Dear Southwest: A Reply

Dear Southwest Airlines,

Thank you for responding to my letter. I appreciate you trying to explain why such a mess happened in the first place.  I must state, however, that you have left us with more questions than answers. In two separate correspondences from two different people at your company you give different reasons for the poorly made decisions of our return trip:

  1. “Because we had to bring in another aircraft from another city, we had passengers in ATL that we needed to drop off or pick up as well; hence, the reason for the stop in ATL.” (-Maddie)

  2. “The decision was made to operate your flight to Atlanta in order to clear Customs and accommodate you to Austin the following morning. “ (Adrienne Yurdyga)

Neither of these reasons sounds like a good explanation why this decision was even thought to be a good business decision. Neither does this:

“We carefully evaluate every available option to minimize delays and serve the greatest number of Customers while inconveniencing the least.”

What delay did you manage to minimize exactly? And who did you inconvenience the least?  Did anyone benefit from this?  As far as I could tell, everyone was inconvenienced including your staff in Mexico and Atlanta. I do not think this excuse holds much water.

If you did have passengers on the flight that were trying to get to Atlanta, did you take them all the way to Mexico and then back to Atlanta? How is that fair to those customers? Would it not make more sense to send in an empty flight? This is what I mean by having a backup plan. It just makes good business sense to be prepared for the unavoidable.

I completely understand the maintenance issue, as I stated in my previous letter. That was never the problem.  The “solution” to the problem is my issue. The fact that YOU HAD NO BACKUP PLAN is all I want you to consider for future flights. Bringing in another aircraft from such a long way and so late in the game just showed that your company had to scramble to avoid a major meltdown from over 100 people.  You must set up better policies to avoid such horrible conditions for the customers you claim to value so much.

Also, there are other issues that you did not even bother to address from my letter. Mainly, why sell tickets with flight times to choose from if you do not have the ability to keep those times. There should be some sort of warning that flight times are not guaranteed. This would make the fact that you can’t control your schedules clear to customers BEFORE they purchase a ticket and make their arrangements to fit those schedules.

Your apology email ended like this:

“We want you to have a better experience when you travel with us; and in this spirit, I’m sending a LUV Voucher* (in a separate e-mail) as a gesture of goodwill that we invite you to apply toward a new Southwest reservation.”

A little discount is what that means, right? Unfortunately that won’t entice my family back especially if it’s like the meal voucher you gave at the airport instead of finding accommodations for everyone you inconvenienced from children to elderly, from pregnant to those with medical issues and everyone in between. I’m afraid that for the rest of us, no “discount” will make up for the horrible experience.

I hope you do review this situation as well as every bad experience that keeps getting posted in your Facebook page and make the necessary changes.

Thank you for your time. Good luck in the future.

Sincerely,

Still a disappointed mama

www.bilinguazo.com

To see my original letter to Southwest, please see link below

Dear Southwest: A Mother’s Rant

Advertisements

New Post on AMB

IMG_8213-0

Please check out my new post listing what I have come to realize about myself as a mom.  Can you relate?  Do you have any others to add to my list?  Enjoy!

Click Here: 10 Things I Know Now That I am a Mom

May Your Year Be Full of Firsts…

As this year comes to an end, I wanted to look back at all of the firsts that we experienced in the few days we spent in Mexico.  From the trip to traditions, I couldn’t help but feel lucky that we were able to experience these firsts together. One Lucky Mama is exactly what I am.  Here is a little recap for you plus a little silly poem at the end wishing you a new year full of happy firsts, and happiness.

Firsts:

  • First airplane ride for T
  • First flight for a family of four
  • First time in Mexico for T

IMG_5375 (2) IMG_5927 - Copy

  • First time meeting cousins’ kids for T. M was too young when we took him when he was one, so we are counting it as a first for him as well.IMG_6064
  • First time going out to beautiful Coyoacan together.IMG_5331
  • First time sleeping in an apartment instead of my mom’s house in Mexico ever.
  • First time the boys shared a room and a bed together. They were so happy to be together, they would fall asleep playing and wake up at the exact same time to tell each other their dreams and start playing again. They are the cutest!
  • First time going out to dinner in the city by ourselves without family just the 4 of us.
  • First shower for T and loving it (we always take baths at home).
  • First piano lesson for M from my Tío Jorge. They were so cute together.IMG_5548
  • First time playing chase with my fabulous aunt, Tia MaraIMG_5301
  • First time M was the oldest kid hitting Piñata. Usually, there have always been bigger kids around to break the piñata. This time it was all him.IMG_5560
  • First gingerbread house, tree & train for both boys. That is one American tradition I had not ever thought of incorporating into our lives. Who knew we would love doing it in Mexico instead? Thanks, Tia Mara, it was such fun!IMG_5687 IMG_5840
  • First time M sang in Spanish for the whole family. He was amazing. I wish I could share that with you. I was ready to throw my computer against the wall when it deleted the video, but that is a whole other post.

