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SW Flight Canceled and Rescheduled 3 Days Later
Hey Ben, been a long time reader and met you once in SD at FTU Advanced. My parents were on a cruise in the Caribbean all week, and got into Tampa yesterday morning (Sunday, 1/24). They were supposed to fly on SW back to Philadelphia yesterday evening (on points and companion pass). As you know, there was a huge snowstorm that came through the mid-Atlantic, and wreaked havoc on all the flights in and out on Saturday and Sunday. Anyway, SW confirmed their flight (from Orlando — they drove there for the day) was still good until the last possible moment — when they were getting to the airport. The storm had passed Saturday evening, and Sunday was just a cleanup day, with lots of flights (from other carriers) getting into Philly on Sunday. But SW canceled their flight and couldn’t reschedule them until Wednesday (1/27). My questions are these:
1. What recourse do they have to getting on an earlier flight? I know weather is one of those things that airlines generally don’t compensate for. However, the storm has already passed. There are plenty of flights getting into Philly today as far as I know. 3 days seems way excessive to me for a flight to be rescheduled — especially when SW has plenty of flights coming out of Florida.
2. Are they entitled to any compensation since weather is not now the issue? They were not even offered hotel vouchers or anything. I would imagine that the passenger bill of rights doesn’t apply since they were technically not bumped, but again, 3 days is very excessive to me when they have so many planes leaving Florida.
Any assistance you can offer is helpful.
[USER=1466]@Mike W[/USER], you’re right that airlines do not compensate for weather. I would search online myself and try to find any available itinerary and then call and request it. If you leave it up to the company you’re more likely to get what is easiest for them, especially with a massive disruption like this, than might otherwise be possible with a little bit of legwork. Don’t forget to look at alternate departures and arrival airports like BWI that might make a big difference in availability.
[USER=1466]@Mike W[/USER] — Welcome, and sorry to hear about the circumstances!
It’s a bit trickier with Southwest, as they don’t have interline agreements with other carriers, so they have less flexibility when things go awry.
If you look at Southwest.com, they aren’t selling tickets for any flights today between Orlando or Tampa and Philadelphia, so they could very well be sold out. I do see some connecting flights tomorrow.
It seems like the agent might have done the best they could at the time, so I’d keep checking to see if alternatives open up, and have them move you to your preferred flight. This storm is tough for everyone, so being patient and friendly will go a long way.