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Magical express, southwest air problems

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by DisneyDonna62, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. DisneyDonna62

    DisneyDonna62 Earning My Ears

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    Hi,

    Has any one experienced this? Staying at old key west, I arrived early as suggested by the bell hop at 5:45 am to check my bags on to Southwest Airlines. My magical express was scheduled for 6:20 am. When I arrived at the bell desk, the worker there would not check my bags. I booked on southwest and was flying on a southwest flight. The problem? I had been booked on an Air Tran flight on the way TO disney world.

    I Had to schlep my own bags to the airport, horrors :hourglass :mad::scared:

    All because I had flown one leg of my trip on Air Tran? Really? I could have slept an extra hour, too! Why did the bell desk not warn me of this situation?

    Anyhow, beware if u fly Southwest and use magical express! You may end up carrying all your luggage to the check in gate, wait in long lines, etc.....
     
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  3. CarolMN

    CarolMN DVC Co-Moderator Moderator

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    Moved from DVC Boards - perhaps the Transportation Board posters can explain.
     
  4. 3happydancers

    3happydancers DIS Veteran

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    Sorry this happened to you. Must have been a pain but I wanted to thank you for the heads up. We fly SWA all the time and have thought about booking Air Tran one way or the other. This changes my mind!
     
  5. quirty30

    quirty30 DIS Veteran

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    According to http://www.wdwinfo.com/transportation/magical-express.htm:

    While the inbound domestic airlines are not restricted, outbound pre domestic flight check in at the resort is limited to guests flying on:

    AirTran Airways
    Alaska Airline
    American
    Delta
    Continental
    Jet Blue
    Northwest
    Southwest (limited resorts)
    United
    US Airways

    So maybe Southwest does not participate for outbound flights at OKW??? :confused3
     
  6. suemom2kay

    suemom2kay DIS Veteran

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    I just checked the RAC information page.

    It no longer says limited resorts for Southwest, but it does say this:

    I think it is very strange though. I would think that you were booked on 2 one way tickets. One way from your home airport to MCO on Airtran. One way from MCO to your home airport via Southwest. I book 2 one ways on a regular basis on JetBlue. So bizarre that it makes a difference.
     
  7. Jestocost

    Jestocost DIS Veteran

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    This is an outdated list. SWA has participated in Resort Airline Checkin at all WDW resorts for a few years now.

    From a technical perspective, the problem here appears to have been with RAC; not with Magical Express. The two are separate services.

    There are a few things that could have prevented RAC from checking your bags, including you having been selected for a random security check or some unexplained system glitch. And there have been any number of glitches and issues with the current SWA/AirTran cross-booking system. While I haven't heard of this particular issue before, it's certainly possible that it may be the case. Still, I have to think we would have heard about it before if it was a common issue in SWA/AirTran cross-bookings. It's also possible that the RAC staff didn't know what the problem really was and made something. That does happen. I'll be interested to see if we get additional reports about this.
     
  8. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    I, for one, can't wait for the whole SW/AirTran thing to get smoothed out. This is all a huge pain for everyone!!!! I refuse to book with either one until they work out the kinks!!
     
  9. DebbieB

    DebbieB DIS Veteran

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    If there's a long line at the counter, go outside and check curbside check, usually no line. You do have to tip but it's worth it.
     
  10. luckyman_apd

    luckyman_apd DIS Veteran

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    Ok....as someone who has experienced this... Here is my recommendation.

    First, the reason is air trans system is so OLD that southwest and air trans booking,while the same airline, is run through different systems. When you fly AirTran but book through southwest round trip, you get southwest info, but disney computers need the AirTran info. But the catch is only with round trip bookings.

    I book my flights separately.....as in 2 one way flights. Rarely will I ever book a round trip anymore. You don't save anything that way (as 10 years or more ANY one way trip cost a lot more) as southwest started the one way leg booking years ago. Whether you book round trip or 2 one way fares, you still pay the same amount. So book the segments separately....especially if your return flight is AirTran. You will have 2 different check in confirmation numbers.....and southwest will always seat you together of you are on an AirTran flight.....as you can't select your AirTran seats that way.

