Travel News

Southwest Has Great Customer Service – Except For This Issue

Amazon blues
Written by Charlie

Southwest’s customer service is great and it is a great airline. But in this one area, Southwest has really dropped the ball with a lot of customers.

Southwest Has Great Customer Service – Except For This Issue

I absolutely love Southwest Airlines! I have flown them many times and I feel they offer the economy traveler the best deals in the US when you take into account things like their cancellation policy, change policy, sales, Companion Pass, and bag policy. I have dealt with many levels of representatives at Southwest and found them to always be helpful and accommodating, even when their reward partner site totally messed up and refused to fix the problem. Southwest came through beautifully.


Southwest customer service

But, there is one issue which continues to be a big pain for a certain block of Southwest customers and that is the problems of accessing Southwest from over 15 countries. It is an “access denied” message that pops up anytime the website is access and the only way around it is to use a VPN (not something everyone has) or using the app or mobile site (as I outlined here).

southwest customer service

This problem has been going on for well over a year and I have written about it and talked to various managers over at Southwest about it as well. Unfortunately, the problem continues today. There is a not a day that goes by that people are not brought to the blog because they are searching about this issue and many people e-mail me or comment to see what they should do.

Not only is it a problem if you just wanted to search for tickets but, because Southwest does not have preselected seating, it is a big problem if you are abroad and trying to check-in and pick your seats before returning to the US. Forget about it, unless you pay up for Southwest’s Early Bird feature or use a VPN.

C’mon, Southwest! Please Help!

On Twitter, Southwest continues to say it is being worked on and that is the same thing they have said in on their community site. To me, it is unacceptable from a customer service standpoint to continue stretching out this issue with their affected customers. If they do not want to open access to those countries (see the list below), simply state that!

Do not say this is being worked on and drag it out for over a year. Either fix it or say that this is a decision you had to make at this time. But to ignore a large customer base, many of whom are people booking a lot of travel on Southwest (or wanting to) that continues to ask for help is a big fail, in my opinion.

I sincerely hope they get this working again soon. They always reply that we can reach out over Twitter, Facebook, or over the phone but when someone is searching for fares and dates, that is a real pain and time waste to do over the phone.

As one reader said: “Even Air Koryo’s website is open and bookable from Switzerland 😉 I just don’t get it, what’s wrong with Southwest?”

List of Known Countries Affected by Southwest’s Denial

  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam

Have you tried accessing Southwest from a country not on the above list and had a problem? Let us know!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • That’s funny. I get this error exclusively while on my VPN, IN THE USA. I’ve started just disconnecting to get on southwest’s site.

  • One of the other issues that I’ve seen is where they seem to maintain a separate booking reference when tickets are bought through SWABIZ. My wife has a corporate travel booking company where they buy the tickets for her through a SWABIZ account. Once they do this it doesn’t pull over her TSA Precheck or other details from her regular account. It’s also difficult to make adjustments to the tickets without accessing the separate SWABIZ account.