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Southwest Airlines Community

Disabled Traveler

Explorer C

My father, mother and I are frequent SW travelers. My father is limited to a wheelchair (after a spinal cord injury). We were traveling from OAK -> MDW yesterday August 15. The flight was over an hour delayed, with another 25 minutes stalled/taxied (waiting for another plane to leave the gate we were assigned to). Due to this he has now developed a pressure ulcer.
The most frustrating aspect is the care we received trying to deplane. He requires a full lift (two person) and an aisle chair. In every other circumstance where we've flown with SWA there have never been any issues. This time around it was chaos. We know that we do have to wait till the plane empties to disembark. However 3 different gate agents came and were so rude and disrespectful and it was upsetting especially to my father. One gate agent rudely took my father's manual wheelchair from my mother even as my mother was explaining that it would not fit and slammed it against the right side closet. I had to plead with her to stop and explain that we know that his chair does not fit in the aisles of this type of plane. After I explained, another gate agent rudely and in a snarky way said "Well since you're in charge what do you want us to do?" I was stunned by the attitude of this woman who wears the SW uniform and is a representative of your company. I was so shocked I didnt say a word, grabbed my father's legs and assisted in the lift with another SW gate member while 2 other gate agents (who are supposed to assist and were called for a full lift) just watched. As we exited the plane and transferred my father to his manual wheelchair the gate agent who slammed his manual wheelchair in the airplane walked away and said "this sh** is not in my job description". I could not believe the kind of service we received yesterday. In the disabled circles/platforms SW has a solid reputation. The care we received was so rude and disrespectful it makes me question whether we will book ever again with SW. I will make the effort to notify other disabled individuals/families the change in SW's gate agents and support. I have the names of those involved and request contact from SW in regards to this matter. Never ever should any disabled person feel to be an inconvenience or less than their worth, not one but two SW gate agents were unecessarily rude and disrespectful. 


Re: Disabled Traveler

Aviator A

I'm sorry you experienced this. It definitely doesn't reflect Southwest's usual customer care.


This is primarily a customer-to-customer forum, so you should reach out to Southwest directly. I generally recommend via Twitter or Facebook direct message, but be aware that reply times are longer than usual these days. You may have the best luck using the email form on the Southwest website.


Good luck.


Contact Customer Relations 

Re: Disabled Traveler

Explorer A

Same here. Rude gate agent and left us in a wheelchair at the gate. Southwest sucks.