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April 19, 2007


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Seems like they did more than most airlines in terms of compensation for the problems. And their "management" of issues when they arise seems to be the same as all the other airlines I've flown - crappy. That being said - I've had similar problems with American, Delta, and America West. Only America West offered compensation - a $25 voucher, and American was beyond rude when I asked for compensation. So, all in all, I don't think you came out of it too bad. I'd be content :)

Isn't there still a ferry across the lake from Milwaukee to Michigan-ish?

Your expectations are unreasonable. Call you? No, you should have called the airline to determine if your original flight back was departing on time. Any traveler knows to call ahead, to check arrival and departure schedules. Because you fail to say whether you called ahead (like everyone else knows to do), and merely indicate you "arrived" and found out the flight was delayed, it is proper to assume you failed to call ahead. That's your fault. No one else's fault but you, and you alone.

Further, your original travel schedule sounds unreasonable in the extreme. With that much single-day traveling planned, you need to be prepared for interruptions. But you were not prepared.

I can't believe you didn't at least have the forethought to bring one change of clothes with such a tight traveling schedule. Can't blame the airline because you were too lazy to pack a simple carry-on containing just a few basics.

I'm with FMF on this one. Could he have been better prepared? Yes.

Could the airlines make air travel less onerous? Yes, but possibly at an increased cost to the passengers. The current system is like a system where, if I'm a barber, I get to punch you in the face, and then offer you a voucher to obtain a free haircut later. What, you'd rather not be punched in the face at all? Not an option. Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line...

I'm not sure how we can hold airlines accountable without increasing ticket prices.

What stands out to me about being the biggest problem of your experience is trying to cram the flights and meeting into one day. That being said, I've done the same thing. The comments by Jason above were harsh and lead me to believe he doesn't travel frequently for business. Those of us that do understand that most of the time a flight is cancelled, it isn't until almost departure time (and sometimes after) that you find this out. Also, we as consumers buy the ticket for the flight and associated services. You are right to be upset with Midwest, and in my opinion one ticket alone isn't enough reimbursement for 3 days of agony.

When you were waiting in line for a rescheduled flight, you should have called the airline res number. They can usually do the exact same thing the agent can.

Some advice: Sometimes on various airlines like Midwest you can probably sign up for alerts about whether or not your flight will be delayed. Plus its always a good idea to check your reservation online 24 hours prior, then 6 hrs prior, and finally 4 hrs prior. If you have a blackberry you can always check an airlines website. This is a very good idea if there is some weather situation going on where you are at, or where you are going to. If there is a weather situation some airlines get overwhelmed because things are always fickle. If a thousand people are calling in, it would be pretty difficult to make one call out, and even more simpler to check online rather then to talk to someone. When checking out the information it appears there are only 3 Midwest Airlines flight a day from Nashville to Milwaukee, being on the very last flight didn't improve the situation the reason being: If they had tried to book you on another airline, it wouldn't have worked, if it was on American Airlines, last flight leaves at 6:25pm, not enough time, US Airways, last flight leaves at 7:05pm, but would have to connect through Philadelphia, United Airlines last flight leaves at 6:34pm, again not enough time, Northwest Airlines, last flight leaves at 6:15pm, again not enough time, Continental Airlines, last flight leaves at 7:20pm, but would have needed to connect through Newark, NJ. Basically this means, and apologetically, you were overwhelmingly SOL, even if they were able to book you on these other flights, you would have needed to be there by about 5pm, and each of those flights would not have been non-stop to Milwaukee. The reason why they probably didn't pay for dinner was because they don't have the agreement with restaurants as they do with hotels and car rental agencies as far as making a reservation. But overall yes, getting a free ticket is a good thing, but always try to push your luck and try to get two.

It sounds to me like it not actually what they did or didn't do that is the problem but the way that you were treated by the staff.

You give the impression that nobody went out of their way to really help you. Expecting excellent customer service from an airline is reasonable, some of the little things that didn't happen like the hotel shuttle bus could have been done by an employee with only the authority to make phonecalls. In contrast, not having enough staff on is difficult to correct quickly.

