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Southwest did an extraordinary thing for me this past week, and I think part of what makes it extraordinary is that it seems to be Standard Operating Procedure for them.

As you all know, I flew SWA up to Minneapolis for Anime Detour this year, and had originally planned to fly back the following Tuesday until struck down by a bunch of marauding bacteria. I had to cancel the return flight, which meant I was out the ~$200 since it was a non-refundable fare, but at least the agent I talked to said they'd honor the fare for the return flight.

Now, I figured this meant I'd only have to play the el cheapo advance purchase fare instead of the Businessman's Special "ZOMG I MUST FLY THERE RIGHT NOW" fare, but I figured wrong. When I talked with the agent on Monday at Humphrey Terminal, she pulled up my file, saw the note from the previous agent, and used the unspent amount from the original return flight to pay for the new flight. That's right. I didn't have to pay one red cent for my flight home. As God is my witness, I would have fallen to my knees in the terminal if the pain wouldn't have killed me. Not only that, SWA arranged for me to have a wheelchair waiting for me all along the line from Minneapolis to Dulles so that I didn't have to walk more than a couple yards anywhere along the line. God bless them all.

Any other airline would have screwed me for hundreds, probably thousands of dollars.* No other airline would have looked after me all along the line with stewardesses, counter people, and crew making sure I was okay. So yeah. From now on, I fly SWA and nobody else. If they don't fly there, I ain't going unless I can drive. They have earned my loyalty in a coin that cannot be noted on ledgers or found in checkbooks, and I will repay them by being a feudally loyal customer.



*I well remember how Delta screwed me on the ticket home when my father was dying, the bastards. >:(

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
May. 3rd, 2013 06:32 pm (UTC)
SWA
You are absolutely correct about SWA.
This is their SOP.
I have also had to cancel / rearrange flights due to unforseen circumstances and the most I ever got charged was the $17 that the additional flight cost.
I was once returning to Providence from Chicago and the plane had a mechanical issue in Indianapolis. We landed to a barrage of firetrucks. We deplaned; SWA bought us all Subway sandwiches and got us on another plane as quickly as possible. I wrote to them about how well they handled the situation. Everyone on that plane got a voucher for another round trip flight.
When I fly to Florida for business, the closest airport that SWA flies into is Tampa, but it's well worth it for their service and their reputation.

Thanks for making it public.
wombat_socho
May. 3rd, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
Re: SWA
This is awesome. Thanks!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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