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Flight delay, misconnect, denied boarding, unavailable coterminal...

Flight delay, misconnect, denied boarding, unavailable coterminal...

Old Jul 29, 2021, 11:26 am
  #1  
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Flight delay, misconnect, denied boarding, unavailable coterminal...

So, we're supposed to fly to Bozeman tonight, FLL-DEN-BZN. Saw online that the FLL-DEN leg is expected to be delayed enough for us to miss the connecting leg. Chat not currently available through the app, so I called in. Even with A-List, waited almost an hour.

Got Edward, who looked into it. He said the delay is due to unscheduled required maintenance on that plane. He said that if we are expected to misconnect, they will not let us board the first leg. Must be a new policy, I've overnighted halfway to my final destination dozens of times on Southwest travels. All good, there's an almost identical (currently not delayed) flight out of Miami that is less convenient but that'll work just fine.

Except, he says, Miami isn't a coterminal for Fort Lauderdale. That's strange, it was when we booked. He says that's just for irrops, this is business as usual and we're up a creek. I am pretty torqued - he says they're not going to let us get at least to Denver if we go to FLL, and that we aren't allowed to switch to the Miami flight unless we pay full freight. He says he's not going to be able to resolve this for me, and directs me to customer relations, where I'm back on hold.

This is just somehow a miscommunication, right? Customer relations is going to answer soon and offer up something better than, 'Go to the original airport for your delayed flight and hope you can convince them to let you board against policy?'

​​​​​
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Old Jul 29, 2021, 11:48 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Blue Ridge, GA
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"Unscheduled required maintenance" is the new parrot sketch.

Don't rely on a nebby autocrat. Your lose-lose situation requires a higher authority.
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Old Jul 29, 2021, 12:22 pm
  #3  
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Heh, I'm still on hold with CR, but CR through Twitter says they can't do anything day-of-travel, they're only for after travel help. I'm in pretty complete shock that there's such an easy solution they they refuse to entertain. Twitter said that only an FLL agent can access my reservation, so if we want that change, we have to go there early (not possible) and beg them to make a change - can't be a MIA agent. They weren't able to tell me what the standard policy is re: denied boarding or IRROPs/regular ops/whatever coterminal changes. Absolutely ridiculous. SWAVictor , could you kindly confirm that this is all how it's supposed to work? If we want a decent chance at getting there tonight, we're supposed to change to the Miami flight on our own dime at last minute prices?

Edit: hubs nixed the option of paying for the Miami flight out of pocket. Says he doesn't want to risk THAT one being delayed having paid handsomely for the change. Still on hold, coming up on two hours. No call back option on CR. I have another phone appointment in twenty minutes. I know things are difficult everywhere right now, but I remain shocked that this is what an A-List business traveler would be put through.

Last edited by synergistic; Jul 29, 2021 at 1:01 pm
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Old Jul 29, 2021, 5:30 pm
  #4  
 
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In 2019 I was able to call in and switch Co-terminal LAS-SFO to LAS-SJC, it was a 2 hour delay.

And at the DEN (2 weeks ago, while I was standing by for an earlier flight) I overheard gate customer service agent offering co-terminal MDW/ORD next day, and even mentioned they can fly into MKE if they need to be there tonight, as the agent mentioned it was an one-hour drive and Southwest will not be reimbursing the taxi fee.

So likely this is a newbie or an unwilling agent.
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Old Jul 29, 2021, 5:48 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
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Just got 11/3 change notice. Theyre rolling through this pretty quickly. Feels like theyve been doing a week each day for the past few days.
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Old Jul 29, 2021, 6:38 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Originally Posted by synergistic
So, we're supposed to fly to Bozeman tonight, FLL-DEN-BZN. Saw online that the FLL-DEN leg is expected to be delayed enough for us to miss the connecting leg. Chat not currently available through the app, so I called in. Even with A-List, waited almost an hour.

Got Edward, who looked into it. He said the delay is due to unscheduled required maintenance on that plane. He said that if we are expected to misconnect, they will not let us board the first leg. Must be a new policy, I've overnighted halfway to my final destination dozens of times on Southwest travels. All good, there's an almost identical (currently not delayed) flight out of Miami that is less convenient but that'll work just fine.

