I flew southwest all year. I accumulated 34,948 points. I thought I had done the math right but was 52 points short at the end of the year. I called to see if i could turn in travel points or pay for the 52 points I was short. The answer? Nah sorry we can't help you. You can buy 2,500 points for $350????
I wrote a book on customer service and frequently lecture all over the U.S. I will be using this as an example of, "we really don't care about you. Our rules are more important than your business."
Think twice before you book with Southwest! Below is a letter I wrote to Mr. Kelly, the CEO.
This letter which was sent to Mr. Kelly, was replied to by Justin Packer, Southwest Airlines, no title, no department...no info!
I received a pitiful email which still gave me no explanation why my flight was cancelled after 2 months and a whole lot of corporate BS. His email did nothing to soothe my frustration and discouragement with Southwest.
Dear Mr. Kelly,
I booked a flight on September 28, 2017 for a trip from Newark, NJ to Albuquerque for January 25, returning Jan. 28, 2018. Four wonderful days visiting friends. Your airline sent me confirmation that same day on the website as well as to my email. Plans were made! Festivities to follow!
Imagine my surprise when almost 2 months later, I received a phone call informing me that my upcoming flight had been changed! An email with the change will be sent to my email on file.
The change in the flight was completely unacceptable! I was supposed to arrive in ABQ at 10:45am. The new flight had me arriving at 6:00 pm after a 5 hour wait in Denver. An entire day of my vacation was gone, plans gone.
Needless to say, I called your customer service. Alissa was very nice in trying to help me. She had no explanation as to why my flight that had been booked 2 months ago had just been cancelled. While trying to help me, Alissa put me on hold. While on hold, I listened to how Southwest is so appreciative of their customers. Even the pilot was lauding the customer's importance to your airline. How ironic that I should have to listen to such nonsense when I was just informed that my flight was cancelled. Believe me, makes you feel warm and fuzzy toward Southwest.
I do not comprehend nor was I given a reason as to why my flight was cancelled. Having booked that far in advance, one would assume since it was confirmed, no issues would arise. I traveled quite a bit for work, on many airlines. Southwest was always dependable and my first choice. This is a troubling situation. Will I not be able to count on Southwest to keep the rest of my flights? Will they change my return flight?
I don't know about your circumstances Mr. Kelly, but I need days off from work approved in advance, plans made and finalized. Your cancellation of my scheduled flight has been very frustrating and annoying. I will think twice before I choose Southwest again.
Southwest Airlines in OKC showed their incredible inconsistency by not allowing a college student to take her pet fish home this morning on flight 716. This fish has traveled home and back to school with her on multiple Southwest flights. The fish travels in a coffee cup size plastic fish carrier. Passed through TSA with no issues. But mean-spirited gate agents denied this young person to take her fish home and instead threw it in the trash can causing extreme grief to the young lady.
Southwest treats dogs and cats like royalty but a small fish who doesn't bark or smell is required to be terminated of life. Why?
Southwest Airlines ruined my annual family reunion before it started through unethical business practices, apparent collusion, and an apathetic response to their own wrong-doing. After excitedly receiving the dates of my annual family reunion, I told my parents that I couldn't wait to book my flight to spend a long weekend in Siesta Key. I didn't think I could be any more excited for the trip until my mom told me she was going to treat my boyfriend and me to our flights as a Christmas present. Unable to containment my excitement, I contacted Southwest to figure out how I could use my mom's points to book my flights. Once on the line with the agent, I was misinformed to simply "log onto the Southwest website and transfer my parents' points" into my account. Trusting this response, I logged in, transferred the points, and promptly booked my flights. The following day, I logged onto the Chase Visa app to find that I had been charged a total of $470 by points.com. Thinking this must be in error, I contacted Southwest immediately to rectify the situation. It was at that time I was told that I should have never been instructed to transfer the points, instead, I should have logged into my mom's account to book my flight through her account. The agent told me that a third party, points.com charges to transfer points (why was this the first time I was hearing of this?) and that I should contact the Southwest Airlines executive office to resolve the issue. After waiting on hold for nearly 40 minutes, I spoke to a representative who told me they were sorry that I was given the wrong information, but there was nothing they could do about it. I was given the option to cancel my flight and get my points back, but I was still going to be out the $470 charged by points.com. What good would this do me? I would then still be without $500 OR a flight to my