Southwest Airlines / terrible experience
The mission of Southwest Airlines is 'dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride and company spirit'. The airlines also advertises that it provides curveside checking for all passengers at all its contact airports. These two factors were totally lacking when I used Southwest to fly from Harlingen, TX to Norfolk, VA on May 13, 2008.
In order to travel, I always request a wheelchair since I am physically disabled to walk great distances. There was no curveside checking service, no wheelchair assistance or friendly staff at the airport. I had to take a taxi to the airport and the driver was not willing to assist me in obtaining a wheelchair. Weakly, I managed to walk into the airport with my heavy luggage and check to see if some airline or airport staff was available to assist me. I found no one available. I somehow managed to get to the checking counter, where I was rudely treated and charged an extra $173 for a ticket that I purchased back in February, 2008. I booked the flight using senior fair rates.
When the counter help looked at my ID, she said that I couldn't fly at that rate since I was not 65. When I booked the flight I was not informed that I had to be 65 to fly at senior faires. So I was charged the extra fee. All this time, I am standing, waiting for a wheelchair.
On the flight home, the flight attendants were not friendly, warm, or helpful in assisting the public with their seats or handling of heavy baggage up into the above seat compartments. Both the attendants were female and only interested in their looks--I watched both look at themselves in the crew cabin's door mirror. There was a preschool child on this flight and they didn't pay him much attention either. I saw one of the attendants take a small alcohol bottle out of the kitchen drawer and back further into the kitchen to take a drink. This event occurred on Flight 37 out of Houston, TX on May 19th, 2008.
When I got to my parents, I called Southwest about the fee issue and they refused to assist me in settling this matter. They just said that I should air my complaint in writing to their Dallas, TX office. So I am about to write them about this and protest my issue in the hopes that this issue can be resolved on the company level. If not, I am reporting them to the FAA. Can you help me with matter or at least allow it to be aired so others will be wise not to use this airline.
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