Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Memphis international airport southwest employee investigation wanted

Jariel02
New Arrival

To whom it may concern. Today August 13th, me and my fiancée were seeing my daughter off from Memphis international Airport to TX. She was on a southwest flight and the southwest ticket counter agent Melissa Francis (older Caucasian lady) refused us non passenger escort passes to escort my daughter to the gate. She stated that Southwest policy and TSA policy states only one NPE pass was allowed. This of course is completely false as I pulled up the NPE policy and showed it to the Southwest counter. The Southwest agent was still only willing to issue one pass and refused the other pass and that’s when I asked for the Southwest manager. At first she said there was one coming then she later said he wasn’t coming and continued to refuse the second pass after repeated request. Shortly afterwards I was surrounded by 3 Airport police officers that asked me to step to the side and talked to my family. What is most bothersome in this situation is when I eventually talked to Eric Davis, he stated I was correct with the NPE pass policy and that I should have been issued the two passes I requested. So if I was correct, then why was the response the refusal of the gate pass and instead the requirement for police intervention? That was not deserved treatment when the family is correct. This could’ve been all prevented if the gate agents were trained correctly in the first place and the response isn’t to call the police when the customer is showing them what the policy actually states. That’s dangerous and irresponsible on the past of Southwest. Is there any way I can get feedback on how this situation was handled by Southwest.

Furthermore, when we were approached by the police, it got a bit escalated. The interaction with the officers went well for the most part but initially it was tense. This should’ve never happened. This whole incident should be investigated because at the end of the day, a ticket counter agent applying her preference to who the policy does and does not apply to and resulting in the policy and procedure being disallowed selectively resulted in a scene in the airport with police authority being used to apply her authority in incorrect fashion. This shouldn’t be accepted. It’s a bad look for MSCAA as well as Southwest. Can I get a response on how this will be handled or if it will be investigated?

10 REPLIES 10

Re: Memphis international airport southwest employee investigation wanted

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Use the contact us link below and send a message.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Memphis international airport southwest employee investigation wanted

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@Jariel02  

Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience. 

 

So if I was correct, then why was the response the refusal of the gate pass

 

I suppose you have never been incorrect in something you believed or said? Maybe the employee wrongly believed that the rule said one pass only.  That's why the employee

told you one pass only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

and instead the requirement for police intervention?   

 

Employees contact authorities when they believe they are involved in a disruptive situation. Several Southwest employees have recently been assaulted by customers, so the tendency would be to be less tolerant of behavior than they once were. If you were talking with employees in the same manner as you used in your post, perhaps accompanied by loud voice or shouting, I could see why the employee might have called  police. 


 

@Jariel02

Re: Memphis international airport southwest employee investigation wanted

Jariel02
New Arrival

We’ve all been incorrect about something. But if the employee is presented with the actual correct policy and continues to not follow the policy, is that not the employee imposing their own will instead of following Southwest policy. When we start informing the rules , even when they are presented to us, then we start to believe we are above the law. She chose to ignore Southwest policy, AFTER reading the policy, and denied us as customers what Southwest said we should have. That’s not considered making a mistake anymore.  That’s someone that’s willfully not doing their job correctly. 

 

 So when you said perhaps I did this and perhaps I did that, then you are assuming.  Me showing the ticket counter the policy and then asking for a supervisor to step In should not be considered disruptive. That was the conflict at hand. No aggression. No yelling in that moment. It was an employee being challenged on how she was applying the procedure incorrectly. That conflict is and should be ok if she is incorrectly. People should be held accountable for doing their duties correctly especially when it impacts the separation of families. 

Re: Memphis international airport southwest employee investigation wanted

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Convenient that you had a copy of the  policy in your possession

Re: Memphis international airport southwest employee investigation wanted

Jariel02
New Arrival

Yeah. It’s on the Southwest websites. Easily accessible to anyone that knows how to google it. People should know what their rights are and they should be easily able to access policy that is made for them. It’s convenient that Southwest made it available and accessible online. 

Re: Memphis international airport southwest employee investigation wanted

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

@Jariel02 wrote:

Yeah. It’s on the Southwest websites. Easily accessible to anyone that knows how to google it. People should know what their rights are and they should be easily able to access policy that is made for them. It’s convenient that Southwest made it available and accessible online. 


When you originally posted I was looking around on southwest.com to learn more about the gate passes, but couldn't find anything that specified a number of passes that can be requested.  Do you have a link to a policy that states the number?

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Memphis international airport southwest employee investigation wanted

Jariel02
New Arrival

You won’t find that there is a number of how many passes because there is not a limit on the number or passes they can issue. Anyone can request and can be issued a gate pass if they have a legitimate reason. One reason listed is to escort a young traveler. Which is as what we did as parents. 

Re: Memphis international airport southwest employee investigation wanted

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

@Jariel02 wrote:

You won’t find that there is a number of how many passes because there is not a limit on the number or passes they can issue. Anyone can request and can be issued a gate pass if they have a legitimate reason. One reason listed is to escort a young traveler. Which is as what we did as parents. 


So nothing guarantees that you can receive multiple passes, and in fact, nothing guarantees you can get one at all. While you may not have liked the decision of the agent, they do get to decide whether you get the pass or not.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Memphis international airport southwest employee investigation wanted

parpitt1
Active Member

One thing I learned a long time ago, asking nicely with a smile yields a more positive result. Second, asking someone to  "please help me" goes a long way getting to getting what you want as well. Third, and most importantly thanking someone for their help typically closes the loop.

As you and others have noted the Southwest policy is a bit vague about the number of NPE's allowed. I do see references to "Family members," but even this is vague. Citing "Chapter and Verse" to the gate agent unfortunately may have contributed to escalating the situation. Arguments in airports with airport and airline personnel don't typically yield positive results. 

 

Have I ever had to secure a pass, yep. It was right after 9/11. I had to retrieve a elderly family member who had broken their leg in a foreign country and had been flown back without a cast. I used "please" "thank you" and "help me" a lot to get to the gate, kindness went a long way to achieving my goal. Additionally, FWIW, i did not try and take my fiancé with me to the gate to retrieve the injured passenger.

Safe travels