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Why IS SWA not following their “Customer Service Commitment”?

TxAgs92
New Arrival

The “Customer Service Commitment” posted here: https://www.southwest.com/assets/pdfs/corporate-commitments/customer-service-commitment.pdf includes the following regarding cancelled or delayed flights: 

 

12. Identifying the services to mitigate Customer inconveniences during irregular operations
Southwest does its best to operate flights as scheduled. Sometimes, events beyond our control or situations we could not anticipate prevent us from doing so. In order to mitigate Customer inconveniences, we provide the following assistance in the event a flight is delayed, canceled, or diverted:
● Rebooking on the next available Southwest flight(s) with seats available to your ticketed destination.
● A refund of the unused portion of your Southwest ticket. We do not pay for tickets on other airlines or absorb the difference between our fares and higher fares on other airlines.
If circumstances within our control, such as aircraft “swaps,” cause you to miss the last possible flight (or connection) of the day to your destination, our Customer Service personnel have the authority to arrange at no additional cost to you:
● Overnight lodging

● Ground transportation to the overnight facility
If the cause of your inconvenience is not within our means of control, we will do our best to assist you by securing a discounted rate at a hotel at or near the airport.

SWA cancelled our flight over 8 hours before the flight was to take place today and was unable to rebook us same day flights to get home.  When asked about lodging compensation, the customer service agent on the phone said he could not help us with that. The SWA policy quoted above specifically says that he is authorized to provide both overnight lodging and transportation to get there.  Why are they acting like Jet Blue?  You made a commitment and posted it on your website.  LIVE UP TO IT!  Or stop acting like you are any different than United.  We know United hates their customers...but until today I thought SWA was different.

 

 

18 REPLIES 18

Re: Why IS SWA not following their “Customer Service Commitment”?

dfwskier
Top Contributor
Solution

I'd suggest that you take the mater up with customer relations.

 

https://community.southwest.com/t5/Knowledge-Base/Contact-Customer-Relations/ta-p/108355

Re: Why IS SWA not following their “Customer Service Commitment”?

TxAgs92
New Arrival

Doesn’t appear that anybody is answering that number, and there is no way to leave a message.  It just rings and rings.

Re: Why IS SWA not following their “Customer Service Commitment”?

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@TxAgs92 wrote:

Doesn’t appear that anybody is answering that number, and there is no way to leave a message.  It just rings and rings.


Customer service is available Monday thru Friday - normal business hours.

 

I recommend use of one of the non phone options.

Re: Why IS SWA not following their “Customer Service Commitment”?

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

As suggested, taking up the issue with Customer Relations is the best bet.  Key things to keep in mind... you did not state a reason for cancellation.  Weather?  You will get nothing.  The text specifically says "within our control" so reason for cancellation is important.  You were given 8 hours notice, that is not the same thing as the spirit of the situation described in the quoted text which entails you being stranded at the airport at the last minute, for example a 10pm flight cancelled at 9pm.  Lastly, authorized does not equal guarantee.  Good luck

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Why IS SWA not following their “Customer Service Commitment”?

TxAgs92
New Arrival

#1, southwest never told us the reason for the cancellation.  The fact that it happened over 8 hrs before the flight suggests to me that it was not weather related.  #2, the flight cancelled was the connection to get us home, not the initial flight of the day.  So while it was plenty of notice had we been sitting in the connecting airport, we were 3+ hours from the nearest airport and there was only one flight from that airport to get to where the connection was to happen.  So we could either spend $500-600 buying tickets on another airline, drive to another airport farther away and pay about the same, while also racking up rental car fees for not returning to the original location, or stay overnight in a hotel.  Since SWA for sure won’t reimburse the other airline ticket, they should at least cover our hotel room and rental car if they want to follow their own “commitment”.

Re: Why IS SWA not following their “Customer Service Commitment”?

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Not safe to assume it wasn't weather related.  As noted in another discussion today here in the Community, a weather issue in DC could cause an issue with a flight in Oakland 8 hours later.  The fact that you were in a connection is an important detail that was left out of your initial commentary.  As said before, good luck.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Why IS SWA not following their “Customer Service Commitment”?

TxAgs92
New Arrival

If they know 8 hrs in advance that weather is going to do that, then they have plenty of time to bring in other equipment.  They can’t plan to fly an airline only when the skies are blue.  If their operational plan for dealing with a weather issue in some distant city is to just cancel all flights for the day involving that plane, then it isn’t the weather that is the problem, it is their operations plan.  And they should compensate their customers properly when their operational plan causes them to cancel a flight.

Re: Why IS SWA not following their “Customer Service Commitment”?

bec102896
Top Contributor

@TxAgs92 wrote:

If they know 8 hrs in advance that weather is going to do that, then they have plenty of time to bring in other equipment.  

 

if only it were that easy. First you have to have an extra plane sitting around and second you need a crew because well planes can't fly themselves. With crews they can only work so long by law so a delay can screw that up and weather if your crew can't get to you or the plane can't get to you then your plane can't go anywhere no matter how sunny it may be at your departure or arrival cities. 

Re: Why IS SWA not following their “Customer Service Commitment”?

TxAgs92
New Arrival

If they know such situations are not just possible, but likely, on a daily basis somewhere in their network, then that is exactly the kind of planning they should be doing.  Making no attempt to plan ahead for weather issues that can be pretty accurately forecast three to five days in advance is poor management.  If a plane can’t leave a city due to weather, that is obviously a weather driven delay/cancellation.  But if an airline can’t overcome that cancellation caused by weather that they knew was possible 3-5 days in advance; and allows it to shut down a whole string of flights, stranding customers, and then refuses to compensate those customers, that is poor operational management and poor customer service.  Two things I never would have imagined saying in the same sentence as Southwest Airlines.