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Southwest Airlines Community

We Take Safety Seriously

pberg
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Friends - Many of you are writing to us concerned about today's news reports regarding the safety and inspections of Southwest Airlines' aircraft.  Let me assure you, first and foremost, that no one is more passionate about the safety of our Customers and Employees than we are, and it is important for you all to know that the situation being reported in the media was never and is not now a safety of flight issue. The FAA has issued what is called a "letter of penalty" to Southwest Airlines regarding one of many routine, redundant, and overlapping inspections of our fleet.  The specific inspection in question involves an extremely small area in one of many overlapping inspections designed to detect early signs of skin cracking on our aircraft.   In March 2007, Southwest Airlines discovered a missed inspection area, disclosed the information to the FAA, and promptly reinspected all of our potentially affected aircraft. The FAA approved our actions at that time and considered the matter closed as of April 2007.  The Boeing Company, which manufactures all of our aircraft, also supported our aggressive compliance plan, and has issued a statement confirming that we acted responsibly and, more importantly, that the safety of our fleet was not compromised.   The FAA has concerns about the inspection process, which we are willing and eager to work with them to resolve.  Receipt of the FAA's letter of penalty gives us the opportunity to present both our case and the facts, which we feel will support our actions taken back in March 2007. We assure you that this issue never compromised the safety of our fleet.  Southwest has an excellent maintenance program, with more Boeing 737 aircraft experience than any carrier in the world.  Safety is, has always been, and will always will be our number one priority. 
186 Comments
Jim14
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Shame on you...you put not only your passengers at risk but your "valued" employees as well. You tout your employees being like "family" -- but you put your "family" on potentially unsafe aircraft without second thought. This should be a real turning point in employee relations at Southwest Airlines. Missed inspections by up to 2 1/2 years is criminal and your airline needs to be dealt with as such. I have been a Company Club/Rapid Reward member for over 20 years and GUARANTEE YOU that I have flow Southwest for the last time. I am certainly glad that your blatant disregard for safety and FAA directives has come to light, and claims of having "self reported" are no excuse -- you "self reported" because you knew this was all about to hit the fan. Why didn't you "self report" 30 months ago? To say your maintenance oversight is sloppy would be a gross understatement, and it will be interesting to see as details continue to emerge just how many senior managers and executives were aware of these situations, and for how long...
Carole_Pollock
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I think most of our airlines are flying with planes that are on the edge of compliance. I fly a lot for business and pleasure. There are only two airlines that fly from Las Vegas to LAS (that have flight times that make sense for business travel). I need to have assurance that the planes will fly on time and get me there in one piece. I am concerned about up-coming travel to go on a long-and expensive- cruise leaving from Los Angeles port. I don't know whether to change airlines or not at this point. Can you give me some assurance that scheduled travel will not be cancelled while you catch up with your inspections. Have you made up your collective mind on how to handle refunds when requested?
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[...] says We assure you that this issue never compromised the safety of our fleet. As you can see, there is a lot of conflicting information out there. What we do know is that [...]
Kathy15
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Wow, I have to admit all of this information has thrown me for a loop today after just booking a flight for myself and my 2 teenage daughters in July to fly all the way to California from Ky., especially since the girls have only flown one other time! I appreciated the discount tickets and since they are nonrefundable, we will be on those SW planes and will pray and trust God to keep us safe. In the meantime, I am sure that if most other airlines were investigated, these same kinds of situations would exist. We take risks every time we travel whether it is in a plane or in a car that we drive. Being totally paranoid won't help any of us, in my opinion.
