We are traveling soon for the first time with an 18 month old and are wanting to treat her as a lap child. I read in the policies that we can do this.
before I read this policy, I purchased a seat for her.....(I know, I know)
My question: am I now obligated to bring a car seat and use the seat I purchased for her or can I just treat her like a lap child, bring her birth certificate and check in like it says we can with a lap child and then just leave the extra seat empty?
I would encourage the use of a car seat, strictly from a safety perspective. Any sort of unexpected turbulence and horrible things could happen with a lap child. But, to answer your question, I don't think you have obligated yourself to bringing a car seat as a child under 2 years of age can be a lap child. Car seat or not, you will want to check the child in as a ticketed passenger. Unless you purchased a child fare, you won't need a birth certificate as that is only needed for a free lap child or child fare. Additionally, when boarding the plane make sure the child's boarding pass gets scanned. Otherwise they will consider the child a no-show and could give the seat to someone else trying to get onto the flight, ruining your plan of having the empty seat. If the boarding pass is scanned, the child is included in the count, just make sure the flight crew knows child is ticketed if you decide to have her be a lap child so they aren't searching for a person when verifying the count.
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Interesting situation here...
First of all, any child under the age of two can be a lap child. You have to provide the brith certificate, and you can have the child added to your ticket via phone or up check in at the airport. Anything you read will tell you that this is not the safest way to travel, but sometimes, it is all that folks can afford. Keep in mind that with SW, there may be a seat beside you that is open, but that is a gamble. This has happened with us many times while we had a lap child, but you never know. Also, keep in mind that you can cancel the child's ticket, and the credit for what you paid can be re-used up to one year from the purchase date, I believe.
Since you already purchased the seat, I would keep it and bring the car seat. Two benefits: 1) the child's safety, and 2) you will ensure the car seat goes with you undamaged. SW does not cover damage to checked car seats.
If you want some additional thoughts, check out these:
@DancingDavidE, highly recommended, worked great for my little one. We also had a small section of that rubbery shelf liner we put down on the seat to prevent kid from sliding down/off the seat. Just a little tip for you.
My question: am I now obligated to bring a car seat and use the seat I purchased for her or can I just treat her like a lap child, bring her birth certificate and check in like it says we can with a lap child and then just leave the extra seat empty?
Usually it is the opposite - the benefit of a lap child is that they are free, but people would rather have an empty!
I don't think you are obligated to bring a car seat, and you'd be entitled to that empty spot when she's on your lap at take-off and landing, or other times.
you have asked a tough question. I am not completely sure of the answer but I think you would not have to use a car seat in the purchased seat for her unless you wanted to for safety reasons. But if the flight attendant decides the child needed to be in that seat for take-off and landing, it would probably be best to cooperate, even if the child is fussing. I have seen where an attendant required the parent to put the child in a purchased seat but I do not know if the request was being made because the child was over age two. The little guy was pretty miserable and wanted to be in mom’s lap, but fortunately, take-off does not last that long. Having the extra seat should come in handy for spreading out a bit during flight, even if she is in your lap for take-off and landing.
One hint for you. Do not give the child something to drink while the plane is boarding if you can help it. If she is thirsty during liftoff and can take a few sips then, it helps ease ear pain. I see parents give their infant a bottle trying to keep them quiet but then they are full when the plane takes off and can be inconsolable ( plus full if they get sick).
Good luck and I hope all goes well.
Thank you so much@elijahbrantley! I purchased one of the CARES systems just now-this solves my dilemma-so thank you!!!!
I was an employee of the now defunct Aloha Airlines and really looking to go back to working in the passenger serving airlines. Please let me know when is you will begin hiring, specifically for any Administrator, Passenger Service Agent or Flight Atendant positions in the Honolulu, Hawaii area. I would really love to go back to working in a job with passion and can hardly wait for your start up!
We are thrilled to hear that you are interested in joining the Southwest Airlines family in Hawaii! While we do not have positions posted at this time however, you can sign up for jobs alerts via email by visiting workfor.us/Southwest on a desktop, or clicking here on a mobile device. Until then, here's a fun video of the announcement of our intentions to serve Hawaii .
Mahalo piha for the information!
Would love to work for Southwest airlines when they come to Hawaii. Please let us know when we can start looking at the application process???
Southwest now serves 100 destinations across the U.S. and 10 additional countries, so if you’re looking to get away, there are always places to go and experiences to be had! Nobody knows a city and its hidden gems better than the Employees who live and work there. Check out a few of our Employees' favorite places in the Milwaukee area and share your hidden gems in our comment section below!
