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Southwest flight cancelled but no room to stay?

Southwest flight cancelled but no room to stay?

Old Aug 20, 19, 8:51 pm
  #1  
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Southwest flight cancelled but no room to stay?

I had my 4pm flight to Chicago canceled today. Got a text saying canceled . Got the text after I was checking out of my hotel. After an hour on hold I got an agent on phone and the reason she mentioned was bad weather in Chicago today. I had to rebook for tomorrow and that means I had to find a hotel stay on my own . Luckily I was able to find an award stay at a holiday inn at LGA. I was staying in Long Island. I called chase southwest card customer care. The card rep told me there is no trip delay protection on this card. I now think maybe mine was the platinum version? Southwest told me it is due to weather and therefore no accommodation will be given for tonight. Is that true?
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Old Aug 20, 19, 9:07 pm
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true, no Southwest provided hotel for weather issues (especially LGA/EWR which have almost daily summer afternoon weather/storm ATC routing issues).

I've involuntarily spent two nights there last month, but got to try out the fantastic TWA hotel on Chase Sapphire Reserve's dime
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Old Aug 20, 19, 10:53 pm
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Southwest will only provide a room if overnight is due to mechanical, not weather (or ATC flow restrictions or myriad of other reasons beyond their control)...and even then it is rarely offered...you need to ask.

There is a bit of a game to be played if you know the system and have a cooperative gate agent. I was once surely stranded in the middle of nowhere due to weather on my original flight...working with GA she rebooked me on a new flight through PHX but connection was delayed due to mechanical and I would most certainly still miss that new connection home...but was then able to get a room in PHX when I arrived by making that change since the reason I could not get home was now mechanical and not weather!
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Last edited by PAX62; Aug 20, 19 at 10:59 pm
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Old Aug 21, 19, 8:41 am
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Welcome to the reality that is Southwest. ULCC that does the bare minimum. Always book a Southwest flight with a card that offers travel protections in the case of weather delays. I would think the Southwest cards do have that.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 8:54 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by AlertPenguin View Post
Welcome to the reality that is Southwest. ULCC that does the bare minimum. Always book a Southwest flight with a card that offers travel protections in the case of weather delays. I would think the Southwest cards do have that.
This isn't a WN-only policy. It's standard for U.S. carriers, and there is no passenger bill of rights (or similar) that compels the airlines to do anything more. When it gets drizzly at LGA, flights get canceled, and the AA, UA, and DL pax are paying for their own hotels too.

I had a WN flight out of LGA cancel last month and it would have been 2 days to get rebooked. Fortunately, UA still had a flight that night out of EWR and I had time to jump in a Lyft across town to make it. I'm no fan of UA, but EWR does seem to operate better during light rain that does not require an umbrella.

The only thing I don't understand is the hour-on-the-phone bit. WN's app has handled rebookings pretty seamlessly for me in the past 1-2 years. I think the last phone call I made was about 3 years ago (?).
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Old Aug 21, 19, 8:58 am
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The LCC-issue that WN does have is no agreements, so any delay or cancellation causes you to be limited in rerouting options.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
When it gets drizzly at LGA, flights get canceled, and the AA, UA, and DL pax are paying for their own hotels too.
Drizzly runways at MDW may be a factor. Are ops more prone to disruption than ORD given less margin for error?
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Old Aug 21, 19, 9:15 am
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
This isn't a WN-only policy. It's standard for U.S. carriers, and there is no passenger bill of rights (or similar) that compels the airlines to do anything more. When it gets drizzly at LGA, flights get canceled, and the AA, UA, and DL pax are paying for their own hotels too.

I had a WN flight out of LGA cancel last month and it would have been 2 days to get rebooked. Fortunately, UA still had a flight that night out of EWR and I had time to jump in a Lyft across town to make it. I'm no fan of UA, but EWR does seem to operate better during light rain that does not require an umbrella.

The only thing I don't understand is the hour-on-the-phone bit. WN's app has handled rebookings pretty seamlessly for me in the past 1-2 years. I think the last phone call I made was about 3 years ago (?).
Yeah, the app will rebook you to the next day, or in my case, 2 days later.

No standby opportunities. No rerouting on other airlines, no explanations, no compensation, just a text. I got 4 in one day. All because of the Southwest mechanics union melt down in the spring.

But yeah, the app was pretty good about seamlessly pushing my booking further out 4 times.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 9:57 am
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
Drizzly runways at MDW may be a factor. Are ops more prone to disruption than ORD given less margin for error?
My personal experience over the years has been that Midway seems to operate fine during a modest degree of summer weather. I used to work in Chicago and use both airports fairly often, and I don't remember too many cases where one was operating normally and the other was a total sh**show. Nothing like LGA.

Of course Chicago blizzards will mess both of them up pretty bad.

Originally Posted by xooz View Post
The LCC-issue that WN does have is no agreements, so any delay or cancellation causes you to be limited in rerouting options.
This would be a more salient point if it were a one-off MX cancellation.

During WX in New York or Chicago, nobody's getting rerouted onto other carriers (except maybe a few top-tier status members). When AA and DL start canceling flights, their own schedules are booked solid for 2 days and they aren't pushing large numbers of pax back and forth to each other. I've *occasionally* gotten a rebooking from AA to UA during WX, but it was back in the days of an airport Platinum Service Center. I don't know if a GA would have done it.

Agree that this is a WN limitation if you're at a thinly-served outstation and they cancel one of their few frequencies due to something other than weather. Then you're either waiting for the next WN plane to show up or you're rebooking yourself. (Still don't need a 1-hour phone call to do either of these things.) Whether a legacy carrier would be better or worse than WN depends largely on your status and, to some extent, where you're flying.

Last edited by pinniped; Aug 21, 19 at 10:07 am
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Old Aug 21, 19, 10:03 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by AlertPenguin View Post
Welcome to the reality that is Southwest. ULCC that does the bare minimum. Always book a Southwest flight with a card that offers travel protections in the case of weather delays. I would think the Southwest cards do have that.
They do not, and in any event no airline provides hotel rooms in the event of weather or ATC delays.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by AlertPenguin View Post
Welcome to the reality that is Southwest. ULCC that does the bare minimum.
WN was never a ULCC. G4, F9, and NK are ULCCs.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
They do not, and in any event no airline provides hotel rooms in the event of weather or ATC delays.
No US airline ...... 🙄
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Old Aug 21, 19, 12:29 pm
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
They do not, and in any event no airline provides hotel rooms in the event of weather or ATC delays.
This is not quite the case. All three legacies do provide hotels (or reimburse a reasonable amount), to their top-tier elites for overnight delays outside their control. This is a customer service gesture and not a contractual obligation. WN does not provide rooms.

The larger problem is the lack of interline agreements. While it is true that in massive IRROPS, nobody is going anywhere, the fact remains that with WN you really are stuck.

My strong suggestion that people who fly regularly on their own nickel either use a card which provides sufficient trip interruption insurance or purchase that coverage. It is generally cheapish and well worth if for regular travelers who are not going to be reimbursed. in massive IRROPS, getting stuck somewhere for 2-3 days with a couple of kids can start running into real money.

In any event, don't wait until you run into a situation such as this to figure out the plan.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This is a customer service gesture and not a contractual obligation..
No doubt that there are exceptions and plenty of reasons that airline CAN and do provide a room...but the general rule of thumb for average passenger is that you can expect to be SOL if your delay is due to weather.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 2:57 pm
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So the OP mentioned card used to book the trip was a Chase Southwest card - that credit card does not have weather related travel protection? If not, what are some of the top ones that do?

TIA!
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