El_in_WDC
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I dispise flying. I do it because I have to. Its certainly disheartening to hear that an airline that you had trust and loyalty in is knowingly violating the public's trust. Indeed, the FAA is certainly to blame. Inspectors who highlight problems should not be punished they should be given awards for their brave attitude to go against industry and supervisor pressures. In saying this, I am certain that SWA is not the only airline that knowingly puts their maintainence on hold for a period as to not disrupt flight schedules. I have been on a number of aging aircraft, including SWA, United, AA, US Air. They have had broken ceiling panels, broken lavs, broken overhead bins and on and on and on. Airlines have been cutting costs because it is almost nearly impossible to be profitable. SWA has made its profits in the past and been allowed to offer cheaper fares due to their hedging of gasoline. (basically locking in a price early as to avoid the rising costs of fuel). I'm not sure where the hedging agreement stands, however with the inability to be profitable and airline starting to cut costs, the airlines will need to make a decision as to whether they will continue to skimp on employees salaries and maintenance or whether these costs will once again be passed on to the consumer. I guarantee you that you will see these costs passed on to the consumer once again. Regardless, until we can move beyond the bureacracy of federal agencies and beyond corporate greed, we will not see a solution. Its upsetting, but true. One side question: Why is it the same price to fly from WDC to Boston as it is to fly from WDC to LA?
Paul4
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Settle down, consider the FACTS. The facts are not being reported by CNN. 1) Southwest DISCOVERED the problem. 2) Southwest REPORTED the problem, over a year ago, to the FAA. 3) Southwest CORRECTED the problem, as soon as possible, after consulting with the aircraft manufacturer, BOEING, and reported the corrective action to the FAA. 4) The missed inspections didn't even exist until 2004, while the airframe has been around since the middle of the 1960s. (None of Southwest's planes is older than about a 1985 model). 5) This is an election year. FAA wants money and attention. Members of Congress are up for election. All of these factors make a story like this attractive to an entity like CNN, who has their own business to run. They are masters at spin, and at stirring up propaganda against their target du jour. All of the above rantings about greed, unsafe operations, ENRON etc. are grossly misplaced, histrionic and inaccurate.
Frederick_W
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I fly Southwest for at least 5 roundtrips every year and used to fly United as much and I can say that Southwest's 737s were in vastly better condition than United's both on the exterior and interior. I believe Southwest and will fly them as often if not more often than I do now. Southwest has a nearly impeccable saftety record and won't let media sensationalism get in the way of that.
Pete1
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While the major media was using the fear tactic again to play up the story, I have to think that this whole event is being blown out of proportion. I've flown on a lot of different airlines over the years, and I have to say that all things considered, as an engineer and a pilot, I've been most impressed with the operations of Southwest Airlines. There has never been a fatal crash of a Southwest flight. Pretty amazing when you realize they have been flying for over 3 decades and that they carry more passengers per year than any other carrier in the world. They must be doing something right with their maintenance and aircrew training programs. If folks are really concerned about aviation safety, I suggest there are other more important areas we should be concentrating on. Check out the NTSB web site at http://www.ntsb.gov/recs/mostwanted/aviation_issues.htm for their most wanted aviation safety improvements. (And no, I do not own Southwest stock, have never worked for Southwest, and do not have any friends of relatives who work for Southwest.)
Unhappyfather
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I have been using Southwest for over 6 years now for business and I also use Southwest to fly my unaccompained minor duahgter to vist her mom. Reading the article made me very upset and sad to even think of what could of happend over the years by Southwests lack of action. Do we know the turth? Sure their are two sides to every story. I believe that consumer confidence in Southwest is lost on many fronts. My expectations of being a customer is for Southwest to fix ALL problems asked of by the FAA no matter how much it disrupts their daily operation or how much it costs. God forbid their company was faced with a loss of life situation invloving a plane crash and their knew about the problem and could have prevented it. I believe Southwest means well but some aspects of their operation involving their "proactive" manitance were caught with their pants down! They used the system to keep their planes moving and push back any corrective action for profit. Same on Southwest! As for the FAA, the governing body we the public look to to enforce our public safety over these carries, Same on you! We the public are not asking for extensions for these issues to be fix. Accroding to the CNN article Rep. James Oberstar D-Minnesota was quoted saying "When an aircraft is flying out of compliance with airworthiness directives, it is to be shut down and brough in for maintenance inspection. That's the law." I believe Southwest should be punished where it hurts in the pocket book and for the loyal flyers to fly other airlines. Also I believe that the public opinion is going to hurt Southwest and no matter how low the internet specials go this "black eye" will remain forever! I would expect the FAA to honor the wise old saying......."Nothing rolls better then a head!" To clean house and put things in place to enusre this never happens again! I turly believe Southwest would not want to hear the popular "DING!" being played as the entrance music for a funeral persession. I hope that they will learn their lesson be proactive and have higher standards then what the FAA puts forth. My daughters life as well as mine is worth way more then your profits. NEWS Article 5 years from now = "Southwest is still leading the industry with the most number of people traveled and their are happy to report this year the company only lost 5 planes this year as compared to 7 last year due to craks in the fueslage!" Southwest if you take care of the little things in life or your business their BIG issues will not develop!