Milwaukee Art Museum, Lake Michigan, Miller Park, Harley Davidson Museum, Veteran's Park, Wisconsin Dells, Summer Fest, Wisconsin State Fair, Basilica of St. Josaphat, Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear, Milwaukee Public Museum, Pabst Mansion, Great Lakes Distiller, Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee Public Market
Interested in sharing your travel inspiration? Leave a comment below or visit our Travel Inspiration Discussion Forum to share your knowledge with Southwest Customers.
Museums, Drives, and Strolls… Oh, My!
“Art, history and science museums are located around the World, but there is only one Harley-Davidson Museum. The museum has over 450 motorcycles and a courtyard that overlooks the river. Another unique museum in the area is the Milwaukee Art Museum where visitors can view 30,000 different works of art. With its permanent collections and rotating exhibits, there is always something new to see.
For a beautiful, scenic drive in the historic area of Milwaukee, drive along Harbor Drive just west of Summerfest grounds as far south as you can go and then head east past the lighthouse. From there, I recommend driving around the Marcus Amphitheater and parking and walking along the island east of the Summerfest Grounds. You can also access the island near the Discovery World Science and Technology Museum on the shore of Lake Michigan.
I also recommend strolling through the lobby of the Pfister Hotel and visiting the Federal Courthouse across the street.”
—MKE Customer Service Agent Traci Bradshaw
“There are countless restaurants to dine at around Milwaukee. Ma Fisher’s is a great place to eat at any hour on the east side of the city! If you’re looking for a more unique experience with a side of intrigue, try the SafeHouse. The SafeHouse is a thrilling spy-themed restaurant, bar, and nightclub and a must-do Milwaukee tradition! It’s a popular speakeasy that requires a password to get in. Also, rent a bike and ride along the lake front or rent a kayak and float on the water. Tours of Miller Park, the Milwaukee Public Market, and the Lake Front Brewery are also a few of my favorites in the area.”
—MKE Customer Service Supervisor Jessica Roskopf
A Romantic, Italian, Hole-in-the-wall Restaurant
Located only 10 minutes from Downtown Milwaukee, The Pasta Tree is an Italian restaurant with a romantic atmosphere. The owner, Suzette is also the head chef and passionate about her restaurant. All sauces, pasta, and bread are made fresh daily right in the restaurant’s small kitchen, which has an open view as you pass from one quaint dining room to the next.
—MKE Station Admin Ann Greco
Day Trips, Bars, and Stadiums
Downtown is the place to visit in Milwaukee. A lot of bars are around Water Street—Pourman's is a favorite of mine. Bugsy's Back Alley Speakeasy is also a really cool roaring 20s style place with swing dancing and fun happy hours. If you’re a sports fanatic, make sure to check out both Miller Park (Home of the Brewers) and Bradley Stadium where the Milaukee Bucks play! And lastly, if you’re looking for family friendly fun, check out the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, fly kites at Veteran’s Park by the lake, or drive to the Wisconsin Dells and spend the day at a water park!
—Visual Communications Specialist and Native Milwaukeean Dennis McMurray
Since 2013, the Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community program, in partnership with Project for Public Spaces, has awarded more than $3.6 million in grants and placemaking technical assistance to 20 organizations across the U.S. and Mexico City to transform their public spaces into thriving community gathering places.
This year, the Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grant was made available to previous recipients between 2013 – 2016 to support the ongoing evolution and sustainability of their public spaces. We are proud to announce this year’s recipients and continue our support of these great places!
Through the Southwest Airlines Foundation, an advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, each grantee will receive $100,000 in initial project funding, as well as an opportunity for a $25,000 dollar-for-dollar fundraising match. Grant recipients will also receive technical assistance from Project for Public Spaces in specific areas that were identified as a persisting challenge, opportunity, or need.
DowntownABQ Main Street has begun a new phase of planning for Civic Plaza looking at strategic opportunities around micro-economic development, interactive art, and all-ages play and relaxation. This project seeks to support three areas of improvement: physical enhancements, new events, and self-led programs.
Physical enhancements will include added seating to both the large grassy area, as well as around the new spray fountain. The inclusion of colored banners and string lights under the trellised walkway will enhance night time enjoyment and create a more festive setting.
In response to the requests from downtown employees and businesses, a mid-week, lunchtime market will be implemented and a new partnership with Explora children’s museum will bring STEM activities to the plaza to supplement existing family-friendly events.
Additionally, more self-led activities like large scale chess, ping pong, and swings have also been a request from the community that DowntownABQ Main Street strives to fulfill. A second giant Adirondack chair, as well as semi-permanent interactive art installations, will bring more fun photo opportunities for residents and visitors of Albuquerque.
Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) strives to engage and attract a new, more targeted audience to Woodruff Park, as well as better meet the needs of current users from underserved communities. In order to attract younger park users, ADID plans to work with Spark Corps, a local design firm focused on social impact, to engage students from a local high school and Georgia State University (GSU) in co-design activities. Additionally, they seek to support and staff the Game Cart for one year with a social worker who will connect Park visitors in need to social services and teach students about empathy and homelessness in Downtown Atlanta.
Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) and Detroit 300 Conservancy will build on five years of established success through amenities, layout, and program additions and improvements that serve to enhance the visitor experience at The Beach at Campus Martius Park. Proposed additions include refreshed amenities, enhancement of existing events, and the creation of new programs and innovative experiences that are attractive to families with children and adults.
Every activity, program, and event will celebrate Detroit by involving local partners, artists, entrepreneurs, and vendors who reflect the personality and culture of the city.
A key part of the Park’s success is exceptional customer service and hospitality. With the growing popularity of The Beach, the DDP and Conservancy also aim to add a beach guest attendant to support new programming objectives and ensure a positive experience for all visitors.
This year, Big Car Collaborative and Indianapolis City Market will continue regular programmed hours for East Plaza and work with artists-in-residence to engage the community in interactive art activities designed to connect people of all different backgrounds.
The Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grant will support the addition of new programs related to food—like cooking classes, night markets, and community meals that bring people together. Attractive outdoor lighting, heaters, and fire pits will also be added to support new events in both the evenings and winter months.
Big Car and City Market will also build on their social services work with partners such as Horizon House, the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention, and the YMCA to better reach and provide assistance to underserved individuals and families.
Lastly, funding will aid in the development of approaches for sustaining programming by identifying and pursuing on-site sources of income, facility rental income, and grant and sponsorship opportunities.
Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy (DPPC) aims to further their placemaking mission in downtown Providence by activating a dormant space adjacent to the Imagination Center at Burnside Park. This space is a main entrance to the Park at the heart of Greater Kennedy Plaza.
The addition of new amenities, such as a flexible performance space/stage and artisan market stalls will support a range of events, community programming, and potential revenue-generating activity.
The Imagination Center will also receive some updates to its exterior, transforming it into a destination welcome center for tourists, highlighting public art, and providing information to connect community members to various services.
Existing programs will also be expanded earlier and later in the season in hopes of engaging new audiences, such as students on nearby campuses in spring, fall, and winter, as these are the future talent and workforce of Providence and the future stewards of our public spaces.
It really is amazing how a small act of kindness can make a profound difference in someone’s day…or life! We’ve all heard this saying a thousand times and have probably passed up opportunities to do something nice for someone else—I know I have! But last month I got to witness this firsthand when I enlisted the help of our Customers to send LUV to a child in need.
Here’s my story:
During boarding, a Customer stopped at the door and asked for a favor. I said sure! She wanted to know if she could take a picture of the plane because she was on her way to see her four-year-old niece who was having open-heart surgery. So after we boarded, I grabbed the PA and told the 140 Customers onboard what was going on and to show the LUV—and they nailed it!
Here’s the picture that this Customer shared with her niece.
A day later I received the following message on Facebook:
You don't know me, but you orchestrated an incredible moment that impacted my family and everyone that knows us in a magical way. My daughter Teagan underwent open heart surgery Friday. You had the pleasure of meeting my sister Amber.
That photo has created an overwhelming response for compassion and good. With all the crap going on in the world, it was a symbol that at the heart of everyone is the belief that love and kindness exist. I know you didn't do it for any personal benefit, but if I had my way, the whole world would know of you and of what you created. Thank you from the bottom of our now mended hearts! You are an amazing person, and I'm glad our paths crossed. God bless you. 💗 I'm sure this will not be the last you hear from me!
Along with this message was a family photo with little Teagan in the middle.
*An update on Teagan: After only 96 hours after open-heart surgery, she went home. Teagan had surgery on Friday, July 8, 2016 and left the hospital on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.
I am so glad that I was able to help Amber (Teagan’s Aunt) when she asked for a favor on the plane that day, and I am thankful that I work for a Company that lets us be ourselves. We are here to help our Customers, and as small of an act as it was, I did what I could to help this Customer. Thanks for letting me share my story, and best wishes to Teagan and her family!
Thank You for caring hearts going to help heal a heart. This is what makes your Airline a little more special! God Bless All in this wonderful picture!
