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A pleasant response from Southwest Airlines customer service

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by vwhiten, Sep 1, 2015.

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  1. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    I emailed SW customer service about our "comedy of errors" flying to Vegas from Austin on August 1st. Our original flight was delayed from 3:00 pm until 4:15 then delayed to 6:30 - After going to the terminal gate to inquire about the status we were put on standby on a 4:00 pm flight - this one was direct and would get in at 4:50 pm. Our original flight had a stop in Phoenix. We knew we probably would not get on but it was worth a try. We were pressed for time because we had Carrot Top show tickets same night. #1 Lesson learned don't schedule a show for the same night when you arrive in the afternoon -- in my defense I bought the show tickets first and I assumed I could find a reasonable early flight to vegas -- everything was so expensive and the most affordable flight was the one I booked.

    Well as time got closer to our standby flight they called boarding for our original flight at 3:50 pm -- all of a sudden the delay that had the flight leaving @ 6:30 was miraculously now boarding -- It still had a stop but we thought okay we have our boarding pass we will just get on the original flight. -- When we pulled out our boarding pass we did not realize that the terminal agent reprinted our boarding pass and put us on a 6:55 flight that was direct - I assume she thought she was doing us a favor.

    We did not know what to do -- many of the flights out had been overbooked -- the standby flight was over booked. But, we would have had to go back in line to try to get back on our original flight. We just decided to stay put fly standby on the 4:00 pm -- of course we did not get on and then flew out on the 6:55 missed our show -----

    Here is the reply from Southwest:

    We know that you depend on accurate information, and we do our best to send timely flight status updates through our Automated Outbound Messaging notification system, as well as provide periodic announcements letting our Customers know of any changes in their flight status or that the status remains the same. There are moments when improvements in weather, Air Traffic Control directives, and better alternatives for our operation become available, and the estimated delay may be end up being briefer than initially anticipated and provides us with an opportunity to depart sooner than expected. Your situation appears to be one of those occasions, and I regret that you were caught by surprise when you discovered your original flight boarding earlier than expected.

    Further, we understand how frustrating a flight irregularity can be and apologize for your inconvenience. It was necessary for us to take an aircraft out of service due to a mechanical issue. When this occurred, an aircraft “swap” was implemented with the aircraft originally scheduled to operate Flight #1060. Our Network Operations Control Team had hoped to minimize delays across the board by implementing this aircraft swap and in doing so prevent a larger number of Customers from being affected by the aircraft that was out of service. I am so sorry you arrived at your destination later than originally scheduled, especially since you and xxxxx had plans that evening for a show.

    In addition, I am so sorry for any miscommunication when you spoke with one of our Customer Service Agents about flying standby on an earlier flight. Southwest Airlines knows that communication, positivity, and compassion are absolutely essential when dealing with difficult situations, and we expect our Employees to show their Warrior Spirits and rise to the challenge when irregular operations occur. We should do everything we can to make the most out of a stressful situation for every single Customer, but it’s clear that we let you down.

    With that said, we apologize if your boarding documents were reprinted incorrectly, and that you were inconvenienced on this trip. We have made your feedback about this situation available to our Senior Leaders via our monthly summary. Retaining your future patronage is very important to us, and we want to offer you an incentive to fly with us again soon. While we typically do not provide reimbursement for interim expenses in situations such as this, we’ve issued each of you a fully transferable $100 Southwest LUV Voucher, which will arrive in separate e-mails within the next ten days. Instructions for use are printed on the vouchers.

    We wish that we could erase such an unpleasant memory; unfortunately, we cannot, but we can encourage you to let us create a new one by traveling with us again soon. Your patronage is very important to us.
    Sincerely,

    xxxxxx
    :)
     
    36th Wedding Anniversary
  2. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    I was very polite in my email and did not expect anything in return.
     
    36th Wedding Anniversary
  3. WhskeyTangoFoxtrot

    WhskeyTangoFoxtrot MIA

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    Well....I suppose that's good news.

    I'm flying SW on Saturday, nonstop to Vegas. I've never flown them before, and am used to flying First Class everywhere.
    Not gonna lie, I'm pretty anxious about the trip.
    I bought "Early Boarding" privileges, but I'm not even sure that's worth it, from what I've read.

    Frequent delays
    Shitty attendants
    Disgruntled employees
    On and on....

    I realize you can't believe everything that you read, but....I'm not looking forward to the flights on the Megabus of the Skies.
    Guess I'm gonna find out.
     
  4. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    I've flown many airlines and flew SWA today (arrived in Vegas a couple hours ago, 25 minutes early). Of course there can be delays. etc.... It happens on every airline.. SWA is fine. It's not the first class experience you are apparently used to but you knew that when you booked. No reason to be anxious.
     
  5. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    The employees are very nice -- Even the agent at the gate who changed our flight without our knowledge - We have only ever had two delays - Last December Vegas was totally fogged in on the day we flew in -- 0% visibility - no one was landing. And then on Aug 1. We were originally told the delay was due to the weather in Orlando and our plane was stuck. In the email it says it was mechanical -and they had to take a plane out.

