Jul 12 2006

Beefing: Southwest Airlines Sucks

Published by at 6:52 pm under Personal,Travel

Southwest Airlines Contact Information
Two consecutive trips on Southwest — my primary conveyance between home and work — and I’ve been boned in Baltimore. First time was in June when the flight leaving Providence was hopelessly delayed by thunderstoms. I asked the gate geek if I would make my connection to Raleigh, and being told that I would I boarded the plane, only to land in Baltimore to find the Raleigh connection had departed five minutes before. Stranded in Baltimore, I went to the bank of telephones in the baggage area and started dialing for a room to spend the night. Hah. No one had rooms. So I went to the Southwest ticket counter where I was handed a green slip of paper with an 800 number on it. Some outsourced displaced persons service that also said there were no rooms. Okay, guess I was going to sleep on a bench, but I kept dialing and finally found a cancellation at 1 am, paid $150 for four hours use of a mattress and shower. I didn’t even expect Southwest to pony up for the pain in the neck. Weather is weather. But getting sympathy in the form of a green slip of paper that doesn’t work just sucks.

So there was that.

Now I sit at Baltimore, having deduced, on my own, that the connection to Providence was yet again delayed. First beef: Southwest’s mobile site for phone access only permits one to check in for a flight, not check status. So I went to the normal site, waited a few minutes for the thing to load, pecked my way through the menu on my Treo and found out the flight was seriously delayed. I immediately called home, alerted my son not to leave too soon to pick me up, and went to the flight monitors which only stated the flight was delayed.

Okay. Lots of passengers are eavesdropping on my conversation and start bumming out and dialing to warn their pickups that they too will be delayed. Second beef: Is there anyone at the gate making announcements? No. So I go to the ticket counter where a very bored guy confirms that indeed the flight is delayed. Finally, after he got tired of one individual after another asking him what was going on, he made an announcement, well after the original departure time.
Ticked off, I fired up the laptop, logged into Southwest.com and tried to send an email to them to essentially say, “Hey, would be kind if you warned passengers on a timely basis about delays so they can make plans, etc.” No serious rant, just a suggestion. Steven O’Grady makes the same.
And then I find this, my third beef:

E-mail Policy – Why We Don’t Accept E-mail

Call us traditional, but we elect to steer clear of the chat-style, respond-on-demand, quick casual format and focus on meaningful Customer dialogue. This is not because we don’t care. It’s because that style counters our commitment to Customer Service.

Our Customers deserve accurate, specific, personal, and professionally written answers, and it takes time to research, investigate, and compose a real business letter. We answer every letter we receive in the order it arrives, and we streamline in order to keep our costs low, our People productive, our operating efficiency high, and our responses warm and personal.”

Great, except the customer service line closed at 5 pm. Losers. So I go to their blog to vent my spleen and knock off a few hats and I find this under the rules of engagement, my fourth beef:

“One final disclaimer — the Southwest Blog is not the forum to address personal Customer Service issues. All of us have “day jobs,” and we simply don’t have the resources through this blog to resolve individual concerns. Even though this is not the forum, Southwest is eager to resolve your concerns. Our Customer Relations/Rapid Rewards folks want to assist you, and you can contact them by mail at Southwest Airlines, Customer Relations/Rapid Rewards, P.O. Box 36647, Dallas, Texas 75235-6647; by phone at (214) 792-4223; or by fax at (214) 792-5099. For reservations, please visit southwest.com or call our Reservations Center at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792).”

Okay, so no email beefs. No blog beefs (but I can submit a funny caption to their photo contest and read about the forthcoming Chili cookoff). Bottom line: pick up the phone (when we’re answering it) or lick a stamp. So progressive. This is one of the existential horrors of the travel life.

Just for grins I went to southwestsucks.com. They get bonus points for registering that domain:

Southwest Airlines strives to maintain a high level of Customer Service and is proud of its corporate reputation and responsiveness to its Customers. As part of that effort, Southwest wants to control the release of inaccurate and irresponsible information about the Company via the Internet. If you would like more information on Southwest, please go to www.southwest.com.”

So I’ll sound off here.

There isn’t a single airline except for JetBlue that at one point or another flipped me out into vows of “never again.” I was able to avoid United for a decade. I cheered when TWA died. I’ll suffer, but not in silence. And I’ll continue to fly on Southwest, the Greyhound of our times, wedged into the center seat with the wheeled baggage people, the babbling cell phone teenage girls, the angry salarymen and the Clampetts, figuring out their delays on my own.

119 responses so far

119 Responses to “Beefing: Southwest Airlines Sucks”

  1. tecosystemson 13 Jul 2006 at 12:47 am

    Why Do I Have to Go to the Counter When My Flight is Delayed?

    This past Tuesday evening around 4:00 PM, I was sitting in the bar at Logan trying to put off a trip down to C32 to board my flight to San Jose. I was not particularly eager to make the trip,…

  2. MeridithLon 13 Jul 2006 at 12:34 pm

    I had a horrible Southwest experience last summer when I was flying back to Albany Airport from San Diego. I too went to Soutwest’s web site to lodge a complaint, only to find, like you, that they don’t accept feedback via e-mail. Since I was so p.o.’ed about the experience I had had with them, I wrote a letter expressing my dissatisfaction. Several months later, I finally received a mildly satisfying response.

  3. /Messageon 18 Jul 2006 at 7:21 am

    David Churbuck on Southwest Doesn’t Get It

    In a world where the Cluetrain has changed the way corporations (theoretically) interact with customers via the Web, David Churbuck chronicles the fact that Southwest Airlines doesn’t get it. No email to customer support allowed, no web forums, terrib…

  4. c. mcmunnon 06 Aug 2006 at 10:38 am

    SUBJECT: LOST BAGGAGE CLAIM WITH SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

    Aviation Law says that the Airline has responsibility for
    the passenger’s lost luggage, so why is it that SWA can say they do not have to be responsible and deny my claim?

    It has become apparent that Southwest Airlines will say anything to avoid taking responsibility for my lost luggage and are refusing to acknowledge the fact that
    they lost my luggage.

    To state in their July 27, 2006, correspondence to me that I picked up my bag in San Diego 36 minutes after my plane landed is very disturbing to me and is COMPLETELY FALSE.

    The Southwest Agent, both in San Diego and in Dallas, is lying about the events that have taken place and Southwest Customer Service is perpetuating that lie. In fact, the Southwest Dallas baggage dept rep told me, on the phone, that Southwest was wrong about my picking up the bag and that the Agent closed out the wrong claim. FURTHER, the Agent told me that Agents close out the wrong claims quite often and moreover, it happens all the time, but not to worry because they would locate my bag. Customer Service Claims Agent Jennifer, Lost Baggage Dept in Dallas, also told me that the Agent closed out the wrong claim. These people are vile.

    I am outraged by Southwest’s responses to my attempts to resolve my claim. I am outraged that Southwest is basically calling me a liar and are insinuating that
    I have filed a false claim for lost baggage.

    Here are the facts:
    1. I have a claim ticket and I have no bag.
    2. My Mother is a witness that I checked the bag at the curb in Las Vegas and a witness to the fact that the bag did not come off the carousel in San Diego.
    3. My husband and my Mother are witnesses to the fact that there is no way I picked up the lost bag at San Diego Airport, because my husband picked me and my Mother up at the airport and drove us home. My home is 45 minutes from the airport. They are both witnesses as to where I was at all times on that evening.
    So, how could I have possibly picked up the bag within 36 minutes of my landing
    in San Diego!

    Does Southwest Airlines have my signature on any document that says I picked up the bag? NO!

    Why would Southwest Airlines mail me a claim form if they knew I picked up the bag? I never picked up my bag because they never found my bag, and that is why
    they sent me the claim form.

    I have reviewed Southwest’s Contract of Carriage and I followed the procedure for filing a claim for lost baggage. SWA tried to use the argument that my claim was without merit because other passengers with lost luggage called the 10 times a day and because I didn’t my claim is questionable. Their argument makes absolutely no sense at all. To constantly compare me to what other people do when they lose their luggage is absurd. A

    Another point SWA is using to deny my claim is because I checked a box on the claim form inaccurately when asked if had ever filed a claim with any other airline. I had filed a claim with America West in October 2005 for a lost bag but what does that have this claim! It has absolutely nothing to do with my claim to Southwest Airlines for losing my luggage. The inference that I have filed a false claim is insulting. I have receipts for most everying in my luggage; do you think SWA asked to see my receipts….NO! SWA has not located my bag and they will use any excuse they can to avoid responsiblity for my loss.

    I am appalled and disgusted with Southwest Airlines and the position SWA Customer Service people have taken with my claim, and I absolutely plan to pursue my claim and take further legal action.

  5. Johnon 20 Sep 2006 at 10:36 am

    I will NEVER EVER fly Southwest again. At this very moment, if my company tells me to fly this crappy airline again I will quit – I am not exagerating. The service is terrible and the on-line check in is complete bull s***t. I arrived at the airport 3 hours early (still on east coast time and flying out of Vegas so I’d been up since 3:30 AM). only to find I pulled a “C” reservation. Three hours early and I get bleacher seats!!!!! Un f***ing believable.

    Then I try to get someone to do something about it and everyone I spoke with hands me the same canned answer: “that’s just the way it is.” That’s not the way it is – I know damn well that they can make exceptions and make room. But “that’s just the way it is” is the official company answer? Must be, because EVERYONE from Southwest is saying that to me. It’s obvoius they just don’t give a damn and have decided to treat their customers as cattle.

    I travel a lot and I use to be in the service industry so I know things can get overwhelming – I have complained about service exactly three times in my life – this being the third. The check-in got me ticked off, but the attitude I’ve encountered from every SW employee just pushed all the wrong buttons for me.

    As soom as I get back into the office the first thing I’m going to do is take a walk to the travel agents office and shove a Jet Blue brochure two feet up her wazoo.

  6. site adminon 20 Sep 2006 at 11:09 am

    You learn to remind yourself to check-in online exactly 24 hours before your departure (no sooner, because for some reason southwest.com won’t let you check-in any sooner than 24 hours before). The key is to score an A boarding pass and then stand in line at the head of the cattle chute so you can score the coveted “first class” seat in the emergency exit (the one with no seat in front of it.).

    A C pass is a ticket to a center seat.

    I don’t hate SouthWest. It’s the bus, only with wings. It gets you there and that’s what counts.

    JetBlue opens up direct service on my main route — Massachusetts to Raleigh, NC later next month. I am there, not so much because I like JetBlue (which I do), but because I need the non-stop to reduce the uncertainty factor imposed by SouthWest’s penchant for stops and plane changes.

  7. Philon 20 Oct 2006 at 6:58 pm

    So, im stuck here in the airport waiting for a flight that has been delayed and delayed yet again. Not only that but my flight that was supposed to go to BWI was rerouted to Pheonix because of connecting passengers missing their potentional connections. So i was here 3 hours before my flight, and i find out that i might not even get to where im going tonight. And the worst part is no one is telling anyone anything. How hard is it to say ‘all individuals on a flight blah blah blah are okay and dont need to come to the desk’ theres no reason on for what is happennig and really its ruining my weekend. I’ve decided from now on to never fly with them again. Ill spend the real money and fly a real airline next time because frankly this is unbelievable. How can a real company operate like this. I understand the commitments and you cant blame weather but seriously just tell us whats up.

  8. Jasonon 05 Nov 2006 at 11:27 pm

    Waah…have you flown any other airline??? It really sounds like you were all taken for a ride but consider this, where would we be without Southwest Airlines? Easy, the dinosour airlines such as United would rule the world handing out extremely poor service and filing for bankruptcy just in time for the federal government to bail them out. I have flown virtually every major carrier in the US and many of the the smaller subsidiaries (such as Skywest, Mesa, and Simmons). Southwest is by far the best airline. Just as any business has its weak points (including whatever business you’re in), Southwest has some bad employees and suffers delays. But this is far from the norm. The DOT Stats are a good indicator. Also the fact that Southwest is the most profitable airline without charging people an arm, leg and kidney leads me to believe that many many people are quite satisfied with the service. Moreover, try looking at how many airlines around the world have emerged based on Southwest Airlines’ business model. I.e. West Jet (Canada), Gol (Brazil), JetBlue (US), Ryanair (UK), EasyJet (UK), etc.

    If only people would get this passionate about the medical industry. Nothing like waiting hours at a time without explanation, paying out the nose, finding out that he/she botched your surgery or misdiagnosed your symptoms, and then the kicker, you were stuck in the waiting room because he/she was either at lunch or was with a drug representative (probably providing the lunch).

    Main Point: Be prepared for the unexpected. Baggage will occasionally be delayed or worst, lost; flights will be delayed for weather, mechanical problems, or security breaches; customer service may be lacking from time to time. Here’s what you do, look at the glass half-full, remain positive, keep calm, and if follow-up with Southwest Airlines’ HDQ is necessary, then do it by letter a couple days after you have time to think logicly.

  9. site adminon 06 Nov 2006 at 7:26 am

    Jason,
    If I stuck to my vow never to fly again any airline that screwed me, I’d be walking. Southwest continues to get my business, as does every other airline from JetBlue to United to SAS. As long as they get me there in one piece, I am a happy camper. What set me off on SW last summer was simple omission on their part — lack of information and lack of a way to quickly point that out to them.

    I don’t write letters.

  10. […] Last summer I vented my spleen over Southwest Airline’s customer service after getting stranded for the second time in a month. That post, due to the headline with the hot word “Sucks”, still has legs. […]

  11. Kristineon 20 Nov 2006 at 5:00 am

    I read a lot of these emails and TRULY UNDERSTAND everyone’s concerns. I actually work ground operations outside LOADING YOUR LUGGAGE on the planes for Southwest airlines. Bags that are so overweight that it takes two of us to lift it to a belt loader, then to have the ONE AND ONLY tag on the handle that falls off the 99 lb bag. WHY HAVEN’T traveling people learned to put their name and cell phone number I N S I D E the bag????? YES, INSIDE, TOO. Everyone has a carryon, black bag. How are we going to match up these bags?

    Now, the reason I’m writing is because I work at the Vegas station. And I just want to scream when I hear about passengers that checked their bags at the curbside, never to see the bags again. CURBSIDE. YES, CURBSIDE. NOW, PLEASE LISTEN TO ONE THING IF YOU HAVEN’T LISTENED TO ANYTHING ELSE. Curbside checkin (better known as SKYCAPS) are NOT SOUTHWEST EMPLOYEES. They are some contracted people that claim to help you so you can have the convenience, or something. If you are flying out of Vegas, the line INSIDE is just as long, but instead of 10 non-swa-employees checking you in, there’s 30 ACTUAL CUSTOMER SERVICE AGENTS who tag your bag, and you are in the air conditioning…wait time is shorter, and chances of seeing your bag at your final destination are MUCH BETTER. please remember, the name and a phone where you can be reached WHILE YOU ARE ON YOUR TRIP should go INSIDE your luggage.
    Don’t think you are doing yourself a favor, trying to sneak that 95 lb bag, shuffling a $20 bill to a skycap, as he “promises” to get it on, knowing that you’ll never see him again, and he never leaves that little area out front, and now he has your $20 and you have a broken promise and NO BAG. Each passenger can check up to 3 bags with us, so go ahead and make your cases lighter, put your name and cell number INSIDE, and check in with a real SWA person, and I can bet your experiences will be much more pleasant.

    I wouldn’t fly on anyone else. I’ve been doing this for 7 years.

  12. Matt Brownon 25 Nov 2006 at 2:08 am

    I’ve been depreciated by Southwest and feel like 35% less of a valued customer! On a recent trip to Baltimore my bag was “lost.” When I arrived in Baltimore for a three day business trip my bag was no where to be seen. I actually had a pretty good experience with the agents that took the claim; you have to believe they have one of the toughest jobs out there. Anyway I had to spend about two hundred dollars to get some business attire to complete my trip. There were too many restrictions (DING DING DING red flag) on how SWA would pay for those items so I just let it go. Well after many phone calls most of which started out with either “Now sir what color did you say that bag was again?” or “So your bag is still missing?” I realized I would never see that bag again. So Three days later I am on my way back home. Due to the missing bag and the extra items purchased I had to cram everything into my other bag. When I arrived at the airport to check in, my bag was overweight. I received absolutely no sympathy from the person at the counter or their supervisor. (Interesting side note: I was reading “how to win friends an influence people” at the time and tried my damndest to use all the tips, but of course “rules are rules.”)I was going to have to lighten the load or pay the fee. Ridiculous. So with a carry on bag ready to burst slung over my shoulder and a pair of shoes in the other hand I boarded my flight. Once home there were numerous hurdles and tons of “diligent searching time.” to getting a claim filed to replace my things. I filled out the form, which had been photocopied one to many times, with a reasonable figure of around 1200 dollars to replace those items lost, like the matching argyle sock, to the drying machine of the sky.
    To my naive surprise they sent me a check with the depreciated value of my list $845ish. I’m still to angry to look at it and quote the exact amount.
    I tried to contact the fellow who filed my claim in Dallas with no response, maybe his voice mail is on the fritz. I am absolutely sure that no matter what I do I will never get what I think will be a fair settlement. No matter who I talk to they will hide behind the “that’s just the way it is” or my favorite “that’s company policy.” response.
    The morale to my story is this: Where has the service in “customer service” gone? What is my value to Southwest as a customer? What happened to the days when a business would do everything they could to retain you as a customer, not because they want your money but because they want to do the right thing? I just don’t think I will every understand any justification for depreciating the items in the suitcase that they are liable for and lost.
    By the way I posted a shorter and nicer version of this on their blog and they actually put it up, of course no one responded. http://www.blogsouthwest.com/2006/11/02/link-to-a-post-from-colleen
    Read the article that this is in reference to if you really want to get your blood a boiling.