Does anyone know of a site I can go to looking for possible point/mile donations? My grandpa passed away last night and would really like to make it for his service but I am unable to financially. I am a rapid rewards member but have very few points.my Name is Tarah Manning My rr# is20698370976 my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org in case anyone out there would be generous enough to transfer there unused points or help out..It is very hard asking for a helping hand but hopefully it will serve its purpose..I can provide hospice and or funeral info in case you would like to verify my story before donating..thanks for taking the time to read.hope to hear from u.
So I'm confused. We (my husband and I) will be travelling with our 6yo son. From my understanding we can do family boarding between the A & B classes. Would this leave enough room on the plane for 3 people to sit together? When DH and I went before (no child) I checked in right at 24hr mark and we got the mid 30's in the B class and the only two seats together were in the 2nd to last row of the plane.
Otherwise I thought about buying us all early bird checkin. Then I read that early bird does not mean you will be in the A class for boarding. So then I'm worried if I purchase early bird and we get assigned a B class that I paid extra for nothing since we could board earlier with family boarding.
Any advice would be appreciated! I don't mind paying the extra for early bird if it is a guarantee that we will sit together. Also, how do they decide your position with early bird? Is it when you first signed up?
Depending on the plane there are 143 or 175 seats. The A group is 1-60. The number of pre boarders is not known so the family boarding could stand around 70? With that said you should not have a problem finding seats for three if you board in the family group after the A's.
Early bird positions:
Customers who have purchased Anytime Fares will receive priority over Customer’s who purchase Early Bird with other fare types. Boarding positions are assigned based on the time stamp of the EarlyBird Check-In purchase relative to passengers within the same fare class.
I just purchased my firs Southwest airline ticket and opted for the Early Bird. The main reason is because I would be hard-pressed to find a computer to access on the return trip and would thus have a problem with that 24-hour check-in. I certainly see your point, if you're traveling with family and want to sit together. That would make me consider going with an airline that assigns seats, where you get both or all three together. That seems to be a drawback of the Southwest seating system, no assigned seats. I just purchased my ticket, and don't leave for three months, so hopefully this gets me a good seat. Good luck to you.
Cliff notes version: You should be fine at the time of family boarding for three seats together but probably have to go back to the wings or a little further.
Early Bird checks you in 36-hours ahead, basically guaranteeing that whatever the position is for checking in at 24-hours, you'd be at the front of that group, but behind A-listers, and still ahead of anyone that has a connecting flight that gets a few extra hours on the 24-hour limit.
Sometimes this is a late A-number, sometimes it is in the early B's...it isn't a guarantee of absolute position, only that you'll be checked in ahead of everyone else, whereever that happens to fall for that flight. Depending on the route there may be a lot of A-listers that would be in front of your EB check-in.
Anyway...I'd expect family boarding to be sufficient.
I believe the tie-breaker among early bird check-ins to be in order of purchase of early bird.
Thanks for the advice! I don't prefer to sit in the back of the plane but if that was my only option for us to sit together I would take it!
Good to know on how they decide the early bird. If I did purchase it soon I think we would end up in the A's since our flight is a long ways out yet.
Our daughter, Brittany, was scheduled to give birth by cesarean section in New York, where she lives, on December 1. Her mother and I live in Kentucky, but we always planned to be there for the big event. We booked our Southwest reservations for November 30, and although we were not packed yet, we pulled our suitcases from the attic. Our grandson, however, was on an entirely different schedule. At about 1:00 p.m. on the Friday following Thanksgiving Day, we received a text from Brittany that said, “In labor. On way to hospital.”
The Friday after Thanksgiving is surely one of the busiest days to fly—this was confirmed when we tried to book a flight to New York later that day. Although we live in Lexington, Kentucky (LEX), we are just over an hour from both the Louisville (SDF) and Cincinnati (CVG) airports. On that day, nothing was available on any airline from these airports—nor CMH, DAY, IND, BNA, or TYS, which are all about a three-hour drive—so we searched for next-day flights. There were scattered seats, but only singles. We were not only going to travel to New York on separate flights, but also from different airports. I planned to drop my wife off at LEX mid-morning on Saturday and then drive an hour to SDF to catch a later flight.
Meanwhile, it’s 10:00 p.m., and Brittany is still in labor. We’re booked, albeit on two different airlines from two different airports, and planned to meet at the hospital in Manhattan on Saturday evening to greet our newest grandson.
But just as I closed my laptop, I had an idea. I remembered that in my college days, I often flew standby. Weren’t those long gone student fares actually standby fares? As far as I knew, there was no way to book standby on any website, but I thought it might be possible if I spoke to an agent. I called Southwest to see.
When I explained our situation to the Customer Service Agent, she said, “Wait, just a moment. Let me check something.” Almost immediately, she returned to tell me that there were two, and only two, seats available on an early flight the next morning from SDF to ISP on Long Island.