    Had they had been honest about the delay and told us that there was a good chance we would be leaving earlier than they had projected - it could have been avoided. Plus the agent that took our boarding passes and gave them back. My husband even asked her when she handed them back if it was for our original flight - and she said yes. -- We did not check the again to they called for our flight and then discovered that she had changed our flight on us. -- I think she probably was trying to do us a favor.

    It is not First Class but hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised.
     
    36th Wedding Anniversary
  6. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    I find more shitty and disgruntled employees in the first class/business cabin of United than in the coach cabin of SWA.
     
  7. tcocona

    tcocona Low-Roller

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    Val ; On August 25,2015 customer service put me on hold for 2 hours.That's not customer service that's 'Customer Torture '!!!!!!!!!!!Then they couldn't do anything to solve my problem. I'm glad someone is happy with Southwest.
     
  8. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    We fly SWA 5-7 times every year and are quite happy with them. We've flown them exclusively since 2007.
     
    Christmas
  9. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    The received response to the OP's concerns is what I would expect from Southwest. I've flown them almost exclusively for 10+ years and 20-25 times a year and have experienced none of that which is mentioned above. Delays? Welcome to the state of today's air-travel, but shitty attendants and disgruntled employees? Rarely... in fact their customer-service attitude is why I choose them!
     
  10. mike mc

    mike mc High-Roller

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    Southwest has so many upside than others to me, yes it can be a bus with wings but for example my upcoming trip, booked outbound for $152 with a change over in Atlanta departs at 11:30, 8 1/2 hours flight,. in June, flight then dropped to $141, go online get the credit, then just checking my flights the other day, another flight same day leaves at 8, was dropped to $148, went on line rebooked with credit dough and now arrive in Vegas at noon and flight 7/12 hours no plane change and 1 bag are still free, Jet Blue doesn't have free bag option anymore, and the changes are at no cost cant do that with the other airline
     
    Just Click The Book It Button It's Easy
  11. npom

    npom High-Roller

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    I had a similar experience a couple weeks ago. We were supposed to fly from Albany to Vegas. Our flight got delayed and then cancelled due to a problem with the radar control computers in Virginia. Ended up rebooking from Newark on Monday. When the agent rebooked he didn't transfer my early bird over on the return flight. I was kind of pissed about it because we only had a short layover and didn't want to be in the back of the plane. Paid for the upgrade to business class then the plane ended up getting delayed on the tarmac for 2 hrs due to a mechanical issue. I emailed southwest when I got home and told them the whole story and they also sent us 2 $100 vouchers even thought the chain of events was caused by something that wasn't there fault.
     
  12. bjpcyclone

    bjpcyclone High-Roller

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    Nothing like complaining about SW before you step on a plane with them! :Þ

    I've flown SW quite a bit over the past few years and I've seen none of your complaints. Everyone has delays and SW employees have been MUCH friendlier than your average United/Delta employee.
     
  13. WhskeyTangoFoxtrot

    WhskeyTangoFoxtrot MIA

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    I know...you're right. I should know better than to read Trip Advisor reviews.
    It is what you make it to be....and I'm going to make it fun.
     
  14. abileneblues

    abileneblues Low-Roller

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    I've flown SW 2-3 times a year for the past 5 years. I've had lost luggage a couple of times (just like I've had with other airlines) and the only real incompetence I've had was with the company that was handling delivery of the lost luggage.

    The only person I've dealt with that was less than friendly was one OCD gate agent that was less than happy with people trying to board before their boarding order. While he could have been a little more diplomatic about it, his efforts were appreciated by those of us who were trying to abide by the rules.

    Since I normally flew coach on other airlines, the seat size and drink service is similar. On the whole I've found the flight attendants to be about the same as far as friendliness.

    I guess problems can and do happen. Sorry that it didn't get resolved in a timely fashion. Glad to hear that they decided to make the effort to provide some consideration for your trouble.
     
    Finally!
  15. abescan

    abescan Tourist

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    I have flown SWA for many years from Cleveland and would fly no other unless it was a huge difference in price.
    The employees are the best and one time We did have a problem similar to this we got the same response with $100 vouchers.
    I constantly check fares and rebook to save money or points with no penalty fees.........and NO baggage fees!
     
  16. keishashadow

    keishashadow Low-Roller

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    if SWA had a 3+ hr delay due to mechanical issue, you should've received passage on next direct flight to your destination along with a LUV voucher for free flight anywhere they fly.

    Are you a rapid rewards member? Call back and reference the 3 hour delay & request to speak to a supervisor.
     
  17. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    Originally the 3 pm flight was bumped back to after 6 pm. Then without any communication it jumped back up to 3:50 so our original flight was only 50 minutes late. But we were told it was due to weather in Orlando. Had we known it was mechanical and they were getting another plane we would have stayed put. The big mistake was the agent changing our flight without telling us.
     
    36th Wedding Anniversary
  18. keishashadow

    keishashadow Low-Roller

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    unfortunately, no "LUV" for bad weather. Wouldn't be thrilled how the agent switched things up...I'd still call back and try to leverage for a flight voucher vs the credit.

    thanks for sharing the story btw.
     
  19. GeorgeJ.

    GeorgeJ. Low-Roller

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    I've never heard of Southwest offering anything because of a 3 hour delay...you've had this happen before?
     
  20. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I have when it was mechanically related, not weather. I did have to call and complain to get it. They didn't volunteer the info.
     
    Christmas
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