Southwest Says Man Didn’t Show Up For Flight, Cancels Ticket While He’s On The Plane

When a passenger doesn’t show up for the first leg of their flight, airlines typically cancel the trip at the cost of the traveler. That seems to have been the case for a Michigan man, who says that when Southwest Airlines canceled his ticket for being a no-show, he was on the very flight the airline accused him of missing

WZZM13-TV reports (Warning: link has video that autoplays) that the man was forced to buy a new ticket for his trip home after the airline canceled his original itinerary, claiming he didn’t show up for the first leg of the flight.

“It’s terrible. I can’t believe the airline didn’t know I was in that seat,” the man says. “These airlines don’t know who’s flying on their planes. Our security is supposed to be so good and this is terrible.”

The ordeal began in mid-February when the man arrived at the Grand Rapids airport for a flight to Ft. Myers, FL.

“I showed them my driver’s license and boarding pass to get through security,” he recalls. “I handed my boarding pass to the lady and she ran it under the scanner and it didn’t beep the first time. So she took it and did it again. I just made a comment that she had to do it twice.”

Nearly two hours after he landed in Florida, the man says he received what he thought was a spam email from Southwest saying his flight was cancelled, citing the company’s no-show policy. Once he returned to the airport to fly home, he realized the email was real and was forced to buy a new ticket for $465.

When the man contacted Southwest asking for a refund of both airline tickets, a representative for the airline asked for proof he was on the flight. The man says he couldn’t provide a receipt for any purchases at the airport, but he did travel with a friend who vouched for him.

Now, WZZM reports that Southwest is investigating the incident, saying the airline receives all kinds of excuses from people who really do miss their flights.

A spokesperson for the airline says that while they haven’t determined exactly what happened – except to say that an error may have occurred at the gate – it would make an exception for the no-show policy and refund the man the price of the second ticket.

Local man overlooked on Southwest flight to Florida [WZZM13-TV]