The SouthWORST experience

Posted: August 5, 2012 in Customer service, Southwest, Stress, Travel

So, when we last spoke, we were talking about me fitting in t-shirts I haven’t worn for a while. That’s old news. Well, it’s still news, but not the newest news. You get the picture.

<RANT ON>

I decided to take advantage of the Southwest sale on Friday. I could get the flights to/from Orlando for $150 less than what I would’ve had to pay and I even got to add an extra day to the vacation. Apparently everyone had the same thought, because things were FUBAR from the get go. I got a confirmation. Then ANOTHER confirmation. And ANOTHER. Oh, and one more for good measure. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s four confirmations. All with different ticket numbers, for the same flights on the same days. For the same people.

I waited another hour after this.

I called their toll-free number and it was busy. I retried 12 times before it rang. After making my selections, a pleasant recorded voice told me that my call would be answered in the order received and that my estimated hold time would be between 42 minutes and 1 hour and five minutes. I wasn’t thrilled, but I figured I could use the hands free and get some things done while waiting. Now, Southwest does not have hold music. They have a series of amusing vignettes starring real ramp workers and customer service reps talking about the policies and services they offer. I should rephrase. They cease to be amusing and become annoying after about the sixth repetition. I mean, I KNOW you can’t take a #$%^#$ giraffe on a commercial airliner! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

After about two and a half hours, I decided to go to bed… besides, if they would’ve answered, I might have erupted. As it was, I tried again in the morning and was told my wait time would be between 23 and 42 minutes. 90 minutes later, I packed it in.

So, I finally got through to a real live person around 11:30 PM last night. Becky was very helpful and apologetic, had the extra flights cancelled and everything good in around 10 minutes. I was still annoyed, but relieved that things were set. I added an additional night’s DVC lodging and was ready to go. Went to bed, and, well, when I woke up and checked my email, there was ANOTHER email from Southwest stating that my remaining reservation was cancelled. WTF? I went and called, and was told everyone was busy, but they would call me back, which they did. Again, Cindy was helpful, but I couldn’t get a reason as to why this reservation had been cancelled, other than “confusion” and “a glitch”.

Now, maybe I’m old-fashioned, but this isn’t “LUV”. I’m not looking for anything but a specific explanation. It doesn’t help to go off on the phone rep… it’s not their job to listen to that, but I am still not happy. Grand total of over four hours on the phone… they could’ve updated the hold message saying that they had a systems problem and they are working to correct it instead of the stupid “You can’t bring a giraffe on the plane” bit.

Suffice it to say, I miss AirTran. Never had an issue with them and the one time they cancelled a flight on us, well, I called and asked about it and without being prompted, they issued travel certificates for our next trip as a way of apologizing for my inconvenience. I’m going to think long and hard before I decide to travel via Southwest again. I know people love them, and maybe I just got the perfect shitstorm of issues, but it is what it is. I’m an unhappy customer and I’m not finding it easy to contact someone who can give me the answer I’m looking for.

Granted, if they tell me I’m too fat to fly, well, then all bets are off.

<RANT OFF>

Hope you all had a nice weekend. I’ll be back later with the tale of the family dinner.

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