I was not compensated in any way shape or form for this post. I am just a satisfied customer. All images © copyright and courtesy of Southwest Airlines.
The snowpocalypse that socked the mid-Atlantic region this weekend impacted at least 3 major airports and snarled air traffic throughout the country. I’m sure there will be many stories of trial and tribulation that come out of this storm.
Mine is not that story. Mine is a story of AWESOME customer service.
I flew to Nashville this weekend for the Blissdom conference. Whenever possible, I fly Southwest Airlines. Due to childcare constraints, there wasn’t a lot of padding on the outbound leg of the trip. This is risky in February, the weather can screw up your plans in the time it takes to say total snow accumulation. Mother nature didn’t disappoint. My outbound flight was delayed, making my connection in Baltmore much tighter than I wanted it to be.
I was able to arrive a the airport early for my departure, but not early enough for one of the earlier itineraries to Nashville. When I checked my bags, I mentioned the tight time frame in BWI. If my flight was ANY later, there was no way I would get out of Baltimore to Nashville Wednesday night. My conference started at 9am sharp on Thursday. The agent’s response? “Let me see what I can do about that.” There was an earlier flight to Baltimore with plenty of room, so she moved me. I had time to spare in Baltimore and that was fine with me.
Come Friday afternoon, the trip home was making me nervous. I was watching the weather with a sinking feeling. My husband had already worked from home Thursday and Friday, and he had an important meeting on Monday. I HAD to be home Sunday night.
I was in conference sessions all day Saturday. I checked in for my flights via the web and the system still showed an on time departure even I knew that wasn’t true. I had plans to call Southwest during one of my breaks. I looked at my phone and saw a missed call from a 214 number. I only know a few people in the Dallas area and I couldn’t imagine why any of them would be calling my cell phone. When I checked the message, is was Southwest calling to tell me the initial leg of my trip had ben canceled. No shock there. A short time later, the phone vibrated and again it was a 214 number. I grabbed it, a pleasant automated voice told me my connecting flight had also been canceled. Then Lady Luv asked me if I wanted to speak to someone to rebook my flights. I briefly considered staying in my session and calling later, but then I thought if they were offering to connect me with someone now, I should grab that brass ring.
I figured, I would be on hold, so I slowly moved to the back of the room. I was wrong. I was immediately connected to Rae and she even had my itinerary right in front of her. Cue scurrying out of the ballroom and speaking in hushed tones. I suggested that if they wanted to route me through Chicago, Midway, I would be ok with that. Nashville, to Manchester, via Midway is a not standard route for Southwest, so Rae had to get approval from customer service. She got approval, but there would be a cost difference and the amount would vary depending on whether I wanted to take the morning flights or the afternoon flights. Wait, whaa? I’m cheap er I mean frugal, I didn’t want to have to pay to change the ticket. So, I asked Rae what was available on my original itinerary. How about departing Nashville Monday morning at 7:35 and arriving in Manchester at 1:35pm? Uh no, THAT wasn’t going to work either. Ok, Rae, get me a price to travel via Chicago. While she checked, I ducked back into my session. I didn’t even have time to hear the one question before Rae was back telling me that customer service had approved a courtesey waiver and there would be no charge! Wahooo!
I LOVE SOUTHWEST AIRLINES!!!
The flight home was utterly uneventful. I was sorry to leave the ladies of Bissdom’10 behind, but I was grateful to get home.