• Report: #264046

Complaint Review: Southwest Airlines

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  • Submitted: Sun, July 29, 2007
  • Updated: Thu, April 30, 2009

  • Reported By:wittmann Arizona
Southwest Airlines
southwest.com Salt Lake City, Utah U.S.A.

Southwest Airlines southwest air defiys TSA Salt Lake City Utah

*Consumer Comment: Tips

*Consumer Comment: Tips

*Consumer Comment: Tips

*Consumer Comment: Tips

*Consumer Suggestion: Rip-off?

*Consumer Suggestion: To Fly-Time

*Consumer Comment: Read the contract of carriage sometime

*Author of original report: unique, lack of service

*Consumer Comment: SWA is Unique in their Friendly Passenger Service

*Consumer Comment: Interesting

*Author of original report: southwest defies tsa

*Consumer Comment: Just Wondering?

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SOUTHWEST AIR DEFIYS TSA
Sun Jul 29 2007, flight 27, 0610 departure.
I arrived at SLC airport two hours before my flight departure time, as requested by Transportation Security Administration TSA. Southwest Air did not open kiosks and had no personal at their ticket counter until 0500, one hour before departure. The obvious question I had for the ticket agent when she finally did arrive to open was why are we (passengers) asked to be at the airport two hours ahead of departure and Southwest ticket personal arrive only one hour before?. Her response was oh, well thats just how it is, you know I indicated I did not know and would like an explanation. Her answer was that is just how it is. I asked why were the kiosks not open? Her answer oh we cant do that. I asked is T.S.A. aware of this policy
The flippant attitude changed abruptly to a curt response of sir would you please direct you comments to SWA on line.
After obtaining my boarding pass I noted a very long line waiting to be processed. I continued to gate B11 witch is a good 8 to 10 minute walk. I still needed to clear T.S.A. security. I arrived at the gate about 0520. On arrival at gate B11 there was not anyone from SWA to be seen. The gate personal (one woman ) arrived at 0540. Note SWA reserves the right to sell your seat if you are not at the gate 30 min before departure, more on this practice later. After boarding the announcement from the cockpit was the flight to Phoenix will take one hour and five minutes. Winds aloft would have to be over 100 miles per hour to accomplish this speed, or we would have to fly faster than the speed of sound as this flight normally takes about one hour and twenty minutes. This same announcement was repeated two times. The flight did take one hour and twenty minutes.

As a passenger I feel the arrogance shown by SWA policy and SWA personal is almost unbelievable. I have further noticed SWA when overbooking their flights excel at finding a passenger that has been drinking or is loud and is posing a threat to air safety. At that point its obvious to me that SWA does not offer a room or flight accommodations to the benefit of the passenger but keeps the passenger from boarding to the benefit of SWA . Note SWA overbooked the flight. Does this safety concern from SWA extent to passengers who question SWA and their lack of customer service with their obvious self serving actions in disregards to TSA and the real safety of their passengers and crews? Will that same customer, passenger be denied boarding also?

I ask you how does SWA show support to TSA and their limited personal by not honoring their request to arrive two hours early and opening the baggage counters to help in clearing the security area? Does impeding passengers to the point of being late when they still need to go though TSA security help TSA do their job better? How often does this scenario and others like this happen across the country?. When will the airlines participate in National Security as much as their customers?

The TV show Airline showcases SWA and their customer service. It seams that in almost every show passengers are denied boarding for violating the rules SWA has set forth, when if fact SWA violates their own rules with impunity. I further question the basis of denying boarding to a drinking passenger when SWA is the one who has served the alcohol to that passenger and then penalizes that passenger for South west airlines actions. Yet all at once SWA will insist it is only interested in the safety of public and the crew and will rely on TSA to give them that blanket authority to deny boarding. TSA please help the crews and the public who you are charged to protect. Bring SWA and any other airlines to accountability.

Fly time
wittmann, Arizona
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/29/2007 09:35 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Southwest-Airlines/Salt-Lake-City-Utah-85361/Southwest-Airlines-southwest-air-defiys-TSA-Salt-Lake-City-Utah-264046. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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0Author 12Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Tips

AUTHOR: Tex - (U.S.A.)

You must not fly often. Here's a tip: To determine when to arrive at the airport, first find the flight time on your itinerary- this is when they close the doors and stop boarding. Then, subtract 20 minutes for a 737 or Airbus A320 aircraft, and 45 minutes for a 757, 767, or larger aircraft. Then, subtract another 20 minutes for security checkpoints and the walk to the gate. Finally, subtract another 10 minutes for check-in. The answer is the time you should be walking in to the airport.

Example:

7:10 am flight from AUS to DEN

Boarding starts 6:50 am. Be at Security at 6:30 am. Check in at 6:20.