A little poem for you:

New Year’s Wishes

May your year be full of first.

May love always quench your thirst.

May your loved ones make you smile.

May their embrace reach for miles.

May you always try each day

To find a new fun way to play.

May your days be full of kisses

Full of cuddles and warm wishes.

May the New Year bring new joys,

And love for always for all you know.

Happy New Year, friends, new and old.

Hope your riches feel like gold.

Love forever and good health, too

Is what I wish for all of you.

Malu Talan 2014

IMG_5351

Charity Spotlight

IMG_4329-0.JPG
Today we went to Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Christmas Parade. The kids love this parade with all of the sounds and colors that come with it. Plus, they get to learn a little more about charity. The parade is a great way to give back to the community we love while enjoying what Austin has to offer.

Guests are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for Operation Blue Santa. At a point during the parade, everyone marching stops, the rope used to keep the crowds back is raised and spectators are asked to approach the floats and give their gifts to the people in the parade. M thought the swarm of little ones with all of the gifts was very exciting and couldn’t believe how many toys there were! Way to go, Austin!

This parade has taken place for 26 years! Operation Blue Santa was started by the Austin Police Department in1972 with support from the Austin Fire Department, Austin Energy, Austin Water Utilities and Texas National Guard.They provide gifts for kids under 14 along with a warm meal on the holidays. That’s over 3,800 families!

This is a great charity to support. They make the holidays a little brighter for some very special kids. They also made it a little brighter for mine with such a fun parade!

If you missed the parade, but would still like to donate, Blue Santa takes donations year round! And if you do not live in Austin, check with your local police or fire department to see how you can help for the holidays and year round, too. Thank you, Blue Santa!

To make DONATIONS online click here for more information.

*Checks are accepted: Mail donations to: Austin Operation Blue Santa, P.O. Box 689001, Austin, Tx 78768-9001

*You can also stop by the Austin Police Operation Blue Santa Warehouse to drop off your donation, YEAR ROUND, at our location at 4101 South Industrial Drive, Suite 260, Austin, Texas 78744.

Drop off locations:

*Career Point College
*Any Chuy’s Restaurant or Shady Grove
*Any Austin fire station
*There are hundreds of drop off locations. Click here to find one near you.

Here’s what they really need:

*Gifts for infants (2-years-old & younger) and teens (12 – 14-years-old)
*Sporting equipment and board games are perfect because they are good for most age groups
*Books
*Baby toys (like stacking rings, etc)
*Monetary donations–Chuy’s will often get great, exclusive discounts and are able to collect more toys this way

Thanks to KGSR for all of the details.

(If you would like to share my blog, I would be so grateful. You can find it under www.bilingualeyes.wordpress.com. You can also find it in Spanish at www.bilinguazo.worpress.com and on Facebook under www.facebook.com/bilinguazo. And don’t forget to hit me up on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bilinguazo. Thanks a bunch!)

Music Magic

I am a total advocate of music being the best tool for teaching.  I don’t think my kids would know the Spanish that they do know without it.  We still have a long way to go, but whenever I hear them sing in Spanish, I can’t help but feel so proud.  I mean, just look at these guys.  They melt my heart every day.

Both boys spend most of the day dancing and singing already.  What better way to make learning fun than adding Spanish songs to the list of songs we sing?  M picks his favorite songs on the Kindle for us to dance to. We also have a couple of CDs we listen to and dance to for our dance parties and I sing to them at night. To my surprise and pleasure lately they have been singing the songs I sing to them at night.

Today, I decided to share one of these amazing performances with you as one proud mama.  Please enjoy this lovely song in Spanish performed by my loves.  Have a happy day!

IMG_3631IMG_3630

Charity Spotlight!

ADB_web

Babies grow so fast and sometimes it is hard to keep up with the ever-changing diaper sizes. Have you ever wondered what to do with the diapers that your babies have outgrown? I know I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away because they are so crazy expensive and because I always thought I could give them to a friend with younger babies.  I would always forget to ask, of course, so they would just sit in my baby’s closet alone and forgotten. But that is about to change.  Not only can your unused diapers find a new home, they can help save the world! Well, maybe not the world, but they can help a family or a baby in need.

