As a loyal customer with recent needs for wheelchair support, while flying out of Denver I experience great service all around and have had wonderful service once I can make it to the gate at all other airports. Outside of Denver, the challenges of actually getting service has not been as wonderful. In multiple locations, I’ve been unable to get help after dropping off my rental car. Dragging heavy luggage can have a terrible impact on my day. Additionally, I’ve now had to wait close to an hour for both arrival and departure service while here at Nashville. A gentleman next to me was also experiencing these problems.
We are asked to declare service needs before flights, so this should be something the agencies assigned to support Southwest can plan for. I appreciate that this service is available and we are not charged for it, but if Southwest is committed to providing these services, they should be easily accessible and reliable. I should know whether to allow for 10 extra minutes or an hour.
There is nothing enjoyable about being disabled and essentially at the mercy of others being available in order to get on a flight, but overall Southwest makes that less stressful. I’m willing to have the conversations about how to make this better but someone has to care first.
I appreciate your situation and understand your frustration so I thought I would add my two cents. Southwest does give Passengers the ability to add special service needs to their reservations. That said, the people providing the services are actually airport employees and work for the individual airports, not Southwest. I get that your upset that service isn't readily available once you get to the airport but since people arrive at the airport at all different times for their flights, assistants can't be waiting at the curb for each individual Passenger. That said, once the request is made at the airport, usually to a Southwest Employee by Southwest Passengers, that Employee will get that service to the Passenger as soon as possible. I hope this helps!
Unfortunately it doesn’t help at all when you’re disabled and cannot get service. At most Airports, Southwest contracts specifically with an agency to help. So why is my experience so very different when I fly to airports outside of Denver? It’s because Southwest is not holding these contractors to acceptable standards.
It also doesn’t resolve the fact that I can’t get from onsite rental car areas to the terminal. Unless you’re sitting there in their face complaining, you’re often not a priority.
I’d rather pay extra for a service I need to be reliable than to experience the problems I’ve encountered.
I also think there’s a part not being understood about how awkward it feels sitting in a wheelchair all herded together with others waiting like we are on display. You feel helpless and frustrated as you wait and wait for help. It’s not acceptable.
I don't know about the curbside service, I don't believe I have seen someone from SWA comes out to help peoples with needs at curbside. But, A few weeks after discharged from the hospital while on vacation out of state, I had a blood clot both D.V.T. and P.E. and I was cleared by the doctor for me to go home on airplane.
My daughter took me to the airport and she helped me with one of two luggage and I had a walking cane for a temporary times, due to my blood clot. The worse part is: TSA. after going through the screening process and by the time when I turned around and to my dismay, one of the passenger whom I don't know looked down at me accusing me for faking disability.
Long walk to gate wasn't easy by myself and ran out of breath, gave my writing note to let the boarding agent that I requires a front row seating that gave me enough room for my leg, not the disability for being deaf. They let me sit on front. By the time when my plane landed at MDW, another long walk to baggage waiting area and my brother picked me up.