Swa Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback

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Southwest Airlines Co. is a major American airline headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and is the world's largest low-cost carrier.


Tell the world why Swa sucks!

I certify that this review is based on my own experiece and is my opinion of this person or business. I have not been offered any incentive or payment to write this review.


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Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"I worked at SWA Group full-time for more than a year Cons: Really resent the profession after this job. Go to a firm that actually gives a hoot about the environment and social justice and wants to create good work. I think SWA was like this once and that's why they have the rep they do, but clearly now the people who do make it to the top are lining their pockets while their slaves (literally can't leave the firm because they need a visa to stay in America) do their work. Horrible hours (not uncommon to LARCH though) , horrible pay, no overtime, lots of weekends and for what? A project for a development in the middle east - where it's too hot to go outside???? Literally a client told us after months of pouring over a project that no one uses outdoor space and they just wanted something that looked expensive. But hey, they pay the bills! Not a fulfilling job at all. I know it looks good on your resume, but you will not be satisfied putting in the hours for the projects that SWA has. It is a hostile work environment where management pits people against each other to compete for principals affection I am writing from one specific office but the culture is the same across the board and won't change"

Landscape Designer says

"I worked at SWA Group for more than a year Cons: Very poor leadership. Told to fake my timesheet on the second day. Working through weekends and late into the evening very common. Principals appear unqualified to run an office with regard to management skills, technical expertise or innovation in design. When things go wrong they will immediately throw you under the bus and will take no responsibility for how their own decision making (or lack thereof, frankly) has gotten them there. They sing and dance about ecology or being good actors or 'reinventing cities' but in reality they are just doing a lot of extremely questionable work in the middle east, africa, china and elsewhere. To pay the insane salaries of the principals and their very high overhead, no high-fee work can be turned down, no matter how shady or exploitative or extractive. No real commitment to ecology or social justice whatsoever - this is just a corporate office, but somehow you're supposed to pretend otherwise. Extreme workload for junior employees, (illegally) unpaid overtime, making the most of better paid projects to balance against the many money-losing projects. Projects that are billing for 2-3 full time staff members can often only have ONE person assigned to them, and not even full time, this sets employees up for failure and makes for angry clients. Can be very very difficult to make it to "associate" and you will only rise higher if you can bring in big-ticket projects. Thus unqualified staff have often found themselves rising quickly (particularly at the Houston and Laguna offices) due to their connections to major developers overseas and not due to any merit. Employees on H1-B visas are basically held captive until they can get greencards... described it as a 'prison.' They say that you yearly bonus can be upwards of 8% of your salary, but in my experience it was only about 1 or 2%, it was kind of funny, but only for those without children. I felt sincerely very bad for the people who were stuck there, whether it was b/c they couldn't jump somewhere else due to needing steady income, were waiting on their greencards or were just kind of beat down. Seems like some employees get a real stockholm syndrome, the rest are just waiting to leave! Also, HR is there to protect the principals and guard against lawsuits. They will not help you."

Current Employee - Designer says

"I have been working at SWA Group full-time for more than a year Cons: Yikes. This place?! 1) Designers are tasked with finding their own work within the office (designers need to find principles willing to give them work) which creates a culture where junior staff will horde work and never bill their full hours. This behavior is rewarded by principals (overwhelmingly white men) who can then tout at the principle meetings how much money they are bringing in. Never mind this does not reflect actual hours worked but it’s an effective tool to keep people paranoid and overworked. 2) If you put in overtime hours there is a good chance you will be black balled and principles will not ask you to work for them as you are cutting into their earnings. 3) The pay is low and the benefits, though they’ll go on and on about them, are ‘meh’. 4) The work is uninspiring. Perhaps, long ago, SWA got calls for interesting projects but nowadays those calls are few and far between. Most likely you’ll be working on some terrible sub-division that at it’s best makes no ecological sense and at it’s worst is bad practice. 5) There isn’t much in terms of mentorship or even learning best practices. Everything seems a bit dusty and dated but this is part of the general pervasiveness of incuriosity on the part of principles."

Former Employee - Landscape Designer says

"I worked at SWA Group full-time for more than a year Cons: 60-100 hours work weeks (could become 120 hours). No respect from principals, expected working overtime with no compensation. Poor management that turns into bad office chemistry. Communications are based on personal bias, mood, and could be total personal attacks. Principals are not capable of owning their mistakes, and are very good at blaming associates and staffs for everything that went wrong. Very bad performance review structures and process. Staff can get burnt out easily if you don't stand up for yourself. And if you do stand up, the response from leaders is basically "shut up and work late". Experience NOT exchangeable with other design firms, meaning knowledge and skills learnt there are barely application to other working environments. No innovation. The firm holds a very narcissistic attitude, hence no leaders bother to explore the changes happening in the outside world. The so-called "award-winning design principals" in the firm are very average designers, and always duplicate their own designs. Many projects from this office look almost identical."