“Would you like to book a seat?” Well, YEAH! Fortunately, we were within the 24 hour cancellation window for our separate flights on the two (ridiculously expensive and fee gouging) legacy carriers. And surprisingly, I was able to book the SDF to ISP flight with Rapid Rewards points at “Wanna Get Away” rates and a Companion Pass. How great is that?
I totally forgot about ISP, but Southwest came through to put both of us on the same flight to an airport only an hour-train-ride away from Penn Station. During our train ride, we received a text that baby Andrew was born healthy and happy, just like his mother. Although we didn’t make it to the hospital before he arrived, we were there only an hour or so later. I’m quite sure that after nearly twenty-four hours in labor, the new mom wasn’t quite ready for company until we arrived anyway. Thank you, Southwest!
While our operation has returned to normal after last week’s operational disruptions, Customer Contact groups are still working around the clock to respond to your inquiries for assistance.
The Customer Relations Team has been working extremely long hours attempting to connect with as many Customers as possible. Our Social Care Team works 24-hours each day and typically respond within minutes to our Customers. However last week, we were receiving almost as many posts per hour as we typically receive in a day. The same can be said of email and telephone calls.
While we typically interact with less than one percent of Customers who fly with us, last week the outage created a significant impact on many more Customers than we typically help in a month, and we have responded to more Customers in just the last week than we usually do in a month. That means we are working feverishly to respond to all requests Customers have made of us.
At this point, I recommend that if you have emailed us and are awaiting a response, please be patient. If you are still attempting to reach Southwest via telephone or Social Channels, I would go onto Southwest.com, navigate to the "Contact Us" page, and then select email. If you need in-the-moment travel assistance, then I recommend you Tweet us.
We genuinely regret that so many people were adversely affected, and hope that you will give us an opportunity to work our way to your request. We will do our best to create a win/win solution that will bring you back to fly with us again.
I will share my story that is on the other end of the customer service spectrum. I would describe as little or no customer service from several contacts at SWA.
My family arrived at the Little Rock airport Friday July 22 about 3:45 am for a flight to Oakland via St Louis. The SWA ticket counter did not open at the designated 4:00 am scheduled time--an ominous sign of things to come. Several minutes after 4:00, SWA agents opened the ticket counter. We--my family--was informed that SWA cancelled our flight to St Louis. Agent indicated we could fly through Dallas with a later arrival in Oakland. But wait--agent said no--could not book the seats. Real head scratcher. But---catch this---we could fly on Sunday. Remember we are at the ariport a few minutes after 4:00 am on Friday. I called SWA--not sure what number. Received lip service--no action/support. I did receive several canned 'sorries'. I wanted someone at SWA to take action not offer apologies.
Some info about the trip--planned well in advance. My teenage daughter spent hours on the vaction trip that was squeezed in given family schedules and before daughter headed off to college for the fall semester. We had a detailed daily itinerary that included hotels, events, activities, and restaurants. Sunday travel disrupts most of the plans. Surely SWA can help provide a solution.
I called a second customer service number and talked with a supervisor after more than an hour hold. Result--nothing. My conclusion--talk is cheap, action requires effort. I pressed for what considerations SWA would provide given the issue is caused by SWA and dumped in my lap. Response---no comment/info. I asked about policy---supervisor would not provide. The supervisor indicated that she did not want to provide info that might later not be provided. Surely SWA has a known policy in place for such circumstances. Supervisor said call back after trip is over. Wow--talk about deflection. Talk but doesn't answer any questions.
So I booked a flight to Oakland through Delta at a much greater cost. My family arrived in Oakland and checked in our hotel early Saturday morning. The entire trip--from the 4:00 checkin at the SWA ticket counter in Little Rock to destination hotel--took almost 24 hours. Our original plan had arrival in Oakland in afternoon followed by wine tour in NAPA Valley and dinner at Iron Chef Mori Motos' restaurant. To summarize the support from SWA customer service at this point--little to none. SWA did not help resolve my flight issues to Oakland on Friday.
Now, we are back at home from the trip and I follow the suggestion of the customer service supervisor from the departure date--call back after trip is over for consideration.
So I am on the phone again. After about an hour wait, I talk with a SWA customer service agent. I request a refund of the unused SWA tickets. SWA will refund the ticket cost as a credit to my credit card---in 7 to 10 days. I am not clear about the delay. SWA is capable of charging my credit card the same or following day of making a flight reservation. Next topic of conversation---how will SWA participate in the flight cost for Delta Airlines on the Friday when SWA cancelled the departure flight? Agent managed to not provide any info. Surely SWA has a policy in place that the agent can disseminate to customers. Agent advised me to submit a Service Request providing details and supporting costs. I submitted the Service Request and received the following info.....Please allow 30 days from submission for processing. Not a joke---I couldn't make up this stuff.