If it's the first flight of the day, the airline employees won't be there early. Don't worry, they won't leave without you, unless you are not at the gate at the designated departure time. I've had employees let me on the plane after the doors were closed, whenever I have a connecting flight on the same airline that arrived 5 minutes late or less. If you are connecting from another carrier- too bad. If you treat them nice, they will treat you nice. Simple rule. The only reason to be at the gate early is if you want to volunteer for DBC (Denied Boarding Compensation- to get a free ticket in exchange for giving up your flight) or if you like to look at airplanes.

Disclaimer: I travel 300 days per year. Generally, TSA takes me 5 minutes or less except at ORD and DEN. I check in online the night before, or at the hotel. Sometimes the pedestrian walkway from the garage to the terminal has a kiosk that no one knows about. If there is an airport hotel, look in the lobby for a multi-function ticket kiosk (for all airlines). No waiting in lines.

sincerely,
Tex
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#2 Consumer Comment

Tips

AUTHOR: Tex - (U.S.A.)

You must not fly often. Here's a tip: To determine when to arrive at the airport, first find the flight time on your itinerary- this is when they close the doors and stop boarding. Then, subtract 20 minutes for a 737 or Airbus A320 aircraft, and 45 minutes for a 757, 767, or larger aircraft. Then, subtract another 20 minutes for security checkpoints and the walk to the gate. Finally, subtract another 10 minutes for check-in. The answer is the time you should be walking in to the airport.

Example:

7:10 am flight from AUS to DEN

Boarding starts 6:50 am. Be at Security at 6:30 am. Check in at 6:20.

If it's the first flight of the day, the airline employees won't be there early. Don't worry, they won't leave without you, unless you are not at the gate at the designated departure time. I've had employees let me on the plane after the doors were closed, whenever I have a connecting flight on the same airline that arrived 5 minutes late or less. If you are connecting from another carrier- too bad. If you treat them nice, they will treat you nice. Simple rule. The only reason to be at the gate early is if you want to volunteer for DBC (Denied Boarding Compensation- to get a free ticket in exchange for giving up your flight) or if you like to look at airplanes.

Disclaimer: I travel 300 days per year. Generally, TSA takes me 5 minutes or less except at ORD and DEN. I check in online the night before, or at the hotel. Sometimes the pedestrian walkway from the garage to the terminal has a kiosk that no one knows about. If there is an airport hotel, look in the lobby for a multi-function ticket kiosk (for all airlines). No waiting in lines.

sincerely,
Tex
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#3 Consumer Comment

Tips

AUTHOR: Tex - (U.S.A.)

You must not fly often. Here's a tip: To determine when to arrive at the airport, first find the flight time on your itinerary- this is when they close the doors and stop boarding. Then, subtract 20 minutes for a 737 or Airbus A320 aircraft, and 45 minutes for a 757, 767, or larger aircraft. Then, subtract another 20 minutes for security checkpoints and the walk to the gate. Finally, subtract another 10 minutes for check-in. The answer is the time you should be walking in to the airport.

Example:

7:10 am flight from AUS to DEN

Boarding starts 6:50 am. Be at Security at 6:30 am. Check in at 6:20.

If it's the first flight of the day, the airline employees won't be there early. Don't worry, they won't leave without you, unless you are not at the gate at the designated departure time. I've had employees let me on the plane after the doors were closed, whenever I have a connecting flight on the same airline that arrived 5 minutes late or less. If you are connecting from another carrier- too bad. If you treat them nice, they will treat you nice. Simple rule. The only reason to be at the gate early is if you want to volunteer for DBC (Denied Boarding Compensation- to get a free ticket in exchange for giving up your flight) or if you like to look at airplanes.

Disclaimer: I travel 300 days per year. Generally, TSA takes me 5 minutes or less except at ORD and DEN. I check in online the night before, or at the hotel. Sometimes the pedestrian walkway from the garage to the terminal has a kiosk that no one knows about. If there is an airport hotel, look in the lobby for a multi-function ticket kiosk (for all airlines). No waiting in lines.

sincerely,
Tex
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#4 Consumer Comment

Tips

AUTHOR: Tex - (U.S.A.)

You must not fly often. Here's a tip: To determine when to arrive at the airport, first find the flight time on your itinerary- this is when they close the doors and stop boarding. Then, subtract 20 minutes for a 737 or Airbus A320 aircraft, and 45 minutes for a 757, 767, or larger aircraft. Then, subtract another 20 minutes for security checkpoints and the walk to the gate. Finally, subtract another 10 minutes for check-in. The answer is the time you should be walking in to the airport.

Example:

7:10 am flight from AUS to DEN

Boarding starts 6:50 am. Be at Security at 6:30 am. Check in at 6:20.