At least you got a good post and a free flight out of it.

Wow. There are some interesting comments here. I'll address several of them, but wanted to reiterate a couple of things first:

1. Yes, hindsight is 20/20. As a long-term traveler, I now know what I could have done to make the situation better.

2. The main issue I was asking about was a company's reaction to a problem and how they took care of their customers. remember, the original issue that started this whole ordeal was NOT weather, but a Midwest equipment problem and how they reacted to it. The problem was only made worse on the second day when weather hit (which wouldn't have mattered if I'd been home the first day as planned.)

Here goes a few specific comments:

Tom: Yes, there's still a ferry. But it only runs in the summer months and only in good weather.

Jason: I'd respond to you if I seriously thought you'd been on a plane more than two times in your life.

Farecheck: Just want to clarify that on the first day, there were no weather problems at all.

Plonkee: You cracked me up with that last line. ;-)

I did NOT need to read this post 10 hours before getting on a flight from IAH-EWR.

I've gotten delayed (though not as severely as you) and I've sat on the tarmack for hours in a crampy, stinky plane (though not as long as some). Every couple of months there's a story about a horrible incident on a flight (or a complete collapse, like JetBlue) and a few people start talking about a passenger's bill of rights. It never happens though and we continue to get pushed around. Maybe it's time we got organized and pushed back.

It sucks, I'm sorry about it. I'd put it in the very annoyed bucket, though, not the outrage bucket.

Just a response to the poster who says that airlines don't notify you of cancelled flights: Spirit Airlines does notify customers when flights are delayed or cancelled. They have to have a valid phone number for you and the flight has to be interrupted far enough in advance, but they will contact their customers.

I should have probably added these news links:

Even though weather didn't affect you're actual flight, it probably hampered efforts as far as them trying to reach you (if they even bothered to do so). I had remembered that there was a winter storm around the 7th, 8th (Easter Sunday), and 9th of April that affected a lot of the areas in the Midwest, and in the Northeast (areas serviced by Midwest, and among other airlines as well).

This may have very well messed up other people's travel plans so I'm not sure why they didn't see it fit to add more workers at the airport. Maybe because it was sunny in Nashville, they weren't aware of everything else going on or they weren't in the loop as far as the weather situation in the rest of the US, (I've had this happen multiple times, example: Christmas Earthquake/Tsunami of 2004 in near Indonesia).

To set the record straight, there was no weather that impacted the first day which was the day that started the whole thing. It was simply a flat tire on a plane that delayed their flights. The Easter storms had passed a couple days earlier and the next week's storms were yet to show up. When they did show up, I was trapped since the Midwest problem left me stranded the night before.

I think I've always been called when a flight delay will cause me to miss my connecting flight. I flew Delta in Feb, and they called me when my flight home was delayed. I re-booked (through Atlanta of course, which is very much out of the way) on the phone with the woman who called, all from my hotel room. Got home only a couple hours later than planned. Much as I hate Delta, they have been good about calling with delays/cancellations.

Same experience happened to me December 2007 Christmas Eve out of San Diego to Kansas City Mo. There was an ice storm where the planes where stuck at Milwaukee, WI. to take off for San Diego that morning so un-announced we waited for over an hour in line . I was about 10th in line as I got there very early to beat the crowd, behind me where over 60 people. There was no Midwest representative and a rep from another airline announced the delay and eventually cancellation. The Rep from the other airline said to call customer service to reschedule but the lines where busy until 2:00 the next morning. A customer in line actually took a picture of all of Midwest Customers waiting for over an hour. I made another reservation with South West; they were available and very willing to help on short notice. I was told by customer service/Midwest that I would not get my money back and the hub from KC Mo., to my small town airport would not be refunded and I booked that through Midwest US Air. I was told if I applied for a voucher that I might be issued a refund. Now, looking to rebook this November 2008 with the voucher they have issued me they no longer have service out of San Diego and now only fly out of L.A., I have until December of 2008 to book a flight out of LA for any time in the future (what!). They were the ones that cancelled the flight and the ones that no longer fly out of San Diego but the burden is on me to get to LA to fly their lame Airline to some lame city I would never go to. Yes LA to Hawaii but LA to Milwaukee? I can see this airline is going under by their horrible customer service! I will never fly this airline again, good ridden. I am consulting a lawyer for advice as a consumer.