  13. sarcasmoon 27 Nov 2006 at 9:17 am

    I can’t stand Southwest. They basically refuse responsibility for lost or damaged luggage and this is a pattern. I won’t be flying Southwest anymore.

  14. supersaiyanon 02 Dec 2006 at 5:03 pm

    I used to be a Southworst employee and in response to Krstine’s 7 years I have over 14 years with them and would have had close to 20 if i didn’t leave the second worst airline. I put that in here to let everyone know that senority is a big thing at Southworst for some reason even though the first year guy lifts the same bags as the 30 year guy. Miss Kristine works at SWA’s biggest and heaviest station and works her ass off, so she knows what she is talking about. Oh wait, excuse me the 30 year guy feels that he doesn’t have to lift the bags anymore even though that is his job. The ramp agents are treated like dirt so many of them have developed bad attitudes. It is an adverserial relationship. The guys and girls who actually work are asked to do more while the guys who don’t are left alone because the stupidvisors are afraid of them or consider it too much trouble to get them to work. This also causes tension among the agents who work and those who don’t. The last thing on many agents mind is wether your bag makes its flight or not. I am going to open a big can of worms with my next statement: Black agents don’t have to work. Southwest is so scared of racial issues that nothing is done to them when they do not. In Houston where I used to work there is a 30 year agent who sits in the breakroom and plays dominoes for 8 hours a day. When someone actually says something he says it is because he is black and the company drops it right away. You can just imagine the other agents feelings about this.
    Southworst managerial practices are ridiculous. If you know how to suck up then you will go far. It is not based on skill or knowledge but if you are a yes man. No people skills are required to move up. People who have no knowledge of what the ramp agents do or what they have to deal with are put in charge of them and in Houston especially it is a joke. Management in Houston sucks. I know because I have worked in multiple stations.
    SWA is no longer concerned with customer service. The new ceo is more worried about the bottom line and even has a “scoreboard” telling the employees how much money the company has made, spent on fuel, etc, and telling them how much harder they need to work to get to the point where HE wants the profit to be. It is never enough! No longer is the priority on baggage handling or on time performance much less customer service(fewest complaints per 1000 customers).
    Yes the Second Worst Airline does make money but I believe this is in spite of itself. No matter how the top heavy Southworst tries to screw it up it will continue to do so on the backs of its little people and to the detriment of customer service.

  15. dalisaon 04 Dec 2006 at 3:41 pm

    southwest has lost BOTH of our bags – not curbside, but inside counter checkin by a Southwest employee – simple, neither were over weight, both had names, address and telephones on the inside and outside – both were going from Asutin to Las Vegas (hhhmmm….Las Vegas seems to have a record for this…coincidence?) Yet, the ONLY tracking they have in these two bags was us dropping them off. Over my dead body will I accept the statement that Southwest will not accept responsibility. If I had another choice – I would have taken it – I was forced to hand over my bags to supposed “responsible” employees – now I am at loss of over $2000 – this is UNNACCEPTABLE. Class action is apparently the only next step to help Southwest employees understand their jobs.

  16. How about suggestions on how to fix things?on 05 Dec 2006 at 5:57 pm

    You people are unbelievable. Everyone in this world is out to get you. The employees love to steal luggage. Delays are just for fun. Are you stupid and selfish and ignorant or what?
    Get over yourselves. Luggage gets lost. Flights get delayed. People have bad days because of people like you and your negative attitudes. If you don’t like Southwest there is no need to bitch about it. I can read for myself on their website which says the seating system is different than the norm. And their not responsible for lost luggage is also posted somewhere before you board that plane right? So take notes, you were fairly warned.
    I was actually doing research for my Principles of Management course when I came across this site. I can’t tell you how many articles I came across where people complained they couldn’t get the seats they wanted! Please if this is all you people have to worry about in life then you should be incredibly happy. Now stop your bitching and go spend some valuable time with your kids or families. Oh and is it not better that your flight be delayed then they send you up in the air as scheduled but the plane had a slight problem and boom down you go? I’d like to hear you complain then.

  17. bethon 05 Dec 2006 at 11:55 pm

    You guys are all a bunch of whiny losers. Oh poor me Im too good to fly southwest, Im a primadonna who deserves to be treated better than the rest of these mortals. BOO HOO. Hey news flash, when you pay $39 for a flight, ya got no room to complain.

  18. site adminon 06 Dec 2006 at 6:06 am

    …. But not too stupid to find a better alternative at a better price and that’s JetBlue. Have fun in the A-B-C cattle chutes while I get into my preassigned seat, watch some television and get served something more than a dozen peanuts, and in general get treated like a customer and not a piece of meat.

    You SouthWest apologists who seem to have just discovered this blog: tell SouthWest customer service to do something about how they communicate. I don’t expect caviar for $39 a flight, but I do expect to informed when the plane is late and I do expect a little more than a slip of #$#%$% paper with a phone number on it when I am facing spending the night on a #$%$%%^ bench in an airport because they couldn’t get to me my connection on their airline on time and wouldn’t show the decency of finding me a room for the night.

    The day JetBlue opened direct service to RDU was the day that true market forces started to teach SouthWest what reality is: competition is the only way to reform bad performance, not my bitching.

    And be advised, every person to join this comment thread has posted a legitimate email except for the people defending SouthWest. This makes me think you losers are astro-turfers and if I take the time to track your IP address down and can prove you are associated with SouthWest …..

    This post is ranked number nine on Google for the term “Southwest Sucks” — if I worked in customer service at SW I’d figure out that beefs like this are lightning rods for unhappy people and do something about it.

  19. bethon 06 Dec 2006 at 9:35 pm

    Um, I have posted a legitimate email, and Southwest does let you know flight status through email, signs in airports and also text messages sent directly to your phone. Its your responsibility to look at these.

  20. site adminon 07 Dec 2006 at 6:37 am

    Beth:
    Yes, they do send email updates. And pager updates.

    But signs in airports? No way! You mean those television things? And they update them on them a timely basis? Beth. Come out of your customer service defense mode and listen up, but begin by reading the post. That’s what ticked me off the first time. The monitors aren’t refreshed, at least not at BWI one evening last June. I went to their website, I got myself informed, I knew what was going on before their somnolent, apathetic gate agents did.

    It doesn’t matter anymore. October 24 was my last flight. I now fly direct on JetBlue for less money.

  21. Kristineon 08 Dec 2006 at 4:01 pm

    I love the people that scream and holler and say, “I’ll never fly on them again,” and two weeks later, there they are, standing in the C boarding group, bitching because they arrived at the airport 1/2 hour before departure, with a late check on their bag, so they can complain yet again that SWA lost their luggage, when in actuality they paid a skycap $20 to get their oversized, overweight piece of junk luggage with the broken handle and missing a wheel (which later they’ll try to claim to get reimbursement for), all paid to a skycap WHO DOESN’T EVEN WORK FOR SWA, YET “promises” that the bag will be on that plane.

    yet… here they are again, flying on SWA… and talking about how great the other airlines are.

    Let’s face it. Southwest has been in business for over 35 years, still running the most competitive rates, and still being right up there with performance. No one makes you eat the “dozen peanuts”…uh, other airlines are charging for headphones, and beverages, and snacks. Don’t like the peanuts? BUY A $6.00 SANDWICH IN THE TERMINAL. SWA will give you a free soda or two.

    But delays….when it’s because of weather, everyone is delayed. not just swa. You think that the weather just causes SWA to sit and wait to fly and then everyone else is flying? so you want SWA to break the rules and fly just to get YOU there? Yeah, you’d be the first one complaining about how UNSAFE swa is if something happened.

    get a grip.

  22. johnon 10 Dec 2006 at 9:28 am

    My only problem is that when you fly southwest as much as I used to, there ought to be some benefit for it. Here’s what I mean: I have to reschedule a flight last minute, and I get stuck with a C ticket. Meanwhile, some random family of 4 all have A tickets. WTF?? I fly several times per week, they fly once per year and they receive the benefit. Now I’ve found some other carriers than southwest, eg, Continental CLE-BWI business first the SAME price as that rag southworst. In closing southwest sucks my left nut.

  23. Jeffon 13 Dec 2006 at 3:24 pm

    YOU PEOPLE ARE ALL A BUNCH OF WHINING LITTLE TITTY BABIES. DO ANY OF YOU MAKE OVER $250,000.00 PER YEAR? CAUSE BEFORE SOUTHWEST EXISTED YOU WOULDNT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO FLY AT ALL UNLESS YOU MADE THAT KIND OF MONEY. SWA IS THE BEST AIRLINE AND YOU PEOPLE NEED TO WAKEUP AND REALIZE IT.

  24. site adminon 13 Dec 2006 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks Jeff. It’s called caps lock. Heard of it?

  25. Rickon 27 Dec 2006 at 12:42 am

    Jeff – it isn’t an airline, it is the most undignified conveyance, aside from a donkey cart, ever invented.

    The big myth and load of BS that Southwest continues to spew is that by treating humans like dung, they keep prices low. WHAT A CROCK! I can find cheaper or equal fares on other carriers, and it is easier too, because the REAL airlines distribute via other channels on the web, not the useless, counter intuitive crap site Southwest runs.

    It shows how much Southwest cares about people, crew and passengers alike, when a flight is delayed because a starving F/A is in the terminal getting McDonalds becuase Southwest doesn’t board meals for them, even though they are working 11 hour days! So Southwests penny pinching ways have now starved their employees AND caused a flight to be late.

    As for the stupid comment about only flying if you make more than $250,000 a year, GET REAL. Prior to tragic creation of Southwest, people with less than the eq. to 250k were flying. Additionally, Southwest isn’t the power that brought flying to more people, the Airline Dergulation Act of 1978 did. Southwest brough abysmal flying to more people.

    To all of the people out there trying to bring dignity, civility and customer satisfaction to the airline business, Southwest is an afront!

  26. Lindaon 04 Jan 2007 at 12:21 pm

    Response to Beth, Jeff, and whomever else was saying that those complaining about SW are ‘whiners': sure, the occassional lost bag occurs on all airlines – fact of life. However – My bag is permanently gone and what I am angry about is that SW has seemingly abdicated responsibility for getting customer luggage safely to it’s destination. I’m paying for the flight, they should at least have processes and policies in place to minimize the liklihood of permanent loss or theft. Here’s what I learned while trying to help SW staff locate my luggage — The tag they put on your bag at check-in has a bar code on it, however they no longer scan those bar codes into a computer system like they once did. This means that SW airlines has absolutely no way of knowing whether my bag got on any plane, let alone the correct plane. They can not match bags to passengers and can not account for what baggage is on any plane. It also appears that my bag may have been sent to my destination (Phoenix) on an earlier plane than I was on. I suspect this because my boyfriend and I checked bags at the sametime (inside by the way) and his arrived in Phoenix ahead of us. We found it in the UNSUPERVISED “unclaimed baggage” pile. Additionally, the tag on his bag had my name on it. This meant my bag had his name on it – you would not believe the confusion that caused for the baggage center people tasked with finding my bag. So, IF my bag made it to Phoenix, it probably arrived early and sat in the unsupervised unclaimed pile and got stolen because despite that fact that I was issued a baggage claim ticket, baggage claim tickets are not checked at Phoenix Skyharbor – just walk out with whatever bag looks good to you. So, it appears that SW did not track my bag via the available scanning technology, put someone else’s name on it, sent it early to an airport that doesn’t check claim tickets, so that it could sit unsupervised in a pile near the exit. Does baggage sometiimes get lost? Certainly. Did Southwest follow a process reasonable likely to keep my bag safe? Absolutely not.

  27. Brittanyon 08 Jan 2007 at 6:34 pm

    HAHA, Most of you guys are so annoying! I fly alot and I have been on many different airline’s, and Southwest have been the best! I recently flew on Southwest and even though they delayed my flight and lost my bags…OH WELL things happen half the time its the actual airport thats at fault for the flight delays, the weather was fine out side it was the people inside the airport and werent letting people know what was going on, and it was very busy! Things happen things are lost and flights are delayed! At least you didnt get on a plane and crash! Southwest have pretty good service and you dont have to spend alot of money to get on the plane! So suck it up and stop being big loser’s and deal with the things that happen like big people do in the real world. Dont complain about the things you have no control over!

  28. site adminon 08 Jan 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Annoying? How about ANNOYED?
    1. I don’t lose bags because I don’t check them. This rant isn’t about lost bags. At least for me.
    2. No, I don’t expect to crash. I guess that happens only on “other” airlines. Right?
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/12/08/chicago.airplane/
    3. it’s cheap. Granted. I’m not looking for First Class on Air France
    4. I may have no control, but I have voted with my feet. Two words:
    Jet Blue.

  29. Lorene Howellon 21 Feb 2007 at 6:24 pm

    Oh God, this is the first time ever that I have had a lost bag on any flight!! And I fly a lot!!! I got in to Honolulu Sunday night, retrieved one of two bags, made my claim and was assured (assured!!!) I would have my bag delivered, or be contacted, within 24 hours. Monday came and went, no bag, no contact. Tuesday afternoon, voice mail messages were left, no contact. Wednesday afternoon, after a call questioning why they treat tourists like this when we are obviously contributing to their tourist industry (I’m in Hawaii for goodness sakes!!) I finally get a call back that tells me nothing I don’t already know – they have no idea where my bag is. Logging on to this site, and reading other sites, I have no hope now of ever seeing my shampoo and conditioner again. Or my 20 year old tennis shoes. I had no idea there was a black hole for southwest airline baggage. I’ve seen the Nightline stories, I know that rotten employees rummage through bags for goodies, but….isn’t a half bottle of Herbal Essence safe??

    Has anyone contacted ABC News about this? I want my shampoo!!!

  30. Tinaon 05 Mar 2007 at 10:09 pm

    I am glad I found this site…and for those that think this is whining, well everyone is entitled to their opinion and freedom of speech is still intact from what I know. So if you do not agree with what people are saying, fine, but let them have their opinion.

    I will NOT fly with Southwest airlines ever again and I do have a choice. My story is different than all of yours though – it is about the attendants. I have learned that the mission of Southwest airlines is that their employees are their #1 priority – great huh? Well, in my two terrible experiences what this says to me is they can treat anyone anyway they want to and do not have to care. I am ok with employees being a priority, but if they say they are going to treat their employees with respect and care, why would they not want to do that for their customers?

    Anyhow, here is my story…

    About a year ago I was on a flight where the attendants were rude to my grandmother r when we boarded and when the plane was de-boarding they told her to “hurry up” because people were waiting to get off the plane. My Grandmother, who is ill and on oxygen, was having trouble getting her equipment out of the row, and I was in the row in front of her and could not get out to help her. So instead of helping her they simply humiliated her. I asked to speak to the pilot afterwards and told him what happened. He could have cared less.
    At that point in time I decided not to fly Southwest again unless there was a large difference in fair. Well, for this next flight there was, sadly it was not worth the money I saved.
    As we were waiting to depart other passengers were commenting that there were bags still sitting outside of the plane. I looked over and noticed that the flight number and DEN were listed on the crate. We all got concerned as the plane started to leave the terminal. I rang my attendant bell. The attendant came over and was obviously annoyed that I rang the bell as we were pulling out of the gate. I said to her “we are all a little concerned that there are still bags sitting outside of the plane.”
    I had a smile on my face and a slight giggle in my voice when I said it – I was not rude in any way. Her immediate response was…and I quote, “well, what do you want us to do! Either we can go back to the gate or you can wait until we get to Denver and hope they show up!” “Lovely,” I said and she simply turned around and left.

