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SW doesnt care about masks - not safe

New Arrival

I have been a loyal Southwest customer for years. I was concerned about traveling last week due to COVID 19, but I felt assured based onthe COVID-19 policies.
I feel completely deceived and betrayed by SW when they  didnt adhere to their own policies regarding requiring masks on flights.
June 5 Flight : Although the gate attendent announced that you had to wear a mask on get on board the plane and to wear on board, there were 2 people that got on board without masks. When I asked the flight attendant (who didnt notice as she was talking to another attendant) about it, she did talk to the people and provided masks. During the flight (and not when food/beverages were served) other people took off their masks and the flight attendants did nothing.
June 9 Flight : The male flight attendant did announce on the flight that masks were required. He did speak to people who werent wearing them properly. People removed them as soon as he left -- but that was not his fault. No other attendants did anything.
June 14 Flight : The gate attendant said multiple times that people had to wear masks to board and for duration of flight. No flight attendant made a similar announcement. There were people who didnt wear masks. A female flight attendant told the people to stow their bags but said nothing about wearing a mask. When I exited the plane, I asked if masks were required. He literally said "yes, but you know..." and the pilot was standing there with no mask while the passengers were deplaning!
I thought SW cared about the safety of their passengers and crew. But clearly that is not the case in actually execution. 3 flights and SW failed all 3 times. At least be honest that masks are optional. Don't lie and say they are and then not follow thru.
People have asked me about my experience and I was honest. They are all canceling their flights, postponing etc.
I personally will not be flying with SW any time soon. Too dangerous.
I spoke to a colleague who flew Delta -- everyone wore a mask.
SW has lost my trust.

62 REPLIES 62
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Re: SW doesnt care about masks - not safe

Top Contributor
Solution

@vr wrote:

I have been a loyal Southwest customer for years. I was concerned about traveling last week due to COVID 19, but I felt assured based onthe COVID-19 policies.
I feel completely deceived and betrayed by SW when they  didnt adhere to their own policies regarding requiring masks on flights.
June 5 Flight : Although the gate attendent announced that you had to wear a mask on get on board the plane and to wear on board, there were 2 people that got on board without masks. When I asked the flight attendant (who didnt notice as she was talking to another attendant) about it, she did talk to the people and provided masks. During the flight (and not when food/beverages were served) other people took off their masks and the flight attendants did nothing.
June 9 Flight : The male flight attendant did announce on the flight that masks were required. He did speak to people who werent wearing them properly. People removed them as soon as he left -- but that was not his fault. No other attendants did anything.
June 14 Flight : The gate attendant said multiple times that people had to wear masks to board and for duration of flight. No flight attendant made a similar announcement. There were people who didnt wear masks. A female flight attendant told the people to stow their bags but said nothing about wearing a mask. When I exited the plane, I asked if masks were required. He literally said "yes, but you know..." and the pilot was standing there with no mask while the passengers were deplaning!
I thought SW cared about the safety of their passengers and crew. But clearly that is not the case in actually execution. 3 flights and SW failed all 3 times. At least be honest that masks are optional. Don't lie and say they are and then not follow thru.
People have asked me about my experience and I was honest. They are all canceling their flights, postponing etc.
I personally will not be flying with SW any time soon. Too dangerous.
I spoke to a colleague who flew Delta -- everyone wore a mask.
SW has lost my trust.


 

Unfortunately, there is no government mask requirement. Also, air carriers must respect the Air Carrier Access Act's provisions for the disabled, who may not be able to wear a mask due to a disability. It's an unfortunate reality that some people -- with disregard to factual evidence -- simply cannot abide by the rules. Sadly, there's not much Southwest can do to force those passengers to comply while on board. 

 

However, carriers are beginning to take a harder line with non-compliant passengers. Delta and United have just made specific statements warning passengers of the consequences of not wearing a mask during flights, which may include being put on the carrier's "no-fly" list.

 

Refuse to wear a face mask and these airlines may ban you from future flights

 

Southwest hasn't yet commented on any upcoming policy adjustments, but I'd be surprised if they don't follow suit in some form. To not do so would be opening themselves up to risks associated with being the "odd man out." Hopefully an announcement is coming soon.

 

Southwest's policy does require all customer-facing crew to wear masks. So if there's room for improvement there I'm sure they would like to know that.

 

Since this is primarily a customer-to-customer forum, I'd suggest that you let Southwest know your thoughts on the issue directly. You can contact them using any of the methods shown near the bottom of this pages under Contact Us. (I recommend via Twitter or Facebook direct message.)

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Re: SW doesnt care about masks - not safe

New Arrival

I did contact SW directly. Sadly, no response

 

 I felt that it is important (as others have to) for travelers to know what they are getting into.

It is not safe right now to fly SW 

 

- that SW employees (pilot in my case) dont wear masks

-as they do not enforce the mask policy

 

you can make excuses all you like that people might have exceptions due to a disability -- but that is not the case.