family reunion. I spent hours continuing my calls up the chain of command until I was able to speak to an unapologetic member of the leadership team who gave no resolution to the issue. Each member of the team told me they were sorry that I was given incorrect information, but their was nothing they would be willing to do to rectify the situation. As a loyal Southwest customer, Rapid Rewards cardholder, and frequent flyer, I felt (and continue to feel) completely slighted and devalued by a company I had so much respect for. Why in my right mind would I pay $470 (the entire value of the points) to transfer the points, only to turn around and use these points to book a flight? Had I been properly informed/instructed by Southwest and the points.com website not be extremely misleading, I would have made the logical decision to simply purchase my flights for $470 and leave my parents with their 47,000 points. Instead, I was charged twice. This is robbery and needs to be reported to the Attorney General and Better Business Bureau. The partnership between Southwest and points.com is a scandal that needs to be brought to light. points.com makes money by unethically charging consumers, and it seems Southwest receives some sort of compensation for these transactions or else I would have been directed in a different manner to book my flights. This partnership seems to be an act of collusion that goes against everything Southwest said it set out to do with their partnership with points.com "We are excited to partner with Points International to offer additional enhancements to our Rapid Rewards program," said Ryan Green, Senior Director of Loyalty & Partnerships at Southwest Airlines. "Southwest is dedicated to providing the best Customer Service, and we are excited about the new features and flexibility we will be able to offer our Rapid Rewards Members through this new partnership." Well Mr. Green, I can assure you that I did not receive any customer service, let alone the best and flexibility? You must be experiencing the flexibility in your wallet, because you and your company are profiting on the most unfair, unethical business practices in the book. points.com is essentially a legitimized scam; the company does not even offer a 24 hour cancellation policy. What kind of company consciously partners with a company that unethically charged customers 100% the value of something they own just to use it how they please? A selfish, bottom-line focused company who operates with no "LUV" for their loyal customers. I plan to share my story with the Attorney General, the Better Business Bureau, and my entire network of family, friends and colleagues. I would appreciate not only a response, but a full refund on the value of the points I was swindled into transferring.
I recently traveled on flight #2774. I changed planes in Nashville and realized my cell phone was still on the plane. For me, my phone is THE most critical tool I own and attempting to figure out how to manage my business, on the road without it put me in a literal panic. The chaos it was about to create in my life started to set in. Looking out the window I could see the plane was still at the gate so I asked the gate employee to help me . He explained that there was no way to allow me to re-enter the plane and the flight was leaving. Devastated, I looked down the gang way. The thought of knowing my Electronic partner was so close and I was about to lose it AND I had to sit and watch it happen while this plane takes off while still on board was mind blowing. A flight attendant came up from the plane un-expectantly, approached me and asked if I were OK. I explained my situation. She asked where I was seated, and I told her the approximate row and that it was a window seat. She quickly left and when she returned she said it was not found nor turned in. I thanked her for her time and effort and as I was saying good bye, she interrupted and asked me to wait here additional minute. She walked away, back down to the plane. Time stood still, it seemed like an eternity although it was really about 5 minutes. A man then walked up the gang way and asked if I was the guy with the phone, I said yes. He asked which side of the plane was I on. I thanked him and I explained that someone else was already trying to help me. " Oh I know all about it," he replied. "The whole crew is on their hands and knees searching the entire plane for it" he responded with a genuine smile.
I did not sense sarcasm. A little confused and really embarrassed about the commotion that I must have caused, I relayed to him which side I sat during the flight. While I was waiting I was convincing myself that although this phone was priceless to me; the reality was, it's just a phone
After a long awkward period of silence (at least another five minutes later), I could hear someone all the way down the gangway who was on the plane yell... "FOUND IT!!"" followed by cheers, laughter and applause (apparently the co-workers)
Flight attendant Tricia Devolid appeared from the gang way with a HUGE smile and said unassumingly, Mr. Trujillo, we were able to locate it after all.
WOW! WOW! WOW! That was awesome.
The lengths your crew went for me was Amazing!! The situation was already handled, and I understood. The easiest thing to do was to say goodbye, it was over .. but for whatever reason she went back.
