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Curious about maintenance delays

LisaCH
New Arrival

My son's flight back to college today was delayed over three hours due to scheduled maintenance taking much longer then expected.  His flight was so late he missed his last shuttle back to school.  We are lucky his roommate was willing to take three hours out of his night to pick him up.  When this has happened to me SW has at least offered free drinks and WiFi for the passengers as a gesture to smooth over the inconvenience.  My son said all they did was offer an apology that it took longer then expected.  No other attempt at making up for their maintenance schedule problems. Is this a new lack of customer service others are seeing?

7 REPLIES 7

Re: Curious about maintenance delays

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@LisaCH wrote:

My son's flight back to college today was delayed over three hours due to scheduled maintenance taking much longer then expected.  His flight was so late he missed his last shuttle back to school.  We are lucky his roommate was willing to take three hours out of his night to pick him up.  When this has happened to me SW has at least offered free drinks and WiFi for the passengers as a gesture to smooth over the inconvenience.  My son said all they did was offer an apology that it took longer then expected.  No other attempt at making up for their maintenance schedule problems. Is this a new lack of customer service others are seeing?


Hello. I presume from you comment that your son knew he would miss his connection and decided to not get part way to his destination and be stranded? I also presume Southwest rebooked him on flights the next day? Are either of those presumptions incorrect.?

 

Unfortunaly, planes break down at all airlines including Southwest.. The delays inconvenience all passengers -- some more than others. Sorry that this situation caused your son  a fair amount of discomfort.

Re: Curious about maintenance delays

LisaCH
New Arrival

Thanks for the reply.  Actually this was just a short one and half hour flight. The shuttle was a for-hire public shuttle bus service (with a set daily schedule) from the airport to the town where he goes to college.  The flight was so late the last shuttle left.  He would have spent the night in the airport had his roommate not volunteered to make the three hour round trip.  SW did not offer to rebook any later flights although to be fair I'm sure they would have had he asked.  He had classes the next morning he was trying to not to miss.

 

The maintenance appeared to be an all day event - I have no insight into whether this was planned in advance or reactive to a problem.  The previous flight arrived at the airport at 9:00am and the next flight was my son's at 7:15pm.  At 6:00pm SW announced the delay of one to two hours. It eneded up being three. It appears the plane was at the airport all day and was moved to the gate about an hour before it finally took off. 

 

My real question here was around lack of compensation for the hassle.  I've been in this situation before and airlines have handed out snacks at the gate, offered free drinks and/or movies on board, etc...  Some sort of gesture is made to show your customers that you feel bad for creating a hardship to their day/lives.  I appreciate maintenance needs to be done - and that should be the priority of course.  Just very disappointed in the lack of customer empathy.  

Re: Curious about maintenance delays

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

If this was indeed a maintenance delay (as opposed to weather) then you should receive compensation. Often, Southwest's proactive customer support will email with a voucher for the inconvenience. If you don;t hear from them soon, reach out to Customer Relations -- I recommend via Twitter direct message for the quickest response.

 

FYI: FAs will often comp drinks on a delayed flight, but that seems to be tightening of late. I've never heard of comped wifi, especially in an IROPS situation. Due to bandwidth issues, the more people that are using the wifi the worse the service is, so the last thing they would want to do is let everyone on board have free access.

Re: Curious about maintenance delays

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@chgoflyer wrote:

If this was indeed a maintenance delay (as opposed to weather) then you should receive compensation. Often, Southwest's proactive customer support will email with a voucher for the inconvenience. If you don;t hear from them soon, reach out to Customer Relations -- I recommend via Twitter direct message for the quickest response.

 

FYI: FAs will often comp drinks on a delayed flight, but that seems to be tightening of late. I've never heard of comped wifi, especially in an IROPS situation. Due to bandwidth issues, the more people that are using the wifi the worse the service is, so the last thing they would want to do is let everyone on board have free access.


My recent flights that were delayed the FA didn't seem to come back for payments. I'm always prepared to pay or provide a ticket, but appreciate when they seem to have an unwritten rule not to do that.

 

Anyway, for the OP: you should ask for something if you would like to receive any compensation. In this case most people going to that airport that were local or who would have parked cars there wouldn't have been impacted too badly, but for your son it was a bid deal and it would be fair for you to call and voice your feelings, or as mentioned reach out by Twitter.

 

Also they probably did comp drinks onboard for many people, but this may not have included your son if he's underage.

 

If you opt for social media I'd suggest a softer approach along the lines of "Can someone reach out to me about flight delay due to maintenance?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Re: Curious about maintenance delays

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@DancingDavidE wrote:

@chgoflyer wrote:

If this was indeed a maintenance delay (as opposed to weather) then you should receive compensation. Often, Southwest's proactive customer support will email with a voucher for the inconvenience. If you don;t hear from them soon, reach out to Customer Relations -- I recommend via Twitter direct message for the quickest response.

 

FYI: FAs will often comp drinks on a delayed flight, but that seems to be tightening of late. I've never heard of comped wifi, especially in an IROPS situation. Due to bandwidth issues, the more people that are using the wifi the worse the service is, so the last thing they would want to do is let everyone on board have free access.


My recent flights that were delayed the FA didn't seem to come back for payments. I'm always prepared to pay or provide a ticket, but appreciate when they seem to have an unwritten rule not to do that.

 

Anyway, for the OP: you should ask for something if you would like to receive any compensation. In this case most people going to that airport that were local or who would have parked cars there wouldn't have been impacted too badly, but for your son it was a bid deal and it would be fair for you to call and voice your feelings, or as mentioned reach out by Twitter.

 

Also they probably did comp drinks onboard for many people, but this may not have included your son if he's underage.

 

If you opt for social media I'd suggest a softer approach along the lines of "Can someone reach out to me about flight delay due to maintenance?"

 

About two weeks ago, my LAS-MDW was delayed over an hour. I ordered a drink and had a coupon ready to hand over, expecting it to be declined, but the FA did collect it (and, with scanner in hand, seemed to be charging others). Last night, my MSY-MDW flight was delayed about 35 minutes. The two people next to me ordered drinks, and when the FA didn't ask for payment I assumed they were comping them due to the delay. (I ordered a non-alcoholic drink -- I didn't really need another one after a weekend in NOLA.) 😉 Near the end of the flight, however, the FA came back through with the scanner and collected payment from them (and others). I overheard the person behind me say that they thought the drinks were free, but the FA's reply was to just laugh.

 

It certainly seems like I'm seeing less comped drinks lately, but YMMV.

Re: Curious about maintenance delays

CareforNOLA
Active Member

@LisaCH

sorry this happened to him.  Airline travel comes with a big set of potential problems, and I feel that I have experienced most of them over the years (diversions, delays, 2 hours of sleep between last flight in and first flight out, airplane door that wouldn’t open upon landing, accidental deployment of emergency slide with a long wait for the replacement, but these are from decades of trave).  But I personally have not seen an increase in recent maintenance delays in the last two months.  

 

Was the college running a shuttle back and forth from the airport that he missed?  That was such a kind thing for his roommate to do.  

 

My guess is that they might not have been able to offer drinks because the crew was told it would not taken long.  If they were on the plane at the gate, they would have to pick everything up that they passed out before takeoff, so they may have thought they did not have time.  

 

As for free WiFi, I don’t know if they have a code that they can give out for one-time events but that is a good thought.  Perhaps the suggestion will get noticed on this discussion board. 

 

I hope that your son has a great year at school.  Hopefully this was a one time event for him.  Safe travels.

Re: Curious about maintenance delays

LisaCH
New Arrival

@CareforNOLA  Please see my response above.  Thanks for the kind words!