Former Employee - Landscape Architectural Designer says

"I worked at SWA Group full-time for more than 3 years Cons: Very poorly run office. No respect for labor laws, overtime pay. Irrational, illogical management that often disappears. Most of the projects this company brags about are not done in the LA office... here you get the worst of both worlds, an office that does largely grueling, corporate projects for middle eastern investors and yet is run like a 'studio' where employees are nevertheless asked to pour their heart and souls into entirely soulless work. If you are interested in learning and growing in the field this is not a good place to work. Morale gets very low. I do not think that the principals here get much respect in the industry. Kind of feels like a joke... a joke that makes you work all weekend!"

Former Employee - Office Manager says

"I worked at SWA Group full-time Cons: Management does not do a good job listening to employee needs."

Former Employee - Landscape Designer says

"I worked at SWA Group full-time Cons: Take your talents elsewhere. I wish someone told me that before I joined the Sausalito office years ago as a fresh grad. While I managed to get a decent experience, leaving was absolutely the right choice for me. I was inspired to write this after talking to a coworker about her time at another swa office. In short, I do not recommend working there because how the firm is organized. While, some people get sucked in by imaginary benefits in and stay, most end up leaving after a year or two. Unless you are willing to fight for years for a place in a rank of favorites by working insane hours and destroying your health while earning big bonuses for a few principles, you are better to build your career elsewhere. This is by design: the firm constantly recruits the best and brightest and forces them to compete. Those who are willing to put in 60-80 hours per week for years keep their job, others leave or get tossed aside. There are always more eager grads, especially those who cannot easily leave because of the visas or other reasons. The firm has been able to recruit because of the legacy of some good projects (hundreds hours of unpaid overtime) and heavy marketing. Don't get me wrong: a life of a landscape architect/designer/planner is far from glamorous, especially early in the career. It is a difficult path that is not for everyone, but there are much better places to practice and grow. They at swa pay is very low by all measures. It is laughable by the Bay Area standards. Some people are staying even if they are unhappy there because of the promises of ESOP vesting or other reasons. Then people get older and too comfortable and can't leave. So my recommendation is to join another firm or join swa for a year or two, get some experience and get out. There is a bigger world out there:)"

Former Employee - Urban Designer/Planner says

"I worked at SWA Group full-time for more than a year Cons: I worked in the Laguna Beach Office many years ago. If you value your family or simply enjoy your time off, this is NOT the place for you. Firm attracts top talent from east coast colleges and burns them out very very fast. If employees were paid hourly, the firm would go bankrupt in less than a year. You are instructed NOT to put the actual time you spend on a project, just 40 hours, thank you. Ridiculous. I can remember 80 hour work weeks and when I said I went to church on Sunday, I was frowned upon. Are you kidding me?"

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"I worked at SWA Group full-time for more than 5 years Cons: The managing principal in the LA office sadly lacks the personality, enthusiasm and skills to be a good and effective manager. Staff working on her projects will be overworked, abused and mis lead to hide her insecurities and average talent. A fact that contributes to a low overall office morale."

Current Employee - Landscape Architectural Designer says

"I have been working at SWA Group full-time for more than a year Cons: Terrible management. The office has about 20 people and the managing principal can't even remember everyone's name. No overtime pay, but expect to work 60 hours a week on average. The company has too many people don't do anything and the people on top are just too old and been there for too long. No vision and no plan for future industry change, and no appreciation for technological change."

Designer (Former Employee) says

"The office is very poorly managed and has a rigid hierarchy. Benefits are good, but compensation is low when accounting for hours worked during the week."

Nita Scott says

"They have Muslims telling veterans that they cannot preboard the flight here."

John Woods says

"I booked round trip with Southwestern airlines for me and my fiancé from Phoenix to Las Vegas to get married. We were really looking forward to it. She's never been to Las Vegas. Booked the flights two months in advance. Now with the covid virus resurging. My future wife has asthma, we decided not to fly, and just get married in Phoenix. Called Southwestern to see if we can transfer the air fare to a friend in San Diego to fly out for the wedding. I didn't ask for a refund, and the fare was going to be cheaper then our original fare. Again, wasn't asking for a refund. They refuse to do it even over a month out. I will never use Southwestern airlines again. It was a simple, and reasonable request..."

CDT says

"Booked a flight in December of 2019 for January 2020. Friends Father was in ICU for a month so had to cancel trip. Then COVID hit in March. Grandparents that I help take care of are in their late 80's so travel and being around the general public is out of the question now. Southwest says I have to fly by 12/3/20 or I loose 100.00 of my $183.00 fare. More than a 50% penalty. They are not concerned with public health nor the current travel advisories. I have flown Southwest for many years but will be using other airlines once this pandemic ends and people can travel safely again."

orlando jr says

"Southwest airlines now cancel and refund your flights when you booked early to get a good deal and then in there system shows you asked for a refund which I never did since I haven't spent Christmas with my family in 7yrs. Then when you call to find out what's going on they at the moment can't honor the price you got the first time which was under 300 and now wants to charge over 500, like I have money like that. Orlando Trevino"

Kellie Stover says

"My husband and I just got a cancellation email and no other warning. They just said “We no longer fly on this day”... that’s it? We are so angry, confused and sad that our vacation got cancelled... Just like that. Poof, gone. No explanation, Joe representative #35 was rude and did not give a professional explanation or help us figure out a resolution to the problem. Southwest has never let us down, we sadly will choose another airline to fly with with, other than Southwest. Just a little happiness during these hard times is all we wanted. :(."

