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Southwest Complaints?  
User currently offlineTrippleseven From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2075 times:

I LOVE Southwest...dont get me wrong...but I was just wondering if anyone has ever had any problems/inconveniences with them. Im wonderin if the "Perfect " airline has had any really bad service problems ever. Personally...I have always had great experiences with them..everything about them was "happy" when I flew them..I really like them.. What do u think??

42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineCo LITE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1966 times:

Not at all! I have never flown them, but I have had "Ground Experiences" twice in MSY. I asked a very courteous Gate Agent if I could go inside the 737-300 for a look, and he was so nice, he had me wait till everyone was off, then brought me down! This was the first time I have ever been inside a 737   I also took a tour of a second WN 737 in MSY two weeks later, which was a -200. This time I asked the F/A I think and she went and got the skipper. He was so laidback. Friends of the Crew or something were walking freely in the Jetway, and this was a Terminator. He let me look at everything, take photos, and I watched the lights go out.


I will fly them one day.

User currently offlineAA 737-800 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 199 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1949 times:

None here. Never had a problem with the best airline that money can buy.  

Civil engineering isn't about making things perfect...just better.
User currently offlineBH346 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3265 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1945 times:

I just came from my first flight with them yesterday! Their staff is a lot more laid back than in the other airlines, we had a weather delay, but they always kept us updated, and at each announcement was an apology. Their planes are comfortable, too. The biggest problem was that the 737-300 I was on was dirty, but everything else was fine. (The 737-700 was ok on being clean). Great airline!


Northwest Airlines - Some People Just Know How to Fly
User currently offlineN202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1577 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1935 times:

I think that the only problem that I've ever noticed (even though I've flown with WN many times without a problem) is that when flights are cancelled, there really isn't much recourse for the passenger but to grin and bear it and wait for the next available flight. I've observed long, long lines when flights have been cancelled, with people trying frantically to rebook. Often, people's weekend travel plans are scrubbed because of these cancellations (because they bought the cheap fares that WN offers to jet off for the weekend).

Also, when flights are delayed or cancelled on WN, connections to other airlines can be totally ruined, as WN does not take responsibility for getting you there in time to make your connection--they don't interline. Of course, since Southwest is really a souped-up Greyhound with outstanding customer service, they don't have to do this. Fact is, you get what you pay for;WN should make this more clear up front, however, to people buying tickets with them.

As I said, I've never had these, or any other troubles with WN myself, but they're things that I've observed.

User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1917 times:

Nobody's perfect. Flew STL-MCI (returning from an airliners show) and our return flight was cancelled. Noticed it on the screen, went to the ticked counter, they told us we were already rebooked on the next flight (40 minutes later). Pretty hassle free.

Of course, I'm one who usually rolls with the punches. If a flights cancelled, all the screaming in the world won't make them un-cancel it. It's part of travel. But some will scream and demand flight coupons or some other compensation. And they'll relay the the problem as an absolutely horrid experience. When my flight was cancelled, I grabbed a coke and sat in the gate area while a gal got on her cell phone and started her tale of woe to someone about how the flight was cancelled, blah blah blah. I looked at my buddy and said loud enough to be heard by her "The word cancelled doesn't really bug me on this airline, heck, we're on the next flight which is only 40 minutes later." The gal's conversation got much quieter. But whereas I had no problem with the delay, I'm sure that this woman would say that the very same set of circumstances was horrible.

User currently offlineTxAgKuwait From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1803 posts, RR: 40
Reply 6, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1912 times:

as sort of the resident Southwest apologist (I am a frequent flyer, have owned a little stock, but don;t work for them) let me throw in two cents worth.

1. They have the lowest complaint ratio in the domestic airline industry. Some other airlines say it is because of diminished expectations by passengers, but the main reason is that they do work hard at getting the basics right.

2. On a lot of their routes where they really trounce everyone is with frequency. 40 trips a day each way Houston-Dallas, bunches Houston-New Orleans, Los Angeles-Oakland, etc etc. A cancellation or delay is bad...but when they can plop someone on the next flight in 40 mins or so folks do calm down.