    Another attendant, we will call her “V”, came by and my Brother who was in the row in front of me said to her “can you at least call and make sure those are not our bags.” Condescendingly, the attendant told my brother many bags look the same and she was sure those were not ours. At this point, many of the passengers were commenting on how rude both attendants had been and that they handled the whole situation very poorly.
    A few minutes later that attendant came back and said she called and they had someone check on the bags and they were not ours. My immediate response to the attendant was “how hard was that.” Yes, I was condescending but at this point I was very upset with their overall demeanor and poor customer service.
    After the plane was in the air, one of the rude attendants went to the back of the plane and the other, “V”, came by to take drink orders. When she got to me I shook my head that I did not want a drink, she stared at me so abruptly, I said “No, I do not want anything.” She said, with an accent where I could barley understand her, “you have a lot of anxiety don’t you, and before I could respond she had turned around. I went to say something to her that she was being rude and she ignored me. At this point, she was acting very childish and I, and the people around me, were astonished at her behavior.
    The next time she came by I asked her for her name. Her response was “good, and I can give you the address where to send your letter because I know it by heart.” She proceeded to speak her name to me, which I could not understand, and when I asked her to repeat it she said “what is wrong with you, can you not understand English?” The woman in the seat behind me and on the other side was in shock with her behavior and told me I should have said something demeaning back at her, but I didn’t…someone needed to be the grown-up.
    My brother had been napping and we he woke I explained what happened. So, the next time she came by he asked her to write her name down. She responded that she had already given it to me. He asked her again, “can you please just write down your name.” She again said, I already gave it to her. A few minutes later the attendant came back with a piece of paper and in very large print she had written out her name. She handed it my bother and VERY SARCASTICALLY said “there, is this easy enough for you to read, can you understand what it says?”
    The woman sitting next to my Brother immediately pulled out her blackberry and started typing a letter to the airline. When she came back over to our area there were many people commenting about her. She was obnoxious and childishly rude and at that point it felt as though she was harassing us. She came back to me and said very sarcadtically “you have a lot of anxiety, are you afraid of flying, maybe you need a double shot of alcohol.” I said “no, I am just astonished at how you are acting.”
    Another attendant that had been at the back of the plane came up and”V” went to the back.. Luckily we did not have to speak to her again after this.
    When the plane landed my Brother, who departed first, asked to speak to the pilot. When we went onto the walkway, a man was there and my brother was explaining the story. As other passengers came out one woman stayed with us to support our observations of this attendant and others also quickly commented to him on her behavior as they walked by.
    The man just kept telling us that if our bags were not there to let him know – he did not get that the issue at this point was not with the bags, but with the attendants poor behavior. As we were explaining this to him, one of the pilots was also there listening. He just stood there and did not say anything until we asked if he was a pilot. When we went to tell him the story he immediately said “there are always two sides to every story.” When I told him about the comment she made on giving me a double shot he responded with yes, we offer that to our passengers if they are anxious about flying. Come on, I could see if you ask someone if they would like a complimentary drink if they are afraid of flying, but to right out tell someone they are very anxious and that they can give you a double shot of alcohol with a rude and condescending tone are not the same thing. He then stated that for every 1 bad letter they receive 4 good ones, in my opinion this means that at a minimum 20% of the passengers receive poor service. I think he thought that was a good ratio, I do not agree.
    It was obvious at this point that neither he nor the other man knew anything about handling these types of issues. Once I could see that I just walked away as it was a waste of time.

  31. ggirlon 27 Mar 2007 at 11:02 am

    wow ,…
    iam very sorry about what had happned to you all( expect the assholes who work at loser southworst,..

    iam scared for my bag to be lots now ,.. i,ll be leaving for south west this thursday ,.. and iam afraid to ride with them they sound like shitheads……

    maybe it would be better to pack my clothes and things in a carry on ,.. it sound liek i cant trust them at all they are all evil on southwest ,..

    i can see the future and ,… it will be in fact that southwest will soon go out of business ,.. and that jet blue will grow and take over … and the old employes of south west are going to lose there jobs becuse of jet blue….

    that willhappned soon ,.. so i advise the southwest airlines workers shap up . be cus eit will be your last win…

    G

  32. J-Dogon 27 Mar 2007 at 11:24 pm

    I used to fly Southwest almost exclusively, but not anymore.
    My last flight on SWA was in August 2005.
    If I was given a free ticket, I would not take it. If Southwest were the last airline on earth, I guess I would no longer fly.
    I now fly mostly on Northwest and Continental and I love the service.
    I know that no airline is perfect, but Southwest has just lost the magic.
    They need to go back to the basics of treating people right like they used to.
    The employees do not care like they used to and I became tired of the rudeness and it usually was not the employees fault, they are just understaffed and overworked and they take it out on me the customer.
    Get your act together SWA management!

  33. Former Customeron 05 Apr 2007 at 7:50 pm

    Here’s another reason Southwest sucks: my wife and I printed her boarding pass online and got to the airport two hours early. Because of some bad directions and advice from Southwest employees, we wasted about 45 minutes “mall-walking” around the airport. When we finally got to the Southwest check-in area to check my wife’s single bag of luggage (count ‘em: one bag), we naturally entered a line called “E-ticket, preprinted boarding pass,” or something to that effect, the “Rapid Express” line. In front of us was a gentleman who was checking in his entire family pretty well from scratch, and his last name was about 50 letters long, which the cheap Southwest computer program could not handle. The clerk avoided making eye contact with us; no other clerk ventured to help out. Forty minutes later, my wife got to check her bag. By then, she still had enough time to make the flight, except that the security line was now clogged with people getting onto the next flight, so she missed her flight. Southwest claimed it wasn’t their fault, and she ended up having to spend the night at a hotel for over a hundred dollars, just so she could take the next flight early the next morning. To top it off, the airline’s representatives at the airport were uniformly nasty to her about the whole issue, and gave her the runaround every chance they got. So we will avoid Southwest and warn as many other people as we can. They are not in the business of making people happy, and they don’t care about you.

  34. Reply to site admin. "Check in 24 hours in advance"on 09 Apr 2007 at 9:46 am

    Site admin wrote:

    site admin
    Sep 20th, 2006 at 11:09 am

    You learn to remind yourself to check-in online exactly 24 hours before your departure (no sooner, because for some reason southwest.com won’t let you check-in any sooner than 24 hours before). The key is to score an A boarding pass and then stand in line at the head of the cattle chute so you can score the coveted “first class” seat in the emergency exit (the one with no seat in front of it.).

    ___________________________________________________________
    Yes, I agree about your procedure here about getting your boarding passing and etc. So, I did exactly what you said; I logged online and got my boarding passes 24 hours in advance and wound up in group A, that must be good right? So I dragged my kids to the airport three hours in advance and we were the first ones online which is exactly what we wanted. Okay, so we wait awhile until we hear an announcement which tells us our gate has been switched. So everyone RUNS as fast as they can to the new gate. Guess what, people who JUST ARRIVED hear the announcements and practically dive for the gate and we aren’t first anymore. GREAT. So, we do tell the people standing at the gate but do you think they give a damn? No. Of course not. So now we are finally about to board; but they say they will first take the people who are “injured” lets just say. This is what we later find people call “the miracle cloud”. It’s funny because people get on with slings and crutches. After we are all boarded and the “injured” people are in the first row… where did their slings and crutches go !? It’s a miracle now they can use their legs and arms just fine. To top it all off we lost our luggage (we only checked one) which I will not even go into. I will NEVER fly southwest again and if you are thinking about it DON’T FLY WITH THEM.

  35. So Tiredon 09 Apr 2007 at 11:39 am

    Flying Lubbock to Sacto 2 weeks ago with scheduled stops in Alb and Phx. I switch planes in Phx thinking I’ll be home soon. But Southwaste decides to add in a Vegas stop on my flight for 30 people who’s flight was cancelled. Hey, my heart goes out to them, but why am I being inconvenienced?

    So I end up getting shanked with:
    – arrive an hour late (11:30 pm)
    – spend that extra hour sitting on the plane
    – the flight to Vegas is completely full

    Believe you me the bubbly FA safety speal really grated on my nerves that night.

    Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

  36. Jackon 09 Apr 2007 at 11:53 pm

    Quit being so cheap, just buy your own Gulfstream V, take a limo and stop being such a complaining wanker, your riding a bus what the hell do you expect.

  37. Richard Presleyon 24 May 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Southwest overbooked my flight by 8 or 9 passengers. I am mistakenly on the security watch list, I am a 53 year old eye doctor who has flown Southwest for years. I never had a SW flight until this year. Six of my last eight late were over an hour late.

    Because I can’t check in early they couldn’t get me on the flight I scheduled a month earlier. So while people who booked the day before when the flight was overbooked got on, their frequent flier who booked a month earlier was denied a place on the plane.

    They could have offered more to get one more volunteer off the plane but their supervisor said the “computer won’t let us do that”. To make matters worse the flight they moved me to was scheduled to leave at 7:00pm was delayed until 11:45pm. I was booked to leave at 1:00pm.

    I’ve seen a real drop off in Southwest’s service in the last year.

  38. Anneon 30 May 2007 at 9:03 am

    Oh, how I wish I had read this site before checking my luggage at curbside in Las Vegas. It has been two weeks and my luggage is still missing. I checked in at the same time as my mom and sister. They received their luggage in Baltimore.

    I never had a problem with missing luggage, so I stupidly assumed I would get it. I had my best clothes I had purchased from Ebay and from various stores over the past couple of years. These were designer clothes that took me a long time to acquire. I also had my medicine in my bag, so I think that may be one of the reasons my bag is gone. Every day I think of something else that was in the bag.

    My experience dealing with my lost luggage has been mixed. Some of the people I have dealt with could have cared less. However, I found a couple of people at Southwest that were wonderful. They kept assuring me my bag would show up any minute.

    I now have to fill out a form that asks for a LOT of detail. They may also request receipts. It is going to be a huge job to get everything together.

  39. Davis OAKon 03 Jun 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Can Yall Shut The *#%$* up about Jet Blue. They are Decent Carrier But Lets Not Forget if there wasnt a Southwest airlines , there would be no Jet blue. the CEO Of jet blue was an exec
    for southwest before he left and formed jet blue . now go suck on that

  40. LeonaPon 11 Jun 2007 at 7:11 pm

    I am a very irate grandmother! This morning at Sky Harbor, Phoenix, I was helping our daughter in law with grandson and baggage through the check in process at the inside counter service. We arrived an hour and a half early before the flight to San Jose, CA, but waited in line, with slower than normal ticket agents, actually lathargic, which ate up all extra time to comfortably get through security and to the appropriate gate.
    We get up to the ticket counter and the agent announces that our daughter in law’s baggage will have to be marked “LATE” because they were tagged less than a half an hour before the flight! We’d been standing in line this whole time! That means that her baggage may not arrive with her on the same flight….translating to: you’re going to have to wait for your baggage if they arrive on another later flight!
    That’s just the beginning!
    Daughter in law and baby get to the departure gate, pre-board and find a seat, with no help from anyone, mind you. During the flight our daughter in law wants to comfort grandbaby a bit by walking down the aisle to the back. Attendant rudely says, “You can’t stay here…go back to your seat!” So our daughter in law took grandbaby back to their seat and let him cry the whole entire flight! No “customer care” no, “Is there anything we can do to make your flight more comfortable,” or, “Is there anything you or your baby need?”
    Southwest Airlines is NOT baby-friendly, for that matter, family friendly!
    I am printing out the “Mission Statement” from Southwest Airlines. It reads:
    “The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.”
    I wonder how long it’s been since some of the SW employees have read this mission statement!
    Irate Grandma

  41. Anonymouson 12 Jun 2007 at 2:17 pm

    SWA Employees aren’t baby sitters and I believe it’s an FAA safety thing about simply walking around an airplane or standing in a location just to be standing. I’m sure you’d be much more irate had the plane hit unexpected turbulance and your daughter-in-law or granddaughter were injured. Unless you are changing your flight, use the kiosks next time…that’s why they are there.

  42. LFAon 12 Jun 2007 at 2:19 pm

    For you whinning folks hear are a few facts:
    1)A few years ago, prior to having a 25% increase in baggage handling due to the TSA regs re: liquids that can be carried aboard a flight, OVER 100,000,000 bags a year were handled by the airlines in the world. 1,000,000 bags were lost, never to be found again. That’s a 1% loss rate! Not bad for any outfit.
    2)Your bags are limited to a loss amount that is published in your boarding pass. That’s the max as per FAA regs. If you want your bags covered for full value, then take out additional insurance with your insurance agent, especially if you are carrying expensive clothes or jewelry.
    3)Never, ever, put medications in your check on bags!! Anne, are you listening! How many times have the airlines told you to carry your medications with you on the aircraft! If you have jewelry, carry it with you or wear it. Don’t pack them in your check on.
    4)Now that liquids are not allowed on board, the airlines are struggling to handle the extra load. SWA was hiring for the first time in several months ramp folks to deal with the increased number of checked bags. I think they are trying to do their best, but it will take time to adjust. When the airlines finally take care of this issue, TSA will come up with another reg that will affect the flying public. Maybe you guys need to contact the FAA or TSA re: some of your complaints?
    5)I use to work for a very small airline that has a hub at PHX. Although working conditions were piss poor, the money even worse, most of the employees tried their best to find lost bags, even to the point of going to other airlines to look for bags. That just isn’t done due to the number of bags, but some folks did it anyway.
    6)For the person that had their name on their brothers bag, whose fault was that? Someone at SWA changed the name tags? Come on, fess up. You screwed up. Not SWA’s fault.
    7)Putting your name and phone number in your bag is a great idea. Everyone, including me, needs to do that. That would solve many lost bag problems.
    8)You can’t guarantee that everyone working at the airport is honest. Many employees at any company are out to steal what they can. The airlines try to do their best with screening employees prior to hiring, but with the Federal regs and the ACLU to deal with, how far can an employer check on their employees without being sued? Protect yourself and don’t pack valuables in your check on. For that matter, don’t take them with you at all. It is possible that at Las Vegas, the folks that check bags at curbside have buddies that work the ramp and can go through any bag that looks interesting!Enjoy your fine clothes and jewelry at home, or, carry them on.
    9)Now that I have defended SWA and the airline industry, I can say that service at SWA has sunk to a new low. Many gate agents just don’t care anymore. Have you noticed that not all gates are attended to until just prior to boarding? This means that a few agents are now handling 3-4 gates at a time and then run over to a gate to board passengers. SWA has gone the way of all other companies, “its the bottom line stupid.” Customer service in this country has gone to India or overseas to save $$$ and you get what you pay for. If you don’t like SWA, as someone else said on this blog, fly another line. JetBlue, which I have flown a couple of times is very good, but my favorite, is Delta! Competitive fares where we wanted to go and great service! It may cost more, but, you get what you pay for. It doesn’t change!For the person that likes Northworst, they probably have about the worse reputation next to US Scare. Poor service, lost bags, etc, etc. Compared to them, SWA isn’t that bad, except when it happens to you!! Keep smiling!

  43. JBon 14 Jun 2007 at 10:05 pm

    I had my second bad experience with Southwest on my flight home from Tampa to Dallas. I had only one bag, a large backpack, that was checked in inside at the Tampa airport. When it came out on the conveyor belt in Dallas, the front zipper was open and things were missing. It was immediately clear that someone had unzipped my backpack and rummaged through it. Someone stole a USB wireless network card, a memory stick and digital camera. I assume it must have been the baggage loaders that work for either southwest or the airport. It was 9PM on a Tuesday night and I was dead tired from a long business trip. I just disgustedly grabbed by bag, zipped it up and left the airport.

    I called the claim center today and the customer service was very good. A claim has been filed and the service agent was extremely kind and helpful. She even went to the lost-and-found center and looked for my things while I held on the phone. I won’t be completely happy until my things are returned or compensated.

    This was the second incident. The last was a lost duffel bag that was found one day later. Southwest offered to either deliver my bag or accept a $50 gift certificate and come pick it up at the airport. I picked it up at the airport and received the $50 gift certificate.

    Not all bad. Shit happens sometimes but at least Southwest stepped up and took responsibility and offered compensation. I’ll keep flying SWA.

  44. BOSon 21 Jun 2007 at 12:39 pm

    I have flown Southwest airlines only a few times and those few times were some of the worst travel experiences I have ever had. I think that at SWA they have forgotten what the term customer service means. It seems as if they don’t think that they are obligated to make the customer’s flying experience at least remotely enjoyable. 90% of the flights I’ve flown on SWA have been either cancelled or delayed and my bags have been lost 50% of the time, and I never use SkyCap. Another problem, they don’t fly to Boston. I live in Massachusetts, near Boston, and believe me, Manchester does not deserve to have Boston in its title. Downtown Boston is at least 50 miles away. While at Logan, you are more like three miles, or a five minute train ride, away from downtown. For the last four years I have made good on my promise to never fly SWA again. I am currently a member of United’s Mileage Plus and fly only United and occasionally USAir and Air Canada, when traveling to Canada, because they are part of Star Alliance. I’m sure that United isn’t the worlds best airline but I feel that they have good customer service, they serve pretty much all of the major cities in the US, they have EconomyPlus (a cheap way to get an economy seat with like five or six inches of extra legroom), and their airport employees are helpful enough and get the job done. What I’ve found is that even though the legacy carriers in the US have a bad reputation, the extra experience is worth the extra money.

