Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Must read if flying SW

Explorer C

Anyone that typically flies @southwestair - TAKE NOTE!

I recently had a flight from Columbus to Miami with a layover in Atlanta. Prior to take off from the original flight, I received two notifications that the connecting flight had changed to a little bit of a later time. Upon landing in Atlanta, I receive a notification that the flight had been cancelled. I spoke with a customer service representative and was told that the flights for that day were booked and the next available flight was not until the following day in the late afternoon. I then go to locate my luggage in the baggaige claim and am told that if I want my luggage it is going to be at least an hour. Considering that all my bags were checked and I did not have any personal belongings, I agreed to wait. Two hours go by and my luggage was not located- only to be told that it "likely" was on another plane and I would not be getting it that afternoon. At this point, not only was my plane cancelled and luggage lost, I had to pay for my hotel that I had booked in Miami, a hotel night in Atlanta, transportation to and from the airport, in additional to food and beverage in the airport. Nearly $700+ later and an unmeasurable amount of frustration- as anyone could imagine.

It gets better! I filed a complaint with Southwest Airlines to address the issue only to be told that Air Traffic Control cancelled the flight (though there were other flights/airlines still operating as normal with no delays at the same exact airport). As a result, the only thing that Southwest guarentees is a seat on the next available flight but no reimbursements. Despite the extra $700+ that I had to spend due to the major inconvenience, they offered me a $75 voucher for future use on their airline and a "sorry for the inconvenience".

In summary, I would never wish this on anyone and would highly recommend choosing any other airline but Southwest. This was by far the most frustrating experience- not only in the moment, but after the facts having to fight it only to get nowhere.


Re: Must read if flying SW

Aviator A

That's a bummer. But that can (and does) occur with any carrier. If you happen to be a high-level elite on a legacy airline, you may get a free room or other compensation, but it's less likely these days.


Did Southwest offer you a room in Atlanta, or a discounted rate at least?


Bottom line: These kind of things happen when you travel. Travel insurance *may* provide some relief, but in my experience the cost outweighs the value for "everyday" travel. (I definitely recommend travel insurance for things like overseas vacations, cruises, and packaged trips.)



Re: Must read if flying SW

Aviator A

Sorry to hear of your experience. Delays, cancelled flights, and lost bags are no fun but they do happen. With lost bags I learned to pack a change of clothes in a carry on just in case. 


With air traffic control yes flights on airlines may go while SW flights don't. ATC could say we will allow 5 flights in and if you not one of the 5 selected you can be affected. With weather it could be weather at your departure airport, arrival airport or weather along your route that may affect your flight. 


Normally in ATC delays nothing is done so I am glad try at least gave you a $75 voucher. Delta would give you a goose egg. 

Re: Must read if flying SW

Frequent Flyer A

Feel bad for your lost time and costs. That being said, I always, I mean I always fly direct. If I must connect I avoid choke point airports, like ATL and MDW, these airports are definitely to be avoided at all costs unless they are my destination.  Also, when cancellations and delays occur which they will, kindness goes a lot further than anger