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Pilot vs Gate Agent : What to do when the pilot goes rogue?

Explorer C

I'm on a work trip and need to fly home where my parent's live as my grandmother is about to pass. She lived a good life, but I would very much like to visit her before she goes.


I arrive at the airport with coworkers who are going elsewhere several hours early (our work finished up early). I wait in the airport 2 hours after security for my flight. My flight is one of those flights that is the "continued on" location.


There was a flight delay with the plane we were supposed to be one so "someone" boarded us on a different plane (is that allowed?). However, the pilot is on the "original" plane so we have to wait anyway. When the pilot arrives, he apologies and is great. However, he tells us that since we were boarded on a "new plane" he has to do about 20 minutes of paperwork.


After the 20 minutes, we are told that those of us continuing on to the final location need to "de plane" because we won't make it in time because that airport closes. What? Ok, it's travel and everyone has to pay their dues for a bad travel day -- it's a fact of life that you cannot count on an airline 100%.


However, on the jetbridge, the gate manager and pilot are arguing. The pilot claims he was told he's going to the final destination while the gate manager says we are not. The pilot starts walking off and says, "I'm going to XXXXXXX". The gate manager says we can stay or go -- not sure what's going to happen. This is about the third time I've gotten back on that plane.


My parents were going to pick me up at the airport a little past midnight. There were already making plans to get out and stay out to pick me up. They didn't know what to do either. I told them I'd call them when we land before our final flight.


Then another announcement tells us to get off the plane that we will most definitely not make it. I'm done with SouthWest at this point -- I have a lot of other stuff on my mind than to have to deal with this. Kudos to the pilot though for trying to get us home; the person is my hero as he tried to do the right thing; he has my respect (and so does the gate manager for also trying to do the right thing). The big disappoint is SouthWest logistics for not being in contact with all parties.


Now, here's the BIGGEST disappointment-- after I'm deplaned for the 3rd time, wondering if I'll make it to tell my grandmother a final goodbye, I'm booked on the 9am flight the next day with NO HOTEL compensation, and I get boarding spot C44 (I was early B on my first attempt to fly). I mean, at this point, it is just comical the bad service tossed our way by SouthWest. I understand a perfect storm but ...i mean, come on, an A list boarding spot is surely a "given". I was able to book a rental car and drove some of the stranded passengers to a local hotel (Essentially stepping up where SW stepped down).


Hopefully, SW can spare a full can of coke tomorrow on the flight for my troubles?


LOL -- so what to do when the pilot goes rogue? Follow them -- they have the keys 🙂 (didn't work though but gave me a good SW story haha). That pilot was awesome for trying to do the right thing. Lots of respect.



Re: Pilot vs Gate Agent : What to do when the pilot goes rogue?

Aviator A

Sounds like quite the situation.  You may want to provide a brief summary of the day to Southwest.  Use the contact us link at the bottom of the page and send a message.