We flew into Denver December 29th to find our booster seat was lost. I elicited the help of an agent, who elicited the help of another agent, but none could find the seat. We were introduced to yet another agent who seemed quite stressed dealing with baggage issues. She gave us a phone number and told me to call before midnight and speak with someone or leave a message and they would deliver the bag to my home.
I left a long message.
Next day my wife and I got very sick (she's still sick) and ended up in bed for a week. During that time we received a call telling us the seat had been found and it was there for our pickup. Again, being sick, having work issues, and trying to deal with a toddler while school is closed all served to completely wash away our memory of the booster seat.
Tonight I get a call from an agent telling me the seat was about to be shipped to headquarters but we could pick it up tonight without charge. I mentioned I was told that first night in DIA to call and leave a message and the airline would deliver the seat. "We have very good agents and none of them would have told you you could leave a message as a claim," was the response. I was speechless. She then looked into the time the bag was put on the airplane and when it was checked into DIA and said she could see the bag was there on time, ergo insinuating we probably just missed it, then she told me it was supposed to have been our responsibility to have filed a claim at the airport. I again mentioned the whole story of working with the agents and the final agent who seemed stressed and gave me the phone number but didn't say anything about filing a complaint in person at the airport. The agent on the phone was again doubtful this was the case and said the only thing she could do was hold the bag for a day and I would just have to drive all the way back to the Denver airport and pick it up or later pay shipping costs to retrieve the bag from their central office.
I hasten to say I became a little rude at that point stating I could understand the airline wants to save money by not delivering the bag to me, but it felt rather discourteous of them to first lose our car seat and keep us in the airport with a toddler, then imply we had ample time to make a claim during the time we were ill and bedridden, claim my word wasn't as acceptable as her perception of the quality of her colleagues, back this up with a time stamp and leave us the only option of paying to drive back to the airport to pick up the seat. She assured me it wasn't a matter of money, they could have driven the bag to us if we had filed a claim, but we didn't and none of them would ever have mentioned calling to leave a message. Case closed.
I'm not simply upset, I'm pissed. I filed a complaint with the company, another with the Department of Transportation's Aviation Consumer Protection Division, another with Airline Complaints and now this.
I calculate a new seat will cost us ~$100 and the gas to the airport would cost $10, but I'm not about to spend my first unsick morning driving to DIA and back. It would cost the airline the same $10 to bring the seat to me and apologize for their crappy customer service, but given the attitude I received on the phone I doubt they'll deliver our booster seat. We have 4 RT flights (for 3 people) in 2013 planned at the moment and tend to fly about 5-6x a year. We will be booking them on Frontier rather than Southwest so that $10 will end up costing them many thousands of dollars.
Review about: Southwest Airlines Baggage Policy.
Monetary Loss: $100.