Except, he says, Miami isn't a coterminal for Fort Lauderdale. That's strange, it was when we booked. He says that's just for irrops, this is business as usual and we're up a creek. I am pretty torqued - he says they're not going to let us get at least to Denver if we go to FLL, and that we aren't allowed to switch to the Miami flight unless we pay full freight. He says he's not going to be able to resolve this for me, and directs me to customer relations, where I'm back on hold.

This is just somehow a miscommunication, right? Customer relations is going to answer soon and offer up something better than, 'Go to the original airport for your delayed flight and hope you can convince them to let you board against policy?'

​​​​​
Fort Lauderdale is a Co Terminal to MIA just like SJC , SFO and OAK! Can you fly to Spokane or Boise and rent a car from there? I know its a 6 or 7 hour car rental ride rom there at least you can do the drive one way and have WN pick up the cost of a one way Premium SUV or Sedan with gas Car Rental Return and fly home from Bozeman? Another option is a Stretch Limo from Spokane or Boise(: . Either way WN has to get you to Bozeman .

You may look at Delta, American , Jet Blue/American , Alaska Airlines/Horizon too via Seattle or other cities even in First Class ! Just use the Credits and Vouchers for another WN Flight and see if WN can pick up the fare difference and checked bag fees. Unfortunately this is part of traveling to have alternates

If you have to overnight in Spokane or Boise then you can ask WN for a Hotel there and then start out the next day and work out something with your Hotel. Its a nice drive from Spokane on the Interstate as well as from Boise. You may be able to extend your stay in Bozeman by one more night and WN can pick up the cost of any incidentals.

Either way you tell Southwest that you are going there for a Family Event and need to be there by (Pick date). Sometimes you gotta make Lemons out of Lemonaid so why not use this to your advantage. I think one of my tips will get the OP there!

Remember if you have to fly out of FLL there is this new High Speed Train that has First Class with a Lounge with Drinks and Snacks and you get Drinks including alcohol and you can then Uber it to the Airport!

You can also use your Credit Card Trip Interruption Insurance here as well since its not weather related. Unscheduled Maintenance is the responsibility of the Airline. I've had this happen on another airline internationally and they booked me in a Premium Cabin to get me to my Family event abroad! You the OP has the upper hand here. Its just like if a Rental Car broke down and all they had were Cadillacs they have to upgrade you to it at not cost and cover any additional gas mileage costs.

If a Marriott was oversold and the only room that was available was a Ritz Carlton Suite then they would have to put you there.
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Last edited by danielonn; Jul 29, 2021 at 6:56 pm
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Old Jul 29, 2021, 7:07 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by danielonn
Fort Lauderdale is a Co Terminal to MIA just like SJC , SFO and OAK! Can you fly to Spokane and rent a car from there?

Are you 100% sure MIA/FLL are still 'normal' coterminals? I wasn't able to switch between them after a recent schedule change on another flight, and Edward was pretty convinced. Plus the CR reps at Twitter should have told me if that was inaccurate. Maybe not, though, they seemed dead set on not telling me anything useful about policies, only telling me that the only people that could make any changes at all to my reservation were FLL agents. I guess we should have had my husband leave work (ATC in Miami) early, gone to FLL to beg for the change to MIA, and then driven back to Miami in time for the 620p MIA flight? ......... Edward should have escalated it to someone that could make the switch, and Twitter CR should have told me to call CS back and ask for whatever level supervisor was required.

As for a different destination... The only connection to GEG from FLL this evening was also through Denver, and the flight to Spokane leaves the same time as the flight to Bozeman. We'd happily do it if we could, but we're still on the ground in FLL and neither is looking like a realistic option. Either would be fine with us, we're just doing a night in Glacier and were flying to Denver from Spokane Sunday morning anyhow.

The Miami flight I am convinced we should have been allowed to switch to left right on time. We're trying not to catch any staff members' eyes in case they really are supposed to deny us boarding if they know we're going to misconnect.

Edit: also, do you really think they're required to get me to Bozeman? I don't think that's the case. I thought they're just required to give me my money back if they fail.