chuchoteur
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To Carole Pollock: All of the inspections were completed last year, please bear in mind that this issue occured in March 2007. Hence, your travel on Southwest should not be impacted for this reason :o) To all those who have vowed never to fly Southwest again: As a fare-paying passenger, you always have the choice as to which carrier you fly with. But when you fly on another carrier, do a quick google search on their flight dispatch reliability rates (which is very representative of the quality of preventative maintenance of the airline). You will soon find that Southwest has one of the best dispatch reliabilities in the industry - and that means that your flight will operate, safely, on time, thanks to high quality preventative maintenance. For those airlines who don't have a good dispatch rate: This does not mean that the aircraft are "unsafe". What it implies is that due to less investment in replacing items before they are broken, they have more incidents on the line, and thus more reasons to ground an aircraft. The old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" does NOT apply to the airline industry... If the despatch reliability is not overly good, you have just increased your chances of having your flight cancelled due to mechanical reasons :o) Raphael PS: Paula, Brian, hope you have a good weekend nonetheless - you're doing a great job, and not many airlines would let some of these posts through on a "moderated" blog :o)) PPS: for those who may ask themselves the question - no, I don't work for Southwest 🐵
Hans
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Unless some bombshell evidence arises that proves that SWA actively planned to skip neccesary safety inspections, or covered up that failure, I will continue to be a loyal customer. I am sorry to hear people declaring their knee-jerk declaration that they will never fly SWA again. But then again that just means I will have a few more seats to choose from next flight!
Brian13
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Let me just say that I'm only a loyal SWA customer. I have no other vested interest in the company. But does anyone really think SWA, with its impressive safety record (a key point of difference when I picked them as my usual carrier) would knowingly fly unsafe aircraft? It's better for the bottom line to pull planes out of service than to experience a serious accident. I think the management knows this. Everyone who's "freaking out" about their upcoming flights -- come on. As usual, the media's hyperbole is mixing with political and bureaucratic antics to create a story that plays on people's ignorance and fear. My experiences with SWA have been nothing but good, and I'm brand-loyal to them. Their transparency in this kerfuffle strengthens my confidence in the company.
dennis2
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Why do you believe Boeing would say anything different. Do you believe they are going to say that they have built a defective product? That their product cannot go longer for inspection? Boeing has nothing to do with the implementation of the AD. Boeing may have helped come up with it, but they do not institute it. When the FAA set the AD, it did with the probable advise of Boeing. But, Boeing is not the authority to allow extra time. Plus, extra time on top of what, several months. To those of you who claim to be in the know, the inspection time frames are there for a reason. Whether it be 100 hours, 400 hours or 4500 cycles, they are in place due to a study of the appearance of a defect within that time frame. The inspections are not designed to identify a catastrophic failure, but instead are designed to identify the warning signs of a coming failure. In this case the eddy current tests are designed to see things that you cannot see with the naked eye. The defect is there, you just can't see it. However, with the right load, the defect makes itself known, and the rudder is lost, the fuselage is lost, the wings fissure, etc. If you really do your homework, you will see that a large number of catastrophic incident have dealt with some sort of failure with inspections and or maintenance, and a mistake or failure to follow the requirements.
