Southwest Airlines

Bad Day Traveling Southwest

We had a five-hour Southwest flight delay

We had arrived at the airport at 2:30 for a 3:50 flight. Inclement weather resulted in several flight delays. Over five hours, we checked the tracker for our Southwest Airlines flight status. On each occasion, our departure time increased by an hour, though we watched passengers board their delayed flights and take off.

The Southwest agent explained that the passengers from the original destination were aboard our plane and it was on the runway, but she couldn’t give me more information until they were in the air.

Two hours later, after I saw the departure time increase again, I asked the representative if the passengers were still on board.  She said that they had deplaned because of a mechanical problem. I later learned that when they reboarded the flight a passenger was missing and they had to take roll call.

As the evening progressed, passengers spoke loudly on their phones, others read books, some slouched in chairs, one played his guitar, some tried to sleep, and others walked the terminal. I empathized with the parents who pursued their toddlers who ran the aisles.

As businesses closed, the noise grew. Employees yelled to their coworkers. The maintenance crew slammed doors. Others rolled plastic dumpsters the length of the terminal dumping trash in them, and the restroom cleaners pushed their yellow rattling carts.

Some, who I assumed were on break, sat behind the vacant gate desk and blared music. People who were reading moved. Eventually, they lowered the Starbucks’ gate closing off half the café.

Around 7:30, when Southwest announced that our plane had taken off, we knew that we were going home. Customers headed to the pizzeria and ordered thin crust pizza, beer, wine, and tall alcoholic drinks. The bar echoed with music and chatter.

When the plane arrived, the incoming passengers looked exhausted but walked briskly, probably relieved that they were finally at their destination.  When it was our turn, we boarded efficiently, took off at 8:50, and arrived as scheduled at 10:50 p.m.

Another twenty-minute delay because the jetway employees were not available

Travelers hunched under the overhead bins, some stood in the aisles ready to grab their carry-on bags and exit. The captain announced that he had called ahead, but no one was on the jetway to meet us, so we waited.

No one was there to remove baggage from two arriving flights

Finally, we left the plane and luckily we had not checked any bags. As we pulled our suitcases through baggage claim, we heard a report: the baggage crew had not removed the luggage from two flights. We suspected that the passengers who checked their bags probably had at least another half-hour delay.

Southwest offered the passengers $100 vouchers to account for bad weather, roll call, a mechanical problem, an empty jetway and delayed baggage. We thought that they could have done better.

Pursue

 

Related Posts:

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/five-southwest-airline-tips/

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/travel-packing-mistakes-and-mishaps/

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Southwest Airlines

Five Southwest Airline Tips

Open seating for Southwest Airlines

Seat assignments are not part of Southwest Airlines’ procedure; instead, passengers select their own seats based on their boarding position. Southwest uses A-C and 1-60+ to determine the commuter pecking order. The person with A 1 boards first and C 60+ enters last. Group A passengers select the best seats and have access to empty overhead bins. Often, Southwest bases this A status on cost.

“Wanna Get Away,” “Anytime,” and “Business Select” fare comparison

This chart compares the three fares for a random booking from Philadelphia to Atlanta. The lowest, “Wanna Get Away,” is nonrefundable, but per eligibility, credit may be issued toward a future reservation.  However, Wanna Get Away may cost hundreds less that the “Anytime,” fare. “Business Select” is the priciest but guarantees priority emplaning with the A 1 – A 15 group.

 Five Southwest money-saving tips and travel tricks

  • Within 24 hours before departure, Southwest passengers can conveniently check in online with the Southwest mobile app or on their computer; or they can pay $15 for EarlyBird Check-In, and the airline assigns boarding groups 36 hours before departure. With Earlybird, if the traveler pays a higher fare, Southwest gives that passenger a higher boarding status.
  •  EarlyBird Check-In does not guarantee an “A” boarding zone. I purchased EarlyBird and received group B. Unknowingly, my husband’s administrator checked me in 24 hours before departure, and I received an A. Therefore, you may get a better seat if you check yourself in.
  • To maximize boarding priority while saving money, purchase the ticket at the lowest price, and pay $30-$40 to upgrade to an “A” position at the gate. I was flying on a packed flight, and I had group B boarding assignment. I upgraded at the gate to A 6. They apparently save A positions hoping to sell them at the last minute. Unfortunately,  if the flight is filled, you may not be able to change your standing.
  • Southwest doesn’t charge fees to change your flight, like their competition.
  • Sign up for Click ‘N Save to receive emails for the latest Southwest travel deals for flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacation packages.

I hope that these money-saving tips improve your travel experience.

Related Posts and Sites:

https://www.southwest.com

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/travel-packing-mistakes-and-mishaps/

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/fifteen-tricks-and-travel-tips/

Gasoline Spill on Southwest Tarmac in Jackson, Mississippi

We boarded our Southtwest Flight 1979 on June 21, 2012 from Jackson, Mississippi which was already 20 minutes late. As we sat at the gate, a gasoline odor permeated the cabin. We deplaned because of a fuel spill on the tarmac. Southwest would not allow photos of the fire engines and the spill. Three Jackson Airport Authority officers blocked the airport window from the passengers view. The original departure time was 10 a.m. It is now 11:15 and we are reboarding. I took a few photos from inside the airplane. They will follow!