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

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

Southwest Shitshow

Today I am flying across country. From one cold front to another. Snow coverings to celebrate a white Christmas this year and frigid temps that call for warm blankets and toasty fires on the home front with my puppies. A welcome I gladly await but sadly have postponed it thanks to Southwest Airlines and their poor service.

I had been magically flying just above the clouds somewhere on the way to Denver, Colorado. It was a peaceful time of reflection. I was thinking of all the people I have in my life that are amazing yet missing those who aren’t with me this holiday season. As I was flying high I felt the presence of those I miss this year. It was almost like the clouds had names of loved ones gone too soon. At this point in the day there was a calm in the air. Not a worry in the world and I was looking forward to being home.

After landing in Denver, the trip home became a little more complex. Staffing shortages for Southwest Airlines were spiraling out of control for days and today things were supposed to be back on track. That was false. Insanity was lurking everywhere. Crying people everywhere. Cops patrolling gates which is not normal. Emotional outbursts at counters. Lines for days at every Southwest counter yet no supervisors in sight and guess what corporate is closed for the holiday!

The backlog and staff shortages caused rippling effects across the county but Denver was one of the most hard hit. The airline swears it was not poor planning on their part rather storm related issues but I beg to disagree. Plane after plane delayed or cancelled waiting on flight attendants to show up to staff a flight or pilots running out of time due to long delays and federal regulations. I have never seen planes sitting at a gate for hours waiting for staff to load the hundreds of people waiting to get on the plane. Most gates had no attendants either because all those who showed up for work didn’t appreciate the hounding of those waiting for a human to give an update.

Fast forward: many hours sitting and being shuffled gate to gate only to watch planes sit idle or get unloaded due to no staff, incomplete flight crew, or in my case over time limit pilots. It was pure insanity and I was in the midst of it. Then finally we load onto a plane at 8:45 pm and sit for over and hour. Babies crying. People getting anxious of why the plane hasn’t moved. The list goes on and on. Then they take us off the plane because the pilots are under the federal guidelines but their union contracts says they can’t fly. Oh the crowd went wild. Anger was written on many faces while tears well up in the eyes of tired and hungry kids. No hand out of water or blankets for those forced to sleep in the airport. No hotel voucher. Nothing. Just a long line to wait to be rebooked on the computers they kept crashing due to overload of resources. An absolute shit show. The picture above shows the length of every line at every Southwest kiosk. The wait was hours long.

Most rebook options were 2 days out at best, but my case was 12/31 some 6 days later with no access to my bag and no accommodations. Sounds amazing right?

That means you are stranded with no access to bags. Many in tears due to holiday gifts being in their checked bags. No options. Many just stuck. Some elderly couples were in disarray not knowing how to operate the internet swiftly or an app. It was unsettling to watch as folks crumbled around me. A young couple had tickets to Disneyland for first time with young kids and they wouldn’t get that money back or get the experience they had planned. 

I have never experienced such chaos in an airport. Southwest had people stranded for days. My inconvenience seemed minimal in comparison to those traveling with small children or even animals. I heard so many kids crying that just wanted to see Grandma or Grandpa for Christmas. It was awful. Now flip the script to other airlines. They are still flying and the chaos seems mild in comparison despite other airlines taking all the rebooks from Southwest’s incompetence.

In my case it cost me another $1,500 to get home and I had to split up with my child to even make that happen. I had to spent the night in an airport and I had no luggage or hygiene items. By the time I got off my cancelled flight no food places were open. Stores were closed for even water. I will definitely rethink my carryon accessories in the future to prepare for airport Armageddon. When I finally boarded my Delta flight Santa had delivered goodies to all their passengers. Mini stockings full of candy. What a treat and what amazing service. Southwest didn’t even give a bottle a water or blanket to those stranded. What an irony.

Signing off a little sleep deprived. A little annoyed. Most definitely disappointed in Southwest Airlines customer service. 4 hours to wait by phone. An app that crashed. Terminals frozen at the airport. Disconnects on phone and so on. Delta will get my money in the future even if it’s more expensive. Delta even gave out mini stocking goody bags to its passengers on my rebooked flight. So crazy.

I will pick up this with the how to get my bags from Southwest in the coming days.