Last edited by synergistic; Jul 29, 2021 at 7:29 pm
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Old Jul 29, 2021, 7:46 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by synergistic
Edit: also, do you really think they're required to get me to Bozeman? I don't think that's the case. I thought they're just required to give me my money back if they fail.
They're required to get you to Bozeman, but not necessarily tonight because all airline contracts of carriage say schedules are not guaranteed. Your options are to take whatever itinerary they can confirm you on or request a refund.

danielonn 's suggestions that WN will pay for a rental car and gas or pay the fare difference for another airline and baggage fees are laughable. They are sticklers that your contract with them is for travel on WN, and they won't pay for incremental or incidental expenses for another airline or form of transportation. And the reason they won't board you on a flight that you'll misconnect on is that they don't want to have to pay for a hotel room in DEN.
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Old Jul 29, 2021, 7:48 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Originally Posted by synergistic
Are you 100% sure MIA/FLL are still 'normal' coterminals? I wasn't able to switch between them after a recent schedule change on another flight, and Edward was pretty convinced. Plus the CR reps at Twitter should have told me if that was inaccurate. Maybe not, though, they seemed dead set on not telling me anything useful about policies, only telling me that the only people that could make any changes at all to my reservation were FLL agents. I guess we should have had my husband leave work (ATC in Miami) early, gone to FLL to beg for the change to MIA, and then driven back to Miami in time for the 620p MIA flight? ......... Edward should have escalated it to someone that could make the switch, and Twitter CR should have told me to call CS back and ask for whatever level supervisor was required.

As for a different destination... The only connection to GEG from FLL this evening was also through Denver, and the flight to Spokane leaves the same time as the flight to Bozeman. We'd happily do it if we could, but we're still on the ground in FLL and neither is looking like a realistic option. Either would be fine with us, we're just doing a night in Glacier and were flying to Denver from Spokane Sunday morning anyhow.

The Miami flight I am convinced we should have been allowed to switch to left right on time. We're trying not to catch any staff members' eyes in case they really are supposed to deny us boarding if they know we're going to misconnect.

Edit: also, do you really think they're required to get me to Bozeman? I don't think that's the case. I thought they're just required to give me my money back if they fail.
I am sorry you are going through this. Yes. the airline is required to get you to Bozeman not just refund you. You entered into a contract with the airline and weather aside the airline suffered a mechanical delay which is out of your control and the airline is required to get you to your final destination and pay all incidentals.

Yes, FLL is a Co Terminal with MIA especially for irregular Operations(IRROPS) just like SFO/OAK/SJC . When WN changed my flight schedule I could rebook to LAX from SFO or OAK if I wanted to or via PHX which I chose as the time was better for me. A co terminal is usually 40 or so miles away from the other cities. Other airlines like AA use FLL as Co Terminals and WN should send you there even if you had to go up to Jacksonville or Tampa you still need to be put on a flight to Bozeman. Eduard is wrong because he knew he stiffed you. A refund is basic and if you accept the refund the airline will say that the passenger accepted it. But if you refuse the refund you then can tell the airline to get you to Bozeman you can still get a refund plus vouchers for future travel. You can file a report with the Department of Transportation for this Delay . There are laws in place that the airline must give you compensation if you arrive two hours or more including hotels, meal vouchers etc.

Please push this and ask for the Station Manager. You can tell them this is a dream vacation that was cancelled last year due to COVID to Glacier National Park.

Why not try Alaska/Horizon or Delta FLL-SEA-Bozeman or FLL-SEA-GEG or Jet Blue/American to Seattle?

Even if you have to pay the cost up front and get it refunded you will make it!

Last edited by danielonn; Jul 29, 2021 at 7:56 pm
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Old Jul 29, 2021, 8:36 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by danielonn
I am sorry you are going through this. Yes. the airline is required to get you to Bozeman not just refund you. You entered into a contract with the airline and weather aside the airline suffered a mechanical delay which is out of your control and the airline is required to get you to your final destination and pay all incidentals.
No, they are not required to pay for "all incidentals". All the carriers disclaim this in their Contract of Carriage document. They aren't going to pay for your ticket if you choose to fly another carrier.
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Old Jul 29, 2021, 8:36 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York suburbs
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One-way rental cars were once the fallback option for flight delays and cancellations, but with shortages, may no longer be reliable, available, or cost-effective.
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Old Jul 29, 2021, 9:06 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by danielonn
I am sorry you are going through this. Yes. the airline is required to get you to Bozeman not just refund you. You entered into a contract with the airline and weather aside the airline suffered a mechanical delay which is out of your control and the airline is required to get you to your final destination and pay all incidentals.