That says so much about this person, your company and the culture you have created. She rallied the entire crew into her vision and made the impossible happen. Not for a VIP, just some average Joe
I haven't stopped talking about it in my personal life or in business and with each of my 80 plus employees. Lots of lessons to be learned from this!
I hope you can take a minute (in your assumingly crazy and hectic day) to accept a heart filled thank you and please thank Flight attendant Tricia Devolid for going the extra mile.
Thank you Southwest, and especially your agent Gina in San Diego. My husband and I were about to board a flight to Austin when we received a phone call indicating that a relative in San Francisco had died. Gina was very kind to us and assisted in retrieving our luggage from the Austin flight and getting us on board a flight to San Francisco. With sincere appreciation,
your team failed at the Oakland airport for the following reason. I asked to speak to a manager and they refused. When staff are afraid of customers talking to managers you should start to worry! I will continue to fly your airline as this is not the usual treatment I get from the staff. But your luggage policy should have some better check and balance to management. Tell. your team that all the names and numbers That. they want to hide are online and that is how I was able to get a manager to call me back and solve the problem once they heard both sides of the story. Thank you manager and I am sorry if I yelled while telling you how pissed I was for being on hold for 2.5 hours.! Happy Thanksgiving.
Let me start by saying that as a 35 year career Hospitality Executive I have admired your company and core values for a long time. I have even read Herb Kelleher's book and recommend it for any business professional that wants to re-invent hospitality and service. Frankly that is why I am so dumbfounded as to why my recent situation cannot be solved amicably. Let me start by stating that I am a frequent flier Rewards# (hidden)1 and a loyal customer who on average is on plane twice per month and in most cases a Southwest plane. Together myself and my colleagues in our small hospitality company (Own and operate 8 hotels) have an annual spend of approx $20,000.00 per year with SWA. On Tues. Oct 13 I traveled from Buffalo to Dallas via Baltimore on flights 1705 and 4129 to attend a Hampton Inn Owners Conference. I did not check in early and ended up with a "C" position on both flights with a middle seat which is obviously not ideal but understanding the "Game" I sucked it up and traveled to Dallas. On my return flight Friday October 13 I again arrived at the airport only to realize that I am again in "C" position on both flights (1118 & 1541) back to Buffalo again via Baltimore. After realizing I was once again in a "C" position I proceeded to put my credit card into the kiosk to pay the $40 fee for a better boarding position. I did of course get a better boarding position although noticed upon returning home that I had upgraded to business select at a additional cost of $282.60. After the fact and calling customer service they informed me that what I wanted to do (The $40 position upgrade can only be done with a agent). Here is the problem, I used the kiosk and dropped my bag with the agent after of course tagging my own bag with no additional savings. Now please understand I am in the hospitality business and we as well are embracing the trend of less interaction between desk staff etc. after studies indicate many folks want a seamless process when checking into a room or a flight. The downside is, how am I as a customer suppose to know when I have made a costly honest mistake? I can't know until I have made it obviously. I would have never knowingly increased my ticket cost of $621.96 by an additional $282.60 for a total round-trip ticket cost of $904.56. If I wanted to upgrade to Business Select (Which I have never done on any Southwest flight since you started serving Buffalo NY 17 years ago) I would have used my points to do so. Clearly I made an honest mistake that I am asking in the interest of goodwill that you reward my 17 years of monthly dedication by either extending a credit to me for the next flight of $282.60 minus the $40.00 I had meant to pay or take $282.60 worth of points out of my Rapid Rewards account and credit my credit card or simply credit my American Express account. I made a mistake, I sincerely apologize for my mistake although please consider my lifetime value to your company as well as that of my colleagues. To be perfectly frank Jet Blue also serves Buffalo NY and prices with SWA are very competitive with Jet Blue, the primary reason I choose SWA over Jet Blue is because I can avoid JFK with SWA and connect via Baltimore or Midway. In addition I have three very close childhood friends that are employed by SWA, two as flight attendants and one as a gate agent in Buffalo. In fact my gate agent friend immediately reached out to me when I posted my situation on Facebook to inquire what happened. I think she clearly understands how much I fly as well as my colleagues as she sees us frequently at the airport. In closing many times we just have to do the right thing in serving customers and as I tell our people lose the battle but long term win the customer IE: the war. I would think Mr. Kelleher would agree as I hope you do while reviewing this situation. While the $282.60 is important to us as a business what is more important that your company demonstrates your core values and does what is right here.
