My FL/WN trip from HOU-BDA, a cautionary tale

Discussion in 'Southwest Airlines | Rapid Rewards (w/ AirTran)' started by slickvik, Jul 22, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. slickvik

    slickvik Active Member

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    So this weekend I used 48 A+ credits (32 from AirTran card), 2 business class upgrades (for me and companion) to go from HOU-BDA.

    There were troubles from the start, my initial itinerary was July 5-8, but weeks later I got an email from FL saying the July 8 flight was gone, and my return flight was moved to July 21. I called and changed the flight from August 8-11. A few weeks later I got a similar email, changing my return flight to a few days later. This time I changed from July 18-21, and thankfully no emails with weird schedule changes (though I did check online a few days before the flight to see the August 11 and July 8 flights were back on the calendar, very strange).

    Fast forward to last week, at check in it took 45 minutes to check in on Thursday morning, thank goodness I was able to use elite lines for check in and security. The WN attendant had to call the help desk to complete the check in, and mentioned there were two separate reservations in theory (more on that later). What surprised me was that they had to type in passport details even though it was done before hand.

    The journey to BDA was smooth, HOU-BWI was on time and so was BWI-BDA.

    The way back was another story. The check in took about 20 minutes again, no help desk this time but just seems like the system is draconian in nature.

    BDA-BWI actually arrived 10 minutes early. I went to try to see if I could jump on an earlier flight to HOU, since there was a direct flight from BWI and one via OKC. My original itinerary was BDA-BWI-ABQ(no plane change)-HOU. I knew it was ridiculous going in, but after the original WN attendant told me the reservations were in two systems I figured with business select I should be able to jump on an earlier flight. However I was told at both gates I was unable to do so, since the flights were booked via FL website, which kind of makes sense I guess. The flight to ABQ was delayed 2 hours 40 minutes, but once we took off everything was on time.

    To add final insult to injury, our bags for some odd reason were taken off the plane in ABQ, and will be shipped today after arriving on the first flight from ABQ.

    Basically, my point is, know what you're getting into if you're booking a codeshare flight booked via FL, because WN agents can't help you at the airport. Also this made me wonder, suppose a WN flight was cancelled, who would help me, WN or FL? And are custom A+ award itineraries available? Knowing what I know now (BDA US customs preclearence), I would've tried to book the BWI-OKC-HOU flight instead of BWI-ABQ-HOU.

    That being said, I really did enjoy the 2 FL flights themselves, the pilots were funny and charming, and it was cool to sit in business class. I can understand the annoyance of the A+ elites.

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