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Southwest Airlines / warning - swa steals!

1 United States Review updated:

Warning!!! Southwest airlines is, without a doubt, the worst airline on planet earth! I was booked on swa #455 from lax to abq (Non-stop, mind you) leaving lax at 8:10 pm on sunday 7/22/07, arriving at 10:40 pm on sunday 7/22/07. I checked two bags at 4:15 pm after standing in line approximately one hour. Then, I stood in the tsa line for another 20 minutes to have my checked bags inspected and passed off to southwest’s baggage handlers.

When I arrived at abq and went to the appointed carousel to pick up my luggage, I was delighted to see my large bag already in the holding area outside of swa’s baggage office. I picked it up without anyone confirming whether it was my bag or not. No swa personnel were there. I later determined that swa forwarded the larger bag on an earlier flight. It appears the dakota bag (Referred to below) may have also been forwarded on an earlier flight.

Then, I noted the second bag (A very expensive dakota duffel bag) was not in the holding area. I naturally expected it to be coming out with flight 455 baggage.

It did not arrive. I can only conclude that a southwest employee stole the bag for the dvd’s in it. And, after five days of & ldquo;searching, & rdquo; southwest now says they have suspended searching.

The dakota bag cost me $325. Its contents included many personal documents with information that, in the wrong hands, could be used to steal the identities of a number of persons. The dakota bag also contained an 80 dvd zipper case, nearly full of high end late movies & ndash; something anyone would steal if not watched. I estimate the cost of the dvd’s to be not less that $900.

Yes, I must admit, I was an idiot for packing such items in a bag that had to be checked due to its size! But, give me a break & ndash; a non-stop from lax to abq - - how could such a bag possibly get lost?

I am now advised by southwest that they have & ldquo;suspended the search for my bag. & rdquo; note & ndash; swa does not scan in baggage, and therefore has no way to track baggage. They simply lie to the public about this.

Having made claim for the lost luggage, I am offered $30 for my trouble.

I offer these words of warning:

Never fly southwest airlines.
Southwest airlines hires thieves and drug addicts as baggage handlers.
Southwest airlines trains its agents to lie rather than aid in the resolution of customer complaints.
Southwest airlines is the filthiest airline in the world.
Southwest airlines has absolutely no commitment to customer satisfaction.

Southwest has the very wrong idea customers want a cute song by 18 year old flight attendant rather than competent service. Swa’s flight attendants could not recognize a fire if their own hair were ablaze!

I simply wanted to be safely transported from los angeles to albuquerque, without having the airline employees steal my baggage and its contents which were worth in excess of five times the cost of the ticket.

By the way, be sure to shower after flying & ndash;to get rid of the texas ticks that plague the plane.

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  • St
      1st of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    Anything worth more than about $5.00 WILL be stolen from your check baggage if you fly Southwest Airlines. It has happened to me a number of times. I no longer fly Southwest; and, if I must fly that cattle car, I only take carry-on luggage.

  • Ma
      1st of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    Southwest Airlines sucks without stopping! Watch for gum on your seat. New York taxis are cleaner. And, after losing luggage twice on this airline (or, more likely, stolen by personnel), I try to avoid flying on Southwest at all costs. Other airlines can often be as inexpensive, or even more so, if you plan ahead.

  • Ma
      1st of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! Never ever ever let southworst airlines make you check your bag. I had my entire set of CD's stolen on a non-stop from Phoenix to Los Angeles. ### of the earth is what the employees of southworst are.

  • Pm
      1st of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    Be very careful with what you entrust to Southwest Airlines. Three nice Brooks Brothers ties were stolen from my checked luggage a month ago. Since I did not notice until the next day, all I got from Southwest was "you must file your claim within four hours." The dishonesty and incompetence of personnel at Southwest is overwhelming!

    I agree -- just don't fly Southwest. Most other carriers can match their fares. Don' t believe their hyperbole. The might be cheap, but they are definitely not inexpensive when you consider the costs of waiting in line, having valuables stolen from your luggage, and the incredible disregard given to a passenger after a flight is over.

  • Ro
      1st of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    Cheap has been given a new meaning by Southwest Airlines. It does not mean inexpensive. The jewelry and coat taken from my checked luggage on an Oakland to Phoenix flight could have paid for three first class tickets on United Airlines or some other quality carrier. Southwest -- HA! Never Again, and I mean it!

  • Ro
      1st of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    PS - a suggestion. We should all start using TSA approved locks for our luggage. I suspect, however, such locks would not deter the thieves at Southwest.

