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Switching flights to avoid longer layover

pfrangie
New Arrival

I am not a Southwest-er when it comes to flying. I chose SW to fly to Aruba to accompany two friends and be together. On our return we had an opportunity to avoid a 3.5 hr layover in Baltimore due to a flight going to the same destination and departing in only 30 mins one gate away. After checking I learned that there were 4 seats available on this flight and no one waiting in the wings. Because we were not elitist members, they would not allow this switch without charging us 38,000 points. What? That flight left 30 minutes later with 4 open seats while we waited 3.5 hrs to later be delayed another 35 mins. Their response to my email ultimately stated that in doing so this is how they stay competitive to keep fares low on more popular flights. I rolled the dice when I booked. Who knows what will be available when that time comes and you're waiting. Poor customer service, but the reality is we are held captive by airline standards. Has anyone successfully pulled this off without being an elitist? By elitist I mean not just being a member and having a credit card. 

12 REPLIES 12
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Re: Switching flights to avoid longer layover

dfwskier
Rising Star

@pfrangie wrote:

  Poor customer service, but the reality is we are held captive by airline standards. Has anyone successfully pulled this off without being an elitist? By elitist I mean not just being a member and having a credit card. 


You  were held captive by rules- published rules.. Given that people will try to  abuse the rules (see any thread about pre boards on this forum for examples), people would try to abuse this rule, too - if given the chance.  People would book the cheap fares and then demand to be put of the flight they really want. The airline understands that, and prevents it from happening.

 

As far as "elitists" go, the airline understands that it is important to take care of it's best customers. They're called A-List and A-List Preferred. I'm sorry you dislike that, but the fact is that those customers are more important to the airline than you are.

 

Maybe if you tried harder, you too could be an "elitist."

Re: Switching flights to avoid longer layover

pfrangie
New Arrival

This is comical, judging from your history of posts it is very clear that you represent the organization in a benign status. Frankly this reaffirms that their actions are poor in choice.  Regardless of the outcome I enjoyed a sound night of sleep. Yes I will take my money elsewhere, which is my greatest voice. I appreciate your response and desire to coach me to elitist status, however I can assure you I am well beyond. LOL

Re: Switching flights to avoid longer layover

TheMiddleSeat
Rising Star

Southwest simply asked for you to pay the difference in fare between what you paid and what the flight you wanted to get on costs. You decided it wasn't worth the price so you had to wait for your scheduled flight. It's pretty simple. Yes, Southwest offers free standby to its frequent flyers as a nice perk to reward them. If you view that as elitist then that's your opinion. Status has its benefits on all airlines, including how they handle standby and schedule changes.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Switching flights to avoid longer layover

pfrangie
New Arrival

Again, much appreciated. It's my opinion. I do see that yet again Southwest has responded with one of its own. Historically your answers too have been quite precise in policy and procedure and supportive of SW. Frankly who has this much time to respond to that many concerned SW posts, an employee? LOL

Re: Switching flights to avoid longer layover

TheMiddleSeat
Rising Star

@pfrangie wrote:

Again, much appreciated. It's my opinion. I do see that yet again Southwest has responded with one of its own. Historically your answers too have been quite precise in policy and procedure and supportive of SW. Frankly who has this much time to respond to that many concerned SW posts, an employee? LOL


Not really sure what you're implying. We all have our hobbies, I and the other Community Champions enjoy helping fellow travelers and the time we spend is generally enjoyable despite some people who decide to attack and question our motives. None of us are employees and any Southwest employees that do respond are clearly identified as employees. Thanks for reviewing my portfolio of responses, I'm glad you find them precise, and hopefully they are a good resource for you and other travelers who may have questions in the future. Let us know the next time a policy isn't clear to you.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

 

 

 

 

Re: Switching flights to avoid longer layover

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Standby on Southwest is free with a full-price, unrestricted ticket (Anytime or Business Select), or is a perk of attaining A-List status (Southwest most loyal frequent flyers). You can upgrade your Wanna Get Away ticket to full-fare at the gate if you'd like to take advantage of standby. The rules are simple and clear.

Re: Switching flights to avoid longer layover

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

Southwest offers free standby to its frequent flyers as a nice perk to reward them. If you view that as elitist then that's your opinion. Status has its benefits on all airlines, including how they handle standby and schedule changes.


Every airline has a similar form of this @pfrangie with some variation as to how the fares are sold.  For Southwest when there are only a few seats left they may save those for standby from the regulars and not allow a free change to them. If there were a large amount of empty seats they may let you on even though the rules say that the fare difference must be paid.

 

Anyway - I hope you found O'Brycki's at BWI - I actually try for a longer layover at BWI when connecting there so I have time to eat some crab cakes. You may not have been in the mood after the international travel though.

 

 

 

 

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

Re: Switching flights to avoid longer layover

dfwskier
Rising Star

@pfrangie wrote:

This is comical, judging from your history of posts it is very clear that you represent the organization in a benign status. Frankly this reaffirms that their actions are poor in choice.  Regardless of the outcome I enjoyed a sound night of sleep. Yes I will take my money elsewhere, which is my greatest voice. 

 

Well the people that took somewhere around 160,000,000 Southwest flights last year (far more than United, American and Delts) seem to disagree with you.

 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/445641/united-states-domestic-enplaned-passengers-of-leading-air...

 

 

Re: Switching flights to avoid longer layover

ffflyer
Active Member

It's a stupid policy. SWA should allow ticketed passengers to take empty seats on a standby basis to the same detsination without any charges. SWA misses the opportunity to sell those empty seats on the next flight out. They are losing money flying planes with empty seats.