Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Disheartening Customer Service

kdoesche
New Arrival

This is a last ditch effort to get ahold of someone with customer service that can assist us. I have talked to multiple customer service reps and recommended to file a complaint because they could not assist me. I filed a complaint and have heard nothing for two weeks. I then tried SW facebook messenger and received an ambiguous auto message that states "there is a chance that we might not be able to get to everyone who reaches out". I am at a loss of how to proceed.

 

I want to start by saying I've utilized southwest, as my main airline, for many years; and, I've had nothing but good things to say about it. I understand the unique challenges of COVID this year and the need for frequent flight schedule changes. I've been understanding and had no problem contact customer service to rearrange our schedule based on the five flight changes for our two trips planned this summer. There has always been a reasonable flight change options.

 

The last flight changes (at least 6 changes to our summer flights now...losing count) were unfortunately not the case. Our flight from Kansas City to Hawaii had a layover extended twice and lengthening our trip over 3 hrs. I called to find a shorter alternative. A kind rep found us a shorter flight option that was closer to our original travel time. It meant we were waking up at 2:30am for a 5:30am flight and an additional plane change; but, it was an adjustment we were willing to accommodate. I want to emphasize, again, I understand that many of these changes are related to COVID; and, I have been/am very empathetic. With this new flight update, I asked to update my SW car reservation to match this flight change: since this new flight gets us into Hawaii over 8 hrs earlier than our previous flight. This is when the problems started. At first the customer service rep acted like this was feasible. She then states that this 8 hr earlier pick up (same # of days) would cost over $800, she said sorry, can't help you, and came back with the recommendation we pay for an uber to go to our accommodation and come back to the airport 8 hrs later to pick up our rental. This floored me. Our entire trip was booked with Southwest. I've always been able to make free changes to accommodate Southwest's changes to our travel plans. This expectation for me, to incur the cost of their changes, is poor customer service. I asked if there was some other way we could be accommodated for this incurred cost and was recommended we file a complaint. I was also told I could revert back to our exceptionally long flight that SW had changed. I said that I found these two options to be unreasonable and this Southwest flight option was far worse than other airline options. The rep responded "well it's your choice to book another airlines, at least you will get your points back" . After that conversation, I filed a complaint. Two weeks later, I am patiently waiting for southwest to assist me.

 

If this is the new standard for southwest customer service, I will be seeking an alternative airline for our next trip.

 

12 REPLIES 12

Re: Disheartening Customer Service

jksobonya
Rising Star

Are you saying that it is going to cost an extra $800 to pick up your rental car - which I assume was also booked through Southwest - on the exact same day?

 

I'm sorry - but that doesn't make sense. It doesn't cost more to pick up your car earlier in the day. Can't you go to your car reservation that you made via Southwest and change the pickup time? That should be all you have to do. I'm not understanding why you can't do this?

 

--Jessica

Re: Disheartening Customer Service

dfwskier
Top Contributor

my experience has been is that it makes no difference when I pick up my rent car - early or

last - as long as it is the same day,  my reservation is honored.

 

Avis, et all understand   that planes do not always arrive anywhere close to the scheduled time

 

edit add: Southwest has no control over rent car pricing. Only the rent cor companies do.  It sounds to me like they were trying to book an entirely  new reservation for you. When that happens, you pay the prevailing price at the time the new reservation is made.

 

I would walk up to the rent car company counter  and say "reservation for <insert you name here>" while I was getting my drivers license and credit card out.

Re: Disheartening Customer Service

dfwskier
Top Contributor

By chance, did you book the trip via Southwest Vacations?

Re: Disheartening Customer Service

kdoesche
New Arrival

Jessica:

 

We made our car reservation, through southwest, in Feb. I spoke with the SW customer service rep, they said there is no way to modify a car reservation: only to cancel and rebook. With the rise in demand for car rentals and low supply of cars over the last several months, the new cost to rent the same car but pick up 8hrs earlier cost an additional $800. It was mind boggling to me as well that there was not an easier way to correct this issue. I called the car rental company; and, they said they couldn't help me because it was booked through SW; and, I had to go through it with them for any changes.

Re: Disheartening Customer Service

dfwskier
Top Contributor

As I said earlier in the thread - don't modify, change or rebook anything. Just show up  at the airport,   and tell them you want your car Works if you arrive the same day as your reservation.

 

I'll ask my question a second time: did you book the trip thru Southwest or Southwest Vacations? They are different companies.

Re: Disheartening Customer Service

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

I suspect when you speak with a Southwest rep they are simply looking at the cost of a new reservation.  Since the reservation change you were requesting was done much closer to the actual travel date it's no surprise the cost of a new reservation would be much higher.  It's just like booking a last minute flight, prices are higher at the last minute.  Instead of asking an airline to change your car rental you would be much better off contacting the car rental company directly and inquiring about a change to your existing reservation.  As others have said it's doubtful you would have any problem showing up early anyway.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Disheartening Customer Service

TomBaldi
New Arrival

You can try 1-855-234-4654 Option 5.  This is the "exception" group.  They only take calls Monday through Friday from 9-5 CST.  I put quotes around exception because the two times i called, they quoted policy and made it out like they were doing me a favor.  Front Line people at Southwest are great, unfortunately it's the HQ people that have driven me away from Southwest.  I will never fly them again.

Re: Disheartening Customer Service

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

@TomBaldi Car rental prices are not a Southwest problem.

The OP would be better off seeking a schedule adjustment to their existing reservation directly from the car rental company although it is probably not needed.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Disheartening Customer Service

kdoesche
New Arrival

Tom:

 

Thanks for the recommendation. I will give that number a try.