Southwest Airlines: I wish I could quit you
Anyway, I redeemed a Southwest reward for my ticket and it's one of the "new kinds" that adheres to a limited seating policy. Naturally, the return flights available weren't going to work with my schedule, so I called to see if there was any way around the rule. There wasn't. I either had to leave early Sunday (pointless) or stay another night (perfectly fine with me!).
And just as I started thinking: "Wait, there's never anything wrong with SWA, now they go and screw me on seating?! Me! A REWARD member, and thus a good, loyal customer. I have BLOGGED ABOUT THE AIRLINE! This can't happen...." the nice customer service man said something along the lines of: "You know, this rule is bad. We have a lot of access to our senior management and we argued this rule forever...." he was sincere and kept going.
"This is a great company - I love working here, but this issue has been debated. It even messes up the employees' flight perks." And that was nice...whatever...he was being honest and exposing much more than other airline customer service operators would even think to expose...then he said something that reminded me of why I love Southwest.
"This is no good. I'm sorry. I can't do anything for you, but I think you should just stay one more night and have fun after your meetings." (My big story was that I was presenting at a conference all day Sunday and couldn't head out until late - so I lied). And that's all I needed. The rule wasn't his fault. He couldn't do anything, but in the process he made sure I knew two things:
1) The rub behind the rule, i.e. I'm not alone in my frustration and SWA is discussing it.
2) He cared when he didn't have to.
Done. I'm happy. Extra time in Chicago, I'm back in time for work Monday, and I printed my ticket confirmation with the same admiration for the Southwest brand as when I logged on to reserve my tickets.