Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Highlighted

baggage claim at Washington DCA airport is terrible

New Arrival

I checked in at STL. The lady who checked is very competent and nice. I had to fly through Chicago Midway. She put the purplish 'Transfer' tag on my bag, and put it on its way on the belt.
I get to DCA. It was wheels down at 11:30pm. I know this because I turned off airplane mode on my phone immediately and texted my family. I got off plane, after a delay in ground crew meeting the plane. But still got off at 11:40 or a few minutes after. I waited for every single bag to be put on the carousel but mine didn't come. At this time, it was 12:19AM. So 50 minutes after wheels down and no bag. I got baggage office. Very terrible customer service at baggage office. First, I had my baggage claim ticket ready and in-hand before I went into the office. I promptly gave it to the available agent. I told her my bag didn't arrive. She starts looking in computer. Then she answers the phone. Then the other agent comes over and takes over her computer session. "Oh, I was looking up his bag... " Total lack of focus, and total chaos, even though there was only one other family in there, looking for their bags. Finally, I get my bag. It was in the back room. The one agent quote the shelf number that it was on. So what I'm almost certain happen is that when I checked my bag in STL for a final destination of DCA, the bag went on the direct flight from STL to DCA. I had to fly to Chicago. So my bag sat there in DCA for 2 hours or so. Why no text me? Why not have the baggage claim office, who was not that busy, bring the bag out.? I feel like you robbed me of 40 minutes of sleep. I stood at that carousel for 40 minutes waiting for a bag that was in the baggage claim office at DCA the whole time. But you didn't notify me. Horrible, terrible customer service. I really dislike Southwest Airlines.

3 REPLIES 3
Highlighted

Re: baggage claim at Washington DCA airport is terrible

Top Contributor

@UnhappyWithSWA

 

I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience with the DCA baggage claim. The couple times I flew to DCA my bags arrived about 25min after arriving at the gate I did have one time where a bag strap caused a 30min delay which was because the other carousels were in use and they had some problems getting the strap out but other than that no issues for me at DCA. 

 

If you would like to discuss your experience with Southwest I recommend you reach out to southwest on Twitter or you can reach out to customer relations at 855-234-4654 and they would gladly look in to this for you.

 

with the bag arriving before you that is possible but unfortunately Southwest doesn't text customers with bag updates at this time (that I am aware of anyways) that would be a great suggestion for when you reach out to Southwest on Twitter or through customer relations though. I have heard of some baggage service office employees announcing for a passenger to report to the office because there bag arrived early or other times because a bag arrived damaged. 

 

-Blake 

Highlighted

Re: baggage claim at Washington DCA airport is terrible

Rising Star

It’s unfortunate that you had this experience, and I can appreciate the frustration, especially with the late arrival and focus on sleep!

 

The good news is that your bag was there!!! And the megative experience you report is not what we would expect from Southwest. As a matter of fact, the most outstanding Southwest customer experience I’ve ever had (our if so many) was from a Southwest baggage office agent who moved mountains that then follow up with a personal phone call to me. I’m sorry your experience was different. 

 

I do hope to see Southwest adopt the baggage tracking technology of other airlines one day. 

 

Since this is a customer community, you might want to share your experience with the Southwest team directly using one of the methods via the Contacts Us link below. 

 

Happy travels!

 

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.
Highlighted

Re: baggage claim at Washington DCA airport is terrible

Top Contributor

@UnhappyWithSWA wrote:

I checked in at STL. The lady who checked is very competent and nice. I had to fly through Chicago Midway. She put the purplish 'Transfer' tag on my bag, and put it on its way on the belt.
...

First, I had my baggage claim ticket ready and in-hand before I went into the office. I promptly gave it to the available agent. I told her my bag didn't arrive. She starts looking in computer. Then she answers the phone. Then the other agent comes over and takes over her computer session. "Oh, I was looking up his bag... " Total lack of focus, and total chaos, even though there was only one other family in there, looking for their bags. Finally, I get my bag. It was in the back room. The one agent quote the shelf number that it was on. So what I'm almost certain happen is that when I checked my bag in STL for a final destination of DCA, the bag went on the direct flight from STL to DCA. I had to fly to Chicago. So my bag sat there in DCA for 2 hours or so. Why no text me? Why not have the baggage claim office, who was not that busy, bring the bag out.? I feel like you robbed me of 40 minutes of sleep. 


It is academic now, but it would be interesting to have the baggage office confirm that this was what happened by them putting the luggage onto the direct flight. I suppose they could do that although I haven't heard of it being typical - people expect their baggage to come on the carousel for their own flight and as far as I know that's the normal procedure.

 

Maybe there could be some other possibilty that the baggage arrived at DCA with you and for whatever reason came to the baggage office by a different route.

 

Anyway - to answer your question I haven't heard of a customized text alert in the way you describe, although if the office there had a quiet moment the agent there could call you to say that they have your luggage. Make sure you have your number written on a luggage tag otherwise there would be several extra steps for them to confirm your identity and then lookup the phone number in your booking, which may or may not be your mobile phone number, etc...

 

Maybe this could be added in the future for enhanced functionality. I know I received a poll once from Southwest about possible future feature additions and several of the questions were about luggage.

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.