3. They cancel fewer flights than anyone...less than 1 percent most months.

No they aren't perfect. But they work at taking care of the folks that pay good money to fly them. That's why they've earned a proft the last 28 years...every year, good times or bad.

User currently offlineTbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7013 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1908 times:

No problems at all, even when they have a delay, their pretty ...if I can say so...efficient about it, informing passengers in advance and in a polite manner. I flown them twice, thoroughly happy with both flights. Their doing a great job in Love Field!


NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineHawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3241 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1904 times:

I haven't had any problems with Southwest either. My problem is with the passengers who crowd the gate and try to board before their turn, but that happens on every other airline too, no matter what boarding method is used... by check in number (Southwest), boarding zone (United Shuttle), line up along the window (Hawaiian & Aloha interisland), or by assigned seat row (everyone else).

User currently offlineVctony From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 476 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1891 times:

I HATE Southwest. Actually, they are a good airline that just messed up REALLY badly.
I flew SW BWI-MDW-DTW and back this past August. I would have to tell you that on the flight into Detroit they lost my mother's luggage, told my family that the luggage would come in during the night (around 11:00 p.m.) and then when the luggage didn't show up they told us that they didn't deliver luggage after (8 p.m.). Not only that but on the return leg the gate agents in Detroit were extremely rude. The flight we had booked was supposed to be on a 737-300 but when we arrived at the gate it ended up being a 737-200. So, because ouf final destination was Baltimore and there was a later flight from MDW-BWI after we arrived in MDW from DTW they told us not to pick up our boarding passes and go on the later flight to let people who didn't have later connections make their connections in MDW. We had assumed that we were going to have a seat on the later MDW-BWI flight but then the DTW gate agents told us that we were on priority standby and probabaly would have to spend the night in Chicago. These agents were extremely rude by first telling us that we would be on the later MDW-BWI flight (ON it not Standby). We were barely able to get to BWI that night but we were eventually able to due to a good man in Chicago willing to give up his pass for no refund to let my family board. After that horrible experience I vowed never to fly SW again. Now, however I may have to fly them since I just moved from the Washington area to the Phoenix area.

User currently offlineN202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1577 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1882 times:

So you had one bad experience with them; did you contact SW's customer service department to relay your displeasure? I'm sure that you would have received at least an apology from them, if not some vouchers for your trouble. Southwest's business is making and keeping customers, not losing them.

Additionally, it sounds to me like there was some sort of miscommunication in Detroit, which doesn't imply rudeness at all. It simply means that the gate agents told you something that they shouldn't have. Was the manner in which they spoke to you off-putting? That's the only way I would consider airline employees to be "rude".

User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4661 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1882 times:

I've never had a problem with Southwest's service. Fares were right, flights were on time, flight attendants were personable. If you care about where you sit, it's up to you to get to the airport an hour before flight time so that you get in the first boarding group.


Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineRyeFly From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1871 times:

I never flown with Southwest although I have dropped off a couple friends that flew with them. They said their flights were good after they called me later. One funny thing is a flight my cousin took recently. After I asked how his flight was he said fine, "but those planes looked stait out of the 70's." He asked if they used to be Braniff. LOL. Here at RDU they currently only have 2 gates. So as many of you have said before if a flight is canceled or delayed its a lot more then a 40 minute lay over. The lines are outragious every time I go near their gates. Continental must really hate them because their 2 gates are right next to Southwest's. All of the WN passengers sit in their area. The gates are at the very end of the terminal so there is really no where to go if both airline's gates are full. Its a mess. Until the problem is fixed I try to avoid flying both of the airlines out of RDU. If I can't, I sit farther down the terminal in US Airways area because they have much more room and usually have a seat somewhere. I can't really say because I have never tried it but that boading card seems more of a hassel then it is good. Back to my cousins flight again. A lady was complaining because she had #5 boarding card and the mic was broken so they just turned on the lights when to board. She didn't hear anything so by the time she noticed everyone had already boarded. She was upset to say the least yelling that she was waiting for 2 hours to get a good seat.. blah, blah, blah and finally was in tears by the time she gave up and got on board.

