Last weekend, I was traveling with my daughter and husband from Providence, RI to Baltimore, MD, returning from a long-overdue weekend getaway. We reached the airport in ample time, so our check-in experience was smooth sailing.
My family and I have been frequent flyers on Southwest, so my confidence in this company is very high. However, the weather was tumultuous, with threatening storm conditions in Baltimore, and I wasn’t really looking forward to the trip home. We had already been prepped to expect the flight to be, not only delayed, but prolonged as well. Apparently, rerouting was necessary.
While we were waiting to board, our Southwest agent announced that they were looking for volunteers to be “bumped” from the flight in order to lighten the weight of the plane. I hadn’t given this option much thought in the past, but everything seemed to support the perfect timing of this opportunity. So, I decided that my daughter and I would forfeit our seats, and stay in Providence. My husband, however, needed to be back in Baltimore for work early the next morning, so he would not be joining us.
The agent was cheerful and very thoughtful in explaining the procedure and our compensation for our forfeiture. In accordance with Southwest’s “bump” policy, we would receive 2 Southwest travel vouchers valued at $500 each, the tickets for our return flight, and the night’s stay at the Sheraton, since they weren’t able to fly us out within two hours of our original flight. The Sheraton was a real bonus, since we are members of their SPG program and therefore, received additional points for the stay.
As luck would have it (at least that night) we didn’t check any luggage, so we had everything we needed for a comfortable evening. It was one of those rare occasions when I was able to share a lovely mother and daughter adventure. As the hazardous weather conditions were only a threat in Baltimore that night, we were able to meander out into the Historic Federal Hill section where we enjoyed a lovely dining experience in Rhode Island’s own “Little Italy” neighborhood. Most excellent!
My husband’s evening played out quite differently. Sadly, he had to endure the unpleasant, but sometimes necessary, ritual of airline misfortunes. At one point before takeoff, all passengers were instructed to exit the plane (luckily, he was able to grab a quick bite to eat) and then, once the flight took off, the re-routing doubled his travel time. Poor guy! Perhaps next time we’re presented this opportunity, we’ll all find a way to get “bumped” together.
I would definitely opt for this benefit again, if circumstances allowed! I’m looking forward to booking our next flights with the $1,000 value of Southwest travel vouchers, which seem to have no restrictions and are good for an entire year.
So thanks again Southwest for a completely unexpected treat. I can honestly say that you served up a great deal more than peanuts that night.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
- 25,000 Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account
- Earn 6,000 Bonus Points after your Cardmember Anniversary*
- Earn unlimited points that don’t expire as long as you are a Cardmember*
- 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines® and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases*
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases*
- No foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad†
- No blackout dates or seat restrictions when you redeem with points*
P.S.: Current sign up bonus when you apply online is 25,000 points when you spend $1,000 in 3 months. Check your mail and the seat back on Southwest flights, which frequently have the 50,000 point offer.