anonymous letters, challenges, travel

The Saga Continues

Thee delivery of bags arrived from Southwest delivery service. I wasn’t home when it arrived but the shipment was short! Three out of four bags made it. Where is the fourth and largest bag? Why is it not with the others? 9 days I waited patiently. I guess I will need to hold online with Southwest for many more hours to find out what the problem is. I will also need to verify all contents are intact in the bags that made it to me.

1 hour 40 minutes on hold yields a human, but I get nowhere. I need to call another number and submit a request online again. Big sigh. Take a few deep breaths. Computer issues again after getting a human on the phone so she can’t help me. She was pleasant but unable to assist. Seems like the sad story is consistent since my initial delay. Southwest has technical issues causing rippling effects in all aspects of their deliverables.

Sorry for the delay. I get it. It’s the 3 of 3 bags that I have a problem with. No notice about missing the fourth bag which is what is associated with my trip. I will just be hanging out in a limbo phase until Southwest declares my bag officially lost or delivers it. I just can’t make up this craziness.

No calls. No emails. No updates. The days pile up. The hope dwindles. Then I see a call on my phone from Salt Lake City, Utah. I decide to answer what I would normally consider spam. Why it’s Southwest calling. I think a human is finally calling me back. Nope. It’s a baggage clerk that has my fourth bag. Why is it in Salt Lake City? Did it ever leave there? Did they send it from Denver there? I will never know. The clerk doesn’t even know I have a claim for the bag. Just weird all around.

Day 12 Fedex will deliver my final suitcase. It will take 12 days to get my belongings to me. Fedex can get it to me in 1 day but Southwest takes 12. This is the craziest thing I have ever experienced. I will hold my breath until Fedex delivers since they don’t provide a tracking number. I can only imagine how much Southwest is spending to get suitcases from one end of the country to another.

Everyone has that one friend, right? The one that dares you to do stuff. My special friend wanted a social media post. It looked something like the note below:

This will conclude my Southwest baggage series. Hopefully they make good on my reimbursements or that will be another blog series.

challenges, travel

It’s On The Way?!?!

Should I be excited?

Should I still be stressed?

Should I feel relieved?

Day 8 I get my first reply to my case number for my trip interruption. It lets me know of the courtesy credit I may see in 30 days and how to submit claims for my expenses to get home myself when they failed to deliver on their return flight. That’s funny in itself. Not only did they not complete what they were paid in advance to do, but they also held my luggage hostage for days. I guess in their mind $300 is a flat fee that they can just drop to every passenger and hope 90% are satisfied despite the varied levels of inconvenience. My 20 hours on hold is worth more, in my eyes.

I am sure the mom with an infant who isn’t ticketed and had much more stress being stranded than a young male bachelor for days should get hazard pay. I mean I would say that but I’m not the one making the blanket decision of one size fits all! The elderly couple I met that wasn’t internet savvy had a lot more stress as well. Just a couple references.

Day 9 I get the next communication stating my suitcase(s) are to be delivered. Funny I’m not at my delivery address and signature is not required. I never authorized that. A random delivery service is also making my delivery as well. I am not so comfortable about this but I guess this is what happens when mass deliveries need to be made. The communication from Southwest has not been timely or really customer-focused. It’s been more like they are putting our a major fire with a hose and along the way there will be some damage and they will just deal with the one offs as they arise I suppose.

I also think it’s funny that a small SUV is delivering my bags. Now I’m curious to know if it’s one bag? Two bags? Three bags? Four bags? I guess I will find out when I return from my trip to see what has arrived and what condition it is in. I also have no way to update my shipment once the delivery is in process (see below). I guess if I was on a cruise I would really be in a bind.

