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Failed training of mechanics and pilots caused grounding of plane causing missed connections and hours wasted sitting in airports. The gate agents who re-booked the passengers brought the attitudes that just topped off the whole experience.
This was the first flight out of the day. The plane was inspected by the mechanics upon landing the prior evening. They found no problems, and if they had the plane could have been repaired over night without burdening the passengers. However the co-pilot felt he knew better on the morning of the flight. His inability to properly identify an issue - it was a dent - icaused hours long delay and missed flights. Upon further inspection by the mechanics it was again determined there was no issue. As Southwest has no mechanics on staff, they hire a third party. so we had to wait for those mechaincs to arrive from whereever they are based. Then we are told by the pilot that the paperwork necessary to document the alleged issue was somewhere else and that had to be transported to the plane. By this time anyone with a connection was being pulled off of the plane to be rebooked. And the gate agents were ill-tempered, irratated and unwilling to accomodate any passenger request for assistance other than stuffing us on another flight.
Southwest must up their game in training their staff. There is no reason for a mechanic and a co-pilot to misidentify any potential issue with the plane. Obviously, as the co-pilot was wrong, the airline can start there. No reason exists for a co-pilot's lack of ability to identify an issue as it their job to be fully competent in their areas of responsibility. And please, what happened to customer service without a displeasing disposition? From the gate agents to the customer service center this " I can't do anything for you" response must be changed. Southwest airlines needs to up their game.
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