The Austin Diaper Bank is an amazing organization that takes unused diapers and donations for families and babies that are in desperate need for them. Now why hadn’t anyone thought of this before? Beverly Hamilton is the founder/president of the organization and was nice enough to give me some more information about this great charity.

Did you know that assistance programs like WIC or food stamps don’t cover diapers? I had no idea! According to Beverly, “A recent study equated diaper need stress to that of not having enough food. Further, 1 in 12 mothers reported leaving their baby in a soiled diaper longer than necessary (‘stretching’) due to limited resources. I founded the diaper bank because I feel no parent or baby in Central Texas should have to go through that.” How awful for mothers to feel they do not have a choice and worse yet, how awful for babies to have to wear soiled diapers for long periods of time because they have no alternative! I’d like to say kudos to you, Beverly, for taking a stand to change this.

The bank makes sure that those in poverty and other crisis situations (babies, disabled/delayed older children and senior citizens) get the diapers they need. They work with so many different organizations to make sure every baby in need is covered (pun intended). Some of those organizations are Helping Hand Home for Children, Asian Family Support Services of Austin, Hope Alliance, Settlement Home, and Partnership for Children. They also take individual request from families that contact them directly.

How can you help?

  1. Give diapers
  2. Give dollars (rent costs money and we can get way more diapers wholesale than buying at Costco.
  3. Host a diaper drive at your church, work, club, or group and have fun with it!
  4. Raise awareness, spread the word. Share, Like on Facebook/Twitter and tell your mom friends! www.facebook.com/AustinDiaperBank, @austindiapers

Here are some moving testimonials that show what a great impact this organization has. Makes me want to buy extra diapers!

I am so grateful for the Diaper Bank donations. It is great to be able to take any    additional burdens off of our foster families and diapers are such a high need. So many times we have emergency placements where children come in and they just have nothing but the clothes/diaper they are wearing. If a donation of diapers saves them a trip to the store so they are available instead to spend time with the child/children in their home making sure they feel safe and secure; that is a real gift. Thank you so much.-Case worker from Helping Hand Home for Children

Though one client is still living with her natal family, she has been effectively ostracized by her cultural community for divorcing the man who assaulted and married her. While she recovers from the birth of her child, pursues divorce, looks for work and prepares for GED, one young client has greatly benefited from the promise of a regular diaper resource. Her previous income was, and her future income will be, earmarked for the family’s rent. She is incredibly grateful to the Austin Diaper Bank for allowing her to depend on a steady, clean source of diapers for her young son while she attempts to balance all of the other demands of her new life in the United States.-From Program Director of Asian Family Support Services of Austin

One of our recent shelter clients, Clara, had recently fled from a violent boyfriend who was also the head of the household. Daycare would not supply the pull-ups or diapers that her son needed during the day. Mom had no money, no financial options and thought she was going to have to pull her son from daycare all because she was not able to supply them diapers. When she got back to the shelter she was panicked, but when we told her that we could give her a couple cases to get her started, she was more than relieved. Clara was able to take a couple cases to daycare as well as keep a case for her at home. Clara and her son were able to move-in with Clara’s mom, and Clara is enjoying the new freedom of having a job and finding her “purpose” again. – From Hope Alliance

Because of your organization, I was able to provide enough diapers for the entire stay of an emergency foster placement for two infants. They were in the home for only a week, but it was nice to be able to take the burden of also purchasing diapers in the chaos of everything else that was happening. – Settlement Home

Last week, we had a caseworker visit our Rainbow Room at 2:00 a.m. after an emergency removal of an infant from a Meth home. She stopped by the Rainbow Room to grab some diapers and clothing for the infant: when you are removed from a Meth home, you can’t leave with a stitch of clothing on, not even a diaper. The Diaper Bank allows us to, not only, provide diapers in emergency situations, but also to help out families that are struggling to keep their family together.- From Partnerships for Children

Let’s help some deserving families worry about one less thing. Please donate what you can to the Austin Diaper Bank.  If you would like more information about the organization and how to help, please contact Beverly Hamilton at drbeverlyhamilton@gmail.com or call her at 512-922-2602. You can also contact the Austin Diaper Bank via their website at http://www.austindiapers.org/p/contact.html. And don’t forget to like them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

If you are not in the Austin area, don’t fret. Please go to http://diaperbanknetwork.org/ to see where the closest one to you is.

Thanks for taking time to read this. Do you have any charities you would like to get the word out on? 

I am compiling a list of little known national and Austin based charities for the Austin Moms Blog and can use your help. Please send me any information.  I’d love to learn more about what you support. Thanks again and Happy Days for all!

babies