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Southwest Airlines Community

Cancellation Woes

Explorer C

I'm sharing this experience to vent on the ridiculous Southwest customer service policies.  Their responses are so stupid it almost seems intentional to see how angry they can make us.


For a recent scheduled trip I showed up to the airport a couple of hours early under sunny skies and watched as a storm roll in that shut down the airport.  This forced my aircraft to be diverted, delaying my flight by a couple of hours.  This is obviously not Southwest's fault. 


The delay meant that I would miss my connection and so I spoke with the gate agent about options.  She was very helpful.  There were no options to get me to my destination until the following afternoon.  Since this would cause me to miss my meeting (and the purpose of my travel) the trip became unnecessary, and I asked her about cancellation.  She told me that I would get credit for the flights and reimbursed.  I decided to take this option rather than be stranded in my connecting city.


The next day I received an email from Southwest stating that I was a no-show for the connecting flight (which I couldn't have made anyway), and therefore was forfeiting all funds.  It appears the agent didn't cancel the entire trip - only the first leg.  How is that even possible?  Both legs were on the same confirmation number and it was a one-way flight!  I was hoping this was sent in error, so I sent an email explaining the situation and requesting to be re-imbursed.


The response I received is that my request was denied again, and for the same stated reason - that I was a no show for the connecting flight and that they can't control the weather.  As I mentioned - the gate agent confirmed with me this wouldn't be an issue before I ever cancelled! 


This time I called in and spoke with Tom.  He was very pleasant, but as expected completely unable to help.  I asked him to transfer me to someone able to help, and his was response was that "only corporate can help with issues like this and they don't take phone calls anymore".   He opened a new ticket with corporate so now I'm stuck waiting on them to respond after they've had enough time to craft another excuse.  


The weather wasn't Southwest's fault, however everything after that has been.  How hard is it to build some common sense into your customer service policies?  How hard is it to inject customer service into your customer service? Figure it out.  I have been loyal for years, but you don't even provide a cost savings over competitors anymore.  Your only value add is no bag fees - how important do you think that is to a business traveler who doesn't check bags?


Re: Cancellation Woes

Aviator A

If the flight was canceled and you didn’t fly, then this is your chance to request a refund as well, if you prefer it instead of travel credit.


Not a big deal if you are flying frequently, just FYI.

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Cancellation Woes

Adventurer C

I have had the best luck with situations like this either by DM the southwest twitter account, or email customer service;  The twitter seems to be the best;  If you email, you may first get a generic response, but keep replying with your facts.  This is unfortunate, I have always received very reasonable responses to things such as this.


Re: Cancellation Woes

Explorer C

A quick follow up to this - corporate followed up with me and took care of the original  problem, which I expected would happen.  They were very friendly and helpful. 


There really isn't a solution that can be applied to the main complaint because they can't undo my wasted time and frustration.  I hope Southwest starts to realize that when customers complain it is typically when they feel they aren't being heard or helped.  This area needs great improvement.