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I injured myself exiting a Southwest aircraft

dchennel0487
New Arrival

I recently submitted multiple complaints regarding Southwest flight 1880 from Atlanta to Philadelphia. Firstly, we were delayed nearly 2 hours as we waited for crew members to join the flight. Instead of allowing passengers to sit comfortably inside the airport, they made us wait on the plane which was very uncomfortable. I am pregnant with triplets and was traveling with a 10 month old child. Take off finally came but when we landed in Philadelphia, the door to the plane would not open. Again, we were delayed for about 2 hours at 1 o'clock in the morning, waiting for assistance. Finally, it was decided that we'd need to exit through the back of the plane. I was trembling as I approached the air steps; 2 bags and a small child strapped to my chest... Feeling nervous too because I'm PREGNANT. No one from the air line assisted me off or helped with my bags. Made it down fine. When it came to climbing back into the building via a second set of steps, I fell. Again, no one from the airline helped passengers with their luggage during this emergency evacuation. Being as though I was carrying a small child, you would think they'd have someone watching out or helping... Nope, it was a passenger who helped me off my knees and carried one of my bags up the rest of the stairs. My son was screaming and my knees had cuts all over. The fact that no one from the airline has reached out at this point is absurd. Since the accident, my anxiety has been through the roof especially when it comes to needing to travel again. I'm also experiencing needle-like feelings in my legs and pressure in my lower back; pressure that is outside of the normal, once and a while back pain from being pregnant. I've waited patiently for a response from Southwest but now I am breaking my silence. There were so many worried people on that flight that morning. I hope everyone is recovering but for me, I've had no luck putting this experience behind me. 

14 REPLIES 14

Re: I injured myself exiting a Southwest aircraft

bec102896
Top Contributor

Sorry to hear of your experience. 

when you made it in to the terminal did you report the situation to a SW employee or seek medical treatment so there is documentation of what happened? if not I’m not sure what they can do because unfortunately some (not saying you) will make up a story to take a company down 

 

did you send an email to southwest? If not click on contact us at the bottom of this page they will get back to you as soon as they can probably after an investigation which can take time. With the door being broken that’s probably documented so they would see that you exited a different door if that was the case. 

hope your knee is better now 

Re: I injured myself exiting a Southwest aircraft

dchennel0487
New Arrival

No one was around to assist at that time in the morning. One young lady witnessed me fall so if SW looks into who worked that night, they can interview her. Aren't there cameras or something, otherwise? I had no idea where to go for something like that, especially that early in the morning with a screaming child. I emailed the airline immediately though so that should be documentation enough. 

Re: I injured myself exiting a Southwest aircraft

bec102896
Top Contributor

No matter what time a plane arrives there is always an ops agent meeting the flight (that’s who brings the jet bridge to the plane) I understand in the circumstances your not thinking look for a SW agent to report 

 

hopefully they respond to you soon 

Re: I injured myself exiting a Southwest aircraft

dchennel0487
New Arrival

I think that's the point everyone is missing. Pregnancy can really scramble the brain and as I said, with my son crying so I just wanted to get home at that point. I didn't think to walk around and find someone to report it to because I thought the complaint system online was enough. But again, I fell and hurt my knees so excess walking, with the baby and the bags and my stroller was just out of the question. I was crying, shaking, overwhelmed, it was late, I was afraid. I had so many emotions running through my mind. I'm simply wanting them to reach out about the incident, investigate the situation and for them identify ways to improve the next time. Maybe ask if anyone traveling with a child or if anyone with a handicap thinks they may need help because the steps are very thin and it's dark or go over safety guidelines the way they do the emergency exit row. Idk, something to give more warning of the dangers of using air steps. There was no lighting or anything. You had to be there to understand the chaos. All the passengers that saw me fall were equally shocked at the experience and expressed concerns about the fact that we had little to no direction getting off. No one that I recall speaking to had ever gotten off the back of an aircraft. 

Re: I injured myself exiting a Southwest aircraft

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Everything you had difficulty with is operated by the airport, not Southwest. Perhaps you should take your complaints to the relevant party.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: I injured myself exiting a Southwest aircraft

jksobonya
Rising Star

@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

Everything you had difficulty with is operated by the airport, not Southwest. Perhaps you should take your complaints to the relevant party.

 

--TheMiddleSeat


Yep, this isn't a Southwest problem at the end of the day, it's a PHL problem, and I'd argue the early morning hour was also a problem. I don't think this would have happened at, say, 3 in the afternoon. But thinking about it more, I'm curious why the plane didn't try to go to another gate. I assume because there were no other gates available ... but still.

 

--Jessica

Re: I injured myself exiting a Southwest aircraft

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor
Solution

People get assistance when they request it. It sounds like you were hoping someone would read your mind and help you despite the fact that you probably looked like you were just fine. To assume people would magically help you is optimistic, but unrealistic. 

BTW, exiting out the rear door is standard practice at a number of airports and is hardly an "emergency evacuation". 

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: I injured myself exiting a Southwest aircraft

jksobonya
Rising Star

This sounds dreadful, especially the delay after landing. I'm having trouble believing that the airplane door wouldn't open though. I'd sooner believe PHL had trouble with the gate/ramp connection because I have had some delays with that myself on later flights due to lack of personnel to operate the ramp that connects to the door. Someone always eventually come around though. Never had to exit from the back of the plane before. I also have trouble believing that *no one* would help you especially if you had a child and multiple bags and were visibly pregnant? And even if no one asked you, did you ask anyone? Sounds like you didn't. I certainly would have, in this situation. 

 

--Jessica

Re: I injured myself exiting a Southwest aircraft

dchennel0487
New Arrival

No one refused to help me because there were no employees there to assist. We literally let ourselves off the plane. Not going to debate if you weren't on the flight. Thanks.