Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants Forced To Sleep at Airports

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Southwest Airlines has been in the midst of a technology outage causing delays and cancellations for hundreds of thousands passengers, but one group its causing havoc on is its flight attendants– some of which had to stay overnight in airports as they didn’t have any hotel rooms for them.

Southwest Airlines

Per the Chicago Business Journal,

In the wake of Wednesday’s massive technology meltdown at Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), the second such outage in just a week’s time, tens of thousands of the carrier’s passengers continued to be massively inconvenienced as Southwest canceled hundreds more flights today and struggled to deal with customer outrage at the way the mess was being handled in excruciatingly slow fashion by Southwest’s notoriously lean customer service staff.

Since Wednesday many photos have been shared among flight attendants that show stranded Southwest FAs sleeping overnight in airport terminals because the carrier was unable to provide accommodations when the meltdown began on Wednesday. Sources among the ranks of Southwest flight attendants reacted to the images being shared with understandable disgust. Noted one veteran FA who has worked for Southwest for more than two decades: “In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would see this.”

For flight attendants, the operational difficulties they have encountered at the hands of Southwest the past three days gnaw even more because they are still locked in contract negotiations that have dragged on for years and years, with no end in sight. Audrey Stone, head of Transport Workers Union Local 556, that represents Southwest flight attendants, did not immediately respond to a call for comment today.

Bottom Line

Southwest Airlines is doing everything it can to get its flights back up and running and its crews where they need to be. One flight attendant told us the airline is even offering to pay flight attendants double to work some flights in hopes of not having to cancel anymore flights.

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  1. I am a SWA attendant. Although I was at home during this IT meltdown(thank god)i would have been one ticked off person having to sleep in the airport and still be required to fly. I couldn’t even reach crew sked Wed night. Im sure there are a lot of ticked off pax right now, and rightfully so. I love my company, with short comings and all, but I will tell you Audrey Stone head of TWU is an idiot, along with everyone else on the union negotiating team, otherwise we would have a decent contract after two plus years. Cant wait to vote them out.

  2. I was stranded at SFO on Wednesday and it was absolute nightmare. When the flight got cancelled and subsequent flights were delayed indefinitely, gate agents and supervisors told me that Southwest will reimburse the cost of flying with other carriers. Now customer relations is saying that they won’t reimburse me for the cost of flying virgin America and offered me $200 southwest voucher. I never want to fly southwest ever again.

  3. Honestly, I think Southwest is one of the most *overrated* airlines. Maybe I’m just unlucky but rarely are any of the dozen-ish SWA flights I fly each year (one of my clients insists they’re the cheapest because of the two free bags — that’s not always the case). They don’t build in any padding between flights/connections — so weather/ATC/stuff happens completely screws up the rest of an aircraft’s day.

    Probably flown them 100 times — I’ve always had great FAs, GAs, etc. But when their “we’re the no frills airline!” shtick falls apart at the seams, it’s REALLY bad.

  4. I avoid Southwest at all costs. It just isn’t my cup of tea. Sorry to hear about those who were abandoned and left to sleep in the airports.

    Two IT meltdowns in one week? Sounds like very poor management.

    However, I admire the professionalism of those who face adversity and present a positive attitude. Hats off to you!

  5. What I don’t understand is why SWA is not protecting their clients on other airlines for their own mistakes. Take the bite and ensure you have happy customers. I would simply book a different flight and bill SWA for both and then have my attorney write a letter if they were not eager to live up to their agreement.

  6. Been told that a 50 off your next SWA is being offered because saying your sorry isn’t enough. Anyone else hearing or seeing this. I haven’t received this email yet but a relative did. Both of us had cancelled flights she got one , I didn’t

  7. I think that is more than fair. If you’ve ever worked or owned a business one could realize how many people were affected and what the numbers would mean to then if hired you a hooker. Give me a break.

  8. I agree with the previous statements that they are over rated and yes they do have a lot of delays even though they claim to be the on time airline!

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