Earlier this year I flew on Southwest Airlines for the first time in my life. I loved the whole concept. Find your own seat. Cabin crew don't bother you. BYO snacks and drinks. Really wonderful. Reasonably priced too.
Now let me tell you why I will never fly Southwest again.
After flying from Houston to New Orleans in the morning and then back to Dallas in the evening I picked up my luggage to find the top half of the slide out handle had been ripped clean off, effectively making the case useless. I sought out the Southwest customer service counter and was told that Southwest takes no responsibility for damage to customers luggage only loss.
Not good enough folks. Not only was the handle destroyed but the case was drenched. All of my clothes were soaked. It was only sheer luck that I had dragged all of the important paperwork along with me in the cabin rather than check it.
I can relate to limited service models and think you have a great service going. But a passenger's luggage is important too. Losing it is one thing. Damaging the case and ruining the contents with water is just not acceptable. Then flatly denying any responsibility rubs salt into the wound.
I would like to thank all of the staff at Southwest but especially that customer service officer in Dallas. She made sure all of the good will and high opinion garnered during the flights was shattered against the hard rock of her intractable, bureaucratic, don't care attitude.
It is not a good bargain if the flight is cheap but I have to buy a new case and replace all of the ruined clothes. Success is the sum of many small things done correctly. Luggage is a small thing that must be done correctly.
Mr. Kelly, you have a great formula for success and I wish you and your staff all the best. But no matter how well you do I will never fly with you again and never tire of telling this story. Because one good turn deserves another. Don't you think?
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