Traveling Southwest: Part One

Monday, December 21, 2015
Okay, I'm not entirely sure that the airline is to blame for our traveling fiascos to New York.. but they definitely won't be receiving future business from me, that's for sure. Let's start out with the entire morning. I woke up a little after 2am to shower before six hours of flying. I woke Justin up at 3am, and we woke Ava up when it was time to get her dressed and ready. Everything was going smoothly, as we packed our bags entirely the night before, printed out boarding passes, and stocked up on some of the foods that we could take with us during our travels. Our ride arrived around 4am, and it was less than an hour drive to the airport. Once we arrived at the airport, we noticed how long the lines were for checking luggage for Southwest. We opted to go inside as the line was moving quite faster, and we had two bags that needed to be checked. Our flight was due to take off at 625 am, and boarding began at 555am, so I thought we had plenty of time to get through everything that needed to be done... which we did. After checking our bags we headed over to the TSA lines. Justin had this preconceived notion we could all go through the pre-approval TSA line... which actually wasn't true, and apparently had to be done when we were purchasing the tickets. This meant we had to go to the overly crowded TSA lines that literally wrapped around the entire section of this airport.

This is when Justin started to panic. He thought for sure we weren't going to make our flight. We stood in line and again experienced the fast paced ease that had been the pattern for our morning in the airport. We got through TSA in no time, and aside from taking off my shoes and having a rep stick some odd stick in Ava's chocolate moo moo (testing for the bad chemicals, potentially?), it wasn't too bad. Mothers and children are allowed to go through the less invasive metal detector, while Justin had to go through this extremely large portal looking detector. After we got our things from the TSA belt, we dashed off to our boarding gate. We had a few minutes to spare before 555am hit, and even though I had to use the restroom, I opted to wait until we boarded on the plane.

We sat for about 10 minutes or so before the flight attendant started boarding the "A" crew. After the A's, pre-boarding passes, and disabled passengers boarded... things came to a halt. I want to say 30 minutes passed before someone told us that there was a small cut of some kind down below where our luggage was stored. They contacted maintenance to have someone come out to fix the minor issue. Even though the issue hadn't been fixed, they allowed the remaining passengers to board the plane. The next group called was family boarding and we were the first family to have our tickets scanned from that group. Once we were all seated the Captain explained the minor issue in a little more detail and assured us they were working hard to get the problem fixed. 20 minutes later a flight attendant announces that we'd be taking off no later than 710am (almost an hour behind schedule at this point), as the problem was fixed and we were preparing for take off.

About 15 minutes later, The captain tells us that the problem wasn't fixed and that Southwest has decided to have their own contractors come down all the way from Boeing (near Seattle), to have the problem fixed entirely. This meant all the passengers that had boarded had to get off the plane...To say we were irritated is an understatement. They left us with no updates, no ETA's, and no alternate travel options. I called Southwest on my cell during our wait, and they were pretty much no help at all. I was so infuriated. Our tickets were still showing that they'd been scanned and that the plane was still scheduled to take off at 710am, which was definitely not the case at 8 in the morning. I can't tell you how many reps on the phone I talked to, how many reps at the Southwest gate that I was brash with... i was entirely stressed, especially with a two year old that had been up since 3 in the morning. They had no updates as to when the flight was actually going to leave and they gave little help with assisting those they could with getting them an alternative connective flight.

♥- Leilani

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