  • Fr
      1st of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    ALL OF YOU ARE RIGHT ON! Southwest Airlines needs to be closed down so reliable air travel can return to the market.

  • Mo
      2nd of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    Well, ever since 9-11, there are no positive name checks for luggage anymore. That is the at all the airports and for all the airlines. So if you don't meet your bag (rather than stop-n-shop) it is possible for anyone to walk off with your bag. So to blame anyone else for any possible delays on anyones part, is not too grown up. Also, all Airlines as well as the TSA has over the years (and I'm sure many people have seen on TV) warned the public of the reports of theft, damage, loss, etc... for all airports with either airline personnel or TSA personnel (read some Los Angeles news stories for that one). So why continue to pack anything of importance or high value in your bag? Another 'please don't blame someone else' for your own decisions.

    As for locks, there are TSA approved locks at your local Wal-Mart that are fairly inexpensive. I would recommend that for one thing. Also, just like in Law Enforcement, they say do not make yourself a victim. Las Vegas has a huge problem with bags missing after you travel. Which bags? Tumi, Coach, Luis Vuitton, Delsey, etc... If the bag looks inviting , dishonest people will target the nice bags first over plain Janes. Just a thought as to how to deter some theft.

    Now for the 4 hour rules and liabilities, blah, blah, blah... Guess what? ALL airlines follow generally the same thing because there ARE dishonest passengers in the past that would claim they had the crown jewels in their bags and many carriers would just pay them. Hello??? If you had a business wouldn't you want to limit any liabilities? And by the way, all these liabilities and rules and such are generally made and governed by the FAA and DOT. It's not just a Southwest (or AA, NWA, etc...) thing. If you don't like it, write to the Feds. Just because you whine about something doesn't mean an airline is going to buck a Federally regulated document just for you! But there are some things airlines can do. All you have to do is follow their protocol and maybe (just maybe) they COULD assist you.

    The comment of having an IQ of 60 to work at Southwest just means that you (unfortunately) would not qualify. Anyways, just like in Law Enforcement, ask the specifics. Did you SEE the person who supposedly take your things? Nope. Did you know where it happend? Nope. Do you know exactly when? Nope. Try using it in court and you will fail. Hmmm... maybe a bag fails to load unto your plane for whatever reason. Maybe a belt system goes awry and causes dmg to bags (happens all the time...go visit an airport someday and ask). Maybe the TSA has backups. They are the only ones who do inspect the bags. As if the employees have the time to dig and have the luxury of going through every bag before the flight pushes out in 15 minutes. Try the math Sherlock. Oh yeah, I forgot, you don't have the IQ of 60.

    In a nutshell, unless you are able to show without a shadow of a doubt as to who did it, when, where, how... good luck. Try using a bit of common sense when traveling and maybe you will do better. But common sense is not so common anymore. Let's have attitudes and blame others rather than educate ourselves. But hey, how would an airline know if you didn't pick up your bag, and then come back and make a false claim? Try looking at it from that point of view. Because there are thieves in the real world as well.

    Lastly, tracking bags. Yes, Einstein, they do NOT have tracking of bags. No air carrier does. Call them. The only ones that do are FedEx, UPS, etc... They have all looked into it but the $$$ it would take to test and even implement it would raise your tickets dramatically (for all carriers, not just Southwest.) So if you want to write a check to help in that effort, I'm sure they won't mind (just make sure it won't bounce once it passes the 200 million mark.) So if the person who says that they do track, how? What system? Where is all this wonderful information coming from that they say they have? It is all a manual process. Get bags. Put on plane. Take off plane. Ugh! Even Gortnak can do a better job than you figuring that out.

    Hmmm... maybe since you had all those important documents and sensitive information, I suppose your people will be thrilled to learn that you just placed it in an insecure DUFFEL bag and let it be tossed into an empty hole in a plane. Maybe they should look at suing you for not taking better care of their stuff. Hmmm... let's hope not. Hey while your at it, maybe you could put in the duffel bag a laptop, let it bounce around unprotected in the hold of a plane with hundreds of pounds of luggage slamming into it (from turbulance, landings, bin shifts) and cry about it getting broken. Again, common sense is not so common.