I am going straight to the top to by pass all the steps I would have taken anyway. On Saturday morning, I booked a flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Cancun. I intended to have the outbound flight for April 26, 2018 on the 8:05 pm flight. The return is was scheduled for April 29, 2018 on the 12:45 pm flight. Last night I received an email informing me I have a NO SHOW cancellation for my flight. Needless to say I was surprised. I could have sworn I booked the outbound flight for April.
When I received the email, is when I realized I made a mistake when booking my flight. I am admitting the mistake, It seems I actually booked my flight for November 19th (this past Sunday) and have a return for April 29, 2018.
I immediately called customer service to see what could be done. I was told to contact corporate customer service which I did this morning. When I spoke with both customer service representatives (the two people I spoke with were very pleasant), I was told I could not use the existing ticket or pay a difference if there is because of a NO SHOW, the entire reservation is cancelled and I forfeit what I paid.
I want to book a new flight, however I am asking for your help to get me on the original flight I wanted to book. IF there is a cost difference, I will pay the difference. Again, I booked the flight incorrectly, thinking I booked a flight for April not November.
The confirmation number for this flight is MTBOKM. You will see I booked the reservation this past Saturday - November 18th.
I hope to hear a positive response to a mistake when booking my flight.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!
A BIG shame on this airline for how Seniors are treated and customers in general! In good faith I bought a business class upgrade for my 88 year old dad for a short flight from Las Vegas to LA. I paid 3 times the price of the ticket.
Since 99.9% of airlines assign seats when you get to the airport, I just assumed he would be getting one. Also, no where on the booking page is it disclosed that the seating, especially in business class was open.
So, of course, being elderly and easily confused, my dad allowed himself to be ushered into coach class, and when he said he was supposed to get a seat with more leg room, the attendant replied "they're all the same, sir" instead of looking at his ticket to help him. Even during the flight, he showed a voucher with a free drink (which he was denied due to turbulence) and still no one clued in he was sitting in the wrong cabin.
The worst part of all was SW attitude when I complained I hadn't received the service and would like my $182 refunded. Not only were they impossible to reach via phone, it took 3 weeks to get an email reply which ultimately said "Too-bad-for-you" and did not even enclose a phone number so I can call to discuss. And, the message was non-reply-able!
And even worse yet (if you can imagine so) when I disputed the charge with AMEX, since I did not receive the service I paid for, they took great time and energy to respond to the dispute TWICE! Really, SW, you are so desperate for money (and to be right) that you can not let $182 go that was paid for an 88 year old passenger (in good faith) by a loving family member who wanted him to be comfortable on this short flight???
Shame on you, shame on your employees who are in the customer service and dispute departments and shame on how you treat seniors!
This is one family you will not see on board your flights again.
I travel quite a bit. I have not used Southwest recently, but my family has. I read recently on the computer that you fired a flight attendant, Charlene Carter, for complaining that dues money that she was forces to pay, was being used by the labor union to go to an anti trump rally. The union wanted her fired and you did. Because of that, I am not ever going to use your Airline again and I am telling my family and friends to do the same. You are as bad as the NFL if not worse. You deserve to go out of business.
I'm going to keep this as short as possible,On Aug 23 2017 I talked with Southwest group they sent me some forms and I returned them and NOTHING, so in the meantime I flew on groups flights that I booked with other airlines. So we get back from New York and I think wow I have not heard a thing about my upcoming trip to Vegas. I make a call to group sale and low and behold it was not processed right it never got done because you spelled my name wrong.So now Nov 6 2017 I have to start over and It cost me about 400.00 more for the same thing. So through many more mistakes I get a gentleman on the phone who finally gets everything right. Mind you at least 4 hours of hold time over 2 days.Now I need to make a change but I can't because its a GROUP, ok so I pay another 366.00 dollars for 2 one way tickets back.My bad I dealt with the group sales ( THE LAST TIME WITH SOUTHWEST). They messed up the spelling AGIAN so I have to call back because you issued 2 tickets to the same person and I have to make sure that I did not get charged for that another hour of time. So after all this I ask a supervisor ( Lindsay 60 San Anton ) I have dealt with a mountain of crap from southwest could you at least let us bored together. She say's you guessed NO.Now I don't blame her I blame the system. She had a opportunity to save a client but she couldn't. Now I have to take more time to let Southwest know how crappy It been. I could go on but what the point.
