Southwest flight issue

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Jan 6, 2019
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#41
I was recently removed from a flight on SWA, my airline of choice when traveling on business. I like the flexibility of changing flights, and low fees for checked bags; I don't like the lack of direct flights, and the line of travelers in wheelchairs waiting to board early- many of whom bolt off the plane after landing without wheelchairs.
I ask an attendant for help with finding overheard bin space- I waved and motioned for her help. She mockingly waved back wildly with a big grin, as if I was waving to her to say hello ( some of the SWA attendants are funny, some are not). I let her know I was asking for assistance. I was standing in front of her going to my seat. She said to her fellow attendant " she's one of those". One of what? Could have been an antisemitic comment...I heard the comment about me and smirked. She did not like that. Apparently that's a not allowed. She exclaimed " I saw that". I shrugged- another thing that apparently is off limits. She grabbed her phone and sent a message that I was to be removed from the flight. I was scared, and I exclaimed: I'm going to call the police. She confronted me on that and I said: I really don't know what to do, but I'm not calling the police. I spoke with another attendant, and shared that I think I'm "in trouble" with the other attendant. I told her I was 100 lbs., 65 years old, and just want to sit in my middle aisle seat, do my crossword, and go home after a tiring business trip. She ignored me- apparently she was "in on the call" and I was doomed!
I sat down in my middle seat- my aisle seat neighbor insisted on keeping the armrest up- what's the protocol on that? A woman came up to me and asked me to get out of my seat. I was shocked and scared. I said I didn't want to leave my seat, but preferred to talk to her surrounded by other people. after asking me to get up a few times, I called my son to ask his advice. The woman then identified herself as a manager ( I thought it was the attendant who made the comment). She told me I was not a good fit for the flight, and I'd have to exit. I tried to find out what she intended to do with me, and she told me she didn't know until she could go to a computer and check flights.
It was 3pm in Chicago Midway, and I wanted to go home. Within a few minutes I agreed to get off the plane; otherwise she said all the other passengers would have to exit. (All because a 100 lb, 65 year old woman smirked and shrugged!)
One I was back at Gate 16 in Midway, another manager spoke with me who I found to me more sympathetic. I was delayed in Midway for 4 hours, and put on a full flight-
was someone else bumped off to make room for me? I took about 4 opportunities to speak with the manager who removed me; I kept thinking of points I wanted to make and questions and concerns to address. One the last conversation with her, she claimed she wanted to speak with me and the attendant on the plane- that was NEVER said to me or made clear in any way. I think she was trying to cover her actions.
I posted some of these things on FB- I got some pretty weak responses that didn't address the issue at hand: the attendant is in the service industry, she was there to help, and not make snide comments about passengers.
I finally got a phone call after writing to the CEO of SWA. The tone was a bit of improvement over the email responses- at least it was more personal.
I didn't ask anyone to lift my bag. It was a full flight, I was at the back of the plane. Bin space was limited with lots of personal items taking up space that the crew was asking to keep for roller bags. The crew was announcing to remove smaller personal items above and put under the seat. There was a Nordstrom's shopping that easily could go under the seat. I was asking to move it to make room for my roller bag. I didn't want to handle anyone's personal stuff. 2 attendants were standing at the back. I motioned for help in moving the bag. The attendant came and helped me. The other one waved like she was funny.
 