  45. Garyon 12 Jul 2007 at 2:57 pm

    I’m currently dealing with a lost bag. Checked 2 at National Airport in DC, only one arrived in Phoenix (changed planes at Chicago-Midway). I checked in nearly 2 hours early and did so at the counter so airline employees and TSA handled the bags.

    I really need the lost bag as it has work stuff in it. What I’d like to know is if anyone had a good experience with a specific baggage person.

    What I have found is that SW employees are good about following procedure. During the first 5 days someone from their PHX officed called everyday to tell me they have not found my bag.

    I pro-actively called the other offices on a daily basis including the office where my originating flight terminated. I also sent an attorney to Midway to rattle the cages at both airline offices. They really hopped to it, and actually called a customer who’s bag looked a lot like mine (same brand, same color, different style) to ask if he picked up a wrong bag. He just said thanks for letting him know the had the bag as no one had contacted him. (Incredible, SW had a bag with a name tag and would not call the owner for over 5 days ! until my attorney told them to)

    Then I found out about the Central Baggages Services Office. I was told by both an ATA employee an SW employee that this was in Dallas, not at Love Field, was where all SW lost bags go, and one could go there and search. So I had my Dallas attorney friend ready to go check. They then came up with a story that this office is at Love Field, is in a TSA/FAA secure area and public is not allowed.

    I’m left wondering what’s true.

    Anyone with any insider info or names. I’ll be glad to share my knowledge if you’ll share yours. I do airport master plan studies for a living so I know a lot about how this stuff is supposed to work and have gotten pretty good settlements as a result. Be glad to help others out.

  46. LFAon 23 Jul 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Hi folks. Not going to complain about SWA this time, but about the TSA/Security folks at San Jose Airport (SJC). A very small(5′) fellow checked by ID and boarding pass just prior to the security check. He looked at my picture ID and my boarding pass and gave it back to me. He never looked up at my face or marked anything on the boarding pass. I could have been King Kong for all he knew. The names matched and that was all he cared about. The TSA agent doing the bag screening kept asking another agent what was on her screen as bags went through. Not too good on training or couldn’t see what was on the screen. When another TSA agent took over, the new lady just kept laughing at what she was looking at. She called another TSA’r over and he also laughed. I guess they think security is a laughing matter. Think about that the next time your ass is sitting in that seat going nowhere from somewhere!

    I’m going to try America Worst next week, part of US Scare and I’ll let you know what happens. The fare was really hot, $98.00 round trip PHX-SJC! Can’t buy the gas to get out of the state for that price. Keep smilling in the friendly skies!

  47. Brenton 25 Jul 2007 at 6:30 am

    I completely agree. Southwest sucks. I also can’t stand the stupid “no seat assignments” thing. Because there’s nothing more I want to do than have to stand in line with a bunch of donkeys 90 minutes before the flight just so I can get a seat that’s not in the middle of two fatties.

  48. […] This guy has a good entry on the subject: Beefing: Southwest Airlines Sucks […]

  49. Markon 25 Jul 2007 at 11:00 am

    I too was suckered in by their slick advertising and their boasts that they got the best customer satisfaction. Im not sure how they do customer satisfaction surveys by stone tablet apparently since they don’t take emails.
    I took a trip with my family and we had a child under the age of 5 so we were able to preboard. Even at that we were 5 or 6 rows back. I felt sorry for people that were boarding B or god forbid C. People boarding C must have some really bad karma. Im not sure how much not having seat assignments saves you. I can tell you that it has cost them any further business from me and my family.
    The term greyhound does them justice.
    I’ll pay for a seat assignment next time, with a different air carrier.

  50. Alternative Medicineon 28 Jul 2007 at 9:38 pm

    Alternative Medicine

    Alternative Medicine

  51. Duane Wegienkaon 31 Jul 2007 at 6:13 am

    I have always heard good things about Southwest AIrlines and even though I rarely fly, ( I hate it) I took the opportunity to fly them because of the uncertainity of Northwest Airlines. I booked well in advance online June 29th for an August 25 th trip.
    Well a family emergency arose and I had to cancel my trip. This came about on July 30th. Plenty of time to cancel, to be considerate? Wouldn’t you think?
    Well you write a letter, ( who the hell writes letters) or phone an endlessly ringing phone number. No e:mail contacts to reach. How nice. Makes it harder for people to complain…..don’t you think?
    Well not only did I finally get someone to finally pickup a phone, I get the usual drone whom can only spout off company policy like they are reading it from a book.
    NO REFUND! We are keeping your money for future use.!!!!

    So Southworst, keep my fucking money, stick it up your ass! I will never fly you. EVER!
    But I will complain to my credit card company and fight with them to not pay this, which is another faceless corporation like yourself which will show no mercy also, but they are fact of life, but not you!
    Bite me Southwest. I hope your business fails! Keeping a customers money is a crime, and I don’t give a shit about policies that approve it. I can get that twisted logic from dealing with the government.

  52. […] A year ago, in a fit of air rage, I blogged about how Southwest Airlines let me down a couple times in Baltimore. Typical blogger rant about bad service, no big deal, right? […]

  53. Duane Wegienkaon 31 Jul 2007 at 10:52 am

    I have always heard good things about Southwest AIrlines and even though I rarely fly, ( I hate it) I took the opportunity to fly them because of the uncertainity of Northwest Airlines. I booked well in advance online June 29th for an August 25 th trip.
    Well a family emergency arose and I had to cancel my trip. This came about on July 30th. Plenty of time to cancel, to be considerate? Wouldn’t you think?
    Well you write a letter, ( who the hell writes letters) or phone an endlessly ringing phone number. No e:mail contacts to reach. How nice. Makes it harder for people to complain…..don’t you think?
    Well not only did I finally get someone to finally pickup a phone, I get the usual drone whom can only spout off company policy like they are reading it from a book.
    NO REFUND! We are keeping your money for future use.!!!!

    So Southworst, keep my fucking money, stick it up your ass! I will never fly you. EVER!
    But I will complain to my credit card company and fight with them to not pay this, which is another faceless corporation like yourself which will show no mercy also, but they are fact of life, but not you!
    Bite me Southwest. I hope your business fails! Keeping a customers money is a crime, and I don’t give a shit about policies that approve it. I can get that twisted logic from dealing with the government.

    You know it’s funny, I went to Hotels.com where I made my room reservations and was able to cancel and get a refund. WOW! What a way to do business huh? Southwest…we want your business and your money.
    Southwest…even when we don’t do business we’ll take your money!

  54. Billyon 07 Aug 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Well I use to work in the airline industry, and we did have a lot of morons that would take soft sided luggage and check it, then expect it to be covered when it got scratched and ripped. Most airlines will pay just to shut you up, but I haven’t seen one that states in their little time table booklets that soft sided bags aren’t meant for checking, and won’t be covered. We also use to get complaints from people that had baggage so old I could poke my finger through the side, with ease. Those are usually the people that scream about how they paid 150 bucks for this bag 20 years ago, and damned if the airline didn’t ruin it. I’ve seen both sides, and it’s horrible on both sides. I just try to remember to be happy when the pilot shows up sober and gets us there safely. hehe

  55. Charlotte Partridgeon 16 Aug 2007 at 6:51 pm

    I’m writing this while sitting in Midway. Flight 643 was scheduled to leave MDW at 6:10 pm. However, the flight just left Houston and has to go to New Orleans prior to arriving in Chicago. I was just told that it will now be at least 9:10 before it will land. It wouldn’t be so bad except this is now four out of five times that this flight has been late.

    I have no options as the NWA flight has no seats and the other two SWA flights have pages of stand-by passengers who, like me, just want to go home.

    I made a decision last week to take another job which does not require flying, at least for a year. I’d love to email Southwest to voice my displeasure but as other folks have noted multiple times, they just don’t do the email thing.

    When I do fly again, I will choose another airline.

  56. […] As I’ve stated before, Southwest Airline also doesn’t read its email, and this post is sparked by yet another pissed off SWA customer who was beached somewhere due to a delayed flight and is peturbed she can fire off an electronic hate missile. (I’m still waiting, SWA, just ask, and the post gets croaked). Okay. We all hate email. I hate receiving it, have nearly a 1,000 cluttering my work inbox, and have three other addresses ranging from my churbuck.com vanity address to various spamcatchers and Gmail variants. Yes, electronic mail sucks ass as its name is usually spam, but the notion of cutting off email as a customer service mechanism is utterly insane to me. […]

  57. Paul Hackeron 11 Sep 2007 at 4:58 pm

    I traveled ALB-BWI-PBI July 23 and now find I have to swallow 3/4 of a $976 loss on my luggage that never arrived. They say their “contract” does not allow for payment of checked luggage such as i-pods or cameras. So, I’m stuck. Last time I fly “LUV” airlines. If this is how they “LUV” the customer, they won’t get my business or my family’s business. They are penny wise and pound foolish.

  58. Melodyon 12 Sep 2007 at 1:56 am

    I think that it is crazy that an airline can decide what attire should be worn on an individual basis. IF they do not have guidelines to go by, then what gives them the right to deem what a woman, or anybody for that matter, wears is acceptable or not. It pisses me off to the point that I will never use them for a flight.

  59. Bobon 12 Sep 2007 at 1:22 pm

    I found a URL that Southwest Airlines did not block:

    http://www.f*cksouthwest.com

    Replace the asterisk with a ‘u’.

    We should definitely see about bringing that one to life.

  60. Anonymouson 26 Sep 2007 at 9:54 am

    I vehemently hate Southwest for their complete lack of caring or understanding when my father died seven years ago.

    My father had cancer and was dying. I had bought a full fare ticket to fly out to see him on a Friday to visit for the weekend. He died the Wednesday before. I called Southwest in tears and asked that my Friday departure be changed to a 4:00pm flight that day (Wednesday). They said sure but there would be a $90.00 change fee. I said I had already paid for a full fare ticket and needed to change the ticket because my father had just died. They said I had to pay it and I was so upset I just wanted to get a flight out and paid it. They asked if I wanted to change my departure date too. I said of course I was going to need to change it, but since he had just died I had no idea how long it was going to take to get all the affairs in order and so I couldn’t change the departure date right then.

    I called Southwest again that Sunday, my original departure date and asked to change the flight to the following Sunday. They said sure but there would be a $90.00 change fee. I explained that my father had died and that I had already paid for a full fare ticket and a $90.00 change fee, surely Southwest had a bereavement policy which would allow the waiver of a second $90.00 fee. I was told that Southwest did not have a bereavement policy. I asked to speak to a manager and was told the same thing. I hung up and got a one way ticket on Continental for $100.00. I wrote Southwest an e-mail complaining about their service and lack of a bereavement policy. I never got a response. I wrote again about a month later and still never got a response. Perhaps it was becasue this was in 2000, but there was then a customer service e-mail link which is what I used to contact Customer Service, and there was nothing stating that they did not use e-mail to handle Customer Service complaints then.

    I swore I would never buy a ticket from Southwest ever again, and I haven’t. The only time I have flown on Southwest since then is when others were arranging for and buying the tickets (about 4 times in the last 7 years). I take between 4 and 6 trips per year via other airlines now. Continental is my favorite airline.

    My beef with Soutwest thus goes beyond the fact that Southwest flights are often late and that they don’t have reserve seating. It is because they fail to have any policy or concern for fellow human beings during one of the most difficult times in a person’s life – the death of a family member.

  61. KaBooM!on 06 Oct 2007 at 12:24 am

    are you a donkey like to be abused by human scums?
    No? then try to respect yourself and stop flying SW.
    Humans have this ability called choosing which differ us from
    donkeys.

  62. Orlandoon 22 Oct 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Recently on flying Southwest out of Manchester, NH they would not move me up to fly on a flight leaving 2 hours earlier though I had done that many times before. I actually had flown Southwest primarily because they were friendly and flexible. They wanted to charge me over 300 dollars to change our flight to an emptier flight leaving 1:50 earlier.

    Not only would they not allow me on the earlier flight but the counter person made the experience personal, confrontational and very uncomfortable. I had to repeat several times “just book me on the flight “(my original later flight) please while she continued in a very confrontational manner. I tried again at the gate and while not successful the person at the gate was quit professional. I don’t know why the change to such a strict no common sense policy so I simply changed mine. I will go back to flying US Airways for business and professional travel as they apply common sense an flexibility to these situations.

    USAIRWAYS POLICY BELOW AS TAKEN FROM THEIR WEB SITE.
    http://www.usairways.com/awa/content/traveltools/specialneeds/ticketingpolicies/default.aspx

    MOVE UP PROGRAM
    We allow you to ‘move up’ to any earlier flight on the same day of your originally scheduled departure time at the airport (with the exception of flights to Hawaii and Europe). You can only make day-of-departure changes at the airport (and not by calling Reservations).
    If there is an open seat available on any earlier flight that departs on the same day as your originally scheduled departure, you may change to that flight and we will automatically confirm your reservation for $25 for flights within the 48 contiguous United States and $50 for flights to Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada and Alaska. This lower confirmation fee replaces the usual $100 change fee, plus any differences between your old fare and new fare, for non-refundable tickets.
    If there is not an open seat on an earlier flight that departs on the same day as your originally scheduled departure, you may stand by for that flight at no charge. Standing by at no charge is not permitted if we can confirm that there is an open seat available for that flight. Seats on completely booked flights may become available if passengers with confirmed reservations don’t show up for the flight. Please note: Unlike a confirmed reservation, flying standby does not guarantee that you will get on the particular flight that you want and may involve waiting for two or more flights before a seat is available to you.

  63. tealon 24 Oct 2007 at 6:17 pm

    Lost my baggage from Oregon into Vegas.
    Completed both lost baggage forms and had a response about 1 month later. My property lost value was $2000 (not including the $700 in fine jewelry, which they won’t cover). They need to see at least $800 worth of proof of purchase. It was hard enough to come up with $500.

    I NEED ADVICE PLEASE!

    Anyone who had a similar experience please reply.
    I need to know whether that amount ($800 in receipts) will be my reimbursement!? Should I keep on searching for more documents to show proof of purchase? It’s already been 2 months for me, and all I came up with was $500 in bank statements, and receipts…

    ALSO.

    PLEASE SHARE YOUR REIMBURSEMENT DEPRECIATION HORROR STORIES!

    (so i can get an idea)

    THANK YOU

  64. Samanthaon 25 Oct 2007 at 11:43 pm

    The level of hostility and the tone these complaints present is very interesting to me. I work with general public complaints and have concluded the following about difficult customers:
    — When a customer is upset, the story will be fabricated. — When the customer is at fault, he will not admit it. — When a customer uses profanity, it too will go unmentioned. The higher up the chain he gets, the nicer he becomes. Most importantly, if you’re hot tempered and you share your story with friends and family, they consider the source! — by the time letters have been written, voices have been heard, money has been paid, refunds have been issued, and credits have been granted, some customers remain displeased feeling, “IT’S REALLY NOT ENOUGH.” REALLY?? How much is enough? Let’s be honest here, we are a greedy society. In some cases, people seek opportunities to be wronged, hence reasons for legal counsel or “something for nothing.” SOUTHWEST AIRLINES has it’s flaws just like any other airline. They probably transport millions of people per month and receive commendation letters for the employees who DO go above and beyond their call of duty. LETS GO BACK TO BASICS HERE: The TSA’s involvement has impacted “ALL” airlines, remember TSA employees handle baggage before the airline does. Some people are unsure of where they left their cameras and ipod’s and immediately blame the airline. Some people falsify reasons to preboard, and are the first to whine when they can’t. Oh and by the way, planes are supposed to be full, it’s called SUCCESS! My suggestion to Mr. Complainer, if you’d like a more professional approach to handling these types of situations, then conduct yourself in the same manner. Stop living in your, “It’s all about me, world” and understand that the next guy, is just as important as you. Honest, proactive, and loyal customers are by far “WINNERS” in any heated situation. They remain composed, professional, realistic and they document the sequence of events. They attempt to comply with what is asked, and when a situation has ceased, they write their dignified letter and include their documentation. This person, is by far the one whose name you’ll probably NEVER see on one of these blogs because you see, unlike you, he WON his battle and continues to fly SOUTHWEST AIRLINES!
    Oh and in response to TEAL about baggage, really? You’re filing a $2000.00 claim (less jewelry) and you think they may just pay you $800.00? Here’s some advice: call and ask.

