If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know I’m a Southwest Airlines fanboy. Southwest employees have gone out of their way to do the right thing for me. So, even though I’m going to kvetch, I’m not going to switch.
I am perturbed about what happened last night. I am sending Southwest’s customer service department a link to this entry.
This weekend I finally got to see my father, sister and family after to being tied to the house since the summer with surgery, procedures and chemo. It’s been a long time. An important trip. It was as good as I hoped it would be.
There are no non-stop or even direct flights from Milwaukee back to Orange County. I booked the 4:50 PM flight to Las Vegas with a connection to the 9:10 PM flight to Orange County.
If you look at the Southwest schedule you’ll see that’s the best connection they offer. It’s not the best connection. There’s a 7:20 PM LAS-SNA flight too. My guess is it’s not offered because the connection time is too short — only 35 minutes.
In the past, in exactly the same situation, I have been allowed to board the earlier flight. Not last night.
“You’ll have to pay the full fare all-the-way back to Milwaukee.”
That’s the salient part of my conversation with the gate agent for the 7:20 PM flight.
Hold on. There is no fare for that flight pair! It’s not formally offered. It only exists because I walked from C5 to C24.
There must have been seats because the agent said there were non-revenue passengers going.
I wasn’t trying to scam or fleece or nickle and dime Southwest. The 7:20 PM flight would have been my choice had it been offered. And, as it turned out, your minimum time rule wasn’t really needed last night.
What did Southwest gain (other than this blog entry) by having me sit at McCarren for a few hours? That’s really the bottom line. You gained nothing and I lost time, which I’ve come to realize is my most valuable commodity.
Here is my suggestion to Southwest: Your rules for standby passengers should contain an exception for passengers early enough to make a flight not offered because of transfer time restrictions. You put me in a Catch 22 where even the solution offered by the gate agent didn’t exist!