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Old 05-22-2010, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
8,255 posts, read 11,121,603 times
Reputation: 12572

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This from Bloomberg Business Week May 3-"The US Dept of Transportation on April 27 ordered SWA to pay a $200,000 fine for failing to comply with Federal rules for bumping passengers from flights. The agency claims the carrier did not give involuntarily bumped passengers written notice or the proper amount of compensation in a timely fashion. Southwest bumped 13,113 passengers last year, more than any other US airline."
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:27 PM
 
1,964 posts, read 4,602,771 times
Reputation: 1622
I'm not surprised, SWA's flights are always crowded & cramped. Luckily i only use them for shorter flights here in the Western US. My friend's retired parents always volunteer to get bumped on SWA so they can get the vouchers
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:28 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,598 posts, read 39,974,527 times
Reputation: 23731
After traveling last week on the "Main Carriers", I'll stick w/ SWA for USA flights. I used to keep executive travel status on several carriers, but when traveling 'Cattle Car' class, I think it is beneficial to use SWA and get the show on the road. (get loaded FAST on get going)

The additional hassle of everyone bringing 'bunches-of-carry-on' + finding their specific seats is REALLY slow and cumbersome.

I always take a bump. The best was when traveling coast to coast for a 6 wk field trip, we got bumped on 3 flights and only arrived 3 hrs late, but with $1500 each in travel credits + free meals that day. Because we were late the rental car co. was forced to give us a free upgrade to a minivan. That was very handy for a 6 wk camping trip.

We traveled as a family for nearly 10 yrs on those travel credits + future bumps. When we moved overseas, we gave away about 20 free trips that were gonna expire. (to funeral homes, medical needs, and soldiers.)
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:23 PM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,995,588 times
Reputation: 20076
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
After traveling last week on the "Main Carriers", I'll stick w/ SWA for USA flights. I used to keep executive travel status on several carriers, but when traveling 'Cattle Car' class, I think it is beneficial to use SWA and get the show on the road. (get loaded FAST on get going)

The additional hassle of everyone bringing 'bunches-of-carry-on' + finding their specific seats is REALLY slow and cumbersome.


As often as I travel, I have not been able to get bumped on Southwest. While generally, Southwest offers less in compensation, many have told me that the vouchers are very easy to use.

Do note that it can be very difficult to use travel vouchers you earn for bumps. I remember my last experience with Continental. I asked the CSR for a round trip from Cleveland to "any place west of the Mississippi" and the
only destination available was Houston. Worked out to be a life-changing weekend trip BUT the hassle factor was there.
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:15 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,598 posts, read 39,974,527 times
Reputation: 23731
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
As often as I travel, I have not been able to get bumped on Southwest. While generally, Southwest offers less in compensation, many have told me that the vouchers are very easy to use.

...
SWA is a dream to use vouchers, and also to cancel flights for full credit. You just use your locator number to book the next trip (within 1 yr from purchase, and to any destination, you get a full value credit for previous trip booked, but not flown).

I have had to do that several times, and never a problem. I've done their 'Award' Travel and found it to be very ez and available routing.

To get higher probability of bump, I usually try to book Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays (if I can get a decent rate). Folks flying those days usually don't have time to take a bump, or little incentive to do so.
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:08 AM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,995,588 times
Reputation: 20076
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
SWA is a dream to use vouchers, and also to cancel flights for full credit. You just use your locator number to book the next trip (within 1 yr from purchase, and to any destination, you get a full value credit for previous trip booked, but not flown).
The only problem with the "easy to cancel" approach is that I occasionally book a lot of trips that I would like to take and never make it. Fortunately, I have been able to use up the credits on business flights.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:19 AM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,417,055 times
Reputation: 4849
I travel very frequently and have never been bumped in my life! I use SW a fair amount for US flights and love them. I also have only once heard airline agents make an announcement asking people to voluntarily be bumped. So to me, the issue of bumping doesn't exist. For someone that travels as much as I do, you would think it would be a normal occurrence but I have yet to experience it. Don't let this sway you from SW, it's not as bad as it seems.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:59 AM
 
183 posts, read 312,889 times
Reputation: 176
I fly SWA all the time for work and pleasure. I have never been bumped. I have seen oversold flights and the compensation is usually quite fair, especially considering they can usually get you on another flight within a couple of hours. Their free flights are fantastic and easy to get (8 round trips). I can fly 8 round trips between Reno and Las Vegas and then use the voucher to get back east for free. Fantastic!!

The reason that Southwest has so many bumps is that they carry so many passengers on planes that are more often than not full. I know a lot of people bash SWA fro various reasons, but it is what it is and they get you there cheap and efficiently. they are my number one airline. I have been on Delta (pretty good) and American (horrible) in the last year, but the service and price just don't compare.

Honestly, I can't wait till I am retired and can take advantage of the oversold situations.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:32 PM
 
11,946 posts, read 21,533,730 times
Reputation: 11721
SWA's load factor is actually one of the lowest IIRC, at around 70%.
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:41 AM
 
1,188 posts, read 2,047,713 times
Reputation: 1881
WOW! I'm shocked at the stats you quote. I fly SWA more than any other flight and have NEVER experienced being bumped or rarely heard an announcement for requests for bumps at the gate. Must be from certain area(s) possibly that this is more common? I love SWA. I will fly them before I fly ANYONE else.
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