I have traveled with Southwest (SWA) for many years with superb service.
However, on my recent trip last week fr om Oakland to Seattle, when I went to check-in the lines were totally empty. A young Latina agent, who identified herself as Beatriz, was laughing and talking with another young employee and both ignored me, only to respond with an annoyed, perturbed look when I asked to check-in. Because I interrupted their gossiping by asking Beatriz to do her job, she immediately responded with a negative, retaliatory tone, putting me "through the wringer" and at-length scrutinizing of my bags' under-lim it weight and examination of contents.
Although I have flown before several times on SWA with baggage carrying carefully-packaged wine without problems, Beatriz insisted this time it was a major issue.
Short story...just because I asked an immature SWA counter employee to do her job and act as a professional, she ended up wasting my time and charging me an extra $60 for additional, unnecessary packaging of wine and threatened to tack on another $75 for the extra luggage box necessary to encompass the unneeded packaging (almost doubling the cost of my flight)!
My experience with this young SWA employee was disgusting and scam-worthy. Cannot fathom why this highly-regarded airline hires people like this and fails to train them properly?
My wife and I enjoyed a great week in Jamaica - then we tried to get home with Southwest Airlines. Our 5 hour flight took 22 hours to complete. I have flown Southwest many times without incident, but this one takes the cake for ineptitude! I really couldn't make this up! Here is the short version of how incompetent Southwest was in trying to get us home:
-Flight Delay in Montego Bay Jamaica- 3pm flight - left MBJ @ 9:30pm
-MBJ staff told us that our plane was originally diverted due to Southwest forgetting to renew its license to fly over Cuba
-Gate crew sent us between 2 gates for entire 6 hour delay - "rebooked" us on the same flight for some reason
-Once finally on the plane at MBJ, the cabin crew promptly told us that the delay "was not their fault so don't take it out on us". No apology...just that statement
-Deplaning delayed 15 minutes at MCO due to incorrect gate height (they knew we were coming for 2 hours....no one could adjust it before we arrived??)
-1+ hour wait after customs at Orlando at Southwest counter to book new flight and get hotel/flight voucher
-Again, Southwest knew that the plane was coming in and 90% of passengers had to rebook flights/get a hotel room....when we all got to the Southwest counter - there were only 2 agents.
-Apparently Southwest takes down all of it's computers at 2am every night for system updates. Their computers went * so we couldn't get the flight voucher. Told we can wait for up to 3 hours or come back in the morning.
-Had to go back and stand in line again in the morning to receive flight vouchers
-Rebooked flight of course had C boarding group -
-Flight to Manchester on the 14th was delayed 30 minutes making us have to run to make our connection in BWI
This was one of those incidents where if it could go wrong it did. But the most disappointing thing was the lack of caring with all of the Southwest personnel. Southwest was founded on service and caring - but that is obviously faded from their memory.
Warning!!! Southwest airlines advertises they are "customer focused" -- they are the furthest thing from it. I had a round trip ticket booked one week in advance from Newark to Nashville. I ended my business and was able to get back early. There was a flight at 1:20 pm the SAME DAY as I was originally booked to go back at 7:30 pm. I was told by my travel agent that Southwest does not charge change fees so I arrived at the airport at 11:30 fully expecting I would be accommodated. I was told they would have to charge me $250+ dollars to re-buy a one way home. That was the ONLY OPTION. Then they told me they would not take my luggage, since I was there too early. So I am completely STRANDED WITH MY LUGGAGE in Nashville for the next 8 hours!!! The only thing they could do for me was charge me more than my original ticket. This airline is a SHAM. I will never again fly it and I will tell everyone I know for the rest of my life how horrible they treated me. DO NOT FLY SOUTHWEST!!!
I was told in February that media are waived baggage charge, on luggage I had that was at 50 lb. I flew Thursday 8/9/12 with camera gear, it was 50 minutes before the departure. Bag was tagged late, the agent waived the luggage fee since it was at 50lb. But there was a gate change at BWI and the flight was late leaving. Case never made it on; while I stood at the large baggage belt, many others who lost their luggage made a harsh scene for the baggage agent, who kicked everyone out and shut the door, crying. I returned to the airport and they said that I could ask SWA to ship the case at no charge. My mistake was actually picking it up at the baggage service upon my return the next day because now SWA chose to charge me $50 for the case that I never got in the first place. The agent didn't show sympathy for that, even though I showed her that the scale difference was 10 lb between what BWI had written (50lb) and ATL had (60lb). Charging me for gear that never made it was wrong if in fact I could have left the case at the baggage service office and told them to ship it back themselves.
I've flown in and out of Japan and the Philippines different times and never had my carry on chceked for weight. Japan used to have you open the bag so they could inspect it for prohibited items, but they have slacked off on the lately.