I may post one more conclusion post to end this saga. I guess that depends on many variables. For now I will celebrate some kind of progress vs. being completely in the dark on when anything would arrive or when I would even hear from Southwest. Happy new year to the rest of the world. I hope you have been enjoying my suitcase saga and be thankful it’s not your belongings that are in limbo.

challenges, travel

Days 5 – 7

On the road for New Year’s. Lacking so my of MY essentials thanks to Southwest’s incompetence. Now I’ve purchased some replacements, but not enough. I even feel guilty about what I bought for the interim but I’m not happy I’m in the situation I am in. Stacking receipts and visiting retail establishments post-holiday is on my least favorite list by a long shot.

My new underwear is in the suitcase. The kind I like. Now I have granny panties or cheap inferior ones. Why? Because I’m not sure Southwest will call my Victoria Secret panties essential. I rode the bike today at the gym. Why? Because I have a cheap sports bra on vs. my go to athletic brand that is on the pricey side but does the job for the thicker girls that might have more swing in their boobs. So again, I don’t have my stuff and I have no guidance from Southwest on what is considered essential or approved thanks to their vague website and mass issues at the moment. Thanks Target for the consumables. Your quality is high but not what is in my suitcase for comfy clothes. I just want my lulu leggings back asap.

How long is too long to be separated from your belongings? Your holiday gifts? Your favorite pants? Your medicine? My teen’s very expensive makeup bag? My shave bag with the expensive razor. I mean I love me a plastic razor but not permanently. The things that make you feel good in your own way each day have faded day by day. So far I’ve been really out of whack with this whole dilemma. People are calling and texting to see if I’m still Bagless. Yes, I am. When will you get it? Clearly I don’t know and neither does Southwest. Are they going to compensate you? I don’t know. Their efforts to communicate fall on the shitty customer service side for sure.

Next week is the new year. Kids go back to school. People need to work. Life goes back to fast-paced. I need a plan of action. I need to shit or get off the pot. Do I replace my bag contents and move on with life or do I wait an unspecified time for Southwest to take care of me, its customer? I think I need to do me and take care of myself because Southwest left me and others high and dry at the airport with no plan for days on end while they reset their system(s) and the shit pile of baggage that accumulated.

I wouldn’t be home if I didn’t book myself on another airline. I would be hungry if I didn’t pay my own way and find options as none were given. The saga continues. Where is my bag Southwest? Why don’t you have an app to track it? I can track my kids with an AirTag, why don’t you have updated technology that is similar? Heck my dog is even tracked.

Oh how I would love to see the Southwest president on that Undercover Boss show this week in every position in his company. He would probably crumble with what he saw. Heck, maybe that’s a novel idea. Sit in your employees’ shoes for a day and see the chaos. Experience the shit show in the front row.

Well, I made it to my destination #2. Just realized I don’t have pajamas. Yup, those are in my suitcase and I forgot to take a substitute. Just add that along with the favorite hair gel and face lotion that I can’t buy at the store, only special order. And yes I’m not using my favorite perfume either. Just an all around annoyance.

Now the question is will I get my suitcases in January of 2023? Will the contents have molded? How many people would have gone through my suitcase? Did any of the lotion bottles explode in the -15 degrees temperatures in Denver. When will Southwest answer my phone call? When will they send me a personalized email? When will my reimbursements be considered as I need to replenish a teen’s wardrobe before school starts. 

Leaving this post dazed and confused. That is really the only way to describe this mess of Southwest’s.

challenges, travel

Bagless Still

Here we are, day 4 no bags for me and day 6 for a companion traveling on a separate return flight. Their bag is located but not delivered. Both of us have second legs of our trip for New Year’s which causes quite the issue.

Day three was stressful. I had to find time to buy the toiletries that I needed for my trip and those things add up in cost. Not to mention my lack of clothes.  I haven’t been to the gym as my workout clothes are in the bag. Wore boots home so now I need sneakers. Oh those are in the bag too. It’s cold out, bummer jacket is in the bag too. You don’t realize what you miss until you don’t have it. A hair brush. A hair dryer. A tooth brush. Favorite perfume. Medicine. The list goes on and on.