This is just the second negative review I have ever written on any site since there were computers and the internet. Don't like to be negative but once in a great while, something is so unfair or sneaky that it needs to be published. Sadly I just got stung by the less then transparent travel fund hide and seek game that Southwest Airlines has used as a part of their business model. Two things about the program that are hidden and NOT transparent, the expiration dates and the co-mingling of Travel Funds with a future cash/credit card payment. I am a Rapid Rewards member and have been flying SWA several times a month over the past 2 years and remained loyal to the company until this. If you cancel or change a ticket you get to put any credit balance into an automated flight fund to be used within one year from original date of purchase. The rub is that if you don't write down the confirmation number and expiration date before you complete the online cancellation or purchase, that expiration date and the old confirmation number are gone forever inside a SWA algorithm keeping it secret, hoping you forget about it. Say you manage to find one of those travel fund confirmation numbers and you use it for another ticket together with a payment source then what happens? A new confirmation number is applied and your new ticket now expires on the date of the travel fund whatever that may be, eg. buy a $200 ticket using $20 travel funds expiring right before your departure date with the $180 balance from you credit card. Guess what, you just attached an accelerated early expiration date to the entire $200 and the $180 you just invested is gone if you need to change the flight. Customer Service can't help and don't bother with Customer Relations in Dallas. They are just better trained on how to say no with more finesse. Like a 2 year old, NO is their favorite word. Why SWA won't add a tracking program to the Rapid Rewards accounts is beyond me other then for one reason, it pays them more NOT to. Customer Relations in Dallas says they have asked the higher-ups to do something like this but they haven't listen. Here is how SWA makes money off this "transparency": If you can't find all the info you need to use a travel fund or if you change a co-mingle ticket they just got your money without needing to provide the service/seat you exchanged your money to them to get. So SWA gets to resell that seat you would have taken down the road to somebody else. They win, you lose and they spin that game as transparency. When you add up the hide and seek game loses you will incur from buying into the SWA travel fund program vs one of the programs with another airlines, it washes out and there is no difference between SWA and the others. But when SWA adds up your lost travel funds they hide and keep, it equates to $100's of millions dollars in additional profit. Sad thing is, you can hear in the Customer Service reps voices that they know it is unfair, especially if you ask them to step into your shoes. They get "real" with their voice inflections and agree they would feel upset and deceived the same way you do but their hands are tied. Tied by the computer that SWA Corp controls on all those decisions leaving no avenue for them to retain your customer loyalty. Can you imagine how much better SWA would be if they actually gave their people more leeway to help the customer? But that change starts at the top with say..., Mr Gary Kelly, CEO SWA. How about it Mr Kelly, is SWA ready for real transparency?
Unwilling to help or resolve a situation with our tickets. Will never fly with them. Would rather pay more and get better customer service then to fly with them!
My daughter who was traveling as a young traveler left her prescription glasses in the seat pocket in front of her on a direct flight from Orlando to Norfolk (#148) arriving at 10:45 last night which was the last flight of the night. I submitted a Lost Item Report this morning and sent in a complaint though the customer service webpage. We immediately returned to the airport to try and get them last night but were unsuccessful. I called this morning and was told the cleaning crew did not find/turn them in. The sad part is that I don't think the crew or the cleaning crew bothered to even look in the seat pocket because if they had they would have found them. So said that Southwest had several chances to do the right thing and return prescription glasses that my daughter relies on daily but, just didn't bother taking a few minutes to actually look.
Will NEVER fly this airline again!! Flight delayed from Tampa to Atlanta, missed connecting flight from Atlanta to Boston, upon arrival at Atlanta no one there to help or direct customers that supposedly could make their flights even though there was no way this was possible. The flight to Boston they got us on is now delayed with no explanation. The person updating flight status seems to be enjoying himself announcing yet another delay. So unprofessional! Will stick with Jet Blue in the future and avoid Southworst even if it's a gift voucher!