Evelien Haels says

"Back in January (before the pandemic madness) I had to cancel a flight and received flight credit from Southwest Airlines for a future booking. I am a UK citizen and of course the US border has been closed for a while and isn't opening any time soon. The credit is expiring soon, and Southwest refuses to extend the validity. I understand it's difficult times right now for airlines, but if I could have flown, I would have, I'm not allowed to enter the country. So this seems really customer unfriendly (in all their responses to me they say how they strive for excellent customer service which is just so laughable when that's not what they are providing at all). I have credit with several other airlines and they have extended the validity no questions asked. Once I'm able to fly in the US again, it certainly won't be with Southwest."

Tho Nguyen says

"Change in policy - fully booked flights. This is a terrible mistake on Southwest Airlines. Southwest has been an airline renowned for your customer care and thoughtful on how to ensure customer's safety. I just can not imagine the greed being displayed here while we have some of the highest daily new cases being reported across the country and more than that, we are going into the winter months. You need to seriously reconsider and rescind this mad policy as it shows you care for nothing but near termed profit. I surely would like to see your top executive flying in this condition and see if your family members will welcome you home. BTW - my brother just got Covid-19 & was intubated for 6 days. Regards, Tho Nguyen A Lister"

Benjamin Hoppe says

"Southwest recently kicked a black man wearing Trump apparel off his flight for lowering his mask while eating. This is an absurd show of bias and partiality in favor of left-leaning politics. The video of the incident went viral - just search "black man kicked off Southwest flight." Extremely disappointing in this airline's behavior."

Kas says

"Really disappointed with this airline as they showed racism throwing a black man off the airline for not wearing a mask while he was eating. There were others on the plane eating and they only targeted him. These employees that did this should be fired!!"

Elizabeth frame says

"If I could give zero stars I would. Trash airline ."

Jan Disher says

"Seems to be too political to fly!"


"You need to fire the flight attendant who kicked out the passenger for taking off his mask to eat ?????????, it was purely political."

Greg Bickford says

"Just witnessed a passenger get kicked off your flight for not wearing a mask when eating. Real reason he was kicked off was for wearing a black voices for Trump hat on. Other people pulled down their masks when they ate so your crew are hypocrites and obviously intolerant anti trumpets. I will never use southwest airlines and will tell all my Trump supporting friends and family to not use your airlines. Keep politics out of the sky"

customer says

"Southwest has now stated that they do not have to notify you of a change in flight status. Booked a flight July 1 for Sept. 19. SW changed the flight Aug. 3 without notifying anyone. Found out 16 hours before leaving that flight was changed and now I will miss the wedding due to the change. They could put me on Delta and I would make it in time but they are not willing to do so. Why should I have to pay 3 times as much because they did not notify anyone anyone (this was verified by their agent). They refer me to contract of carriage page 43 para 3 stating that they have the right to change flights and will notify as soon as possible. Well they had from Aug.3 to Sept 18 to notify me yet the only way I found out was Sept. 18 when I went to pre board. Their response was oh to bad that we did not notify anyone of the change. They should have put me on the Delta flight at their expense. They had 46 days in which they could have notified people of the change. will never fly Southwest again."

Jaye-Terrell Pierre says

"Predjudice representatives and the company itself very misleading, was advised to change my trip due weather, canceled my trip however because my travel funds was expiring I couldn’t make a new reservation and lose my travel funds all for the email I was sent and then being greedy"

Vicky Linder Zipfel says

"Southwest changed our trip from noon - one way- to a plane change in VEGAS and not getting in until 6pm. They will not help us with a refund. We wanted to go on this trip, but our friends are all arriving before noon and we can't have them wait until 6pm for us! And changing planes in Vegas is unacceptable. You can have our $275 and we will NEVER use you again!"

Tammy Campbell says

"Ive always had a great experience, however with the mask mandate, flight attendants are behaving like medical professionals. When traveling with my 4 year old grand daughter, her and I sitting next to each other, her tiny little body, has absolutely no potential to loose droplets to the danger of any other passenger, however the flight attendant kept telling her to put up her mask, It infuriates me that as her and I tried to enjoy a flight we were harassed. Further more she and I were the only ones in the row, there was no threat to the people in front of me or behind me of either of us lowering our masks, Flying used to be enjoyable. Not the case."

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