I flew to San Antonio on Southwest Airlines two weekends ago and I was shocked at the flight attendants' behavior shortly after boarding. I fly this route at least once per month to visit my parents and I usually enjoy the 50-minute flight to escape college and books and responsibility (somewhat) for a few days every month.
I have been flying this often for over a year, so you can imagine how much money my parents (and myself, funds permitting) have spent on airline tickets.
Shortly after taxi, the usual speech started about floatation devices, oxygen masks, and electronic devices, blah blah blah....I could recite the whole thing from memory. I had my ipod in my lap with my earbuds in, but the device was OFF and ON HOLD (which means even if you push a button, it won't turn on or respond at all). The flight attendant mouthed to me "your ipod is off, right?" To which I responded "YES." She proceeded to walk over to me, REACH FOR MY IPOD (my immediate reaction: please don't touch my stuff stranger!) and then ask me to SHOW her that it was off.
I completely understand that maybe she didn't trust me (I'm 22, I'm not a little kid!), but to actually reach for my ipod was uncalled for. I then turned it around to show her and my thumb accidentally flicked the hold button (it's a little loose and kinda sensitive) and the backlight popped on. She said "It needs to be OFF" 3 times and I told her "IT IS OFF" 3 times. She then huffed and puffed and stormed away like a 4 year old!!
Keep in mind this lady was at least 50 years old. After takeoff, she sat next to the other flight attendant and proceeded to tell her all about what happened using the nasty high-school face that girls in 9th grade use when they talk about the other girls they don't like (c'mon you KNOW the one I'm talking about). And she sat there for a good 5 minutes telling this other flight attendant how RUDE i was and how i didn't listen to her.
At this point, unbeknownst to her that I can read lips pretty well (plus - i was in the THIRD ROW), I leaned forward and asked her to please stop gossiping about me and if she had something to say to me, to please say it to my face. She looked at me like I had just asked her to kick her grandmother with army bots on. She then proceeded to tell me that I was wrong, that I lied to her, that I should have listened and that she was just trying to fill her co-worker in on the "issue."
The other flight-atttendant chimed in to tell me that she had an ipod too and that the backlight wont come on when it's on hold, and I told her that I KNEW that, but when Miss Grabbypants reached for my ipod, it caused me to push the button on accident. They both ROLLED their eyes at me and continued to talk about the oh-so-important issues of the day, composed of mainly high-school gossip.
I know that this isn't so much of a rip-off as it is a ridiculous event of POOR customer service and awful treatment of a loyal paying customer. No one should be reaching for things in my lap and accusing me of lying.
If you would rather not be embarrassed and accused of lying in front of 150 people and treated like a 3 year old...then don't fly southwest. I have only had 1-2 really pleasant experiences on my 15+ flights in the past 14 months. Southwest needs to investigate a customer sensitivity training program for their staff.