Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Southwest Airlines, I accept your apology.

The view on my way back to Dallas.

So remember that post I wrote earlier this month about my experience flying into Chicago? If not, you can read that here. It's a detailed account of everything that went wrong and the letter I wrote to a SWA senior vice president about how disappointed I was with Southwest.

Thanks to a Facebook friend, who sent me a link to this blog: How to Complain To Airlines, I decided to act like the rational person I kept insisting I was and send a strongly worded email to the airline. The email I sent is based on the letter in my blog, the main difference being length, as the email form had a character limit, and an additional request to reimburse me the extra cost I incurred getting to my destination. 

So what happened you ask? A few days after I sent the email, I got a reply from Tenicia, who works at Southwest. I fully expected for her to apologize and tell me how sorry she was for my bad experience and then deny my request for reimbursement. And this of course happened. What happened next is what took me by surprise.

She told me she was going to refund the purchase of my plane ticket. Not give me a voucher toward my future purchase but actual refund my money. I was surprised by the offer but cause most airlines will do anything to not give you your money back and actually this is what I wanted, my money back. Of course I was skeptical as she said it would take one to two billing periods to process the refund. I thought for sure my request would get lost in piles of electric paperwork. So it was a pleasant surprise yesterday when I checked my credit card account and discovered Southwest had already processed the refund (It took about a week from the time the email was sent to the time I got the refund). I wanted to hug Southwest for being decent human beings.

I know what you're thinking, "You're content to just get a refund for a botch plane flight?! Why aren't you suing for partial ownership of the airline?" The answer is yes, a refund is good enough and here's why. The cost of the plane ticket was close enough to the extra cost I incurred that a refund was good enough to satisfy me. That and thought I was made to feel like I didn't matter, the fact that I got an actual person to send me an email and tell me, "I'm sorry. We totally dropped the ball on handling this well," made me feel like a person again.

Yeah, this unplanned diversion changed my vacation plans but nothing too terrible happen and it gave me a chance to have a bit of an adventure. On my impromptu road trip, I got to visit eight states and spent sometime driving through some beautiful parts of the good ole US of A. Was the drive from Nashville to St. Louis to Minneapolis tedious? Of course but I got to spend it with two of my favorite people and now we have a story to tell about the vacation that started with an unplanned road trip.

So Southwest Airlines, I accept your apology. You owned up to making a mistake and did what you could to make it somewhat right. Will my next plane trip be with you? Probably not but the one after that probably will be. Here's to having unplanned adventures and being a decent human being.

1 comment:

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