On 12/30/06 my husband and I were booked to fly from Chicago-Midway to Tampa, FL on Flight #1961 using our ticketless award. My husband, an architect, uses SW all the time to fly all over the U.S. reviewing commercial properties for lenders and investors and he had earned a number of rewards from his ongoing loyalty to SW.
Here we were on that fateful December morning arriving 2-1/2 hours early for our flight. Parking in the outback parking lot we took the shuttle to the terminal and were shocked. Lines and lines of people snaked around the terminal, people were standing shoulder to shoulder in other groups smashed together like so many grapes.
We looked for signage about where we should go - there were NO signs. We stumbled around finally asking a police officer - oh, he said, go there into that line OUT INTO THE PARKING GARAGE. Dumbfounded, we did do that and it took over an hour for our single file line to inch through the garage turning to walk down an inside business corridor then back into the terminal and into another line to deposit our luggage.
Realizing we were about to miss our flight I asked a "customer service rep" how we could make our flight - we had snaked through the parking garage with other disgruntled passengers and now we would miss our flight. She was rude and nasty disputing my timed account of how long it took us to go through the garage and offering no solutions.
Not knowing what to do - no one seemed to know - we stood in another line to book another flight. After another hour we approached the counter and were told we would have to just wait - maybe something would open up. Did we want to speak to the ticket agent's Supervisor? Sure, we said. The Supervisor came over to the counter, we told her our story - she, too, disputed our timed account telling us we "should have arrived much earlier - at least 3 hours" and went on to say it was our own fault. She, too, was angry instead of helpful.
My husband, your loyal customer, quietly looked at the Supervisor and the ticket agent and said "Look, I earned these free tickets, I have been a long time loyal customer please find us a flight."
After much hemming and hawing they did find us two seats on an another flight. What we rigorously object to is 1) the way we were treated; 2) the awful line through a parking garage (with no signage) and 3) the reprehensible customer service. Just thought you might want to know.
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