  65. tealon 27 Oct 2007 at 6:38 pm

    SAMANTHA

    Please don’t tell me you NEVER complained about ANYTHING in your entire life. If you haven’t, you LIE.
    Ironically, you are complaining about others complaining in that little reply above.

    MY SECOND COMPLAINT ABOUT SW aka: GHETTO AIRLINE
    They NEVER answer phones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  66. KaBoomon 07 Nov 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Samantha,
    you are one pathetic corporation trained robot.
    I PITY your existence.

  67. Gingeron 16 Nov 2007 at 2:58 pm

    Hi Teal,

    I too, had returned from a trip to Organ, and back to Las Vegas on 10/6/07.

    ( it does seem that Las Vegas airport is mentioned a lot)

    My husbands luggage arrived on an earlier flight. SWA phoned him as we got off the plane to let him know that they had his bag. We went to the carousel and my bag did not show up. There is no way for us to know if it too was sent on an earlier flight, left unattended and someone walked off with it? There is nothing to prevent someone from walking off with your bag. Las Vegas airport no longer checks your baggage claim tickets! Our flight left Portland and stopped in Sacramento. Then we had to exit that plane (which went on to San Diego) and boarded another plane (from Sac to Vegas). Did my bag stay with the plane to San Diego? Did my bag ever make it on the original plane? Did someone steal it?

    I received the SW passenger property loss claim form, and it has taken me over a month to try to recreate a list of what was in my bag. I am in the process today of having the form notarized. Today I called three times SW’s Central Lost and Found dept. (214-792-7900) option 2 and got the recording saying, “unable to take you call.” I have some receipts, my question would have been, Do I send them now, or wait for them to contact me for them? Naturally, a lot of items I could not provide a receipt for. It seemed that the paperwork indicated that the contents of the bag was to help identify it as mine. No where did it say that they would reimburse me for anything. Anyway you slice it, it stinks!

    I read earlier that we should put our name and cell number inside the bags. I’ll do that in the future.

    Good luck with your claim!

  68. suzon 31 Dec 2007 at 12:27 pm

    Dear Teal,
    I am still dealing with my claim for luggage lost on a non stop flight from Indy to Las Vegas on Oct. 13, 2007. The paper work to claims dept is horrendous and sooo time consuming. I was just asked for receipts for 700 dollars so after days of tracking down bank statements, checks, credit statements etc. I am still waiting for a response. My claims agent has been on vacation for 2 weeks and according to the claims office, no one else can answer my questions. They make the whole process so cumbersome that most people probably just give up.

  69. Anonymouson 21 Jan 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Southwest sucks. And who are these losers defending Southwest? I mean, I know you like your job and all but seriously – your employer doesn’t give a crap about its customers. My mom just bought a ticket from SW for her sister’s funeral. $600. That price is to be expected for a flight with such a short notice, but she naturally expected to get a bereavement discount. WRONG. No bereavement policy. When I called a SW customer service to ask about it on my mom’s behalf, the agent told me they do not have such a policy because it “keeps our fares low”. Then I told her my mom’s flight was $600 . That shut her up real fast. Nice way to treat your customers.

  70. Ralph Won 29 Jan 2008 at 7:10 pm

    I checked in 39 minutes before flight time. I went thru Security, bought a newspaper, ate a candy bar, checed phone msgs, sent an email, and still waited to board the plane. I was told at my destination because I didn’t check in 45 minutes before, then my luggage would be on the next flight and to come back to the airport then. I did taht, and when only one of two bags were there, I was told because I didn’t check in 45 minjutes before flight time, then my luggage would be on the following (3rd) plane. I complained that one of my bags was there, I was again recited the “45 minute law”, when I protested this lame explanation, I was told to look at a second carousel (I never heard of luggage from one flight being on two different carousels) and the clerk convinced me that my second bag could be on a different carousel from my first bag because she said that often happens.
    I then asked to track the missing bag with their bar coded id stickers, and was told their system can’t do that, all I can do is wait until whatever flight my luggage ends up on arrives within the next three days.

  71. Nancyon 19 Feb 2008 at 11:42 pm

    I truly hate southwest, but it is cheaper to fly. Not only are my flights usually delayed from 10 minutes up to 2 hours, this time they have seemed to lost my baggage. There was some bomb scare going on at LAX that delayed everyone and everything. I wasn’t able to check in on time because of this and when I arrived to SJC I was told I’d have to wait up to 1hr and 30 minutes for another direct flight from LAX that my baggage MIGHT POSSIBLY be on. They should look into some tracking system for all baggages. But, I couldn’t wait 1hour and 30 minutes or even come back because I had to take a taxi to a Bus station and then ride a bus for 1 hour to get to a station near school and take another bus for 15 minutes to get back to school. If it was during broad daylight I might have been able to wait just a while, but it was late and I needed to catch a bus before it stopped running. So at the SJC baggage claim I had designated a person and authorized them to be able to come pick up my baggage the next day and the lady working at the baggage claim took a piece of paper, stuck my claim ticket on there and told me to sign and write who i authorize to pickup my stuff. i called the next day and another person working at the baggage claim service told me whoever handled what i did the day before didn’t take the right procedures and SWA isn’t liable for my baggage but that she’ll file a courtesy report anyways. Apparently they’re still looking for my baggage, I really wonder if they are.

    Honestly, wtf. I don’t work for SWA and I’ve never lost a baggage. How the heck am I supposed to know that their own employee did something wrong. That is not my fault that is SWA doesn’t train their employees well.

  72. Chrison 27 Feb 2008 at 4:33 am

    I’m sorry you guys have had such a difficult time on SWA.

    Concerning many of the complaints throughout this blog, SW addressed these specifically with recent changes geared towards improving the travel experiences of the business traveler and frequent flier.

    For one, if you’re a frequent flier on SW you can now get “A-listed” – an automatic A boarding pass regardless of when you’ve checked in for your flight. There is also the new ‘Business Select’ fare that guarantees you will be one of the first few people to board, in addition to giving you extra Rapid Rewards credits.

    The new boarding process has all but eliminated the ‘cattle car’ boarding that forced passengers to line up long before their flight arrived. Now you’re actually given a numerical place in line, permitting you to line up just before actual boarding.

    One thing that hasn’t changed is the open seating policy. This isn’t because SW is opposed to changing it – they tested assigned seating at length in 2007. Simply put, customers overwhelmingly wanted the open seating. Not only this, but it takes considerably less time to turn a plane around when the seats are open rather than assigned – in other words the time it takes to board 137 passengers is greatly reduced.

    Regarding the last-minute changes to flights, unless a full-fare ticket is purchased you’ll be charged the difference between the fare you paid and the lowest fare available at that time. With that said, there are no additional fees to re-book a flight. If you paid a full fare or business select fare, the fare is fully refundable. If not, the funds can be applied to future travel on SW. This policy is actually VERY business traveler friendly as the savings potential is substantial if there are last minute changes to flights.

    As far as Tina’s account of the way she was treated by the flight attendants, I am truly sorry you experienced that from a flight crew. I can assure you that when a negative letter is written, the ENTIRE flight crew is required to respond to the complaint – both pilots and all three flight attendants – and each complaint is followed up on by base supervisors with a personal interview in most cases. So mentioning your experience to the pilots was the right thing to do. There are almost ten thousand flight attendants working for SW, and the VAST majority represent the best that Southwest has to offer. I promise you that the crew working your flight represented a very small handful of flight attendants and your experience was certainly the exception.

    I wish we had a bereavement policy for passengers. I’ve heard of people getting reduced fares (similiar to a senior or military fare), but that’s all. If reservations isn’t able to help, try talking to a Customer Service Agent at the airport.

    Lost baggage. Can there be a more frustrating part of travel? Even more than delays – at least with a delay you know you’ll (eventually) make it to your destination. I can’t relate to losing luggage and having to come up with receipts for hundreds of dollars worth of clothing, shoes, etc, and I hope I never have to. I can imagine the frustration and time and energy spent trying to sort the mess, and feel terrible for anyone that’s had this experience. I wish I had something more to offer in the way of advice than making sure your information’s on the inside of the luggage and valuables kept in a carry-on, both suggestions having already been made.

    I know what I’ve written won’t change the minds of many of the people that have come here to post, but I hope you realize there are SW employees that truly care about the unfortunate things that happen that cause us to lose customers. As a flight attendant I try every day to make a positive difference in the travel experiences of our passengers.

    Good things are happening at SWA – the Rapid Rewards program will be changing this year to make it even easier to earn free flights, SW will be the first US airline to offer satellite internet service on flights beginning this summer, and there will be expansion into more cities to be announced this year… not to mention more long-haul flights to reduce the number of stops on your way from LAX to BWI.

    I’m including the DOT Operating Statistics from last year as they were distributed to me, including some specifics for the month of December 2007 regarding SWA performance.

    DOT Releases Year end and December Operating Statistics for 2007

    The top performers in each category of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report  for Yearend 2007 are listed below. The Air Travel Consumer Report can be viewed in full online at airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/reports/index.htm.

    For December 2007, Southwest ranked first in Consumer Complaints with 0.16 complaints per 100,000 Customers enplaned. In Ontime Performance, we ranked fourth with an ontime percentage of 72.5. Our December 2007 ranking in Mishandled Baggage was eighth, with an average of 7.65 reports per 1,000 enplanements.

    YEAREND 2007:

    COMPLAINTS (PER 100,000 CUSTOMERS)
    1. Aloha 0.21
    2. Southwest 0.26
    3. ExpressJet 0.45
    4. Frontier 0.66
    5. SkyWest 0.71
    6. Hawaiian 0.72
    7. Alaska 0.76
    8. JetBlue 0.78
    9. Mesa 0.83
    10. AirTran 0.83

    ONTIME PERFORMANCE (PERCENT)
    1. Hawaiian 93.3
    2. Aloha 92.2
    3. Southwest 80.1
    4. Frontier 77.6
    5. Delta 76.9
    6. AirTran 76.8
    7. Pinnacle 76.3
    8. Skywest 75.7
    9. Continental 74.3
    10. ExpressJet 73.8

    BAGGAGE HANDLING (PER 1,000 CUSTOMERS)
    1. Hawaiian 3.41
    2. Aloha 3.88
    3. AirTran 4.06
    4. Northwest 5.01
    5. JetBlue 5.23
    6. Continental 5.33
    7. United 5.76
    8. Southwest 5.87
    9. Frontier 6.16
    10. Alaska 6.39

  73. David Churbuckon 27 Feb 2008 at 10:40 am

    Finally — a voice of reason for Southwest appears here. I don’t know who you are Chris, but you just did more to rehabilitate my view of Southwest than any of your cohorts or colleagues have over the past two years.

    I’d really like to end this blog’s role as the lightning rod for unhappy Southwest customers.

    this post is now ranked first for the search term “southwest sucks” — as a person devoted to figuring out the role of blogs in customer satisfaction, this is something of an interesting experiment in what can happen when an unhappy person writes “brandname sucks” and proves the corrosive power of search engines on brand reputation.

    To wit — southwest registered southwestsucks.com — smart move. Except it is ranked pretty low against the term whereas this post and thread is first.

    People like Chris should continue to leverage the comment string here to
    a) respond to specific complaints and seek the movement of those complaints off of Churbuck.com and onto the airline’s turf
    b) make the case that things are improved. To wit, I didn’t know about the frequent flier, business flier designation into the A category

    I am not grinding an axe, I continue to avoid Southwest, but only because I have a direct alternative to my most frequently flown route. Southwest plays a vital role in providing affordable air transport and is, like the rest of the industry, challenged in a post 9/11 age of air travel.

    Good going Chris. Next time I might suggest providing some more open identification of who you are and how people can contact you or the good folks in Southwest customer service.

    And the offer still stands — if someone from Southwest makes an official request I will delete this thread and replace it with a pointer to the Southwest destination of Southwest’s choice.

  74. Maggie Thornburgon 07 Mar 2008 at 1:21 pm

    I appreciate your explanations, Chris, but I just had a terrible experience with “Customer Service”. I have always flown SWA, didn’t mind cattle car boarding, understand the checking in early, etc., and never had any problems at all. I enjoyed it, especially being in Chicago where United rules. However, after my conversation today with a gentleman in customer service (and I unfortunately cannot remember his name), all I want is someone to objectively listen to my complaint without making me feel unimportant and, for lack of a better word, stupid. A “Celia” I spoke to on a second call was very nice, but could do nothing to help per company policy. Customer service at all levels has deteriorated at SWA over the past few years. I guess the company just got too large to be friendly.

  75. Richon 12 Mar 2008 at 2:14 pm

    I recommend emailing any senior manager at Southwest Airlines directly. For example, Brian Lusk – Manager of Customer Communication and Corporate Editor can be reached by brian.lusk@wnco.com.

    All you need is the first and last name of the person, or Google Southwest Airlines senior management and look at the results.

    All of their email addresses are:

    first.last@wnco.com

    This eliminates having to send them a written letter and waiting two months for a reply.

    Hope this helps!

  76. luke Wagneron 16 Mar 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Well, I’m sitting Houston-Hobby waiting for my flight to Denver. So far things have been terrible. I came to Houston to see my new nephew and things were going well until southwest got involved. My father, who had been staying with my brother, decided to move his flight up a couple a days so that he could fly home with me. He called early this morning to get his flight changed and spoke with a representative on the phone. She said that this would not be a problem and even charged my father one hundred and sixty dollars. I knew things were to good to be true. When we arrived at the check counter, to our surprise the rep moved my father’s flight up two hours instead of two days. I had worked in a call center for a year and knew that most phone calls are recorded. When I asked Gabriel (a manager) to pull the call he said this was not possible on Sunday. Of course, the flight a has been over booked and once again Southwest took no blame. I asked if Gabriel if southwest was going to pay for hotel accomendations. Once again, no. I tried to convince family and friends not to fly southwest, but no one listens. Well, now my father will never fly with southwest again. My only recommendation is to avoid southwest and all costs.

  77. Vicky Smithon 20 Mar 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Also just to add to the “first.last@wnco.com” rule is sometimes they use nick names as well. Like Charles Morris is chas.morris@wnco.com etc. So beware of that.

  78. Dannyon 22 Apr 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Some Reasons why Southwest Airlines isn’t cool anymore:

    1. Rapid Rewards travel is even harder to get than frequent flyer seats on a regular airline.

    2. The employees are cranky and aren’t funny anymore. What happened to all the good people? The gate agents are downright mean, as if Southwest stole them all from United.

    3. It’s practically impossible to get an A-pass because they go to the Business and Business Select customers.

    4. Southwest doesn’t seat families traveling with children first anymore.

    5. Cheating to get past FAA inspections!?

  79. Steve Gon 22 Apr 2008 at 5:41 pm

    I’ve never flown Southwest, but I see their gates in many of the airports I frequent. I must say that the boarding procedure looks like all the passengers are treated like cattle, not customers.

    I work for a very large company…one of the largest in the world. Southwest is never recommended by the company as an option for any travel by company employees. Why? Because Southwest is CHEAP. They cut corners, including in passenger safety. My company knows this…My company’s insurer knows this. Are you catching on?

  80. matton 09 May 2008 at 11:38 am

    southwest is the best airline i have ever flown on, they will get my service for my entire life, they are the best, i don’t know about everyone else but i love them.

  81. anonon 26 May 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Too the guy who says southwest cuts corners, have you noticed that almost all other airlines are cancelling and losing money for having their planes”checked” so please keep babbling on about saftey when they have a great track record. But I am sure you will be the first to complain when your flight is delayed due to a mechanical problem.

  82. anonon 26 May 2008 at 9:27 pm

    And to the admin who had the link of one of southwests crashes out of what 3 in 35 years or more? check other airline track records southwest wins that one too.

  83. M. L.on 01 Jul 2008 at 12:25 am

    I am a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines.
    Love the job Love the company. and after having worked for another major airline for a long time, trust me, I KNOW southwest treats the customers the best. and for those who say we are cheap, then what do you call ALL THE OTHER AIRLINES who charge for blankets, meals, checked luggage, pillows and even SOFT DRINKS. I am not understanding very well how you call us cheap and not those other desperate airlines who are struggling to stay in business. There is a reason why we are number one. there is a reason why our flights are always full. and obviously, we do not need all you whiners’ help to maintain our profit. I see some of you talking about JetBlue. Great company. just like us. The only reason for that is because the founder of JetBlue used to work for Southwest. for a long time as well. where do you think he learned all those great things about the airline industry? at SOUTHWEST. I am not expecting every single customer to be completely satisfied, but anybody who complains about us not taking care of their bags the way they wanted us to take care of them, to me, seems like just a whiner. any airline issues such as baggage issues, delays, cancellations and missed flights could happen to anyone, anywhere, and at ANY AIRLINE. you must be such a small person if you hate us just because your flight was delayed and the customer service personnel did not treat you like a king or a queen. or because your bags were mishandled. I had my bags lost not once, not twice, not three times, many many times on other airlines when I traveled as a revenue passenger. Do I hate them? no. Do I expect them to pay for the damage? yes, to a certain extent…however if their policy says “we do not cover any damages to wheels or handles” then ok, that is their policy. I am not going to cry over that. Those baggage agents did not lose my bags. They are just there to HELP ME FIND MY BAGS…why yell at them??? because you are an a-hole. Well, as a frequent traveler and a flight attendant, I have been in both shoes, Passenger and an Airline representative…and I still think that SWA is the winner and the whining passenger is the loser.

