Beginning on Wednesday, July 20, Southwest Airlines experienced major difficulties with their flights due to a server issue. For four consecutive days, many customers’ flights were cancelled or delayed (there were 2,300 cancellations and over 1,000 delays, according to USA Today). And senior Adam Dean was one of these customers.
Q: Where were you going?
A: (From Sacramento to John Wayne Airport in) Orange County.
Q: Were you surprised by the delays?
A: I had expected some delays, because on Wednesday night I heard that they (Southwest) were having a server issue. And on Thursday (July 21), the day of my flight, I learned that my flight was cancelled right as I was about to leave for the airport.
So I rescheduled my flight to Friday at 3 p.m. I was pretty sure that this flight wouldn’t be cancelled, although I did have a feeling that it would be delayed.
Going into the airport on Friday, I already knew that my flight was an hour delayed, but when I got there, the flight kept getting pushed further and further back. It wasn’t until 5 p.m. that I learned the flight was cancelled.
The odd thing was that (my plane) was at the gate, but flight attendants had been redirected to another flight, so there were none on what was supposed to be my flight to Orange County.
Q: What did Southwest do to help you?
A: The representative tried his best to get me down (there), but there was nothing he could do. I was put on standby for two flights that left at 9 p.m. to Orange County. Southwest ended up cancelling both of (those) flights altogether.
Q: Were you reimbursed for your ticket?
A: I was allowed to reschedule my flight within the next 14 days with no charge. At the airport I was told I was going to receive a $200 voucher in the mail, but when I called them later they said I would receive 50 percent (off) my next flight. So, as of now, I’m unsure of my compensation.
Q: Wow! That sounds crazy. Do you know anyone else who experienced the same troubles?
A: Yes, my friend (former SCDS student Catherine Ryan). She was trying to fly from Phoenix to Sacramento, but she was told by Southwest that she (would have to) drive to Tucson’s airport and get the flight.
So Ryan’s family rented a car and made the two-hour trip to Tucson. They ended up not getting a flight and were told by Southwest that if they drove back to Phoenix, they could catch a flight to Sacramento.
On the drive back to Phoenix, they found out that their flight was cancelled, so they had to spend an extra night in Phoenix before they could get a flight home.
Q: What’s your opinion on Southwest now?
A: Despite the troubles I still like them because of their low airfare and complimentary peanuts and drinks on the flight.
Q: Do you think you’ll ever make it to Orange County?
A: I’m leaving on Tuesday, July 26. I read online that Southwest’s flight schedule is back to normal, so hopefully I won’t have any issues this time. (Note: Dean did indeed get to his destination on July 26.)
—By Katia Dahmani