 

This issue isnt solved --  people should know what to expect on planes.

I wish I had known and would not have flown

(airports are worse <50% people wear masks despite the multiple signage)

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Re: SW doesnt care about masks - not safe

Top Contributor

@vr wrote:

I did contact SW directly. Sadly, no response

 

 I felt that it is important (as others have to) for travelers to know what they are getting into.

It is not safe right now to fly SW 

 

- that SW employees (pilot in my case) dont wear masks

-as they do not enforce the mask policy

 

you can make excuses all you like that people might have exceptions due to a disability -- but that is not the case.

 

This issue isnt solved --  people should know what to expect on planes.

I wish I had known and would not have flown

(airports are worse <50% people wear masks despite the multiple signage)


 

You will receive a reply at some point, it may be delayed right now due to the effects of the pandemic.

 

Southwest just added a new "health declaration" that customers must acknowledge in order to check in online. It requires the customer to state that 1) they understand masks are required while traveling; 2) they will not travel if they have been diagnosed with, had exposure to or have symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, and; 3) they will check their temperature prior to travel and confirm they do not have a fever before traveling.

 

Hopefully there will also be increased announcements regarding mask use and social distancing in the airport and on board.

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Re: SW doesnt care about masks - not safe

New Arrival

I am an A List preferred member. Flying every week for almost 20 years. Started flying again back in April after a few weeks off. Planes were empty and it was great and NO mask requirement. 

Now all seats are full but middle seats. I am on the plane right now. across the aisle there is a woman with no mask. Flight attendants were not saying anything. I pointed it out. The person said she (and her friend by the window) had a "note". Flight attendant did not check for the "note". If you can't wear a mask then you should not fly now.

Also, SWA goes through all the trouble of boarding 10 at a time and all the markings "outside" the plane where distancing is possible, but does not enforce these important rules "inside" where it is not possible to social distance. 

This is quite incredible and shows poor management, since I cannot fault the flight attendant who are not empowered at all. Of course, they are still empowered worrying about your small laptop being stored away, since god forbid it may hinder you getting out. 

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Re: SW doesnt care about masks - not safe

Active Member

You're conflating many different issues here.

 

1.  HIPPA rules state they cannot demand indication or proof of disabilities.  Therefore they can't enforce mask rules beyond what they are.  If someone claims asthma, they can not wear a mask.  Plain and simple.

 

2.  FAA rules limit projectiles in the cabin during takeoff and landing.  They CAN enforce those rules.

 

3.  That leaves telling people to stay seated and separated during deboarding.  Yes, I wish they would harp on this one to make people get a clue.  Of everything they can do, keeping people from standing cheek to jowl would be very effective in reducing transmission.   Your best bet otherwise?  Sit on the window seat and wait for the herd to deboard before you stand up.

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Re: SW doesnt care about masks - not safe

Top Contributor

@gsking wrote:

 

 

3.  That leaves telling people to stay seated and separated during deboarding.  Yes, I wish they would harp on this one to make people get a clue.  Of everything they can do, keeping people from standing cheek to jowl would be very effective in reducing transmission.   Your best bet otherwise?  Sit on the window seat and wait for the herd to deboard before you stand up.


I agree.

 

Pre 3/15/20 I always snagged an aisle seat.

 

In my 5 flights since then I have always taken a window seat and waited til the crowd in the row in front of mine was preparing to exit the plane before I even stood up.

 

Sometimes you have to take responsibility for yourself.

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Re: SW doesnt care about masks - not safe

New Arrival

The point is being missed here. Southwest can say that we are requiring masks but they cannot be enforced. Then the expectations are normalized. 

I have taken 20 flights since COVID began. 15 passengers on the first flight, 80 on the latest. I had no choice but to take the aisle seat this time even though I went all the way back to stay away from the crowds and possibly find a window seat. and it’s not just me but anyone who may happen to have to take an aisle seat across from such a passenger. And this was -800 the rows are exactly even unlike the others. 
This person’s compassion was sipping from her own drink virtually the entire flight hence also had her mask down around her neck and not over her face. The simple point is that this cannot be enforced and the flight attendants cannot enforce it and travelers should not be misled. 

On the projectiles comment -  cell phones are also projectiles as our laptops. In fact cell phones have been launched on landing in my experience more often than one would think. So if the  other regulations are due to projectile concerns then they need to be modified further. 

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Re: SW doesnt care about masks - not safe

Active Member

HIPPA constrains providers.

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Re: SW doesnt care about masks - not safe

Active Member

Get over it. 

 

If you are afraid of people with no masks then dont fly.  We already know masks are useless at containing the virus.

 

You are obviously far from the other passenger, thats all you need.  As long as someone is not symptomatic then they dont need a mask anyway.