I am sure Southwest is a smooth running machine at its hubs, but places like RDU with limited waiting areas, it comes accross as too much trouble to even bother at the moment. Ask me again in a year after RDU opens more gates.

User currently offlineSW737-700 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1867 times:



User currently offlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4028 posts, RR: 31
Reply 14, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1856 times:

I've probably been on 200+ flights on Southwest in the past 22 years and I like them. Sure, the lines at the airport are long sometimes, but unlike other airlines, Southwest's lines usually move pretty fast. Their check in is sweet and simple. You don't have every Tom Dick and Harry holding up the line inquiring about their special meal or about the possibility of an upgrade or making sure they got "their" seat, etc.

They're very good about keeping you informed in delays as to WHY the delay is happening and WHEN you'll be leaving and if they don't know they say so. They don't usually make things up just to get rid of you.

If they make a mistake, they'll usually fix it if you ask them nicely and it's within reason. I once found out that I could have gotten a lower fare on a flight I had booked after I had arrived at my destination. I called the next day and the agent said the lower fare had been available and it should have been offered to me. He offered to either credit the $21.00 difference to my credit card or send me a $25.00 gift certificate. I took the gift certificate.

The only time I ever saw a Southwest employee go "overboard" was about 20 years ago on a flight ELP-DAL. When we'd left El Paso, the last 10 or so people who'd boarded were still standing in the aisle putting their stuff in the overhead bins and looking for seats and we had pushed back and taxied for quite a ways before the last of them had gotten seated.

When we landed in Dallas, one of the flight attendants was making the welcome announcement at the front and some guy in the back gets up and starts getting his stuff out of the overhead bin. The flight attendant stopped in the middle of a sentence and starts admonishing him over the PA to sit down YES YOU, YOU IN THE BACK. He didn't and we heard "CLICK" and she scrunches up her face and puts her hands on her hips and goes marching down the aisle in those little red hot pants (remember, this was 20 years ago) and SLAMS the overhead bin s

User currently offlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4028 posts, RR: 31
Reply 15, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1851 times:

I don't know why the last part of my post got cut off. Ayway, she slams the bin shut and says something about federal regulations.

Normally I would have agreed with her, but it seemed like Southwest was only enforcing the regulation when it was convenient for them do do so. When they'd needed to pushback on time in ELP, it didn't matter that 10 people were still in the aisles and I don't recall any of them getting yelled at. In light of that, I think the F/A could have handled the situation with the Dallas passenger a little better than she did. Anyway, I think the FAA started really cracking down after that because now Southwest won't pushback until everyone's seated.

So if that's the "worst" complaint I can come up with after 22 years flying I'd say they're doing pretty good. Viva la Herb.


User currently offlineMD80 From Germany, joined Feb 2014, 585 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day ago) and read 1842 times:

Never flown on them but have picked up people many times at TUL.. Gate areas are way too crowded I guess from the frequency of flights coming and going. It spills out into the walkway and Uniteds gates. Utter Chaos! Had a friend get lied to by a ticket agent saying a plane had left when in reality it was delayed over an hour. He ended up having to rent a car to get home. SW was pretty good about comping him on that. I was surprised one time to see them bump a couple passengers who had tickets for the last flight out and they refused to provide them with a hotel.

MD-80s/MD-90s, Boeing 717s, and DC-9s
User currently offlineNaimas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (15 years 7 months 1 day ago) and read 1842 times:

Southwest passengers hog up half the terminal cause they have to stand and wait for seating. I have witnessed that very same thing when family members steal seats that are by right for other airline customers.
SW customers (after standing in line for an hour) are some of the most ugly bullish folks flying and refuse to move when they block the aisle. I have witnessed this at several airports and when I see faces frowning I know I am near Southwests gate.

Sorry but to save a few bucks I would rather cut coupons at the grocery store than go through that hassle.

And please please please, take some of that bragging money you say you have earned and paint your puke colored planes.

And really, who in their right mind would fly to HAWAII on SW? No movie, no music, no meal???

Do you buy used underwear at the Thrift store to save money too?

