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Communications Fail - Why is Southwest Corporate so silent?

Explorer B

Why is SW corporate being so quiet during this major holiday disaster?
Where are you Bob Jordan (Southwest CEO!)

It appears that SW's alert messaging failed


Here's my Christmas story - SW's major fail on communicating:
My flight out of Portland, OR to Sacramento, CA on Saturday morning (12/24) was cancelled, due to planes not able to land because of icy runways. I get that - they cancelled it as the incoming flight was about 15 minutes from landing, so the plane was turned back to its Oakland, CA origin.


I'm lucky to have rebooked a flight for the following afternoon (Sunday, 12/25). I get to the gate at boarding time of 3pm, but am told by fellow passengers that they're delaying boarding until the last crew member arrives, but, it turns out that the flight attendant is actually a no-show. No announcements, but I ask the gate agent, and she says that they're expecting a replacement from an incoming Las Vegas flight. I check Flight Aware, and the Las Vegas to Portland flight has already been cancelled. The departure time gradually creeps to 5:30pm. The gate agent and the pilot who is standing at the gate don't know anything. Still no announcement, no text message updates, and the gate agent disappears - fast forward to 7pm (Southwest's site meanwhile creeps the departure time forward), and the guy at the gate desk says "crew is set, we're just waiting for the destination airport to acknowledge that they have an open gate to receive our flight".


After more of the passengers line up to ask the status, he makes a call, and it turns out that the Sacto airport is fine, but we're still missing that "last crew member". He says that the local dispatcher is making calls to find an available flight attendant that has available hours - 7:30pm on Christmas day. Around 8:15, Southwest finally decides to cancel this flight five hours after the scheduled departure time.


I'm told that to get my credit, I should stand in line, or go online or call. Online doesn't work, because the flight no longer exists. Now I have to gird myself to prepare for a marathon wait to talk to a live person...  by the way, at about 2am, I finally get a text message, telling me that my flight has been cancelled.


Re: Communications Fail - Why is Southwest Corporate so silent?

Explorer A

I've been flying SW for 30 years, the last time on 12/1. Something is very wrong. I saw dozens of staff rolling off of other flights at LAX and no one volunteered to help stranded flights. Here's my complaint to corporate:


To whoever is working here today: I spent 10 hours in LAX Christmas Eve this weekend waiting for a plane that never arrived. My 4:45 pm flight to SJC was canceled. I rebooked on a 7:45 pm flight to SFO. That was delayed until midnight when 175+ tired people were told that the pilot was on the ground in Vegas and would be there in 45 minutes. So we waited, only to find out that a flight attendant had ended her shift and was unable to fly so this flight was canceled at 1 a.m. I was then rebooked on the last flight 1602 to SJC for Christmas Day at 8:00 pm. Mind you, on Christmas Eve I received text messages regarding the flight delays but they were all inaccurate. On Christmas Day I only received one, saying the flight was delayed to 9:47 pm. Rather than trust the text messages, I relied on the SW website and a flight-tracking app for guidance. The flight app was the most accurate. It showed that only a handful of flights left the LAX SW terminal yesterday. My flight on the SW website showed delays beginning at 11 a.m. I didn't even bother to go to the airport because guess what? It was not only canceled but deleted from the SW website later in the day as if it never existed. The flight app also showed that other airlines were in flight so the weather couldn't be the only issue since my flight was literally less than an hour in California. I've got friends who were in NYC who made it home for Christmas. What gives? The Customer Service numbers don't work, I can't log on to the website because it says "Please try again later". Your napkins say Southwest is all about transparency. Well, I didn't see any of that this weekend. All I saw were a lot of sad faces when you ruined passengers' holidays. 

Re: Communications Fail - Why is Southwest Corporate so silent?

Adventurer C

Man, it’s just awful and I’m sorry to hear you’ve had to deal with that but I’m also confused as to why you continue to fly such an incapable airline like Southwest? why not step it up and get with a better airline like American or United that also provides first class and guarantee Customer service especially for Premier customers. while united has its own issues is far above better than a company like Southworst, the absolute despicable, garbage, dump JR Varsity of airlines, and I even include that with the discussions of Spirt and frontier, just stay away from these clowns 

Re: Communications Fail - Why is Southwest Corporate so silent?

Explorer A

Personally, SW is fine for short trips, I haven't had any real issues with them. And they are the main carrier from LA to the Bay Area. AA and United don't have frequent flights and aren't budget airlines. The other alternative is to drive or take the train which works as well. I use other carriers if I'm traveling anywhere else. 

Re: Communications Fail - Why is Southwest Corporate so silent?

Aviator C

Sad.  My guess is that the new CEO will be forced to resign.