    Tips for flying:
    1. Carry all IMPORTANT and VALUABLE items as carry on.
    2. Use TSA approved locks (if they aren't, TSA will bust/cut them off)
    3. Don't travel like a movie star. A 100 dollar bag carries the same stuff as a 1500 Luis Vuitton and isn't as big a target.
    4. Don't be a whiner. Good Lord, who wants to hear that. And threatening to sue, blah, blah, blah,... doesn't impress them. They have Federal Regs and other rules they have to follow. You may not like them, but try to understand them. And just because you didn't SEE the Rules and Regs, just by purchasing the ticket you agree to them. Read the fine print. Just like credit cards and insurance companies, there are little things that you don't know about until something happens. Then you know and you may not like it. It's the real world, welcome to it.
    5. Educate yourself and show courtesy. Gee, what a concept. But then, there are those who are going to be a blow hard to say "Look at me" and be the big man. Then maybe someone can say "your IQ is showing."

    Southwest is not perfect. Neither are the other carriers. In fact, the other carriers (if you look at the DOT stats, are not even in the top 10 for baggage handling issues - such as American). With Southwest flying more people that American and having fewer bag problems, that should show something. So if you want to fly American or USAir or anyone else that doesn't have as good reported baggage handling, you are free to choose.

    Just something to think about.

  • Ri
      2nd of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    To th one with the last post,

    I agree. To a point. Yes, it is our responsibility to ensure we take better care of valuable items in our luggage. However, we do entrust our luggage to the carrier we choose to fly on. We entrust them to deliver our luggage with us and that is that.

    I had a piece of luggage damaged but did not call them until almost a week later. They denied me for my claim. I [censor]ed at first, but after talking with an American Airlines employee for a while, they kindly explained a lot of what you just said.

    I didn't like it, but life does go on. I can say from experience that you are pretty much right on the mark. Yes, it is frustrating as can be. Even though my damage was moderate it turned out ok. I fixed it myself. Looks like hell but was cheaper than new luggage. I learned something new through the whole ordeal and am a better traveler for it.

    I liked your travel tips. They are basic and can maybe help someone save a vacation or business trip from going down the toilet.

    A better informed consumer makes a better customer. And I agree, there are way to many whiners out there. In my line of work (court document research) it is interesting to see how many people say "that's not me" when all the facts say otherwise. Maybe they are the same ones that are posting in here.

    Travel smart, travel wise, and your trip will be all that much better.


  • Sc
      30th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    You are going to find this problem with ALL of the airlines, not just Southwest. The most thing that happened to your bag, especially if "baggage claim" is located in the "Post-Security" area of the airport is someone not associated with the airlines drove to the airport parked in their lot and walked to the baggage area and stole your bag took it back to their car and drove away with it. The Airports of this country need to move their baggage claim areas to the "Pre-Security" area to fix the problem. Again, the most likely thief of a bag is someone who walks in from the parking garage NOT a TSA or airline personnel. Never check a bag.

  • Ch
      12th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    I've never had a problem with Southwest. They are the best airline out there today. Most ontime flights too!

  • Dk
      24th of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    southwest hires thieves and enables them to steal from it's paying passengers. the enable them in that they just don't give a u know what if anything is stolen because they are not responsible (as the fine print reads). rather than find out why these items are disappearing from our suitcases, they continue to employee the thieves. i will walk before i ever fly southwest again. they are the most uncaring airline i have ever flown. they offered me $100 voucher for the loss of my digital camera. they didn't realize that the camera was worthless but the pictures it contained were worth more than anything they could have offered. i promptly tore the voucher up and sent it back to them. point made. i can't be bought. there is a principle involved. if you allow a thief to get away with it they will continue to steal. to top it off with, they are stealing from the very people who are paying their salaries ... us, the consumer! southwest can stick it where the sun don't shine.

  • Mo
      2nd of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Well, again it seems people like Dee are eager to point fingers at an airline rather than look at facts or even consider other possibilities. Before making the points, please go check the TSA websites and DOT websites. they are VERY specific in stating not to pack anything of value. Good gravy, even the GOVERNMENT is telling you not to pack valuables in your bags.

    Lets take a look at how bags are potentially touched by other people (depends on airports, but generally close in the process.) If you check in at curbside, then a skycap has it briefly (and most airlines don't hire their own skycaps, they are local contractors.) So one bubble burst for Dee.

    Then you have the TSA. They actually open your bags and search them (even by X-Ray.) They are generally in a secure location and not accessible nor seen by the general public. And you trust government employees with your personal belongings? Check out all the stories online about how the TSA arrests or fires their own employees for dishonesty and theft. Again, not neccessarily an airline problem. "Pop" goes another bubble.

    Then you have the ramp agents. Most are employed by the airlines, but there are some airports where they are contracted out. Does Dee know which ones they are? Does she know where they get their people? Did she see the 'airline' employee do it? The answer there to all of these would be Nope. So please watch the finger pointing out because there are 3 more back at you. Did I just hear another 'pop'?

