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Constantly the worst ground ops at BWI

Cjyagesh
New Arrival

Multiple delays unrelated to weather. Arrive at BWI to be told gate is occupied and sit for at least 30 minutes. Moved to deicing pad and numerous gates open driving by. Stop hiring lazy people. And don’t refuse the pilots request for a gate when he asks and there are 10 plus available. Pathetic. 

5 REPLIES 5

Re: Constantly the worst ground ops at BWI

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

You're welcome to submit your comments directly to Southwest. Use the contact us link at the bottom of this page and send a message.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Constantly the worst ground ops at BWI

5280Av8r
Active Member

Flights are usually scheduled for certain gates ahead of time rather than being first come first serve. They do this so they can tell passengers what gate to go to, so to limit gate changes for outgoing passengers, they may have planes sit until the gate opens, so that can also be a reason for sitting with empty gates. The empty gates may also not even be Southwest gates, but considering the BWI is a focus city, I'd assume there's a good chance the empty gates were Southwest gates.

There's also the staffing issue where gates may be open, but they don't have the staff to operate them. Airplanes need a marshaller and other personnel to be safely guided into the gate. The pilots can't just park the planes themselves. Even then, there may not be the staff to bring the jetway in or any of the other thing that need to happen before passengers can safely get off the aircraft, so you'd still be stuck on the aircraft.

The airline industry is complex with many moving parts. The ground teams do everything they can to get flights out on time, so the inbound flights can park on time, but there's so many other factors the general passenger isn't aware of that affect all these things including scheduling, staff requirements, maintenance and safety related issues. The number of factors that have to align for any flight to be on time from beginning to end is crazy, so it's actually impressive that we even have all the flights that we do have.

 

-5280Av8r

DEN (CLT) Based | Aviation Enthusiast | Full of Passion for Southwest

Re: Constantly the worst ground ops at BWI

Cjyagesh
New Arrival

I’m sorry you wasted your time typing that reply. While most of that is common sense, I’m sure someone who hasn’t flown before will appreciate it. However I have been or affiliated in the industry for over 25 years and am a frequent traveler (on avg 1.5 weeks per month). Fortunately we also had a pilot who was frustrated with his experience flying at BWI and he shared the play by play and a bit more de-boarding. 

 

BWI SW is notorious for bad customer service, understaffing, and incompetent staff.  SW is the primary airline at BWI. Yet they completely throw their ethos, taglines and messages out the window when it comes to BWI.

 

just a minor update. It took over 45 min From de planing to receive bags, after claim change. When speaking with the agent at baggage customer service I was told it had nothing to do with her and she refused to request a supervisor. After calling the corporate baggage line, providing them with the agents name, and requesting a supervisor while they were on the line, her attitude still didn’t change.

 

every single business in the service industry is short staffed. Adapt and improve…

Re: Constantly the worst ground ops at BWI

5280Av8r
Active Member

You are completely welcome to submit your complaints and though you are true about the customer service interactions, that still doesn't affect the ability to get planes parked at the gate. My point still stands that unless they have the marshallers available and the other crew needed to bring the plane in, the plane will be stuck waiting. If you could expand on the play by play that the pilot was talking about, that would be much more helpful in discussing the original post about waiting for a gate while there are plenty of empty ones. 

 

Andrew E

DEN (CLT) Based | Aviation Enthusiast | Full of Passion for Southwest

Re: Constantly the worst ground ops at BWI

parpitt1
Active Member

Services at BWI-SWA have been horrendous for more than a few years, although on a positive note, in a recent post I shared the baggage claim turn around time had improved on my last several trips back into town for me to what I will call to normal in comparison to other domestic airports, not fast just normal.

I think it's a people problem, and not a shortage of personnel, either. It's an attitude problem. When I interact with SWA employees generally they are passionate and proud of their positions and have a smile when they interact with customers. At BWI, the attitude is often that's not my job and quite honestly this is just a "J O B" and the customer(me) is just another hassle or obstacle to getting home.

Some retraining and coaching is in order at BWI. My 2 cents.

Safe travels