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Friday, July 22, 2011

Post # 194 - Why I've Switched From Delta to Southwest

I've been disapppointed with Delta of late, and thought I should let them know.  This was sent on 3/15/2011.

Dear Delta,

A few months back, my wife and I were planning a trip to visit my parents in Phoenix, AZ.  As a lifelong NWA and Delta loyalist, I fought hard to book NWA.  My wife cited my meager salary as a muffler sales associate, and that every dime counts.  When we checked your fares against your competition, they were competitive with the other airlines.  On the surface.

On the surface.

With your new baggage fees, we had to factor in at least $100 extra for four bags (one per family member).  With your cancellation and transfer fees, we needed to be very sure of our travel plans (no last minute trip changes allowable due to my job, else we pay $150 per ticket in change fees).

I knew all of this going in, and having recently exhausted my miles on a Disney trip for the family, my mother offered to transfer 30,000 miles to cover one of the $267 tickets.  As my caring mother, a mother of four, processed the paperwork on your website, she was prompted to pay a transfer fee of $306.  I’m not exactly sure, nor do I care how you arrived at this number, but it works out to roughly a penny a mile.

$306 to process a transfer of miles to cover a $267 ticket.  Very cute.  Miles are transferable, my ass.

We felt rejected, so we booked our flights on Southwest.  Baggage fees?  Nope.  Transfer fees?  Nope.  Cancellation fees?  Nope.

Maybe SWA went through all of the same downsizing, pay and benefit reductions that Delta and NWA have previously endured.  I don’t really know.  All I know is, the crew on both of our flights were chipper, cheerful, and a tad bit sassy.  We had a great time—probably the most relaxed flights I’ve ever been on.

The flight attendants came by with snacks.  “This is buffet style. Take as many as you want.”  I took two snacks and pulled out $10 like I’m accustomed to paying on Delta.  He told me to put it away.

Snack fees?  Nope.

Then, after taking my drink order, he came out with beverages on a tray.  No drink cart to whack my elbow or make bathroom access impossible.

Annoying beverage cart?  Nope.

I would like to thank you for trying to double charge my mother for her hard earned miles.  I would also like to thank you for nickel and diming me for these past several years, charging extra for window and isle seats (so I can get whacked by the beverage cart).

Maybe I ate $1.50 worth of snacks.  Southwest realizes that they’re creating loyalty.  Maybe I drank $1.00 worth of carbonated beverages (they came around at least twice on a four hour flight).  It felt like I was a guest, and not a just a napping wallet held captive.

I solemnly promise, whenever possible, I’m going to fly Southwest from now on.  And I’m telling everybody.  I’m sorry—I’m fed up.  Take a lesson from Southwest.

Your Former Loyal Customer,

Jerry Herman
cc: Southwest
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2011 -0500

Dear Jerry

RE: Case Number 2901670

Thank you for contacting Delta Air Lines. On behalf of Delta Air Lines,
I sincerely apologize for our fare rule policy and the lack of customer
service provided to you.

Our goal is to surpass your expectations in each and every way. We
expect our employees to provide helpful, courteous service at all times.
When we fail to do so, we will work even harder to make it right for
you. We also recognize that quality customer service is essential to
the continued success of our company. I recognize your frustration when
you wanted to visit your parents and your mother wanted to help you with
her miles but was unable to do so because of the fares prices. I regret
your disappointment with our on board services. Your feedback is
important to us, and I have shared your comments with the responsible
leadership team.

Mr. Herman, I want to thank you, again, for writing. As a valued
SkyMiles member, we appreciate your interest in our company.


Sylvia M. Thomas
Coordinator, Customer Care
Delta Air Lines/KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Subject: FW: CC-Customer Care-Complaint-Other (KMM7089671V89244L0KM)
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2011 23:18:55 -0400


Thanks for the response. 

Just to clarify, the issue wasn't fare prices. 

It was:
1) Charging my mom a penny per mile to transfer miles that she earned through her loyalty to Delta, and that cost exceeding the price of the ticket she was trying to purchase. 

2) All the naggy fees, which I guess translates into price, so maybe you're right.


Below is the response from Southwest when I cc'ed them:Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 20:44:39 -0500
Subject: Southwest Airlines Response to Your Inquiry (SR #2379344835)

Dear Jerry,

Thank you so much for your e-mail. We always enjoy hearing from our Friends, and your kind comments are truly appreciated.

We pride ourselves as being the "airline that LUV built," and we are continually trying to find new ways to express that LUV to our Customers. We simply try to offer our valued Customers what they want the most--safe, friendly, efficient service, on frequent,
ontime flights, at an affordable price to the best destinations! We take a great deal of pride in the service we offer, and we feel that there is no carrier better than Southwest in terms of service with a personal and caring touch.

You are very special to all of us here at Southwest, and we look forward to seeing you onboard real soon.

Susan, Southwest Airlines
The file reference number for your e-mail is 2379344835.

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1 comment:

  1. Being married to a SWA pilot, I can tell you they're just as good to work for as they are to fly with. Best job my husband has ever had. Glad you had a good experience!