• Report: #195744
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Fri, June 09, 2006
  • Updated: Mon, February 02, 2009

  • Reported By:Dallas Texas
southwest.com Dallas, Texas U.S.A.


*Consumer Comment: You tell em, Julie!

*UPDATE Employee: wow! you guys are mean

*Consumer Comment: 13 % Satisfaction rate

*Consumer Suggestion: Do what I do...

*Consumer Comment: change airlines

*Consumer Comment: Maybe not to sensitive

*Author of original report: PROBABLY

*Consumer Comment: What happened may be inappropriate

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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.

Dallas, Texas

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/09/2006 09:33 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/southwest-airlines/dallas-texas/southwest-airlines-ripoff-rude-flight-attendants-talking-about-passengers-in-a-rude-and-h-195744. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

You tell em, Julie!

AUTHOR: Joe L. - (U.S.A.)

Reading your post reminds me of why I LOVE to fly Southwest Airlines, in fact flying out to SFO the 19th of Feb.... On Southwest! I do carry an IPod during the flight, but I usually wait until after takeoff before activating it.

All in all, great airline, great FA's & can't beat the low fares! ;-) If I had to change something, I'd do away with the open seating policy & do something like 'pick your own seat online when first purchasing the tickets.' But, I'm not complaining about it.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

wow! you guys are mean

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

well i am sorry to hear about what happened to sara, but unfortunately it sounds like she may have had her ipod on and just didn't want to admit it after being caught red handed.

i am a flight attendant for southwest and i do agree that reaching down to grab someone's ipod is a little extreme. i usually just tell the person once and then i'm on my way. but, what most people don't understand is that we are just doing our job. the faa mandates that we tell people to turn of their devices, sit down while the seatbelt signs are on, put their freaking seatbelts on and tray tables up. it is our responsibilty to make sure it is done. if the faa is on board and sees that we are not complying to regulations we can get personally fined. believe me, i don't care if you have it on and i certainly don't want to have to keep reminding you to turn it off.

as for the first class and choosing the career of flight attendant remarks, i am personally offended. most of our flight attendants do have degrees. we have people from all walks of life--teachers, nurses, waitresses, taxi drivers and yes, shockingly doctors!!! we have just chosen to live life to the fullest and have fun at our jobs...where else can you work 3 days a week, get 5 weeks paid vacation, free flights, excellent 401k, medical and dental, passes to give to your friends, and work for a great, great company? as a doctor you may have a little more prestige, but do you have any family time? free time?

as for first class, every seat is first class on southwest. if you want to pay an extra $1000 for a crummy meal, dirty blanket, and maybe a little extra attention-- go for it. but chances are that same attendant in first class, worked coach yesterday and her service is probably the same.

all i know is that we get thousands of great letters for our service every year. we are one of the only companies who made money after 9/11 and didn't have to get bailed out by the government. we are growing and getting better every day. yes, we may have a bad day and get a little testy after telling the 100th passenger for the 100th time to turn of their ipod for say 5 minutes until we get in the air...like one guy said, if you want it on, hide it so we can't see it or just wait until you hear the ding.

by the way, the reasoning behind turning off your ipod during takeoff and landing is because if we had an emergency and you have your eyes closed and your ipod on your response time may be delayed. it is very important to be aware of your surroundings during the takeoff and landing phases of the flight.

hopefully everyone won't judge southwest, by this one person's experience!

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#3 Consumer Comment

13 % Satisfaction rate

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

Why on earth would you continue to fly with Southwest when you have a pleasent flight 13% of the time?
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Do what I do...

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

Don't flash the electronics till they say it's ok. With all the elecrontics I bring on board(PSP, Treo 650, laptop) I just keep it out of view until they say it's ok. Granted, I still doubt that the magnetic field of a cell phone can distort the instruments of the pilot, but why bother explaining about your device.
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#5 Consumer Comment

change airlines

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

If you're so upscale then why are you flying on SWA? You have heard of first class haven't you? SWA doesn't have it.

You get better service and treatment. I guess you just don't have the means.

I'm not a doctor, but fortunately, I don't have to fly SWA. I get an assigned seat in first.

Too bad you can only afford 39 bucks.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Maybe not to sensitive

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

I think people of all ages would be annoyed if a FA reached for one of their personal items. Also, the FA should not have talked about the passenger when she was only 3 rows away.

In regards to what the OP wrote: she was probably just jealous that i was on vacation and she chose to be a flight attendant. (This is why I'm premed and going to have a good career that I won't hate in 10 years.)

Well, good for you for going to med school. The world needs doctors. But it also needs FA's, secretaries, dentists, construction workers, engineers, carpet cleaners, cashiers, food service workers, etc. I'm not a FA but I've talked to enough to know that most of them LOVE their jobs and all the perks, mainly the free travel and particularly the free travel when they are, drum roll please, ON VACATION.

Most passengers think the purpose of the FA is to provide waitressing and maid-like services for them. Actually, the main purpose of the FA is to help protect the passengers in the event of an emergency. They are there to SAVE LIVES and ensure the well-being of others should something bad happen, save lives; isn't that what doctors do? Save lives and ensure the well-being of others?

Obviously there are more differences than similarities between a FA and a doctor. My point really is that people who work for an honest living should not be put down.
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#7 Author of original report


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

yah probably too sensitive...but it felt good to write about it. i could really care less right now...she was probably just jealous that i was on vacation and she chose to be a flight attendant. (this is why i'm premed and going to have a good career that i won't hate in 10 years...)

oh well....cheers to you thanks for the words!


living life in sunny texas,
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#8 Consumer Comment

What happened may be inappropriate

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

What happened may be inappropriate, however you may be too sensitive.

You are still young, although not a teenager. You are going to find, throughout your life, that people are going to be harsh and speak ill of you and others. It will happen everywhere and simply will not stop.

Unfortunately, it is human nature. Those that are caught being "wrong" about something, those that hate their jobs, those that are simply jealous of you or your situation will talk to their "friends" about it. They have one focus. They feel inadequate and are trying to convince someone else that you are below their level so that they will look superior.

No amount of sensitivity training will change people like this. They simply lack self esteem and are not affected by being trained to be sensitive to the needs or feelings of others.

Advice. Learn to simply ignore idiots such as these. Life is too short to let people such as this affect your happiness.
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