Yes, FLL is a Co Terminal with MIA especially for irregular Operations(IRROPS) just like SFO/OAK/SJC . When WN changed my flight schedule I could rebook to LAX from SFO or OAK if I wanted to or via PHX which I chose as the time was better for me. A co terminal is usually 40 or so miles away from the other cities. Other airlines like AA use FLL as Co Terminals and WN should send you there even if you had to go up to Jacksonville or Tampa you still need to be put on a flight to Bozeman. Eduard is wrong because he knew he stiffed you. A refund is basic and if you accept the refund the airline will say that the passenger accepted it. But if you refuse the refund you then can tell the airline to get you to Bozeman you can still get a refund plus vouchers for future travel. You can file a report with the Department of Transportation for this Delay . There are laws in place that the airline must give you compensation if you arrive two hours or more including hotels, meal vouchers etc.

Please push this and ask for the Station Manager. You can tell them this is a dream vacation that was cancelled last year due to COVID to Glacier National Park.

Why not try Alaska/Horizon or Delta FLL-SEA-Bozeman or FLL-SEA-GEG or Jet Blue/American to Seattle?

Even if you have to pay the cost up front and get it refunded you will make it!
Just "no" to all of this poor advice. Call WN again and get someone more knowledgeable on the line to get the MIA flight. WN will not be paying your $1000 one way rental or first class on a legacy airline...
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Old Jul 29, 2021, 9:57 pm
  #13  
 
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Another vote for Southwest (or really any airline) having very limited liability for getting you to your final destination in any specific time frame. I have had plenty of trips in vain on carriers including Southwest when they just couldn't get me from point a to point b for several days and that's just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

There are specific requirements in places like Europe for delays like this but in the US nope. The whole co terminal question I am not sure about. I do feel airport agents have much more latitude sometimes to rebook on any other flight. But I suppose going all the way to FLL to get approval to leave from MIA would be tough to schedule..
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Old Jul 30, 2021, 12:37 am
  #14  
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First, the update: all's well that ends well! The inbound from BHM for our DEN-BZN flight ended up delayed even more than ours - it appears they were right behind us in the pattern as we were landing. We are now boarded and have every expectation of making it to Bozeman tonight! Further, one of our loud but (I think?) civil complaints must have earned us some sympathy somewhere - we were given some extra luv that more than makes up for my frustrations earlier.

I'm still hoping to get an official response as to how we can expect a similar situation to be handled in the future - I still believe that my experience today was 'wrong' and I'd love to know how it should have gone. At the end of the day today, though, we're happy campers!

​​​
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Old Jul 30, 2021, 12:45 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Originally Posted by danielonn
Fort Lauderdale is a Co Terminal to MIA just like SJC , SFO and OAK! Can you fly to Spokane or Boise and rent a car from there? I know its a 6 or 7 hour car rental ride rom there at least you can do the drive one way and have WN pick up the cost of a one way Premium SUV or Sedan with gas Car Rental Return and fly home from Bozeman? Another option is a Stretch Limo from Spokane or Boise(: . Either way WN has to get you to Bozeman .

You may look at Delta, American , Jet Blue/American , Alaska Airlines/Horizon too via Seattle or other cities even in First Class ! Just use the Credits and Vouchers for another WN Flight and see if WN can pick up the fare difference and checked bag fees. Unfortunately this is part of traveling to have alternates

If you have to overnight in Spokane or Boise then you can ask WN for a Hotel there and then start out the next day and work out something with your Hotel. Its a nice drive from Spokane on the Interstate as well as from Boise. You may be able to extend your stay in Bozeman by one more night and WN can pick up the cost of any incidentals.

Either way you tell Southwest that you are going there for a Family Event and need to be there by (Pick date). Sometimes you gotta make Lemons out of Lemonaid so why not use this to your advantage. I think one of my tips will get the OP there!

Remember if you have to fly out of FLL there is this new High Speed Train that has First Class with a Lounge with Drinks and Snacks and you get Drinks including alcohol and you can then Uber it to the Airport!

You can also use your Credit Card Trip Interruption Insurance here as well since its not weather related. Unscheduled Maintenance is the responsibility of the Airline. I've had this happen on another airline internationally and they booked me in a Premium Cabin to get me to my Family event abroad! You the OP has the upper hand here. Its just like if a Rental Car broke down and all they had were Cadillacs they have to upgrade you to it at not cost and cover any additional gas mileage costs.

If a Marriott was oversold and the only room that was available was a Ritz Carlton Suite then they would have to put you there.
This is extremely poor advice and should be deleted since it is inaccurate IMO.
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