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Terrible service with Southwest Vacations

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Hello,
 
I am writing about my horrendous vacation that I experienced with Southwest Vacations. This email is the first time that I have ever felt a need to leave a review or even make a comment/complaint about any issue I've ever had due to poor customer service and accountability.
 
My vacation started on Friday, June 19, 2020. We flew to Ft. Lauderdale for my step son's military graduation. Once we arrived we were on the way to our hotel. Once we reached The Diplomat Resort, we noticed several barricades and orange cones everywhere blocking the entrance. I immediately knew something was wrong. At that time, I called the hotel to see what was going on. I was told by a representative that the hotel was closed and would not reopen until June 27, 2020. I was floored at this point. I asked the representative how long they had been closed and she said since the interruption of COVID-19 ensuing they had been closed since late April/early May. WOW! The representative stated I needed to contact my travel agent or whoever I originally booked the package with.
 
I booked my vacation with Southwest vacation on May 26. If the hotel was already closed, why was I allowed to even book this hotel. 
 
We proceeded to call Southwest vacations at the number listed on the site and our reservation documents 1-800-243-8372. We stayed on hold a total of 4 hours and talked to more than a dozen representatives. The call times were ridiculous ranging from 77 to 83 minutes and each time we reached a representative if was either the wrong dept. or when we were transferred to the During Travel department the call was lost and we had to start the process again. I was so distraught at this point because we had now missed my stepson graduation which was the basis of the entire trip. This was so heartbreaking for my husband and I because we had been waiting several weeks to see him and embrace this moment in his life. 
 
By now we finally reached a representative by the name of Nancy in the During travel department, we finally thought we had some hope but the nightmare was far from over. Nancy was so rude and unapologetic, she didn't sense the urgency in our tone or even seem to care that we were completely stranded. She STRESSED this was no fault of Southwest vacations and that I should take this up with the hotel since they had not been removed from your inventory. She went on to say that I should have called the hotel prior to travel and checked everything out myself. I was livid. I explained to Nancy that Southwest is a billion-dollar industry and a staple in the airline community and felt that it was Southwest responsibility to do due diligence and check each hotel in their database to be aware of closure or any other incidentals that have occurred. I proceeded to inform her that I did check the website for any closures in Florida and none applied to this resort only Disney and Universal Studios.
 
I was crying and at this point very upset, Nancy even stated that she would have to disconnect the call if I didn't get it together, the nerve of this woman. I told her she was very uncompassionate and she didn't seem to empathize with our situation. She simply didn't care.
 
The nightmare continued.
 
I tried to calm down and get my nerves together before I had a meltdown on this woman. I even asked to speak with her supervisor but she never allowed me to speak with someone else. 
 
At this point my husband called Southwest vacations to speak with another representative and was greeted with another 83 minute wait time. 
 
Nancy asked, "What hotels did I see nearby so that she could try to us something?" At this time, I thought it would get better but NO, it got WORSE.
 
I mentioned the Eden Roc Hotel, NOBU Hotel, Fontainebleu Hotel, or the Loews. She stated she had no inventory for the first three. When she mentioned that she did have something for the Loews, I became somewhat relieved only to find out it would be a standard room and nothing like the room we had reserved at The Diplomat Resort. I asked her, "Why was the room the standard and not the suite type like we had at The Diplomat." She stated, "That the funds were not there, meaning we only paid about $350 for The Diplomat and the Loews rooms were much higher." I told her that of course they would be higher at any resort when booking the day of, and furthermore, we booked The Diplomat in advance and were able to secure a great deal/promotion that they were running as well as Southwest vacations. I told her that Southwest should be more accommodating considering everything we had been through in the last four hours. She still did not bulge, she wouldn't even ask to speak with a supervisor to get clearance to get this done. She even offered to put us at another hotel (The Gates) which is not a beach-front property like we previously booked. After I declined this offer, she was adamant that we get a refund and fly home. I asked her how long it would be if we got a refund and she stated 60 to 90 days. WOW again! We didn't have extra money to book a new hotel considering our funds were tied into the current vacation package we had currently paid for. She simply didn't care for our predicament. Once I placed her on a brief hold, she mentioned something to a colleague that she was ready to get off the phone because she had a SKYPE session with her siblings. At this point, I had heard even enough and just hung up the phone.
 
Nancy needs to be trained immediately to deal with critical issues, especially showing empathy to others misplaced.
 
By now, my husband had got another representative that was more willing to accommodate us. She was nice and got us booked at the Loews and stayed on the phone with us the entire time. KUDOS to her; however, she was not able to give us the same type of room that we previously booked with The Diplomat. 
 
I was completely over this entire trip at this point. 
 
Southwest vacations I am completely outdone with the way this entire ordeal was handled. I just knew you guys were a reputable company when I booked with you guys. I even had a previous trip booked with American Airlines but canceled and went with your company. This was our first time flying and booking a vacation with Southwest and if you can't do something to better accommodate my husband and I it will be our last. Please respond abruptly to this email or I will be urged to leave this comment/review with other traveling sites and the BBB.
 
Regards, 
Shenika Thomas
 
 
2 REPLIES 2

Re: Terrible service with Southwest Vacations

Top Contributor

Unfortunately Southwest Vacations is a completely separate country from Southwest Airlines. Here is some additional information, but sounds like you have already been in contact with Southwest Vacations.

 

https://community.southwest.com/t5/Knowledge-Base/How-do-I-contact-Southwest-Vacations/ta-p/108332

 

--TheMiddleSeat

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Re: Terrible service with Southwest Vacations

Top Contributor

As the Middleseat said, Southwest Vacations is not Southwest airlines.

 

It is a separate company that provides the same service under other names for United, American, Celta and probably other airlines..

 

If you check yelp, you'll see that the fim has dozens (maybe hundreds) of 1 star reviews.

 

If I were you, i'd do several things

 

1) Send the firm a registered letter demanding a refund.

 

2) Leave love letter reviews in every place you can find.

 

3) Contact the BBB about the situation. Maybe they can help.

 

Sorry this happened to you, but given the number of 1 str reviews, it has happened to lots of other people, too.