Over the whole ordeal---I don't know how many times I received the standard 'sorry about the inconvenience'. Or the disingenuous recorded message---Your call is important to us. Sorry for the inconvenience.
On reflection given my experience and contacts with SWA customer service, I can't say that customer service provided much if any value. I spent over 2 hours on hold to receive little or no valuable info.
I was unfortunately caught up right in the middle of the SW computer issue on July 20-21. For me, the problem started in Ft. Myers, FL when I boarded what I thought was a flight to IND that wound up in ATL. I was running a tad late, was sent to the wrong gate for an airplane already boarding (so I didn't hear the preboard announcement), got a pleasant "ding" when my boarding pass was processed under the scanner boarded, sat down and relaxed for what should have been a 2.5-3 hour flight to IND, but in fact was a little over an hour long to ATL. When the flight attended said "Welcome to Atlanta," I knew I was in for a long day (and night as it turns out). While computers do crash, it how companies handle the problem that matters and the SW team in ATL was outstanding. I eventually made it home, but not without the great assistances and professional help provided by several ticket and gate agents in ATL. In particular, I want to thank Alam Taulton, a customer services supervisor. Alma listened to my story and quickly worked to resolve my problem. Needless to say, I was not the only traveler having problems that day, but Alma treated me like I was her only customer and managed to find me a flight home. For Alma and the rest of the SW team in ATL, thank you.
I submitted a stolen item claim. I was promised a call back with in 24-48 hours it has now almost been 30 days and no one chas called or resonded to the stolen items that took place at the ATL airport. There still hasnt been a follow up and this should not be the way business is handled
Since there is a 40-50 minute wait time every time I call and no way to receive a call back from your corporate custom relations number (855-234-4654), I reluctantly decided to send you a detailed picture of my horrific experience flying Southwest this past week. I am actually sitting on hold as I type this…
The nature of my trip was business, a broker seminar in Hartford, CT. I flew out of San Diego with a layover in Chicago's Midway airport. On Flight 1419 departing from Midway to Hartford, our planes right engine failed, resulting in an emergency landing at O'Hare. This is something I have never experienced in my fairly extensive flying experience, so you can imagine it was a very scary event. One thing that was extremely concerning was, after watching flames come out of the right engine (I was sitting just above the wing), immense turbulence, drops through the air and much fearful confusion from everyone aboard, it took the flight attendants and captain 15 minutes to even let us know what was happening and make an announcement. Allowing a full flight of your customers to sit in idle panic with no explanation was unacceptable customer service and seemingly improper protocol.
Since Southwest does not fly out of O'Hare, we had to hook the compromised plane up at a United gate and United proceeded to take very good care of us after our brief and extremely rattling flight. We were then told to come check back in an hour for answers on how we would now get to our final destination of CT. After five hours of checking back every hour on the hour with no real news or update, a SW plane and some semblance of Southwest staff arrived to fill us in on next steps. We boarded the plane with much confusion about order and took off. Our flight finally landed in CT around 10:45 pm. At that point, I had been up since 4 am San Diego time.
As we sat in wait for hours on end at O'Hare, I was actually supposed to arrive in CT around 4 pm, in order to make it to a 6 o'clock dinner reception that I was speaking at. I cannot tell you how much it outraged me to miss this crucial piece of my business trip.
Fast forward to this past Thursday June 14, when I called Southwest to update my Friday, June 15 flight to depart CT @ 12:30 instead of 4:45. I had to call because, as I later found out, there were "glitches" on the website that prevented me from updating my flight myself. I spoke with a woman named Leah out of Oklahoma City. Throughout the course of our 1 hour and 15 minute phone call, Leah was sweet but very slow and unmoved by my dilemma - putting me on numerous holds (lasting 20 and 30 minutes). I called thinking I was simply updating my flight and stepped outside of my business seminar to make the call, but apparently Leah discovered there were many "errors" connected to my return flight and account that had to be straightened out. I lost over an hour of my seminar, mostly on hold, in excruciating and mindless agony, for Leah to perform a task that should take no more than 10 minutes of a customer’s time and I should have been able to do myself. Leah put me on hold for 30 min without ever checking back to take a pulse with her customer and let me know she was working with a manager, the system, etc. she just let me sit there, wondering if she would ever come back and when she did come back on the line after 30 min, she was actually laughing it off and apologizing as an afterthought for the long hold. I have worked in a call center and consistently in customer service and this is just not acceptable. It was not until I began sobbing out of frustration (yes, sobbing - listen to the tape) that she began to take me seriously and offer any sort of viable customer service and successfully update my flight. I then asked Leah if I could speak with her supervisor, she put me on hold again (this time only 10-15 minutes) and then came back to tell me she couldn't get her supervisor and she suggested I call the corporate customer relations line. Which I did - about 10 times since last Thursday and every single time there is a 40-50 minute hold time, with no way to leave a call back number and receive a call from someone, anyone. I assume this strategy is because you guys hope angry customers will eventually give up calling. I also sat on hold for 45 minutes and managed to speak with a supervisor named Bobby – out of Albuquerque who was extremely unhelpful and would not even oblige me by taking notes on my account to document that I had called trying to receive help with my return flight errors.