  84. Buck Mannon 06 Jul 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Mr. Presley — I’d agree with you, the service has dropped. As the former HOU Customer Service Agent touched on earlier in this blog, there are many issues within the Company due to erosion of its former Culture. It is not the “happy happy, let’s work together ‘family’ ” that Herb Kelleher built and maintained over three decades. Far from it.

    When John Denison came out of retirement to assist SWA in shaping the International Association of Machinists (IAM) contract in 2002-03, he helped design a package that tempted union officials (and conned rank-n-file members) with inordinately high wages for senior reservations and airport agents. It also slipped in verbiage that IAM leaders were either … largely oblivious to, took kickbacks on, or also blinded by The Benjamins (they double as senior agents [a conflict of interest, no?] — 11 yr. persons would pull in more than $50k annually on a 40 hr./week schedule).

    This contrasted sharply with Kelleher’s focus on “low costs (including modest wages) and high spirits” as a formula for company success.

    Denison and Co.’s proposal was passed; the begining of the end for the famous “Southwest Culture” and subsequently, external customer service folks had becomed accustomed to.

    It accomplished one of Herb’s two cardinal rules: low costs, as it sent tons of senior agents to the turnstyles — many by termination, some through buyouts — and brought in numerous entry level hirees, along with temp agency workers.

    Yep, workers on the cheap… The shortcoming is that experience is not a commodity … and much of it received a dropkick in the butt and was sent out of the door.

    Remaining senior agents see a bleak, threatened existence. The Union flails to adjust to rule loopholes, leaving agents with little actual defense.

    A worker at a very busy West Coast station called the present working environment a “jungle … a contentious relationship [between RSAs and management], at best. If you have seniority, you have a bullseye on your back — every day.”

    No wonder external customers get short-sheeted, eh?

    So Mr. Presley, you’re right: Southwest customer service has certainly slid from what it used to be. Write a letter and thank greedy Company leadership for that .. or e-mail them directly.

    Nevermind previous notes that e-mail is not accepted; send it direct to their work e-mail and circumvent the nonsense.

    Here’s the Universal Naming Convention:
    firstname.lastname@wnco.com

    For example:
    Southwest President Colleen C. Barrett
    colleen.barrett@wnco.com

    Southwest CEO Gary Kelly
    gary.kelly@wnco.com

    Happy e-mailing — and flying!
    thepeoplemustknow@gmail.com

    Southwest Executive Vice President & Chief of Operations, Jim Wimberly
    jim.wimberly@wnco.com

    Southwest Vice President Reservations, Ellen Torbert
    ellen.torbert@wnco.com

    Happy e-mailing!
    thepeoplemustknow@gmail.com

  85. Nightmare On SWAon 03 Aug 2008 at 1:32 am

    I can’t even begin to tell you how poor of an airline this is. I will never fly with Southworst again. I wouldn’t even fly them if they gave me my own plane. OMG. Find another carrier people.

  86. Keebieon 12 Aug 2008 at 4:36 pm

    My brother just had the worst experience on Southwest last night and I have been trying to find a way to complain ALL DAY!

    Basically, just as his flight from Salt Lake City to Oakland was about to take off, the flight attendant announced that they couldn’t account for all of the passengers and someone had forgotten to turn in their boarding pass. Instead of going back to double check the list vs. the paper passes, they went through the list and checked off passengers. Allegedly, my brother’s name was not on that list, though he calmly told them he had indeed handed them the pass and could they check again. Instead of doing their job and offering any sort of customer service, they told him to exit the plane immediately or he would be physically removed by security. When he again asked if they could just double check before he did so, the captain announced that they would call security if he did not exit, so he did. As they were leaving, a stand-by passenger–who was already on the plane for some reason–took his seat.

    When they got to the gate/kiosk, my brother’s boarding pass was AT THE TOP OF THE PILE. Not in the middle, not stuck to another pass, BUT ON TOP. The flight attendant didn’t even have the decency to apologize. Instead, she said “how did that get there, it wasn’t there before.” Really? Because when my brother asked her to double check, she hadn’t left the plane. Seems very shady to me.

    So the plan takes off without my brother on it and when the manager came out, they acted like my brother had done something wrong! They didn’t even get him on the next flight out. He had to wait 4 hours only to be given a C boarding pass! They didn’t even have the decency to offer him pre-boarding or a friggin A for that matter.

    My brother is the nicest guy in the world and just simply wants an apology from the flight attendant and Southwest, and their acknowledgment that it was their error, but we can’t even find a place to complain! If anyone knows how to get a hold of these people please let me know.

    Thank you for letting me vent!

  87. Keebieon 12 Aug 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Follow-up!

    I wanted to share the next leg of this story. Today my brother called into the customer service line and the customer service woman was absolutely appalled by what happened. She said that it isn’t even their policy to pull people off the planes in that situation, much less have someone waiting in the wings to take their seat.

    The woman gave him the flight attendant’s ID number and then she checked to see about his “missing” boarding pass. Turns out, it wasn’t missing at all and her computer showed his boarding pass being scanned at 6:46pm. It was never even lost in the first place! Definitely some shady business going on, but at least the person on the phone agreed and is helping them with their complaint.

    I am happy that at least someone in the Southwest organization was helpful and acknowledged the poor treatment. I can’t fault the whole airline for one, bad apple, but if given the choice, I would most likely not fly them out of Salt Lake City!

  88. Jim Bon 16 Aug 2008 at 6:19 pm

    I don’t hate Southwest, but sometimes I hate some of the things they do. The latest: When I go online to checkin and print my boarding pass, that boarding pass now appears with several garish full color ads on it. I don’t care that much about them trying to make a buck selling ads on the boarding pass. I think it’s crass but hey! This doesn’t make them different from the other airlines as far as scraping the bottom of the barrel for revenue and nickel and diming their customers. But I DO object to having to waste all that ink to print out the stupid pass on my home inkjet printer. Two or three of these boarding passes with ads —- and I fly Southwest a LOT — and I’ve got to go out and buy expensive inkjet cartridge refills. Come on, Southwest, why do you treat me this way??

  89. Johnon 20 Aug 2008 at 12:44 am

    I flew Southworst Airlines once and never again, next time rollerskates. I flew for a living in the 1980s and had to catch a SW flight from Phoenix to Abq. I was ready to deplane before the flight left the gate. The stewardesses’ behavior gave one suspicions that they were drunk. I asked a passenger next to me if this was going on before they arrived in Phoenix, he nodded his head yes, with a look of resignation. An FAA regulation was violated on climbout and I finally got these freak stewardesses to sober up when I asked for their names. I asked them if the FAA knows about their behavior and the reply was “the FAA are our friends”. The stewardess didnt appear to friendly when I deplaned – I asked to speak with the pilots and one of the pilots said that “we are encouraged to joke (not exact words). I filed a complaint with the FAA for this one flight. That was my only flight on a joke of an airline. I was almost speared by a Southworst flight taxiing in Phoenix as they taxi so fast they practically miss FAA Tower instructions. This is an unsafe airline. Sorry they are still in business,

    John

  90. Belindaon 17 Oct 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Southwest Airlines robbed us of over $360.00 today by claiming that we could not use our funds from a prior unused ticket (purchased within the year) because $71.00 of it was from a prior ticket over a year old. So instead of deducting the $71.00 from the $360.00, they kept the entire $360.00. Nice. I’ll drive before I get on one of their beater planes again.

  91. Anonymouson 20 Nov 2008 at 1:42 am

    HORRRRIBLEEE “NEVER FLY WITH SOUTH WASTEeee Ailines””

    on a recent trip to vegas for my bestfriends 21st birthday they lost my bag worth of $4,225 worth i followed the procedures as i was asked to and got a phone call today after a whole month and a half telling me Your claim sound questionable and we are not going to honor it…. how are you going to tell a customer in which you have caused so mnayyyyy and multiple inconvinieces that you are not going to honor the claim..I will be taking this rediculous compnay to court and JUSt have to see what happens from their..THEY deserve to GO out of bussinesssSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  92. becca brokenArrowon 16 Dec 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I too loathe SWA. We flew our family down to Tampa for some family time this summer, and it was the first time dealing with them. Six tickets ran us about $1,300, so it was by no means a bargin.

    When I asked my family how the flight was, all I got was raised eyebrows……no one wants to be negative…esp. at the start of a very rare and dear family vacation…….I let it pass. Later, my daughter just said the seats were quite cramped, and the attendents had the kind of attitudes you DON’T want small children to see.

    When they returned, we were permitted to help them all right up to the gate…….and wow, just WOW. There were two couples, who apparently didn’t understand the Cattle Trough line up procedure, or were not listening when their letter was called. Our girls were in trough B………so when they didn’t move, we proceeded onward to the gate, while these other people just stayed in trough A. When the last child’s boarding pass was being taken, these people rushed up, pushed two of my grandchildren aside, and stuffed their boarding passes into the face of the gate attendent. Like a zombie, she just looked at them, took their passes, and let them cut right through our group of six who were boarding.

    After they all were out of earshot, and on the plane, I asked if that’s how she was taught to handle situations like that. With a flat affect, and an even more vacant stare, she just looked at me, and said NOTHING…….I mean not one word.

    Later that week, I called and was put through to the complaint department. The woman was extremely defensive, then devolved to downright rude. She proceeded to go into a hyper-rant as to all required information I would need to start the complaint process, then asked what kind of PROOF I had. SCREW THAT…….our intention was to make this a yearly thing. However, we won’t be buying SIX TICKETS at a time from SWA, only non-stop from Buffalo, or not.

    When you allow people to shove toddlers out of the way while boardning in a family group, and let it go unchecked, well, I have to say YOU SUCK.

  93. Pissed off passengeron 28 Dec 2008 at 12:23 am

    SOUTHWEST SUCKS! They have crappy attitudes and this whole ‘aren’t we a fun airline’ is BS.

    I flew SWA from PHL to LAS and they SUCK! I will do everything within my power to NEVER – repeat NEVER – fly Southwest again. They lost my luggage – with all my personal items and Christmas presents from my family. And they were *NO HELP* in finding it. The people at the LAS airport we just like ‘well, it probably got hung up in security’ and told me to go and look again — they didn’t offer to help me look, nope, nothing, I had to go and look again…and that whole ‘hung up in security’ BS — funny, because there were at least 3 others from my flight also logging lost luggage complaints….hmmm, did ALL our luggage get ‘hung up in security’. What BS. I fly from PHL to LAS and back on a regular basis and my luggage has never been ‘hung up in security’ before – oh, wait, but that was on a REAL airline, not this crappy one.

    So they told me it should be on the afternoon flight – so I’m waiting and waiting and hearing nothing – so I called the 888 number, was on hold for OVER 40 MINUTES! Got nothing…so I called their 800 number – guess what the geniuses there do? Well, gee, they transfer me to the 888 number so after waiting on hold for ANOTHER 30 MINUTES someone finally answers and just says ‘Well it looks like they are still looking for it’ and that’s it…nothing else….no ‘sorry we lost all your Christmas presents’…nothing at all…and I am SO PISSED at them right now and I told the guy that I have been flying for YEARS and this was my first flight with SWA and the first time I *EVER* lost baggage and…he hung up…not so much as a goodbye…nothing…yep, he hung up on me. Now, that’s *GREAT* customer service.

    SOUTHWEST SUCKS! and I will spend the rest of my days telling everyone I know that they suck. It’s bad enough with their seating crap but then to lose my luggage and just not give a s*** about it is WRONG.

    Oh, yeah, and Customer Service is closed for the holidays…YES, it’s CLOSED FOR THE HOLIDAYS and won’t reopen until Dec 29th. WTF??? You people are running an airline and you close your Customer Service for the holidays?? WTF???

    I went with SWA to save money and now it’s costing me more then the $100 or so I saved – all my stuff is gone, my presents from family, all gone…

    SOUTHWEST SUCKS!!

  94. Grimeson 31 Dec 2008 at 2:57 am

    Ok so here is how it went…my orig flight was Sat 27th dec 08….but seeing how i have not seen my family in quiet some time (in the military) I paid the 83 dollar upgrade fee to leave a day sooner…Ok then the weather hits at the last moment before i get to chicago from seattle..no biggie act of God, so KC here we come…..well we land and i am stuck there for the night..again sucks, but no biggie, i will still make it home 15 hours ahead of what my original flight would have been..worth 83 bucks, nah but still ok…well we get on the runway in KC and I sleep wake up 2 hours later, still on the runway…sheesh, call my folks and say hey Im gonna miss the flight in Nashiville to Detroit, so ill call u when we take off in KC and land in nashville….well yup i missed my flight in nashville because of the delay in KC (weather) Sucks but again nothing they can do..so I end up in Chicago, wait 6 hours and finally make it to Detroit…..49hours later..ouch but again weather…So I just want to pick up my seabag and go to sleep…But oh wait, they lost my luggage…WHAT???!!!! So its been three days, no luggage, no clothes, and worst off I have no military uniforms anymore..ouch..well after the first 24 hours they said i could spend 50 bucks and buy underwear and what not…great, just save the reciepts and they will give me money, ok we will see…..oh they didnt give me my 83 bucks back, but i got a 100 credit good for a year towards my next flight, so thats kinda good, but still no luggage, so We shall see…I hope they find it, as I had gifts from over seas in there, and well all of the clothes that I own, including harley shirts from all over the world…so this sucks, on leave and well yea no clothes, they said they will find them and if not cool they will replace them…but it takes 6-8 weeks to get paid…HUH? I NEED MONEY NEXT WEEK, how am I suppose to do my job without my uniforms??!!!! Who has a extra 2k laying around to replace shoes, boots, and clothes…..so far I dont know what I think of them….I hope they take care of this, but we shall see…I know stuff like this happens but well sucks when it happens to me lol…….

  95. Someoneon 31 Dec 2008 at 11:09 pm

    My family and I were traveling on SWA everything was well, we had great refreshments and the attendents were friendly and polite.When we landed we waited at the baggage claim where only one bag showed up. A employee was looking at the baggage claim and collected any baggage that went around more than 3 times. she piled them in a corner and then lined them up rudely telling people to look there for their luggage or go inside the office to look. The other employee behind the counter helped filed a lost bagage claim but then commented ” this is a bad time to travel” ..UH DUH!!! there’s no such thing as a bad time to travel (unless she meant bad weather) in which case it was a clear sky and the sun was shining. I had some items on the luggage which are important and all SWA offered was a 50$ reimbersment for the “future flight” which was only good if they found our lugage and we drove back to the air port ourselves to claim it. If they delivered the luggage no such thing would happen. Also the luggage carring carts ran OVER our lugagge crushing the side and leaving small shattered pieces in side and around the lugage. SWA really made me angry when they simply replied that the damage THEY had done was from another time and that they had nothing to do with it. They also refused to futher discuss anything more about the luggage. Even if they didn’t want to do something about it or tell me what happened to my luggage can’t a customer at least have a decent conversation before denied the right to know what the heck happened?

  96. George Heldon 04 Feb 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Gary Kelly
    Chairman and CEO
    Southwest Airlines

    Dear Mr. Kelly,

    I realize that this is a lengthy letter but I want you to know the details of what I experienced when your airlines lost my bag. I know that you are a busy man but I would appreciate it if you would take the time to read my letter.