User currently offlineHeavierthanair From Switzerland, joined Oct 2000, 1010 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (15 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 1822 times:

From your cockpit:

Weather at our destination is 50°, with some broken cloud, but they'll try and have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you or your money more than Southwest Airlines.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." (Albert Einstein, 1879
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 15
Reply 19, posted (15 years 7 months 21 hours ago) and read 1805 times:

Well naimas, as one of the "unwashed masses" who crowd and bully and shout insults at the other airline customers...I must live in (and travel to) friendlier cities. I've never seen that.

You might start cutting coupons, drive, or fly airlines that don't have gates next to SWA, since you're talking about the rude passengers who steal the waiting area seats from other airlines. Seems you'll be in the midst of it all anyhow.

Yeah the planes are really ugly. However, they're just as comfortable as any other airlines coach seats inside, and I am STILL trying to figure out a way to see the fuselage paint from inside the plane.

I've been in my right mind going on 44 years, and if Southwest flew to Hawaii, I'd be on board. I have yet to watch a complete movie on a plane, I really don't care for airline food, and I find that my walkman plays better music than any selections that an airline might make. Oh, and I can change my tape or CD and get 6 hours of variety, as opposed to listening to the same one hour selection of music six times.

User currently offlineKindalazy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (15 years 7 months 21 hours ago) and read 1804 times:

Another satisfied Southwest frequent flier here for the following reasons:

1. Four roundtrips booked electronically via SW's homepage earns a free flight, with no restrictions! The freebies can given away, and used on any flight with an available seat. (free drink coupons a bonus!)

2. Relaxed atmosphere of crew. Sure, its a bit hokey at times, but I simply find it more pleasurable. The majority of the flight attendants at least give the impression that they like what they do.

3. Frequency of flights...can't beat it

4. Fast turn around of aircraft. No dicking around, just get on the plane and go! Makes a direct flight a "touch & go" operation.

5. I like knowing that the pilots get alot of practice. I have not seen the statistics, but I suspect that the average SW pilot averages more takeoffs and landings than most of the majors - practice makes perfect. (except for driving one into a gas station last year....also helps to be lucky)

6. Young fleet

7. CEO Herb Kelleher (spelling?) - how can you not like this guy?

8. Full fare structure is still reasonable, allowing last minute travel without beaking the bank.

9. Simple and effective e-booking

I guess it comes down to what you expect from an airline. I want a reasonable fare, frequent flights, pleasent flight crew, my luggage when I arrive, honesty concerning delays, and on-time flights. Southwest consistenly delivers all of the above. I'm willing to give up a meal and assigned seat in exchange....

Even if you don't care for the boarding process, etc., you must concede that Southwest is responsible for lowering all of the other airlines fares in the markets where they compete.

Sorry for rambling, but I guess you can tell that I like this company - other service industries could (and do) learn something from them....

BTW- my wife still prefers United because she thinks they act "more professional". ???? I'm still trying to change her mind!!!

User currently offlineApollo13 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (15 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 1773 times:

I had one problem one time I was flying down to LA and when we were airborne we had to turn back because a lady got airsick so we landed and the pilot said we would be only 20 minutes but it took an hout and a half so that was the only problem so I must say they do a good job GO SOUTHWEST!!!!!!!!!

User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2939 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (15 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 1763 times:
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Naimas, comments like yours really piss me off...

You said:
SW customers (after standing in line for an hour) are some of the most ugly bullish folks flying and refuse to move when they block the aisle. I have witnessed this at several airports and when I see faces frowning I know I am near Southwests gate.

As a customer of Southwest, I've rarely seen people who are ruder than average. Boarding the plane - other than the numbered system - is PRECISELY the same as other airlines that fly 737s. Face it, it's the nature of a narrowbody aircraft.

To pigeonhole Southwest customers and say that we're rude as a class is laughable. I've met nice people, nice staff, nice crew, and I've had the most fun on board their planes. Who can say that about United or American?

If you think that we're lower-class because we don't have "preboarding" to feel special, or we don't have our Channel-9-from-the-Cockpit and regurgitated-processed food, then you're the rude one.

