Rules of Modern Air Travel
In the face of a 30 customer revolt, Southwest finally stepped up and took notice of our plight. The got us rooms for the night in St. Louis and flights for the next day. We stayed in a lovely Renissance Hotel, with two adjoining room, so everyone was comfortable for the night, though we did not have much time for enjoying the large HD TV. With five in the family, it was nice to have two showers and we got anout 6 hours sleep before having to get rolling back to the airport.
Our transport driver was as cheerful and friendly as the one from the night before and baggage check-in went remarkably smooth. We advanced to the TSA security line and waited a while, before being told that we were tagged for an enhanced security search, due to our tickets having so many changes and modifications to our flight status. The TSA agents seemed apologetic as they pulled us aside, hand searched our carry-on's, did pat-down searches of my family of five and re-exrayed some of our carry-on stuff.
We had been punished again for problems caused by the weather and Southwest indifference, but by now we were expecting such things and had left an extra two hours in our schedule. After enjoying the hospitality of the TSA we moved on to get a bit of breakfast at an excellent Bagel shop, one of the highlights of our St. Louis stay, then on to the gate and waiting.
The delays in flight time began soon after. First 30 minutes, then an hour. I went up to the gate counter and asked about a direct flight to Houston that was already on the board. The Southwest attendant told me she was very busy, but would check for me when she could. With no line behind me I stood at the counter waiting, but the attendant asked me to take a seat and she would page me. "Would you like my name" I offered and she said that would not be nessesary. I asked how she would know my present flight arrangements, or be able to page me without my name and she just told me forcefully to sit down.
This was the low-point of my Southwest experience. Up to this point I had been told various stories from each Southwest employee I encountered. Nobody seemed interested in my families haven fallen through the cracks. Every Southwest employeejust wanted us to move on and not bother them. Most could have cared less about us. They had our money and that was that. Providing service was not a primary concern for Southwest in our case.
As we sat and waited, our four hour layover in Oklahoma City dwindling down to about an hour, we tried to stay hopeful.
to be continued...