    On January 13, 2009 I dropped my wife off at Southwest Airline curb service at the Portland International Airport for flight #1156 to San Diego, California, with one stop in Sacramento. While I was driving to long term parking, she checked our two bags in with the skycap, requested her wheel chair and was transported to the gate. After dropping off the car, I came back to the airport and met her at the gate. We boarded the plane about 10:20AM and departed at 10:50PM. We flew to Sacramento, where we remained on the plane and then flew on to San Diego. When we landed in San Diego, a wheelchair was waiting for my wife and the gentleman that was pushing the chair told us that he was going to take us on a short cut to baggage claim. When we arrived at the baggage claim carasoul, it was not turning and I noticed on the reader board that I was at the correct carasoul, for flight #1156. The conveyer belt started and my wife’s bag was the first one out and I remained at the carasoul until all of the bags were out. My bag never came out. I then went to other carasoul’s to check for my bag and it was no where to be found. I when to the Southwest Baggage office, which is right next to the carasoul and told them that my bag was missing and they told me to go back to the carasoul to check for my bag and that sometimes there are delays in putting the bags on the carasoul, after an airplane lands. I stayed out by the carasoul for another one-half hour and nothing. I then went back to the South West Baggage office and told them that I wanted to file a claim. I told them that I couldn’t believe that they could possibly loose my bag on a direct flight from Portland, with a stop over in Sacramento. The lady that I spoke with was a bit sharp with me, with her tone of voice but I decided that I should just file the claim and hopefully my bag would arrive in a few hours or so. I completed a Lost/Delayed Report Receipt, report no. 1002535832 at 14:12, bagtag, PDXT556450. I told the lady that my sleep apnea equipment was in my bag and that it was very important for me told have this equipment, each night. I also told her that this was the first time that I had ever checked my apnea equipment in my bag and that it was based on the fact that it was a direct flight. I have flown several times in the past few years and I have always carried my equipment, especially, non-direct flights. I was told that they would be searching for my bag and that they would deliver it to the hotel where we were staying at in San Diego, when they found it. They also told me that this happens on occasion and that most of the time, they find the baggage.

    My wife and I flew to San Diego for a church meeting with the Presbyterian Church’s, Self Development of People. We checked into our room at the Town and Country Resort and I called the (888)202-1024 number on the lost/delayed report to find out about my bag. . I was told that it hadn’t been found and they were sure that they would find it soon and would have it delivered. I called the front desk to find out find they had any shaving gear and tooth paste and brush and they delivered it to my room. I wore a sweat suit and tennis shoes and I am now, without any other clothing and I have meeting the next day. I called the (888) around 9:00PM and still no bag. This would be the first night in about eight years that I wouldn’t be using my apnea equipment.

    The next morning, January 14th, I called the (888) and still no bag. I went to the church meetings and told everyone about the lost bag and that I didn’t usually attend church meeting in a sweat outfit. This was on January 14th. The members of the church committee told me that they would be praying for my bag and especially my sleep apnea equipment. I told the lady that I didn’t have any other clothing or shaving gear and I was told to go out and purchase it, keep receipts and that I would be reimbursed by the Southwest Baggage office, before I departed from San Diego. I took a cab to Target and to JCPenney’s, which cost me $8.00 and purchased the lease expensive dress pants, $10.00 each, three shirts for $5.00 each, socks, shoes and shaving gear, items that I needed for the week and for the meetings. I called the (888) again in the PM and still no bag. I told the lady about my sleep apnea equipment and she told me that I could call Medical Rental Company in the San Diego area and that they rented sleep apnea equipment. I called the company and told them about my problem and was told that they were not equipped to feed the equipment with my specific data. Well, that wouldn’t help. The lady also told me that she had sent (3) emails, one to Portland, one to Sacramento and on to San Diego, asking them to check their baggage lockers and the she should receive feedback from them in a short period of time.

    The next morning, January 15th, I called the (888) number and was told that my bag was still missing and I told the man that I thought it would be important for them to know the content of my bag. He agreed and I gave him a description of the clothing, shoes, apnea equipment, my wives hats, socks, and etc. He told me that it was a good idea for them to know that information, just in case, all of the tags were pulled off. This man was probably the most helpful and understanding. He told me that Sacrament and San Diego had gotten back with him with emails stating that they didn’t have my bag and that Portland didn’t respond. He told me that he was going to send another email to Portland. In fact, during the entire time that I was in San Diego, your Portland baggage claim office never responded to any of the emails regarding my lost bag. Most of the people that I spoke with at the (888) could have cared less. I understand that this is an answering service that Southwest using with missing baggage and I was told at the Southwest Baggage Claim office that they didn’t think that this was a good idea to have, someone outside of Southwest, handle the calls and that all of it was based on them, the (888) people, calling baggage claim. The man told me that they were looking for my bag and that it would be delivered as soon as they found it. Several church people and employees, namely the front desk people at the Resort, couldn’t believe that Southwest had lost my bag, in that it was a non-stop flight. (So to speak).

    I spoke with the Resort’s Consigner and told her about by lost baggage and she told me that she would do some tracking for me. I gave her all of my flight information and she told me that she would look into it and would get back with me. She called me that afternoon in my room and gave me the bad news. Southwest Airlines doesn’t have a tracking system for baggage. What! She told me that she called your airlines and told them about my situation and was told that they didn’t have a tracking system and the Consigner told the Southwest employee, “then you don’t know if the bag ever made it to the plane in Portland” and she said, “yes”. I was shocked. I guess I assumed that every airline had a tracking system. With all of the latest technology and companies striving to “Satisfy Customers” I would have thought that your airlines had a tracking system. So what is to prevent a skycap or a TSA employee from stealing a bag, before it goes to the plane? If they aren’t tracked, then it is an open field.

    I called the (888) again and voiced my complaint and was told that they were only an answering service for Southwest and that if I wanted to; I could call the main baggage office in Dallas, Texas and talk to them. I called the 214.792.4223 and spoke with a lady that “could have cared less about my bag”. Nothing about, sorry about you bag, we are looking for your bag, or anything that was reassuring about my bag. She told me to call, 214-792.7900 and I received about the same treatment. Perhaps you could have a training session with all of your personnel that have to do with lost or missing baggage, at a central location in the US, that have them fly to the destination, and when they check into the hotel, you purposely take their luggage and store it for several days, so that they discover what it is like to be without their clothing and other necessary items. Perhaps they would have more empathy for the passengers who lose their luggage or it is missing. Harrison Ford starred in a movie several years ago and had his staff in hospital beds for several days and wanted them to experience what it is like, being in a bed at the hospital. It was a true story and it was successful.

    It is now, January 16, and I called the (888) again and was told that they were still looking for my bag. I can’t believe it. It has now been 3-1/2 days and they still haven’t found my bag. I attended several church meeting during the day and at each meeting, I am asked, “Have they found your bag” and my reply is “No”. Well, we will keep praying for your bag”. It is now around 7:00PM and I called the (888) again and I am told that they had found my bad and that it would be delivered that evening. I was so excited. I asked that lady, ‘Where did they find it and she told me that she didn’t know that information”. I was elated. My wife was in a meeting and I went into the meeting room and told her that they had found my bag and she was not only, excited but the entire room explored with, “Amen’s”, “Glory Halleluiah” and more. That night, I went to bed, knowing that my bag had been found and that they would be delivering it, soon. I woke up several times during night and was wondering, “Where is my bag?”

    It is now, January 17th, and I called the (888) and told them that me bag wasn’t delivered and was told that it was a mistake. That they hadn’t found my bag and that the lady that told me about the bag didn’t have all if the information about the bag and that she shouldn’t have told me that it had been found. I am dumfounded! You are kidding? No, it was a mistake. Unbelievable. My wife was in the room when I was told this information and she, couldn’t believe it. “Why in the world would they tell you that they found the bag, when in fact, I hadn’t been found?” I told her, “That’s it with Southwest Airlines”. They don’t have a baggage tracking system and they don’t have a good follow-up system regarding, lost baggage. We went to some meeting and I told them about the bag and they were, again, shocked. You are kidding! “No”. We are so sorry.

    It is now, January 18th and still no bag. I called the (888) and was told that they still hadn’t found my bag. I told them that I was leaving the Resort and going home and if or when they found my bag to contact me at my home phone. When I arrived at the airport, I went directly to you baggage claim area and spoke with Bruce. He told me that they had found a bag in Ft. Meyers, Fl. with some sleep apnea equipment and told me that he was going to follow-up on the bag. He placed several calls and was not able to get through to anyone. He went on to tell me that the equipment was in a separate bag and I told him that my equipment was packed in my bag and it wasn’t separate. I then presented my receipts for clothing and shaving gear and the total came to $150.00 for items that I needed during the week. I told Bruce that I found the least expensive clothing and shaving gear that I could find. He and an associate looked at the list and told me that they allowed only $50.00 and I told them that there was no way so cover what I needed for the meetings and basic survival, during my stay. The lady called a supervisor and it was authorized to pay me the $150.00. I am attaching a list of items that I purchased for my stay. This was the happiest moment that I have had, regarding this awful experience. I thanked both of them and told them that I could be reached at home at 1.800.818.7862 or 503.824.4700. As of this date, February 3, I have not heard anything from Southwest Baggage.

    When we arrived at the Portland Airport, I went directly to the Southwest Baggage Claim with my lost baggage report and asked a lady to look at the bags that were in storage, which they did and told me that me bag wasn’t there. A male Southwest employee came in and I told him about my lost/ stolen luggage and brought up the fact that my bag had either been misplaced or stolen and he said, “What do you mean stolen”. I told him in the fact that you don’t have a tracking system to track bags that it would be easy for a skycap or a TSA employee to steal the bag and he became offensive and said, “I don’t think so” and I replied, “Then were is my bag” and he walked away.

    I follow-up on the 19th and called the Kaiser Pulmonary Department and told my doctor about the lost bag and the apnea equipment and told him that I had been off of the machine for almost a week and he was, very upset. I told him about the situation regarding the Medical Equipment Company in San Diego and he told me to come in and pick up a loaner. I went in that morning and picked up a loaner to use until I am reimbursed for the machine that was lost or stolen. I am attaching a letter from Kaiser, showing the amount it will cost me to have it replaced.

    I sent all of the information that I was told to send to Southwest Airlines, Central Baggage Services, P O Box, 36663, Dallas, Texas, 75235-1663. I received the letter from Southwest regarding the Passenger Property Loss Claim and I am in the process of filling it out and I am also attaching a copy of the completed, Description of Luggage, Contents and Value which I am sending in today’s mail. In the cover letter it states that receipts might be requested and most of the items that I have listed, we paid cash. So there is no way that I can produce receipts for clothing and other items that were in my bag. The main item that I need is the sleep apnea equipment.

    I have filed a stolen property report with the Portland Police Department because I think that my bag was stolen in Portland, before my flight to San Diego. In the State of Oregon it is a felony if the property is more than $250.00 and the Police Department is going to investigate the situation. They told me that they were going to look into other incidents at the Portland airport regarding missing baggage and Southwest Airlines.

    A couple of other ideas as to, as to what happened to my bag. It was on the plane to San Diego and when we stopped in Sacramento, someone in baggage, mistakenly took my bag from the airplane and sent it somewhere else or stole it or took it from the plane and stole it. When we landed in San Diego, someone in baggage mistakenly took my bag from the plane and sent it somewhere else or stole it.

    I am attaching letters that I found in the Internet from Southwest customers regarding their treatment they have received in the past and many situations about lost luggage. Time and time again, customers are arriving at destinations, and are on non-stop flights and there bags are missing. They then go on to say how they were treated and it sounds very similar to the way that I was treated. “Without Respect”. I don’t know if you have read any of these complaints but I think it might be a good idea to read some of them. An eye opener.

    I am attaching some information about my wife and myself to let you know more about our background:

    “ABOUT US”
    Both George and I are in our late-sixties and we started “Held’s Discount Knives” in 1997. We started selling both Puma Knives and Coast Cutlery Products at Gun and Knife Shows throughout the Pacific Northwest and at shows in Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee. We also sold our products at the O’loughlin’s Sportsmen’s Shows in the Pacific Northwest. Our business grew rapidly and we decided to sell our products on the Internet. We started selling our products in our web store, http://www.pumaknives.com and over the years we have established any excellent selling reputation throughout the United States and on an International bases.
    We take great pride in “Customer Satisfaction” and strive to process your product orders in a very timely manner and we have super fast shipping.
    I am a Native American, a registered member of the Winnebago Tribe and I am a retired registered nurse. I grew up in Oregon, attended Willamette University in Oregon and graduated from the University of Oregon Nursing School. George also grew up in Oregon and I graduated from Lewis and Clark College, where I played football, baseball and was on the wrestling team. Upon graduation, I played professional baseball with the Cincinnati Reds Organization for two years, was a high school teacher and coach and was a motivational speaker for Motivation Unlimited. George and I are high school sweethearts.
    We have a farm in Oregon, which is located on the edge of the Mt. Hood National Forest, where we raise horses, buffalo, cows, chickens, dogs, cats and rabbits. We have five adult children; two sons who are Portland Firefighters, a son that is a Major in the Army, a daughter who is a Nurse Practitioner and another daughter who owns a computer company.
    We are members of the West Linn Presbyterian Church, members of the Oregon Duck Hunter’s Association, and members of the Native American Chamber of Commence, Ducks Unlimited and Northwest Steelheaders.
    I am 68 years old and have been diagnosed with major depression and I am taking medication for this everyday. An experience like the one that I encounter with your airline, certainly doesn’t help my mental condition and the lady that told me that my bag had been found and to find out that it was a mistake was awful. On top of the events during the week in San Diego and not being on the apnea equipment, it has been very trying for me. A trip to Kaiser for the apnea equipment, then the papers arrived from the passenger property loss claim department and I have spent hours, with me wife, trying to determine the dates that we/I purchased the items and trying to remember the original costs. In addition to my items, my wife didn’t have enough room in her bag so she put four of her dress hats in my bag, hats that she always wears to church meetings. I had a baseball cap in my lost bag that I received in 1964 when I was trying out in spring training with the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Team. Several of the church members wanted to see it so I packed it in my bag. What is the value for something like this? I have no idea, but I put down, $65.00 and I know the value is priceless. Plus, to replace the sleep apnea equipment from Kaiser, they are going to charge me $986.00 for the machine and $223.00 for the mask.

    Thanks for reading my letter,

    George Held
    PO Box 515
    Colton, Oregon 97017

  97. Employeeon 07 Apr 2009 at 3:46 am

    I don’t work for SWA but I am a ticket agent for another major airline. It seems when we have weather delays is when we run into the greatest conflict. I work in Phoenix, so the weather is always beautiful. However, the plane is coming from somewhere else. Often for me, the plane is coming from Chicago O’Hare. Guess what, it snows there. There is always some idiot telling me that he called his uncle who lives in Chicago and his uncle said its sunny. That is the most annoying thing! First of all, the weather problem could be somewhere in route. Secondly, we have to land the planes at the airport, not at your uncle’s house. Also, the planes fly at 35,000 feet and things are slightly different up there. Lastly, no matter what u think, if the air traffic controllers tell us that they need to implement a ground delay program, we have to obey! And this creates a traffic jam, much like the freeway during rush hour when one of the lanes get closed. So quit your bitching and drive if your that spoiled!

  98. mike don 29 Jun 2009 at 9:48 am

    south west f–k n is the worst. eventually wish n they go out of bussiness
    they don t deserve to be in bussiness let alone fly crappy asshole . delayed for
    three hours circling phl for another three hours. that why i will stay with
    A I R T R A N S. no problems missed my plane without any problems
    airtrans guy put me on the next plane ya

    SOUTHWEST 000% THEY SUCK
    no business

    A I R T R A N S 100% the way to go
    friendly get u going cheaper then southwest
    all business

  99. peggoon 15 Jul 2009 at 4:48 pm

    South West dropped the ball big time on me, I was flying from Oakland Ca to Austin Texas transfer in PHX and short layover in Reno NV first.

    They unloaded my Wheelchair in Reno, They said they found it in Reno,
    My suitcase was no where to be found. when i talked to coustemer service they left over for me, I was surprised about that in Austin, only to find out my baggage wasn’t there. and they don’t know where it is. I’m not going say i had the Hope diamond in there. but i had leg socks 8 of them at 25.00 each and those are one of the most inportant things i need in a daily basics there for my left leg Im a BKA Below the knee amputee i lost drawings someone did of me and professional stage make up what is around 500 dollars and 2 full suits ,
    plus more
    i can show that i use the make up in pictures of me onstage. i hope they find it. i called them today and they didnt know where it was so they asked me what was in it. i just said the basics what i had and i said i had more in it.
    so i have to be home from 5-10 pm to wait for my chair i was kinda hopeing they didnt find it i can use a newer one. a new one is over a grand for the brand of chair i had.
    i flew south west 10 times or more. all of the times i flew, so i don’t fly much only to shows when the venue pays for them.

    any ideas if they dont find my suitcsae what the best things to do.
    peggo

  100. Barbaraon 02 Dec 2009 at 10:16 am

    @Tina… like personal oxygen tanks were even allowed onboard…you’re making that story up….my poor Granny was abused…please

  101. bigbillyton 08 Jan 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I will make a very long story as short as possible.