    Then, again it depends on airports, the big ones actually have airport employees transporting the bags to the airplane due to the distance from the check in area to the gate. Another potential group of people that may have access to your bag.

    So again, with a tad bit of looking into something and asking the right questions, it appears there are more people that have access to your lugagge than a typical bag handler of one particular airline. Funny, I don't hear you venting about them. But why whine against the governmental employees (that most would not qualify to actually work at an airline) since they are the Government. Trust us. Sure. Funny how they are the ones who flat out tell you not to pack those things, yet they are the ones who actually open your bags and has free reign over them. Try to get ANY compensation from them. Good luck in fighting against the Machine.

    But in todays society, it is easier to whine, complain, point fingers than actually think about something and ask the right questions. Ooohhh, thinking...don't start off any fire alarms if you try to do that next time you want to blame someone so quickly.

  • Mo
      2nd of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Regarding the post by Scott.

    He is correct. There are no more Positive Claim by airlines (except I think International at overseas airports) anymore because that has been away with by the airports themselves. All airlines are only tenants at the airport and thus subject to their policies and rules. There is potential for anyone walking up to the carusel at almost anyport and take any bag.

    Thank you for bring that up. Good observation.

    Oh, and don't forget about any courier service if you bag is misdirected or delayed for any reason. That should not surprise anyone, ... but then it may.

  • Ha
      16th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    I fly SWA many times each year and have never had anything close to your experience. I do not tempt fate by sending valuable items in checked luggage, and I don't send designer bags through the system. Those things I regard as simple common sense, whether you are traveling Southwest, Amtrak or Greyhound.

  • Pa
      26th of Feb, 2009
    -1 Votes

    I'm sorry your baggage got lost, but that is no reason for you to make unfounded judgements about all of Southwest Airlines employees. First of all, you have to be 20 years old to be a flight attendant. Second, who do you think puts the gum on the seats and the floor? Hmmm. That would be the passengers. Where did you get the idea that the baggage handlers are drug addicts and thieves? That's a pretty strong allegation to be making without proof of some sort. And, ticks? Sorry, never seen one. Once in a while, a bee or fly gets on when the door is open, but that's all I've seen in my 7 years. One more thing, I assure you that all of the flight attendants are trained in firefighting on the aircraft. If you weren't aware, fire is the most dangerous thing that can happen during flight, except of course, birds flying into both engines. There are fire extinguishers in the front and aft of the aircraft and the flight attendants are very well trained what to do in case of a fire. Next time you plan to bring luggage with valuable items in it, may I suggest that you send it ahead of you via UPS or FedEx and remember to purchase insurance on it lest those companies be ridden with thieves and drug addicts.

  • Os
      3rd of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    What a shocking and completely unjustified screed. But perhaps what you'd expect from someone who would pay $325 for a piece of luggage. Moral: if you've got that kind of money to throw around on status symbols, you should probably fly on airlines that cater more specifically to status seekers. SWA is for ordinary people. I fly on Southwest about 10 times a year and I prefer them above all other airlines: cheerful employees, great customer service, extremely good organization. If you're a negative person, awful things will happen to you.

  • Ca
      9th of Sep, 2012
    0 Votes

    I must agree but with an addendum. Not only were the flight attendants rude and unprofessional, the airline's policies were designed to ensure a secretive system so that the uninitiated could not manage to sit together if they got their boarding passes at the airport instead of before. In addition, the hostile environment created by the flight crews spilled over into the passengers so that getting on the plane (with a boarding pass that ensured you'd have trouble finding a seat) was like running a gauntlet. All this was just part of the hassle of flying, I guess. However, the flight attendant's treatment of a disabled passenger was truly offensive and disgusting. The poor man, who could not walk, simply asked if he could disembark after everyone else, and if someone could bring a wheelchair to help him get off. The fllight attendant looked at the man like he had leprosy rather than a disability, told him he would simply have to get off the plane on his own, and then proceeded to vent their hostility at the gentleman's request on the intercom once the plane landed. 'If you can't walk or have trouble walking, sit down! stay in your seats! Your're gonna have to wait to get off after everyone else!' When I complained to gate agents, they simply looked at me like I was speaking latin and completely blew me off.

  • Ca
      9th of Sep, 2012
    0 Votes

    Sorry my flight was DFW to DEN and back. The slam of the disabled man happened on the way back to DFW.

  • Da
      8th of Sep, 2014
    0 Votes

    I had back surgery8/30/13 and was unable to fly.

    Dr Beckner
    Jewett Orthopaedic
    1285 Orange Ave
    Winter Park, Fl 32789

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