Months ago I booked a trip on Southwest to fly to Florida for my mom’s 80th birthday. My sister and brother were also flying in, Our flight was a nonstop out of Chicago Midway to Orlando 9:45 Sunday Feb. 11. Saturday night we received an email saying our flight was canceled. We rebooked. Sunday morning after arriving at Midway, we received an email saying our new flight was canceled. We rebooked on our phone. We printed our boarding passes at the airport kiosk. As we walked away, we looked at the board for our gate # and saw that our newest flight was canceled. We then stood in line for over 2 hours after putting in a call to customer service and being told we would get a call back in 69 minutes. While in line we purchased flights for 8:20am Monday 2/12 for which we paid almost $1000, since we knew by the time we reached the front of the line those would not be available. We incorrectly assumed we would be able to work out the logistics and refunds later. We booked a hotel room, obviously incurring more cost. The next morning, 2/12, after getting through security and sitting down to breakfast, we called SWA to attempt to get a refund for the money we had put on our credit card for the rebooking. The SWA employee who took the call interpreted us asking for a refund as meaning we wanted to cancel our 8:20 flights and did so without the slightest clarification. We were then told , “our apologies but now that flight is sold out”. From our understanding, SWA is claiming this is all weather related. Every Delta flight flew out of Midway on 2/11. There was no weather. It was a clear day. This all resulted from an airline employee apparently not ordering de-icing fluid in Chicago in February. That is genius. Additionally, the airline clearly knew they had no de-icing fluid by Saturday night when our original flight was canceled, but didn’t want to publicly admit it so lied to their customers and let us all jump through their hoops all day Sunday. We were also lied to by an SWA employee over the phone and in person at the airport regarding the reason for the cancellations before “word got out”. We have flown Southwest exclusively for the past 15 years, approx 5 round trips/year. I realize at this point that the entire Southwest mantra is just publicity hyperbole.. I know we are only 2 people so the company doesn’t care. That has been made abundantly clear to us the past 2 days. Social media, however, has a funny way of equalizing the playing field. You have my permission to print this testimonial in your in flight magazine.
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