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

bec102896
Top Contributor

@TxAgs92 wrote:

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.


Weather happens everywhere. Airlines would need a bunch of extra planes and staff to just have extra planes laying around at each airport. 

 

With weather it may be predictable that it will happen on a given date but weather is always changing maybe you should watch the weather forecast in your area for a week straight to see how many times it changes. One example here in Austin they told us 4 days a go just some light rain possible last night well yesterday at noon they said well we might get some severe weather but it's a wait and see game. So planes can fly in rain however once you throw severe weather in to the mix last minute you get cancelled flights because ground crews won't work in severe weather for safety and the flight crews could time out during a weather delay or get stuck if the flight is cancelled meaning that crews next flight could be affected even if it is bright and sunny 

 

Again I'm sorry your flight was cancelled and hopefully you have reached your destination by now. In the future your best bet is to go to the airport for day of cancellations not call reservations if your expecting a hotel. Customer Relations is open now if you would like to speak to them about your experience. 855-234-4654 

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

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@TxAgs92 wrote:

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.


You seem to think weather forecasting is an exact science. It is not. The only thing that is

known 3-5 days in advance is that there is a risk of something happening. That's why hurricane forecasters can only predict 3-5 days out where they think a hurricane will hit plus or minus 500 miles. So it could hit New Orleans or Houston. So what do  you plan for?

 

If  thunderstorm changes path by 100 miles it may totally miss the city it was expected to hit, and 100+ mile path changes happen every day..

 

The realty is that n many case an "accurate" prediction is pssible nly but 4-6 hurs ut.

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

bec102896
Top Contributor

Sorry your flight was cancelled. 

 

I noticed you said you talked to a customer service agent on the phone. If that is the case the phone reps don't provide hotels or compensation that is done by the airport or customer relations. The phone agents have no idea what hotels SW partners with in all cities and they don't always know why a flight is cancelled and they don't know what goodwill gesture (if any) is being given out at your departure airport. 

 

In the future your best bet is to speak to a customer service agent at the airport and if they can't help after travel is complete you can Contact Customer Relations and they can review everything and determine what they can or can't do. 

 

-Blake

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

bwallet
Active Member

Not that my opinion matters, but canceling a flight because of a canceled flight many hours before out of a completely different city should not be counted as weather related. This is an operational decision, and it is within the control of the airline. Airlines write the contract with no room for negotiation, and I feel that there lacks balance in them. But, my opinion counts for nothing.

 

I once had Continental cancel my flight from Houston to Heathrow due to a volcano in Iceland. The flight could have gone. Heathrow was open, and it never closed on that day. However, they canceled just in case. The next day, Continental offered to sell me a full fare business class ticket or to fly me three days later. Those were my choices. I flew home instead and asked for a refund. They charged me for the flight to Houston with no advanced purchase on the return and no Saturday night stay. I got pennies back. 

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

TxAgs92
New Arrival

They are now claiming it is weather related.  However, I was able to look at their flight status for yesterday’s flights, and there were flight options from Denver landing in Houston all day long, including within 1/2 hour before our flight was scheduled to arrive and ~1/2 hour after. I checked my texts, and the decision to cancel the flight was made 11 hours before the flight would have been landing.   Those claiming forecasting is an in exact science, that is great...so how were they so sure the weather would be terrible enough to stop the flights 11 hours in advance, instead of waiting until an hour or two before the flight was scheduled to depart Denver?  And if it was so certain to be bad that far in advance, why did they not cancel all the flights into Houston in that time window?  Why were there planes landing there when the weather was supposed to be stopping them?  This was an operational cancellation due to lack of staff, just like all the cancellations American is making, and they just didn’t want a bunch of planes stranded in Houston with no crews to operate them. They used the weather as an excuse, even though they had planes landing there last night.  Every time they lie and try to tell me otherwise, it just makes me furious.

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

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Who said the weather was in Houston or Denver? Where else was your plane scheduled to be that day? I would put the over/under at 7 cities. Just because you do not agree with the statement does not make it a lie. Have you spoken with Customer Relations as numerous people have suggested?

 

--TheMiddleSeat

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

TxAgs92
New Arrival

Southwest told us the weather in Houston caused the cancellation.  The flight was cancelled at least 3 hours before any of the ground holds in Houston that day, and there were flights from DAL, AUS, SAT, and others landing at the airport without schedule delays on either side of our scheduled arrival time.  So the flight was cancelled because of a weather forecast, not because weather actually prevented operations of flights to or from the airport.

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

bec102896
Top Contributor

@TxAgs92 wrote:

They are now claiming it is weather related.  However, I was able to look at their flight status for yesterday’s flights, and there were flight options from Denver landing in Houston all day long, including within 1/2 hour before our flight was scheduled to arrive and ~1/2 hour after. I checked my texts, and the decision to cancel the flight was made 11 hours before the flight would have been landing.   Those claiming forecasting is an in exact science, that is great...so how were they so sure the weather would be terrible enough to stop the flights 11 hours in advance, instead of waiting until an hour or two before the flight was scheduled to depart Denver?  And if it was so certain to be bad that far in advance, why did they not cancel all the flights into Houston in that time window?  Why were there planes landing there when the weather was supposed to be stopping them?  This was an operational cancellation due to lack of staff, just like all the cancellations American is making, and they just didn’t want a bunch of planes stranded in Houston with no crews to operate them. They used the weather as an excuse, even though they had planes landing there last night.  Every time they lie and try to tell me otherwise, it just makes me furious.


Houston had multiple ground stops yesterday afternoon because of weather and traffic volume. 

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

TxAgs92
New Arrival

So I was finally able to reach customer relations at the number that has subsequently been removed from the link posted on page one of the thread.  The flight was not cancelled directly due to weather (as I suspected), but due to air traffic control orders from Houston based on what they expected to be the weather that night, that ultimately did not occur..  So still outside of SWA control and they will not directly reimburse the hotel/rental car costs, but they are giving us vouchers to compensate for the experience.  So ultimately I am happy with the outcome, but I don't think I should have had to work so hard to get to this point.