Throughout this horrific experience, I have lost 7 + hours of time on a business trip, been scared for my life at the engine failing with no reassurance from SW staff, and been frustrated beyond imagination. The frightening moments during the engine failure that have been left unexplained would have been enough to make me question your airline but that has now been compounded with repeated and extremely unsatisfactory customer service.
I received a $200 voucher as recompense for my "inconvenience" which I have to tell you is just not going to do it. This in no way makes me, as a customer, feel whole again after such a terribly inconveniencing and scary experience. In my opinion, as someone in sales and client retention, a billion dollar company like Southwest should have called each and every customer affected by this engine failure, explained in a clear and concise manner what it was that even happened and WHY it happened - apologized for inconveniencing everyone (especially affecting the livelihood of those individuals on business trips) and provided vouchers refunding the entire trip. This would have been a more appropriate response, instead you sent an email with a $200 voucher, which comes off as a last minute consolation, not a true apology for the frightening experience and incredible amount of lost time. I have been a loyal customer, exclusively flying Southwest since I was an infant and always stuck with you - loving your rapid rewards program and otherwise, great customer service, but I am beyond disappointed with my experience and will now be vetting other airlines.
I know this letter is lengthy but please take it to heart and consider methods to avoid the above customer service blunders in the future, if you wish to avoid losing further business.
While I can understand what happened last week, I have still been unable to resolve an issue from JUNE! I was flying a puppy back from Las Vegas to Milwaukee. When I had to reschedule my flight, customer service told me I better make sure the pet carrier met Southwest standards as stated on their website. So, in a panic, I order a Southwest Airlines pet carrier on June 29 with 2 day deliver since the 4th of July was coming up. I called and emailed customer service on July 3rd to find out if I could get tracking information on when the carrier would be delivered since my flight was on Friday. No one responded. On Wednesday the 5th I called and left another voicemail, and emailed again on the 6th. On July 7th, I left work in a panic to pick up a carrier at the pet store and make my flight on time. As of today (7/26/17) I have still not received the pet carrier and no one from Southwest has been in contact with me. I have filed a dispute with my credit card company since the charge is still there. I paid an additional $17 for 2 day delivery and I STILL do not have this bag. Obviously I no longer need it, my puppy came home just fine, but I was very dissappointed that no one has contacted me or credited my account.
I want to send a special thank you to the Southwest Airline Team and Captain. I was scheduled to fly from San Jose CA to Burbank on Flight 2803 when I received an unexpected call regarding a family emergency. I was in a panic as I was speaking to the attendants at the check in station. I asked to get my luggage pulled as I wasn't going to by flying and needed to drive home (2 hours away). I was told all luggage was already on the plane, so it would go to Burbank then onto Las Vegas before it returned to San Jose. She said she would have it flagged so it could be pulled and put safe into unclaimed baggage. I was asking for a time frame as another attendant was calling my name over the intercom. I went over to speak with her, to let her know I wouldn't be boarding the flight. I didn't realize the Captain was also standing nearby, they both went aboard the plane but only the attendant returned. She told me the Captain was not going to leave the ground with my luggage on board. This act of kindness sent me into another pool of tears. I was not able to catch the Captiain's name, but his willingness to leave late to ensure my bag was pulled was both very kind and heartwarming. I was able to make it home with my luggage in tow and be with my family. Thank you Captain, your kindness and concern for my family emergency puts a new perspective on the Southwest Airline Heart! I am so very grateful that you were the pilot that day!
I got through-after approximately an hour on hold--and was able to talk with a SWA customer representative.
My takeaways from SWA customer service.....
1. refund of unused flight tickets---takes about 7-10 days to process. No explanation provided as to why the delay. The ticket charges appear the same or next day on my credit card account. Seems to me that process response should be similar for charges and refunds.
