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
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.
For instance, here in AUS Southwest occupies 6 gates with jetways out of a total of 24 gates with jetways or 25% of the available gates. however, year-to-date passenger totals indicate that Southwest has handled 37% of all passengers. Just one gate alone, Gate 9 the experimental dual jetway gate handles 13 departures per day (out of a total of 48 per day for Southwest.)
If you have more than one flight leaving from the same gate within an hour of each other, at some point in time you will have everyone who has already checked in for the first flight waiting in the gate area to board as well as airport visitors either seeing their friends off or waiting for passengers to arrive on the incoming flight and now here comes the second group of passengers starting to check in for the second flight.
The other airlines gates are oftentimes less crowded because they do not operate as many departures per gate and the departures are spaced farther apart so there is not as much overlap.
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