Monday, December 10, 2012

Southwest Airlines Review



South-Worst Airline.

I've flown over 100k miles this year, and this is my first time taking Southwest Airlines with checked in Luggage.

I flew BOS-DEN-SEA on Dec 7 and I arrived more than 2 hours earlier at Boston Logan to check in.

"First and second bag checked free", So I checked in 2 bags and proceeded to board the plane with a small camera bag (1 DSLR and 1 lens) and a 5 ft long scroll tube and a 8"x10" framed photo. They all fit into a plastic bag until I got to the gate to check in and the staff informed me that my 5 ft long scroll tube was too long for the plane and I had to check it in.

I informed her that there were people with bigger and longer carry on bags and someone just went on board with a tripod that is longer and bigger than my scroll tube and she said that the plane was now full and there was no more space for the tube.

I agreed to check it in and she delayed me for another 15 minutes and when everyone else has checked in, she told me that I already had 2 checked in luggage, a 50 Ibs bag and a small 10 Ibs bag. and I would have to pay $50 for the additional scroll tube.

I informed her that I've been flying many different airlines and this has always gone on the plane with me, and I was never charged $50 before, but she insisted that it is my decision whether to get on the plane or not, and that tube is not getting in. As the gate was closing, I had no choice but to pay the $50 to check in the scroll tube.

Almost all airlines I took would be customer centric. The tube could fit into the luggage compartment and I felt I was singled out. I've flown more than 70 flights this year, and in all my life, I've never encountered anyone that unreasonable and sticking to the rules instead of listening to reason.

My trip was to raise funds for Relief 2.0 Survivors in Haiti and Japan after the disaster and I informed the staff but she did not seem to care.

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On my return trip, I flew SEA-MDW-BOS

I arrived about 50 minutes before take off and there was a long line at the check in counter. The staff at the check in counter in Seattle seemed very chatty and the line was not moving fast. I approached the staff to ask if I had enough time to board the plane and to my shocking horror, they said if I was not A-List Preferred, I would have to be in line.

When I reached the counter, there was less than 20 minutes to board and surprisingly at the TSA counters, they let me through fast as I explained my situation to them. TSA was more understanding than the counter staff at Southwest.

I ran and finally reached the gates and luckily there were people still at the gates and I managed to catch the flight.

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I've never experienced such bad customer service at the check in counters or the gates until I flew Southwest, and I promised that unless the fate of the world depends on it, I will never fly Southwest again.


Robin Low
Delta - Gold Member
Cathay Pacific - Silver Member
Singapore Airlines - Silver Member

1 comment:

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