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Denied flight change

kierants
New Arrival

I have been a pretty heavy traveller on SWA for over 20 years. For the past 15 years I have travelled an average of 2x/month for my work and think I am fairly aware of the policies but last week something went very wrong. I was book on a mid afternoon flight but my meetings finished early so I headed out to SNA as it is a ten minute drive in hopes of getting on the earlier flight that had empty seats. I am A-List preferred and my flight was an Anytime flight price schedule. We have always used American Express Travel with my work and I have made this type of change many many times including the previous week at the exact same airport.

I was denied my the gate agent and she could not tell me why. She brought in a supervisor and he told me because the reservation was made via a travel agency I could not make a change with them. My guess is it is very common for business travellers to use corp travel agencies and I further guess this accounts for a high percentage of A List preferred travelers. Is SWA really saying their most loyal customers are unable to hop on an earlier flight if there is room? I complained to SWA but received an email that leads me to believe a bot managed this. They did in no way addressed my root question on policy but did issue a 100$ voucher. I will be flying 3x/month now that covid has subsided and want to know if I can count on this benefit or not. I called customer service while I was being denied and they said I should be able to get on but would not talk to their own gate agent.....

Anyone run into this?

3 REPLIES 3

Re: Denied flight change

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

My guess is this gets filed under the unexplainable and not typical of what you will experience the majority of the time.  As you note, enough people use corporate booking services that if that truly was the cause of your issue it would have been noted by now.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Denied flight change

kierants
New Arrival

You may be right. The part that concerns me is the gate agent manager behaved as if I was crazy to think I could do this. I said look at the exact same flight the previous week on my account but he would not have it. I did get a SWA customer service response but it avoids the issue. Here is the exact response. Note there was plenty of time, I had no checked bags, it was a domestic flight and there was plenty of room.

 

Dear Kieran,


I regret you feel that we missed the mark in our previous email. We are dedicated to providing outstanding Customer Service, so I’m grateful that you’ve given us another chance to address your concerns.

As you know, A-List or A-List Preferred Members can fly standby on an earlier flight (between the same city pairs) at no additional charge, regardless of booking method, as long as the alternate flight operates on the same-day as your originally scheduled flight and there is space available. While same-day standby is available to A-List and A-List Preferred Members traveling internationally as well as domestically, there must be enough time for our Customer Service Agents to process the change, which can take longer for international travel as we are required to remove any checked baggage when a Customer changes his/her flight. Additionally, it is important to note that, effective January 1, 2021, if an A-List or A-List Preferred Member takes advantage of their same-day standby benefit and the new flight requires any additional government taxes and fees, the Member will be asked to pay the difference. We hope this information is helpful. If you have any other questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792).

We hope you’ll continue looking to us when your travel plans include the cities we serve—your business is important to us.


Sincerely,
Brayan Contreras
Southwest Airlines

 

Re: Denied flight change

bec102896
Top Contributor

I was denied being able to get on an earlier flight on Friday after standing at the counter for an hour and I'm A List preferred as well. The agent wanted to blame the system but magically after the flight I wanted pushed she was able to hand me a boarding pass to another flight which then had it's own maintenance issues. I will say i was not happy and I'm currently waiting to see what SW has to say because that's one of the main benefits of ALP. I was booked direct no third party/company booking