Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Poor communication and Poor Services

Explorer C

I flew to TN for the Thanksgiving holidays to visit family. On my return flight, the flight was delayed.  The original departure time was 8:20pm, SW sent a notification that the estimated departure was 9:45pm.  I planned accordingly and arrived at the airport at approximately 7:50pm. I checked my bags at approximately 8:10pm. The Ticket counter representative failed to inform me of the departure time change (now 8:47pm). As I am handicapped and require assistance (Major Knee surgery) I was waiting on a wheel chair but there were no personnel available to push the chair, so I decided to walk to the gate as to my knowledge the departure time was still 9:45pm and it was only 8:20pm (plenty of time for me to take my time and walk to the gate. I had my cane). Half way to the gate I heard final boarding call for flight 1101 to DC (this was my flight). I hurried as fast as I could to get to the gate barely making it as the SW gate representative was preparing to close the door. Breathing heavy and sweating profusely, I luckily made it to the gate. I was the last person to board the plane although I had pre-board on my ticket. I was told by another passenger on the plane that SW made the departure time change at approximately 8:05pm. In my opinion SW failed on multiple levels:

1. No wheelchair for handicapped personnel.

2. Poor communication to flight status changes. How do you change the departure time 40 minutes prior to the departure time as flights normally board 30 minutes prior to departure time. 


I fly SW a lot for work and for personal travel but after this it looks like I may have to find a new airline to fly as this is not the first time something like this has happened. 




Re: Poor communication and Poor Services

Aviator A

It's unfortunate you had a rough experience.  Southwest does not provide wheelchair service, that is provided by a company the airport contracts with.  When flights are delayed it is best practice to still arrive for the original departure time as delays can be adjusted as it was in this case.

If you want to send your comments to Southwest you can send a message.  Use the contact us link at the bottom of this page and send a message.  You should also contact the departure airport regarding the wheelchair service.





Re: Poor communication and Poor Services

Frequent Flyer A

Agreed on arriving at the airport as if the flight will depart on time regardless of any notification you receive on a "delayed" flight. Unless your flight is cancelled and you are rebooked on another flight #, always I mean always assume the delay may be solved and the original departure time restored.

I've sat in more than a few airports and experienced this personally. I have seen planes replaced, crews replaced, and weather change thus resulting in an on time departure.

Safe travels 

Re: Poor communication and Poor Services

Aviator C

My suggestion is to always follow the original flight schedule unless the flight is cancelled or you rebook.


Since you were notified of the delayed flight, I am assuming that you have the Southwest APP and I'd encourage you to look at the APP and follow the flight schedule.  Additionally, you should reasonably expect that the flight might not be delayed as far as it was originally thought.  


This is a no-win situation for Southwest.  Your suggestion is that once the flight is delayed under no circumstances whatsoever will the flight departure EVER be moved up would dismay others who are sitting there waiting.  


My suggestion is to follow the advice above.