I guess that as a Southwest customer, I will get a little rude in saying that those who consider us the "steerage class" of the airline industry can take their complimentary warm towels and shove them straight up their ....

User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 7516 posts, RR: 31
Reply 23, posted (15 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 1762 times:

Can't say as I have any complaints. And I have to say that sending you a birthday card if you're a member of the frequent flyer program is a nice touch.

User currently offlineChiawei From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 977 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (15 years 7 months 15 hours ago) and read 1750 times:

I had a lot of bad experiences with southwest.

I was stranded in Austin TX for 4 days back in March.

I was schedule to flight out to Nashville. There was a thunderstorm in the area. My flight was cancelled. however, I was very upset when they moved a ton of passenger that was going to baltimore on an earlier flight to Nashville and have them spend a night there. I am upset because southwest could have put those passenger to baltimore in hotels in Austin areas, and have passenger that needs to go to Nashville board the earlier flight.

Since going to nashville was not possible, I asked southwest to cancel my trip to nashville and change my schedule to fly back to San Jose, CA. But there were no flights available for 4 days due to spring break (to any southwest locationg that I can fly back to work in San jose).

Had southwest gate agent used their brain and put me on that earlier flight to nashville, I would not have spent 4 days in Austin. In fact, I eneded up paying $500 to fly back on America West at Dallas Fort. Worth.

The gate agent was rude. " I am not god and I can not control the weather."

That was my last flight with southwest.

25 Chiawei : Also, I forgot to mention that on my outbound flight from San Jose. I was delayed for 5 hours due to problem at LAX (because my plane is stuck in LA).
26 Goingboeing : Chiawea - did it ever occur to you that had the same thing happen at the same time on AA,CO,DL etc. that most of THEIR flights would also have been fu
27 Trippleseven : I LOVE ur comment goeingboeing! Awesome pun! Not to be mean to the Singapore airline crash of course. I would not want to be on ur flight Chiawei, but
28 Lowfareair : >>I am upset because southwest could have put those passenger to baltimore in hotels in Austin areas, and have passenger that needs to go to Nashville
29 FrontierMan : I had a rather poor experience with Southwest. I flew Cross-Country on Southwest from CLE to SFO, and I have a few gripes. Southwest deceives you when
30 Goingboeing : With all due respect Frontierman - most young teens think that a Big Mac and fries is a gourmet meal, so airline food would tend to be a real treat.
31 Naimas : Glad to see my post had an impact. One thing really sucks about some folks who comment here. If I complain I dont like Southwest cause they dont show
32 Sccutler : 1. Those who have had a bad experience with Southwest, don't like them. 2. Those who care about getting fed on an airplane, don't like WN; 3. Those fo
33 ScottB : If you really must have food on a Southwest flight, bring some with you. I find that I do a much better job of selecting the food I like than an airli
34 Purdue Arrow : The majority of passengers do not buy full-fare, last minute tickets. Often, tickets can be purchased on other airlines for the same priceas WN, somet
35 Chiawei : There was no thunderstorm in the austin area. the only reason that I was bumped from earlier flight to Nashville was because Southwest wanted passenge
36 Chiawei : Let me make one thing clear. There was a Nashville to Baltimore flight next morning. Since UT-Austin was having spring break starting that weekend, al
37 Sccutler : Yep. You're right. They're not always the cheapest. But you know that, for a "walk-up" fare, they're virtually always the best deal. Not much business
38 Post contains images Critter592 : I have been inside of a Southwest Airlines 737-200/300/500/700 and Each plane I went in was VERY CLEAN. I think that Southwest is a VERY GOOD Airline.
39 TxAgKuwait : Here is how the policy works. I know because it has applied to me on several occasions in the past. Not that you will want to listen, and frankly I do
40 Post contains images Redngold : No complaints from me... However, I do have a few comments. 1. If you see a dirty diaper in the aisle, or anywhere on a plane for that matter, by all
41 Post contains images Trippleseven : Great points Redngold!!
42 LoneStarMike : Another reason that Southwest's gates are so crowded is that Southwest utilizes the gates they have more than the other airlines.For instance, here in
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