If it's the first flight of the day, the airline employees won't be there early. Don't worry, they won't leave without you, unless you are not at the gate at the designated departure time. I've had employees let me on the plane after the doors were closed, whenever I have a connecting flight on the same airline that arrived 5 minutes late or less. If you are connecting from another carrier- too bad. If you treat them nice, they will treat you nice. Simple rule. The only reason to be at the gate early is if you want to volunteer for DBC (Denied Boarding Compensation- to get a free ticket in exchange for giving up your flight) or if you like to look at airplanes.

Disclaimer: I travel 300 days per year. Generally, TSA takes me 5 minutes or less except at ORD and DEN. I check in online the night before, or at the hotel. Sometimes the pedestrian walkway from the garage to the terminal has a kiosk that no one knows about. If there is an airport hotel, look in the lobby for a multi-function ticket kiosk (for all airlines). No waiting in lines.

sincerely,
Tex
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Rip-off?

AUTHOR: Ashley - (U.S.A.)

I also ask you, where were you ripped off?

You made it through security and got to your flight and arrived on time. SOunds like southwest did what they were supposed to do with you.

As for the alcohol, yes southwest will serve alcohol on their planes. Most airlines won't serve you more than 2 drinks on a flight though. To be drunk enough to be removed, the person would need to be drinking at the airport before the flight or between transfers. They won't let DRUNK passengers on the place.

As for distance, its 500 miles from SLC to Phoenix. That would require the plane to fly at 461.4 miles per hour which is well below the speed of sound. The cruising velocity of the planes southwest uses is 514 miles per hour. It is definitely feasible for the plane to travel from SLC to Phoenix in that time frame. Your 1 hour 20 minutes includes take off and landing I'm sure and not actual time in the air.

If you had gotten stuck at an airport due to southwest, you might have a case for a rip off, but being as it sounds as if you got to your destination on time, I don't see what the problem is.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

To Fly-Time

AUTHOR: Karl - (U.S.A.)

I was commenting on the overall operation of SWA. Who knows why the gate agent was late. Were you at SLC on subsequent days to determine whether this was a pattern at that airport? It certainly wasn't at Albuquerque, Baltimore, Phoenix, and all the other places I've boarded Southwest. If you had a problem with it then you should address it in writing with Southwest but you boarded the flight OK didn't you? The comment about flight time was absolutely silly as was the alcohol comment. I've flown Southwest scores of times and have never noticed any drunks kicked off a flight. If I were you I'd quit flying Southwest. It will give the rest of us who support an airline with customer service more room aboard.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Read the contract of carriage sometime

AUTHOR: Ont Md80 - (U.S.A.)

According to Southwest's Contract of Carriage (page 13) they have the "10 minute rule" or TMR. Basically, it says that you must have a boarding pass and be at the gate 10 minutes prior to departure or else you risk having your reservation canceled. So where did you hear that you must be at the gate 30 minutes prior to departure?

Next time check in online. Its really quite easy and you will get a better boarding number.
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#8 Author of original report

unique, lack of service

AUTHOR: Fly Time - (U.S.A.)

the coments i made were largly directed to the ground operations of southwest. try reading the origanal report, then coment on the report. if you would like to make more unrelated observations please feel free to do so. you totlaly miss the point of who served the drinks and.............. just read it this time
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#9 Consumer Comment

SWA is Unique in their Friendly Passenger Service

AUTHOR: Karl - (U.S.A.)

I'm flying Southwest more and more now after experiencing the lack of customer service on many of the majors. You may have had a bad experience on SWA but my trips have been trouble free and Southwest is a great choice for air travel.

I especially like their policy of not charging $100 to change a flight and $10 to speak to a reservation agent on the phone like American. My first and last flight to Hawaii on American out of DFW to Honolulu didn't even serve peanuts unless you purchased a snack box. Seating on the 767 was the tightest I've experienced since the old TWA short DC-9's and cabin service was virtually non existant. The flight attendents spent most of the time in the galley playing hand held video games and chatting. If you wanted a glass of water they acted as if you were a serious interruption.

Southwest is nothing like that. Everybody has a bad day and it sounds as if you started with either an inadequate breakfast or a sleepless night. Don't pick on the only airline in North America that makes as effort to excel in customer service. I also applaud them for kicking the drunks off the plane. How would you like to have a drunk blocking the aisle or emergency exit in the event of an emergency. Lighten up.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Interesting

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

First you put "Southwest defies TSA" then you change it to "airport authority". TSA sounds more impressive then some innocuous "airport authority". Usually, local "airport authority" follows federal guidelines.
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#11 Author of original report

southwest defies tsa

AUTHOR: Fly time - (U.S.A.)

yes you are correct, "two hours early" is a request by the airport authority, not tsa.
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#12 Consumer Comment

Just Wondering?

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

Isn't it one hour on domestic flights and two hours on international flights?
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