Although I have had issues with Southwest Airlines in the past, I continue to fly with them. I guess I’m just a creature of habit. Last week I planned to take a one day trip to Las Vegas – leave at 9:35 am and return at 10:30 pm. Easy peasy, right? Made the reservations in plenty of time to get the internet special, checked in on line to board with the B group. If you are not familiar with Southwest, it’s an airbus, literally. No assigned seating but when traveling with no luggage, it’s not bad.
My plan was to leave my house at 7:15 am since I do live 45 minutes from Sky Harbor, and morning rush hour is horrendous on I-17. I got an email saying they delayed the departure time until 12 noon, which was followed immediately by another email saying 1 pm was the revised departure time. I called customer service to find out why it was delayed. At first they said it was weather conditions, but after insisting that was not it since the sun was shining in Phoenix as well as Las Vegas, they admitted they were doing maintenance on the plane. Of course, I want to travel in a safe plane, but waiting til the last minute to fix something! Who does that?
Not a big deal (it really was but what was I to do?) so the plan was to leave at 11:30 am to make the flight and work in my office until I then. Then I got another email at 11:15 am. They decided to leave at 12 noon. WTF? My super driver husband said, “you’ll make it!” So we were on our way by 11:18 am. I called customer service (of course I was on hold for 18 minutes) to see if they could hold the plane. What was I thinking? The woman laughed and said they never hold the plane for anyone and wanted to book the next flight for me. I told her I was ¼ mile away from the airport and had 15 minutes to departure. She still insisted that I cancel and get on the next flight. Her comment was, “you are expected to be at the airport for the original departure flight.” Really? I was supposed to sit there from 8:30 am until 12 or 1 pm? I could people watch for a while, but not 3.5+ hours. If I was already at the airport and the plane was delayed, which has happened many times, then I would have had no choice. But in this case, wouldn’t you agree that I had some control over my time?
Did I make the flight? Yes! My little legs got me there in time to join group B at 11:55 am. Miss Customer Service lady, you lied! They held the plane for late arrivals and then, of all things, handed out vouchers to everyone on the plane. It’s nice when a company takes responsibility and then compensates for their poor planning and communication. They kept their customers happy by doing the right thing.