13 Mar 2015

Southwest cancels man's ticket while he sits on plane

A West Michigan man says he was forced to buy a new plane ticket home after the airline told him that he failed to show up for his original flight. He called KSDK's sister station WZZM looking for help after Southwest refused to refund his money.
"It's terrible. I can't believe the airline didn't know I was in that seat," says Bob Woudstra, of Cutlerville. Woudstra is upset that he was overlooked on his flight to Florida.
In February, he paid $616 for a roundtrip ticket from Grand Rapids to Ft Myers. On the 13th, he was dropped off at the airport with his carry-on bag. "I showed them my driver's license and boarding pass to get through security."
Bob made it to the Southwest gate and says he boarded the plane. "I handed my boarding pass to the lady and she ran it under the scanner and it didn't beep the first time. So she took it and did it again. I just made a comment that she had to do it twice."
Bob's flight went smoothly but about two hours later, he got an e-mail from Southwest, saying his flight was cancelled. "Well, I thought it was a spam mail because I just flew in on the flight."
The email was notifying Bob of Southwest's no show policy. "They say I wasn't on the plane, so they cancelled all my flights."
Bob had to buy a new return ticket to Grand Rapids for $456.
When he finally got home he called Southwest and said he wanted a refund. He was told to provide proof he was on the flight. "They said, 'well, do you have a receipt?' If you bought something at the airport and had a receipt that would be something they could go on."
Bob didn't buy anything at the airport. But he says several people saw him that day, including his friend Gary Leeuwenburg.
"I'm just speaking on his behalf, I feel bad for him," says Gary, who was flying to Florida to see his wife. He and Bob went to the airport together. "I got picked up about noon, we picked him up at 12:15 p.m. and dropped us off at the airport."
Gary says they went to the gate and waited for an hour. "He was boarded first and I boarded after that and he saved me a seat."
Southwest Airlines says it is investigating what happened. Spokesperson Lisa Teller says, "although we still haven't determined exactly where an error occurred, we will make an exception to the no show policy and refund the price of the second ticket." Till went on to say that the airline hears all kinds of excuses from people who actually miss their flight and want a refund. In this case, however, she says there might have been a error at the gate.


  1. Disorganized ass hats.

  2. Why is it that whenever these so-called 'errors' occur, they always result in more money for the company and more hassle for the customer?