    Boarded a Southwest flight from Las Vegas to Orlando the first week of September. My wife made the mistake of sitting in the last seat on the plane so that we could sit together. I made a comment to the flight attendnant that I didn’t care for their seating policies and preferred airlines that allowed pre-selection of seating. Right then she clearly decided to make my life miserable. First she said, in not so many words, that we were stupid for selecting the last seats as they were more cramped to begin with (my wife and I are not small people, not huge, but larger than average, go ahead and insert whatever smart ass fat insulting comment you care, thanks). Then, a truly huge man came down the aisle and insisted in sistting in the window seat next to my wife. We suggested he try a few rows up as the seats in our row were indeed more cramped, as the flight attendant pointed out to us. The flight attendant then chimed in that he could sit wherever he wanted to. Well, we all three could not sit together in that row, so she starts telling us one of us needs to move, so I said that I hated Southwest and their seating, so, she had a flight manager (or some such similar titled person) come remove us from the plane. Apparently, she had lied and said that I had cursed at her and threatened her to the pilot and asked that we be removed. I have never cursed at or threatened anyone, much less this stupid lady. So basically we were kicked off a flight and had to be put on a later flight, with a connection (first one was straight through), because the flight attendant was in a bad mood. The guy who escorted us off even said she was being hateful to him for no reason. This is easily the worst experience I have had flying. I will NEVER fly Southwest again, EVER!

  102. Nightmareon 17 Jan 2010 at 4:21 pm

    southwest is full of nigtmare s constant delay s bull sh t and lies
    why r people so dumb and misinformed by southwest f–k up s
    i see why people made up this web site to complaint
    my plane was delayed 3 three hour s had to circle for another
    3 three hour s should of been home by 5pm / got home by 12am
    never again ,.southwest really suck

    ALL WAY S FLY ON ( A I R T R A N S ) NO DELAY S NO BULLSH-T
    NO LIE S ALL WAY S ON TIME FRIENDLY PEOPLE

  103. EmJayon 15 Feb 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I’ve been quietly boycotting Southwest Airlines since November 2008. Every other member of my party was in the A boarding group, while my boarding pass had a B on it. The gate agent would not let me join my family, but insisted on making an announcement so that any other passengers in the A group could board before I did. I’m not a B, for God’s sake, I’m a human being who wanted to walk onto an airplane with her husband, mother, and elderly father. I haven’t given Southwest Airlines another penny of my travel dollars since November 2008, and I never will.

  104. Cheese1on 02 Mar 2010 at 11:04 am

    Southwest is the worst thing to ever happen to the aviation industry. If Wal-Mart and Greyhound joined forces to form an airline, Southwest is exactly what comes to mind. Passengers are boarded like cattle, unassigned seating is a joke (what do you mean I don’t get to sit next to my mommy?), flying to outside airports like Love Field, Midway, and Hobby is BS, no agreements between ANY other carriers, all coach seating shows that even the most frequent fliers on Southwest will still and always get the same respect and treatment as any other $59 low fare paying coach passenger. And their newest thing…rapping? They are in for a shit storm if they have an accident and the FAA finds out that the safety briefing was rapped to the passengers.

    And people still want to fly this POS airline all because of the bag charges? Note to frequent fliers: ranking members on the real airlines don’t pay for bags either. Fly enough segments and not only are bags free, but on real airlines you also get priority access for boarding, are eligible for upgrades to first class (something Southwest has never heard of), access to airline lounges and clubs, and more. Not to mention that Southwest’s routes are a joke. Some instances require you to take 4 planes to get between cities that any other airline would only require two. They deserve to be called a regional airline. They only serve 40 somethin’ cities, where other airlines serve that many countries.

    RECAP: Southwest sucks!

  105. My Poor Momon 26 Mar 2010 at 4:13 pm

    My poor Mom’s flight was delayed in Florida. They arrived in Baltimore 20 minutes late to find out that their connecting flight was not held for a mere 20 minutes. Instead, my Mom had been on standby waiting for another flight. She was not able to get on the first one, is on standby for the second, and should be able to get on the third or fourth and last flight of the day.

    So instead of the original connecting flight having a mere 20 minute delay, my mother and the other passengers on her original flight who wish to continue on to NH will be delayed for 3.5 hours or more.

    Why does Southwest have a reputation for putting the customer first? I won’t take my children on Southwest and my Mom won’t fly it ever again. Go Jet Blue!! We have yet to have a problem with Jet Blue.

    As far as everyone who says we are whiners because you don’t expect service for an inexpensive flight, since when is over $300 one way inexpensive?

  106. anonymouson 31 Mar 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I have a secret for you, this is a good secret that has worked for me many times-
    I have to fly southwest airlines for my job.
    I am allergic to peanuts.
    Southwest refuses to accomodate me with peanuts by creating a peanut free zone.
    Show up, check in, make a stink about the allergy, throw litigation at them.
    They will quick as whistle give your money back.
    That is how to get your money back for a southwest flight, and they NEVER give refunds.
    Take your money and go get a real flight where they will help you with your peanut allergy.
    Get a nice flight where you have a seat. The corporate travel people will wonder how that happened…how you got stranded and dumped by the airline and mostly, how you got the money back because southworst never refunds.

    Believe me, this works. You have to be forceful. They might make you get a note that proves you are fit to fly. Throw some legal mumbo jumbo at them about privacy. Have a good fit. Make loud noises. Make them out to be the bad guy…they really are. Its easy to make a scene when you have an allergy.

    If they would get their stuff together about the peanuts, it might be a better airline, but I doubt it.

  107. Never Againon 03 Apr 2010 at 4:38 am

    Two weeks ago I had a horrible experience with SWA at Dulles Airport. I won’t go into details but I will never fly SWA again.

    Horrific customer service, a gate agent with a major primma-donna attitude and a serious chip on his shoulder. Another gate agent apologized for his behavior.

    Other passengers were shocked and commented on the attitude and behavior of the gate agent.

    I am a high-mileage flyer and will never set foot on a Southwest Flight again. I will gladly fly through Dallas on American or Chicago on United and pay more for the privilege of being treated fairly than ever suggest, recommend or even consider flying Southwest Airlines.

    Southwest has fallen to the level of Spirit and AirTran (Value Jet).

  108. Duane Won 07 Jul 2010 at 11:55 am

    Ah! 2 years later and nothing has changed. The Southwest Site Admins. still spout off the same drivel from a policy book. Not only are your flights cheap, but your attitude and your company is a bunch of cheap asses too.
    SOUTHWEST still sucks. Still won’t fly them.

  109. Ed Lon 01 Jan 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Yup. Southwest has managed to become my own “never again” airline. For that matter, I intend to use what influence I have to guarantee that it will be our corporate “never again” airline. Idiotic attendants, crap customer service, shoddy baggage handling, dismissive practices, dismal loyalty program, even more dismal treatment of loyal customers…. As airlines go, Southwest is utter garbage. I’ve had challenges on other airlines (US Airways, don’t get me started), but Southwest is the clear favorite in the self-serving airline category. Fly them if you must, but only if you must.

  110. Property is thefton 09 Jan 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Nobody has mentioned how SW fares have been climbing. Even tho I think SW is worthless, I do not discriminate between airlines; I fly whichever saves me money. But I haven’t flown SW in years because they simply haven’t been the cheapest. (I fly once or twice a month for work.) It’s strange, too, as in the last 2 years fuel costs are down and unemployment is up. SW fares rising too? F-that.

    All that crap advertising has made the outfit a “club” atmosphere, perceived as”fun” to fly, meaning the plans of those marketing majors on coke have fallen right into place: use the brand appeal to jack the fares, don’t pay the employees any more, and pack the pockets of the pissants higher-ups while they’re cutting “dispensable” jobs and charging the already-poor more to travel to see their families. Yay capitalism.

  111. Rayon 22 Feb 2011 at 4:21 am

    @Tina. im a flight attendant and we think its hilarious that passengers tell the pilots about rude flight attendants. Pilots don’t care. They’re not our supervisors and half of them are dumbasses. We deal with idiot after idiot all day long and by the time you get on the plane, honestly you’re just another idiot. The worst part of the job is having to cater to old people that can’t walk to the restroom on their own. Boohoo. take some personal responsibility. Its not a flight attendants job to wipe your granny’s ass. Our society is full of weak whiney people. Too bad Darwinism can’t apply to American society. We could thin the population by just letting nature run its course. You’re pathetic.

  112. Rayon 22 Feb 2011 at 1:57 pm

    @John- Again, why do you people complain to the pilots about the flight attendant behavior???They have no authority over us whatsoever. If and when one of the pilots takes it upon his or herself to repremand a flight attendant, we merely get their ass in a sling with the chief pilot because its not their job to supervise us. If you’re worried about safety, why would you want a person thats supposed to be flying an airplane to have to worry with the behavior of an employee thats working in the cabin?? The majority of American travellers are idiots that whine, can’t follow instructions, or read signs. As a flight attendant, what I see on a daily basis makes me want to retreat from society. The United States is rapidly becoming a cess pool of spoiled morons that have to be led around and told every little move to make. Its so sad. America does not deserve the “Freedom to Fly”. When they made it so cheap to fly that all common people could afford it, the industry started going downhill. Its been Wal-Marted. Now flight attendants have to deal with poor white trash that want their granny’s ass wiped during flights, they want everything you can give them for free. here’s an idea. When you know you’re travelling, bring some food!! We’re tired of hearing your complaints about what we offer. Stop bitching about it being cold in the cabin. Do you go to a movie and ask them to turn the air conditioner off?? Be prepared!! Take responsibility. Half of our society couldn’t be dropped in the middle of a city park and be told they will have to survive for a week. BOOHOO!! “Where’s my bottled water and cell phone?” God,what a pathetic bunch of whiners this country has become. Grow a sack you guys.

  113. Shawn M Adamson 04 Apr 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Ok, so normally I wouldn’t really care much about the drama with the airlines (or railroads) in this country because they are always crying poverty looking for state and federal bailout moneys, while spending on payrolls like a drunken sailor on hookers…

    Read More:
    http://www.shawnmichaeladamsonline.com/2011/04/southwest-airlines-epic-fail.html

  114. SWA Suckson 08 Jun 2011 at 1:10 am

    Southwest is a trash airline. Trashy customers, trashy flight attendants, trashy planes.

    EVERY flight has a crying 2 year old with a TERRIBLE/trashy parent who does not know how to handle a crying child. Moreover these “kids” get to fly free.. Wonderful.

    The planes are old, and it’s only a matter of time before they all start falling out of the sky.

  115. Chrison 12 Sep 2011 at 9:45 am

    Lets dissect Samantha’s comments:
    “The level of hostility and the tone these complaints present is very interesting to me. I work with general public complaints and have concluded the following about difficult customers:”

    First she is dismissing customers that probably have legitimate complaints as “difficult”

    “– When a customer is upset, the story will be fabricated.”

    Really? I’m sure there are some unreasonable people that will make mountains out of molehills, but if something upsets me, the actual situation does the talking for me. I don’t have to fabricate a thing.

    “- When the customer is at fault, he will not admit it.”

    Depends on the customer. If I’m caught I will always say, “geez, I feel stupid. my fault, sorry”

    “Most importantly, if you’re hot tempered and you share your story with friends and family, they consider the source!”

    true, if they are truly hot tempered. but again, I think you are dismissing anyone who has gotten upset over a legit complaint as hot tempered, therefore having no reason to complain to others.

    “SOUTHWEST AIRLINES has it’s flaws just like any other airline.”

    Actually….there are not. To my knowledge, they are the only airline that now doesn’t allow you to reserve your seats at check in. this is highly inconvenient for families traveling with children as they do not, more accurately CANNOT be seperated.

    “They probably transport millions of people per month and receive commendation letters for the employees who DO go above and beyond their call of duty.”

    sure, for the people who travel alone or maybe with just one other person or not in a family. I’m sure the staff is top notch. but its their policies that are going to have people not wanting to come back.

    “My suggestion to Mr. Complainer”

    Once again, dismissive. I’m hoping you are no longer in customer service. I have been and I can tell you, you’re training has failed you.

    “Stop living in your, “It’s all about me, world” and understand that the next guy, is just as important as you.”

    When I pay good money for tickets, it IS all about me. As far as the next guy, you mean the guy that gets on the plane, sits in the middle as to discourage others from sitting next to him unless absolutely necessary, therefore forcing families to be split up on the plane. you mean THAT guy?

    “Honest, proactive, and loyal customers are by far “WINNERS” in any heated situation. They remain composed, professional, realistic and they document the sequence of events. They attempt to comply with what is asked”

    What you are talking about is an obedient customer that lets the airline call the shots when they have been royally treated like crap.
    Here is something to ponder. Maybe if they were treated right in THE FIRST PLACE, there wouldn’t be a problem. Yes, there still will be those that are unhappy no matte what. but they would be few and far between if the airline would have considered that in the first place.

    Why do you think there was a reality show highlighting the lousy service of the airline industry? remember the show Airline? People were told that the flight was overbooked and the tickets that the PAID for aren’t going to get them on the plane. And the service staff acted like they were unreasonable complainers. Much like you. Again, I hope you aren’t in the industry any longer.

    “This person, is by far the one whose name you’ll probably NEVER see on one of these blogs because you see, unlike you, he WON his battle and continues to fly SOUTHWEST AIRLINES!”

    Sorry, don’t think so. the person in question is more than likely a single flier without a family who has never been told they have to split up on the plane due to SW being the ONLY airline that doesn’t allow reserved seating, or that has never been told “sorry, you can’t board the plane because we overbooked. You’ll have to wait another 12 hours for the next flight.”

  116. Chrison 12 Sep 2011 at 12:51 pm

    And Air Tran has been great!! Good rates. Can pick your seats and reserve them at check in.

    But now SW owns them. Great. The last of the competitively priced, reserve your seat airlines will now go away. Thanks SW for giving people what they DON’T want.

  117. Sasquatchon 01 Jan 2012 at 10:36 am

    Some of you people have no clue. Some airlines really do suck, like United (I should know, I work for them). However, when a customer service agent tells you something, like “that’s just the way it is” or “I’m sorry, I can’t do anything about that”, they mean it. They probably want to, and it probably could be done, just not by them. They can ONLY do what the system allows them to, and the systems block a lot of things. The companies set up their systems so that we are forced to give piss poor service if we want to keep our job. Also, you can only check in 24 hours prior because those are the rules, its for security reasons (or so they say). Don’t kill the messenger, blame the airlines for creating a horrid monstrosity of a system that we have do deal with. Also, expect customer service at United to go downhill for a while (I know, who thought that was possible?) because we are going to an even older and more useless system. Did I mention that at smaller cities we have to do counter and ramp work in the same shifts? You run around like a chicken with your head cut off, sprinting back and forth, working yourself to death, all for what? $9.00 an hour, and we have to buy our own uniforms, OH! and our union dues… our union is the most useless peice of garbage that has ever exsisted in the realm of unions, and it costs me $58 a month! It does nothing for those of us who work hard and pull our own weight (and some other employees’ weight as well), it merely protects the losers around us who don’t give a crap. I will keep putting my job on the line bending the rules to try to help my customers, because I genuinely care about how I treat another human being. In the meantime, please don’t kill the messenger, some of us really put effort into helping you guys and every now and then a genuine “Thank You” would go a LONG way towards motivating us to continue to do so.

    P.S. I am writing this from my work computer, I’m done for the day and I have 4 hours of downtime until I head home. I could leave now, but I’m milking the company, since I am on the schedule.

  118. ronjboydon 18 Feb 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Southwest Airlines Follies: My wife and I were charged $143 apiece for changing our return flight (#3917 LAS to LAX). That is a rip-off. When I expressed my angst the flummoxed ticket agent (LAS/CSA Naomi G. emp#16965) refused to complete transaction, and abandoned her post (position #20) leaving my wife and I stranded at the ticket counter for twenty minutes before I was able to get the attention of a supervisor to complete the transaction. Naomi just walked away and left position#20 unmanned. Naomi and her lack of courtesy and professionalism is a poor poster child for Southwest Airlines. And you call yourselves the “Luv airline.” Phooey.

  119. Marthaon 02 Oct 2013 at 12:05 am

    Southwest Airlines cares nothing about people. They are nothing more than a flying trailer park. They lie, cheat, steal, and do anything necessary to continue to make a profit – regardless of the effect on their customers. Nothing they say they represent has anything to do with reality. Ironic they don’t accept email from their website, because their employees sure like to send emails out that are threatening and mean-spirited from their workplace. My husband and two children were stalked for years by their employee, who I complained about repeatedly and with no results. My husband is a well-known reporter. He is doing an expose on this outfit, three years in the making. It will make anyone who thinks of flying their broken down airline think twice about the “savings” for the “low priced” airfares (another lie they tell). You get what you pay for, including in the safety department. I wouldn’t trust them to fly a single hair from my head to another location. That’s how unreliable and unconcerned they are.

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