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Cancellation of Flight/Disgusted with SWA

Explorer C

Back in April 2018 I booked a family trip consisting of 6 travelers (4 young grandkids) to Washington DC. This will be the first time our grandkids will fly. I also took advantage of the Early Bird Check In to boot. I also pre-paid for our hotel stay for the week and arranged various tours during our visit. 

As luck would have it, I received an automated phone call this morning at 4am informing me that our flight was cancelled. We were scheduled to fly nonstop from Houston-DC at 1:55pm. The recorded instructions were to go to in order to rebook the flights.

I immediately got up and went to the website only to learn that due to having minors on the reservations, that I would have to call Southwest at 800-IFly-SWA. 

While reaching the automated operator at SWA, I was informed that I could be hold for up to 120 minutes. At this time, I’ve been on hold for 1 hour and 50 minutes.

While on hold I started looking for flights leaving Houston on this same day in order to ensure that our travel plans would not be totally interrupted. While franticly looking for flights I noticed they were going fast, not to mention extremely expensive. Given what I was facing (no flights period) and no one to actually speak with, I purchased 6 one-way tickets to DC from Houston for a cost of $3642.48. This was far and above what my budget could handle. After purchasing the tickets, I quickly checked in and found they we were placed in Section C. So, here I am still on hold listening to a recording of how Southwest 'Values you and your Wallet' yet I get no relief from the unexpected expense of losing our original flight. Early Bird Check In. And costing me an additional $3642.48 in travel expenses. Since I can't seem to get someone to address my concerns over the phone, perhaps Southwest monitors this forum. After being on hold for 2 hours and 4 minutes, the call was disconnected. I called back only to receive the same message. Due to extremely high call volume, your expected wait time is over 120 minutes. The current time is 6:36am CST.



Re: Cancellation of Flight/Disgusted with SWA

Aviator A

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Hope you can get it all straightened out with a minimum amount of additional agony.


Weather on the east coast is causing lots of trouble for lots of people.


Sorry about the long phone wait. I suspect that you are running in to 2 problems there:

1) The call center isn't fully staffed at 4 am

2) Likely lots of other people with cancelled flights were calling.


Also, remember that federal law lets you cancel flights within 24 hours of the initial booking. So if you can work things out on the phone, you can get your $3642.28 as a refund.


A word of caution, east coast weather is still pretty messed up. I hope it doesn't cause you even more trouble.

Re: Cancellation of Flight/Satisfied with SWA

Explorer C

Great News. Cathy at reservations reviewed my case and listened to my concerns. She started the process of honoring my original fare which was from April 2018. Refunded my Early Bird fees. Refunded the money spent this morning. She did advise that I was smart for locking down those open seats this morning on another flight. That gave her room to work on my case. All in all, I’m satisfied with the way SWA handled my case. Vacation not totally interrupted as first feared. 

Re: Cancellation of Flight/Satisfied with SWA

Aviator C

@Mac1963 great news! Thank you for coming back to this forum to recognize SWA for handling your concern. The outcome is one I was wondering about and hoped for. My experience with SWA is they do care about their passengers, and strive to do the right thing. 


Hope you have a great Vacation! 

SWA Passenger, Community Champion