My family and I were planning on going to San Diego for a church conference held in the first week of November. This was planned and tickets were bought through Southwest Airlines in mid July. We purchased the tickets by credit card closed to a $1,000 for 4 people to fly to California from Louisville KY.
Everything was planned with no problem until the fires in California started. This was sad to hear because we have friends out that way that could be in danger. As the fires continue to burn and the media continued to report the disasters going on, we were changing our minds not to go due to the nature of things.
We contacted the hotel that we were going to stay at to verify if they were still open for business and they confirmed that they were but could close any day now due to the fires that are around them. We asked if we could cancel our reservations and they stated yes due to the disaster that would be no problem.
We then contacted Southwest Airlines to verify if flights have been canceled to San Diego and they stated no, we asked if we wanted to cancel our flight due to the disaster going on and get a refund, they stated to us that they are offering full refunds at this time due to the disaster. At that point we were trying to get a hold of the people that were holding the conference but could not get of hold of anyone to see if the conference was going to be canceled or even to verify if it was safe to come out that way.
After a week the fires finally settled down but there is billions of damages still left in the San Diego area that we were plan on visiting. The family decided not to go at this point after we heard that one of the churches that were planning on attending the conference had burned down. Also, we still have not heard from others and other churches were backing out of the conference due to the disaster.
We decided to contact Southwest Airlines back to cancel our flight and we were told that we could not cancel even though there was a disaster in that area and we had called a week before and they said that we could. They told us that we could get credit and fly anywhere we like with the same tickets but we do not plan on going any other place. We just want our money back due to the situation. They stated to us that the tickets were non-refundable and they would not give us our money back.
We hung up with that rep and then called back again to see if we could get a different answer and were told the same thing. They would give us credit but not a refund. We then asked if we had to fly some other place would there be any other fees for the change of destination and they could not give us an answer. We then asked if we canceled the week of our flight could we just pay a cancellation fee and they stated no, because since we are calling two weeks before our flight then they would not honor us calling the week of.
I'm very upset that we can not get our money back due to the situation in San Diego so we are forced to either go ahead to California even though there was an disaster or take some other trip and visit another location that I did not plan on going to. This is crazy and this is not what I call customer service. It is my money and I should be able to decide where I want to go with my money. This is why I'm filling a rip off report because I would like my money back and to tell others that Southwest doesn't care about customers when they already have your money.
NEW ALBANY, Indiana