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.
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