    We booked AirTran inbound to Orlando through orbits because it was showing $40 less than the southwest site. Even with bag fees this was still cheaper as you only pay bag fees when booking outside southwest (although they didn't charge us at the airport). Our return flight we booked through southwest and it was operated by AirTran. At first the lady at SSR taking my luggage said it couldn't be done and explained the round trip booking yada yada. I told her they booked 1 way flights. We used the AirTran flight number and it worked. My i laws (who took the same flights as I booked them) were told the same as me, and never got their bags checked. Had to put the,with bell services and get them back before ME bus arrived.

    Book 1 way segments, and explain you are on 1 way flight when checking your bags at the disney counter.
     
  11. tlh

    tlh Mouseketeer

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    So if we book a round trip southwest flight that is not operated by AirTran we should be able to do resort airline checkin? (On the southwest site it says if it is operated by AirTran with the flight numbers I think) Or should we book two one ways with southwest?? We are planning a March trip and about to book our air tickets with southwest and really don't want to have to worry about this.
     
  12. VLee

    VLee DIS Veteran

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    I have never had any problems with one-way or RT trips with SW and RAC, and I have stayed at BLT, AKL, BCV, BWV, WLV, but have not used the service at OKW.

    However, flying Delta one year, we were not allowed RAC and told that we had been selected for bag screening by airline security.....all of us. We had 7 bags that year and had to transport them ourselves on ME.
     
  13. tlh

    tlh Mouseketeer

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    Thank you so much. That makes me feel better. ... You sound like you have my luck being selected for a screening with so many bags!
     
  14. luckyman_apd

    luckyman_apd DIS Veteran

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    The problem is only with air tran flights that are part of round trip booking through southwest. If you book a 1 way flight home through southwest it will be fine. All southwest flights are fine....it's only the flights operated by AirTran booked as part of a round trip itinerary through southwest. Once the merger of the systems is complete it won't be an issue, but until they update airtrans computer system with southwests, or completely eliminate AirTran then this will continue. So my advice is....book each flight as one way flights separately.
     
  15. luckyman_apd

    luckyman_apd DIS Veteran

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    It's only been a recent problem because of the merger between southwest and AirTran. And it only exists on AirTran operated flights that were booked through southwest as part of a round trip booking.
     
  16. Disfanx4

    Disfanx4 Mouseketeer

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    this happened to us at OKW in August was told it was because we didn't have a boarding pass with a seat assignment attached to it.
     
  17. DisneyDonna62

    DisneyDonna62 Earning My Ears

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    Hi all, thanks for all the info.

    Luckyman, yes that was it exactly. Booked southwest, flying southwest home, but had flown the first leg to orlando on air tran.

    Great idea to book separate flights, not round trip. I will be doing this from now on. But, it is easier to book a round trip, no? More work because they can't get their act together. Ugh. I will check ALL other airlines before SWA/airTran. It was ugly this am at 5:45, but feeling better rested now!

    pixiedust:
     
  18. helenk

    helenk I wish I was in Disney World

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    I stayed at OKW last December, I used RAC and Magical Express flew SW and I had no problems. Your flight down should have no bearing on checking in at the RAC desk for your flight back. I've flown USairways down and Southwest home and no problems.
     
  19. That Mom

    That Mom Mouseketeer

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    I am so happy to have found this thread, it could save me a lot of aggravation. I want to be clear, though, on what to expect.
    We booked round trip through Southwest website but the flight is "operated by AirTran". So, we will not be able to check our bag at Beach Club and will have to take it and check it at MCO, correct? Does it matter if we give the AirTran flight number vs the Southwest? :confused3
    Most importantly, this issue does not affect the picking up and delivery TO our resort, right?
     
  20. luckyman_apd

    luckyman_apd DIS Veteran

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    If you flew us air down....then you were ON 2 1 ONE WAY flights as I have suggested. Also since your flight was southwest, it's not an issue. It's only an issue with AirTran operated flights. It has to do with the SW/AirTran merger
     
  21. luckyman_apd

    luckyman_apd DIS Veteran

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    Correct, you will have to carry your bags and check them in at the airport. If your flights are still the same price as when you booked, you can cancel rebook as 1 way flights through SW...as southwest doesn't charge change fees. It does not affect deliver to your room upon arrival. Only checking luggage on departure.
     

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