Not sure my expectation on getting my suitcase in the next two days since I only managed to speak to one human who had no real live data. This is funny since I could flip over to Delta’s site and track my bag in real time. I guess I will invest in Apple AirTags for my next trip or when I have a suitcase to use again. 

I’ve tried in the early morning. I’ve tried mid day. I’ve tried late night and even in the middle of the night to reach customer service. One gets the following:

  • Fast busy signal
  • An automated attendant that disconnects you as soon as it offers you English or Spanish options
  • A lovely hold music that dies out after a while, then random dead silence, then the music cycles back and this repeats for close to 3 hours and then boom you get disconnected. So reassuring.

If you opt for the web version (see above), you fill out an intake form. The form notes if urgent relating to travel in 7 days call. You obviously can’t talk to a human because of the magnitude of this airline disaster and because of the list above. So I guess you have to wait 10 days for the corporate response. Well I wonder if that timeline will change with the influx of inquiries?

In the mean time I am out more cash to replace my essentials, clothes and to cover the cost of my own flight home since Southwest failed in a big way on their round trip ticket. Reminder no hotel voucher. No bottled water. No blankets. No suitcases. Zero service. I used to think Jet Blue and Spirit were at the bottom of the airline food chain but I think Southwest might have won an award for this shit show.

I just got this text just now. It looks like a canned update still providing no direction.

I did however file a baggage claim online but I had to do it one bag at a time vs. all four bags included in my one reservation. Another mild inconvenience but shows their software is behind the times. No confirmation number given for each entry for me to track the progress of. Just a refresh your screen message to enter again. Wonder if this is yet another dummy tool to give the facet they are making progress?

Will I see my suitcases again?

Will I get reimbursed for my expenses?

Will I ever fly Southwest again?

The bag saga will continue until I have resolution. Stay tuned. P.S. I’m traveling to my next destination by car with my bare essentials in a trash bag. Literally my only option. That’s style for sure. This process is exhausting and mentally draining to say the least.

challenges, travel

Southwest Where Is My Bag

Denver to Atlanta. Another day no flight out to Atlanta. Just a bunch of cancellations. Funny how Delta got 8 out of 8 flights out from the same airport. I don’t think Southwest has a clue how to recover from this self-inflicted disaster.

Corporate is still closed on 12/26 despite cancelling so many flights. I would think leadership would cut their holiday time short knowing so many of its customers are suffering. That would be a big NO!

The photo above is just a reminder of all the idle planes sitting at Denver on Christmas Day. And that was just out my little viewing window. 

If you get to customer service they will tell you they are just a call center and need to wait for corporate to give directions as they are not authorized to help solve your problem of no clothes or personal hygiene items. I heard one fella say I’ve been living in a swim trunk for 5 days and I’d like to know when I can get my bag as we have record cold temps in the teens here. Guess what? No just wait.

My bags sit in Denver somewhere in the suitcase pile of I’d guess over 500,000 suitcases. That’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. But my bag isn’t lost according to them. It’s just not presently with me. Does that mean they are not responsible? Well Southwest has that discretion per their policy online. How convenient.

I can call back every day and hold 4 hours along with the hundreds of thousands in the same boat as me. Then after 5 days I can submit a claim to corporate. Well I’m annoyed I’m just going to write and publish this shit show to note whether Southwest takes care of their client in the end or if they screw them.

Stay tuned. Day one is done and no progress. None. None at all. Corporate is still closed and their web inquiry tells me they will get back to me in 10 days. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.

2 bags missing in action. Last seen in Denver, Colorado. Let’s see what they look like when I get them back, if I get them back.

Fun fact: your valuables are only valued at $3,800 per Southwest at a maximum. Add up the cost of lulu lemon pants, ski gear, base layers, makeup and Christmas presents and boom you are probably over that limit. Remember Southwest wants you to pack your big winter coat vs taking up overhead space that means you probably packed two expensive coats. Winter wear is a lot more costly than summer bikinis and shorts.