To the author:

First, I would like to say that I worked for an airline and I know that your situation is not uncommon. But there are a few pointer I can give you and everyone else.
1. If you booked the original reservation through the airline's call center or their website, then this is the only way that they will have you phone number. Whenever a reservation is booked through a travel agency or the internet agencies like,, etc, it blocks out all the passenger's information except where you are traveling from, to and the names of the passengers. If you did book directly through Midwest, then you are correct to expect them to contact you via phone. They will not and can not contact passengers for a flight delay or cancell via email.
2. the only thing that I agree with JASON about is being a little more prepared. Bringing an extra set of clothes is a great idea, een for a one day trip. Passengers should always check their flight status before traveling to the airport. Especailly if you have connecting flight and during the winter seasons. You could have checked you flight status on your blackberry at Just type in you flight number. Or you could have checked it on General Mitchell Airport (Milwaukee) website. All outbound flights are listed there.
3.Since the first day was not due to waether, your expectations were accurate. But anything due to the weather, Midwest did not HAVE to do anything further for the passengers. This is one good thing that I can say about them. They do offer free and discounted hotel rooms and meals in case of delayed and cancelled flights. And they did give you a free round trip.
******** tip: Please read the find print!! you have one year from date of issue to use. Anywhere that Midwest flies. But seats are limited and are on a first come first serve basics! There are only a handfull on each flight so PLEASE plan ahead!! note:: Hot spots such as Las Vegas, San Fran and Tampa are a little harder to get. Denver, Dallas, Boston and Seattle are much easier. Evern though New York is a hot spot, it's easier to get a flight because they have abbout 5 flights a day to and from mke and lga/ewr.********
3. You are right about the agents though. I know one of the first things that they are taught is to under the passenger's frustration. And she should have been much nicer and helped more. Customer satification is their 1st priority!

TO FARECHECK: Midwest will NEVER give TWO free round trips to one passenger. No matter even if he was bumped off the flight!

To ROYE: The reservation agents are limited to what they can do for cancelled and delayed flights. If the flight is delayed and the passenger will miss their meeting or connecting flight, then the reservation agent can change them to another flight. (With a supervisor's approval) If the flight is cancelled 1. and the passenger wants to change to anothe airline, that can ONLY BE DONE AT THE TICKET COUNTER. People, please don't call the reservation agents and wait on hold for 30-45 mins (because everyone else is calling them too) then get mad because the agents could not help. 2. If the passenger wants another flight with Midwest on a different date or time then the reservation agent can help.

FMF, I do understand your anger with Midwest for not meeting your expectations for customer service. Expecially in a horrible situation like this one. But it was nive to get a complimentary round trip:)

Oh. And I would like to add...
TO C, San diego::

At some cities there are limited and even no Midwest rep available. In smaller cities, it's cheaper to just have Frontier or Delta handle their passengers than it is to have a counter there.
Since Midwest is a smaller airline company, you should ask these things ahead of time.

I would like to add: Candi, that is no excuse to not have any rep at an international airport with over 100 people boarding on that flight on Christmas Eve. If they have all of the customers money then at least communicate what is going on so they can at least book with another airline, don's leave them guessing!. I have a feeling you still work for them.

Also, Customer Service called me by phone over a month ago and said that they would send me a refund for the voucher but I still have not received a refund and the year is up now to book a flight for my voucher. So, calling about that I was put on hold for 30 min. and then was sent to another number where I was put on hold for so long I had to hang up so I could go back to work from my lunch break. Their customer Service does not have a 800 number so I have to call them from home early in the morning as I am on the west coast and they are east time.

I must say I have traveled all over the world with many different airlines and the first time I booked directly with Midwest and flew my luggage was lost and every time after that the 4th and last time where I did not get a refund and cannot reach them is wrong, no excuses please. Midwest Air sucks still!

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