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
1,014
1,002
113
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St Louis
#42
. I'd like an apology in writing from the attendant and an explanation as to what "she's one of those" means. I'd like a refund of $113 for the flight.
I do not think you are going to a written apology from the attendant and I don’t think you will get a refund of your flight since they did transport you from point A to point B.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,197
1,990
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#43
I didn't ask anyone to lift my bag. It was a full flight, I was at the back of the plane. Bin space was limited with lots of personal items taking up space that the crew was asking to keep for roller bags. The crew was announcing to remove smaller personal items above and put under the seat. There was a Nordstrom's shopping that easily could go under the seat. I was asking to move it to make room for my roller bag. I didn't want to handle anyone's personal stuff. 2 attendants were standing at the back. I motioned for help in moving the bag. The attendant came and helped me. The other one waved like she was funny.
I did understand your situation in your original post....that you were asking for assistance in finding space in the overhead. Here is the thing, the flight attendants do not usually make people move their bags from overhead bins. They can make the request but if the other passengers are too selfish to comply with the request, its a moot point. In one of my posts on this thread I shared what happened to me on my last flight. Similar issue as you except I did not have a roller bag but I was on a regional jet where only one side has bins large enough for most luggage. The other side is about as wide as a laptop. I asked the gentlemen that owned a small backpack if I could swap it to the smaller bin and they said no. End of story. My suggestion would be to ask the passengers around you if you could move their smaller bag to under YOUR seat to accommodate your roller bag. Due to shrinking seat size, most people do not want to give up the space underneath the seat in front of them to make other's lives easier. I know, selfish!
 
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Mar 23, 2015
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#44
As a guy- it’s annoying to be the one who gets eyed to help. I’m a gentleman and always help but I always ask myself why anyone expects someone else to do this for them. And it isn’t only women- men do it too.
I will say that I never pack a bag, I can't comfortably lift; however, I am short. On some aircraft, no matter how light my bag is, I can't reach and get it in there unless I try to do a jump shot. So, usually some kind man who's taller than I am (not a high bar) will offer to put it in for me. I never EXPECT anyone to help me though, and 99% of the time, all I have is a laptop bag which I put under my seat anyway.
 
Likes: jsn55 and ADM
Feb 21, 2018
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#45
I didn't ask anyone to lift my bag. It was a full flight, I was at the back of the plane. Bin space was limited with lots of personal items taking up space that the crew was asking to keep for roller bags. The crew was announcing to remove smaller personal items above and put under the seat. There was a Nordstrom's shopping that easily could go under the seat. I was asking to move it to make room for my roller bag. I didn't want to handle anyone's personal stuff. 2 attendants were standing at the back. I motioned for help in moving the bag. The attendant came and helped me. The other one waved like she was funny.
Here's the thing though...each individual is permitted one personal item and one carry-on. It's possible that the Nordstrom shopping bag WAS the owner's carry-on, and that their personal item was their purse. I'm NEVER putting my purse in the overhead bin, that's always the bag that goes under the seat. That means the Nordstrom bag has no place to go but the bin.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
15,255
14,020
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#46
The talk of the bags went way off topic but you didn’t indicate what you asked the FA to do. In the future, giving details will avoid this happening.

The FAs still are still not allowed to move the bags in the overhead compartments. They aren’t supposed to touch them period. If some do, they are doing more than required. But that doesn’t mean they needed to treat you like they did.

If you haven’t already, use our company contacts to escalate.
 
Oct 13, 2015
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#47
There was a Nordstrom's shopping that easily could go under the seat. I was asking to move it to make room for my roller bag.
I just want to point out that maybe the owner of the Nordstrom bag already had something under the seat, probably her purse or backpack. If so, she's taking up less than her "allotted" overhead bin space.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Apr 10, 2017
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#48
Except for the fact that many people (including myself) travel with things that should NEVER be put into a checked bag. These forums are full of problems with people who checked irreplaceable items in checked bags only to have them disappear or suffer damage. There is a recent post from an individual who put all of her professional documents into a checked bag which disappeared.

Documents, electronics, cameras, medications, jewelry, among others, should never be checked, free baggage allowance or not.

Like Barry, I can check 2X70 lbs for free but this has no impact on my decision to check certain item.
After a bad experience with Air France losing BOTH of our checked bags my husband and I always make sure to have plenty of clothing in carry ons. They are always the size that fits the airline's guidelines (the one they never follow....but I digress). My husband is a scuba diver and he would never trust his dive computer or his prescription dive masks in a checked bag. If I could be assured that my luggage would arrive on time with nothing damaged or missing I would happily never carry anything other than my purse and eReader onto a plane.
 
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