I am writing a letter to group travel regarding a refund that I am requesting but want you to understand how bad the service in Group travel is. We are planning a family Disney vacation and you cannot talk to anyone and only can fax $ to an email address. You are a billion dollar company, I expect more from your company. They cancelled our reservation due to "late payment" and kept the $500 when I had repeatedly sent the LOA without acknowledgement or response.
Well, thank you to an advocate for Gary Kelly's office , I believe they are correcting issues in the group travel office and attempting to respond to the needs of the passenger! Thank you again SW- stepping up with a solution is appreciated!
I an furious with Southwest Airlines. I flew into LA on October 21, 2017 at 3:15pm. It was my was my girl's first time in Cali and I had reservations that night. Thanks to Southwest Airlines I missed my reservations that I paid in full prior to coming in town. Keep in mind it was for $200 which isn't money someone wants to just throw away. They missed my bag and when I went to report it they reassured me that my bags would be on the next flight from Houston and landing at 5:10pm. 2 hours after my flight, so I pick my rental car up and come back. You won't believe they missed my bags again then tell me the last flight from Houston was landing at 10:30pm. Are you kidding me? Well after my reservations, I had nothing but the clotfuton my back and shoes on my feet. Couldn't even go back to hotel and relax to wait a full day for my belongings. The kicker was they told me they'd deliver them once they landed. Yeah right! I received a call at 11:30pm stating that it was a 6 hour window and my bags are expected to be delivered at 6am the following morning. I became highly upset because not only have I been inconvenienced a full day, I also lost $200 on reservations, they ruined my girl's surprise, and then had the nerve to say, "well if you pick them up we will give you a $50 voucher." Whoopty Do! Thanks but no thanks. Do you really think that's fair? Can't possibly. A full day of waiting for my bags and I wasn't the only one either. They had missed over 40 bags that day because I saw the apology on their board. Absolutely unacceptable and I deserve a refund. I lost $200 because of the negligence of your ccompany I paid over $600 for guaranteed tickets. If I wanted Stanly service that's what I would've did. I knew I should've stuck with United Airlines. Now I know. Your customer service is absolutely horrendous and for an airline that's been around so long I am appalled. If nothing is done and I don't receive any compensation or credits I will continue to write a bad review on Southwest Airlines on every social site there is. You all need to be held accountable. This is ridiculous!
I an writing a hard copy letter about the exceptional service I received from Flight Attendant Angela on my flight from Indiana Airport to the Baltimore Washington International airport on yesterday October 39, 2017.
Sorry for the fat finger on the date. I meant October 30, 2017 for my flight.
Southwest sucks! How hard is it to pick up a phone & call someone back? I keep getting told I'll receive a call in 24 to 48 hours. ITS BEEN 1 MONTH.. I WANT MY LOST BAGGAGE PAID FOR!
Not a happy camper, I would like to file a PRESIDENTIAL COMPLAINT regarding issues with a Southwest travel experience from August 2017. Needless to say the people I have spoke with thus far has refused to elevate my claim and concerns to the higher ups or as a Presidential complaint. How hard is it to correct your wrong and compensate the customer for not deliver I need help the customer service that you're committed to. I keep getting told I'll rec I WANT MY LOST BAGGAGE PAID FOR! I can be reached at (hidden)
I flew on your flight from Baltimore, MD to Milwaukee, WI and was excited to experience the humor
I had become accustomed to over the years, I always choose SWA first!
I shared the book I have written with my seatmates and then with the steward. The steward told me to contact you at Headquarters. H said so many flight crew experience hearing loss.
The book is about the funny misheard words/stories I have experienced over the years plus those of others from the US.
I included tips on what to do if you suspect a loss. It is selling well via Amazon and bookstores, and me. The title is "O,
Kinky Turtle" (as I thought that was what I heard when I sang "Lead On, O, King Eternal" in youth choir.
The steward suggested a copy for each of your crews!
Please contact me at (715) 779-9712 so we can discuss this possibility.
Thank you for your outstanding Customer Service,
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