2. service request.....
Please allow 30 days from submission for processing.
More delay--common theme.
The true test of customer service is not when things are running smoothly but when the system is under distress/duress/chaos.
Our family is seeking reimbursement for expenses we incurred 21-23 July 2016 due to the SWA computer issues which delayed our travel two additional days.
On July 21, 2016, our flight from MSP to LAX was canceled and the soonest available flight through SWA was two days later. The SWA agent at the MSP airport and the SWA Customer Service phone operator told us to contact Customer Relations in order to address the expenses we would incur. They also said to submit any expenses incurred and SWA would be addressing the issue soon.
On July 26, 2016 we called Customer Relations and they told us SWA would be addressing the delay issue soon and they would be sending an email but they could not address the reimbursment issue at this time.
Until this incident, SWA has provided us with great service and we hope that they will stand by their word and good reputation and reimburse us and anyone else who incurred expenses due to this delay.
Planning a family vacation this summer. I'm a litttle confused on the REAL ID question. The DOT site makes it even more so. We are traveling to and from states that are compliant but I'm not sure if you need the REAL ID (the one with the star on your DL) or not. I'd like to know so I can get it taken care of if need be.
The real ID is mainly affected by your home state - i.e. whether your driver's license is compliant, it's not affected by the states that you are traveling to and from.
As far as I know right now each state is currently either complying with the program or has been granted an extension through the fall. A few states got their extensions relatively recently so you'll see 2017 articles that list some non-compliant states. https://www.dhs.gov/real-id and American Samoa is on the non-compliant list.
One thing I'm not sure of - the articles all mention compliance by the state, but not that an individual has to get the new ID immediately when it is available. The state's compliance status assumes an implementation period.
From https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs - it doesn't actually say that a passenger must have REAL ID, only that your ID must be issued by a compliant state...
Starting January 22, 2018, passengers who have driver's licenses issued by a state that is not yet compliant with REAL ID and that has not received an extension will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel. Please see TSA's website for a list of acceptable forms of identification. Passengers who have licenses issued by a state that is compliant or that has an extension to become compliant with REAL ID requirements may continue to use their licenses as usual. For a list of states already in compliance or with an extension visit DHS's REAL ID webpage. DHS continually updates this list as more states come into compliance or obtain extensions.
Dear Southwest Airlines,
I would like to introduce myself, my name is Kimberly Juday from Rhode Island. I am a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Five years ago, a love story made a huge landing in my life. I met a guy from Los Angeles, California, named Orjo Intia (pronounced: Or-Joe.) He is a Health Information Management Technician at a hospital. Orjo and I started a friendship for a couple of months that consisted of phone calls, text messages, and video chats. As those few months went by, he flew over 2,000 miles (2,579 to be exact!) on Southwest Airlines to Rhode Island in January 2012 (his first time ever to the state of Rhode Island) so that we could see each other in-person and see if there was more to this friendship.
Even though Orjo and I lived over 2,000 miles away, on Jan. 27, 2012, we became an official boyfriend and girlfriend couple and started a long-distance relationship. Every couple months, we would take turns buying plane tickets from Southwest Airlines to fly out to see each other. We've been together now for five years.
In May 2015, it was my turn to fly out to Los Angeles to see Orjo. During this trip, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and of course I said "YES!". Even though we are engaged, we are still in this long-distance relationship until the wedding. The wedding is going to be in my home state of Rhode Island, so it is easier to stay in Rhode Island through all the wedding details. We have set our wedding date as Sept. 9, 2017 in Rhode Island. We have made our wedding theme as "Love is in the Air". We already started our hashtag on Facebook and Instagram: #LoveIsInTheAir9917 and #KandOHereWeGo9917.
Our relationship became official with the help of a plane ride from California to Rhode Island on Southwest Airlines, so we know that there's no better theme to symbolize and celebrate our wedding day than this. Our relationship is long distance and is never complete without one of us flying to each other's state. Flying Southwest Airlines has kept our love together through this long-distance relationship and it will always have a special place in both of our hearts.
As I mentioned, our wedding theme is LOVE IS IN THE AIR. We wanted to take this opportunity to share our story with you and also wanted to let you know how much Southwest has been a part of it. We plan on celebrating the Love is in the Air theme by incorporating airport, airplanes, and travel at our wedding reception. We are expecting around 180 guests,traveling from all across different states.
Thank you again for being a part of our love story, especially the opportunity to take our engagement photos at Southwest Airlines terminal. Carl and Linda (Operational Supervisors at the PVD airport) really made us feel welcomed when we were having our photos taken last month.
Kimberly & Orjo