 3:00 AM almost five hours past my original scheduled arrival after having to take a taxi over 70 miles from the airport I was re-routed to. I've only flown twice since then, in 2010 and 2013. And, only taking direct flights.  After driving cross-country every year since,  I've decided that after almost eleven years to “put feet to my Christian faith” and give Southwest a chance with connecting flights. While my trips require connections, I've hopefully “padded” my schedule with enough time between flights so delays won't impact connections as much. Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance for your response(s)...


My experience is primarily with Southwest these days, so I can't speak to the other guys.

 

My observations are that Southwest is not filling your seat with a standby flyer if they think you will make it. 

 

I have seen multiple times (and been that guy a few times) where the standby passenger waits until the very end of boarding to find out if a seat is available.

 

So I don't think this would happen unless for some reason they didn't think you would make it - pretty certain - and then something else happens where all of a sudden you did make it due to the connection being delayed at the last second. I feel like you would get more than $75 in this case, much more if you ended up delayed more than four hours. (There is some magic number, I don't know if it is four.)

 

The most likely scenario is that you make it, and then the next most likely scenario is that you miss it - there's some very slim remaining probability that everyone thinks you'll miss it and then you make it where you can stand there and watch the flight depart, this seems unlikely.

 

 

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