Francisco
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I am quite disappointed that Southwest failed to comply with mandatory checks but even more now that they seem care free and pass the blame on someone else. After reading all the reports and blogs, I find in this blog that they contacted Boeing for support in this matter and how they notified the FAA about the issues. In reality, It's not up to Boeing or the FAA... It is solely Southwest; they should have taken matters into their own hands. I do applaud them for trying to seek help but it all comes down to their own final decision of continuing to operate the faulty aircraft.
Sharon_Giles
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You have been my preferred airline since the first day you started to fly out of San Diego, CA. So you can understand my shock at the news reports about the safety issues with some of your airplanes. I've read your version of the events and hope you are being truthful, however, my confidence HAS been shaken. I have a free flight award as I write this and I'm sure at some point I will use it, but I will definately say a prayer before I board.
Amanda111
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First off: jk, you're an uneducated idiot who should not be allowed to speak to anyone in public. May God have mercy on your soul. I am a stay at home mother who's husband works 60+ hours a week to provide for his family. We do not live off of government handouts, we drive new vehicles, live in a house that's 2500 sf, and WE FLY SOUTHWEST!!!! Who the hell are you to call people that fly southwest "anycolor trash"?!!! Maybe you should take a look in the mirror! Secondly: I have been a loyal customer of Southwest for many years, and have never had anything but wonderful experiences in flying with them. I must say I was disturbed to hear of the inspection violations, especially since I'm getting on a plane with my daughter tomorrow, but I still have full faith that Southwest is doing a wonderful job of looking after our safety. Kudos to you Southwest for reporting yourselves, and make sure that you continue to do the right thing and fly safely!
A_
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Lindbergh, Gotta Love a Smart ASS!
Never_Flown_Sou
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I am sure what happened is SW discovered they had missed the required inspections and contacted Boeing and maybe the FAA about a 10 day window to catch up that allowed minimal disruption to their schedule. This was approved by Boeing probably since 10 days is a minimal amout of time to extend an inspection period (remember this isn't a switch, the planes don't suddenly get cracks the just because an inspection interval passed). It turns out a small percentage of the planes had cracks that required repair. Obviously cracks the size found are not catastrophic since none of the planes crashed. As for all the minor problems some have reported with SW planes (seats etc.) any airline has to make decisions every day on when to fix minor problems balancing customer inconvienence of a non-functional item vs inconvienence of cancelling a flight due to aircraft availability.
Andy_Hakes
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It borders on irresponsible for Congressman Oberstar to claim such a serious breach of trust and safety by Southwest. The internal investigation will uncover true FACTS, which in this case are often manipulated when airline technical issues are discussed by the media and non-industry folks who lack a good understanding of how the industry actually works. Aircraft maintenance issues which may seem catastrophically serious by the general public are often minor oversights and compliance issues which weren't 100% adhered to....in other words....paperwork issues. This is why formal investigations are launched however....so that the actual FACTS are understood and subsequently dealt with. Only then should the media report the findings. Sadly, by then, the media may have latched onto the next juicy headline, leaving the airline to clean up the mess.
Daniel_J__Coona
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I would and will fly on Southwest any time I have the opportunity. I am a retired Air Force aircraft maintenance officer. I know aircraft deficiences when they are critical and when they are not. Newspaper editors will twist their news in order to sell papers . I never took a chance with anyones' life and I don't think SWA does either ! AGAIN, i TRUST SWA-----not the press ,the FAA or greed politicians. The pilot flying that plane is the first one to put his life on the line. HE WORKS FOR SWA.
Bob16
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I don't believe you SWA. It's cheaper to pay the fine than to park 46 Airplanes. That's the real reason you kept flying those 46 Aircraft. You operated over 1400 flights AFTER you discovered the mistake. Safety inspection deadlines are in place for a reason. And Boeing had no right backing you up. How did they know there weren't any cracks????
Daniel_J__Coona
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I have faith in SWA-------More than any other airline If you lack confidence STAY HOME !!
Daniel_J__Coona
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Horray for SWA
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Southwest Responds to Safety Allegations Via Their Blog... I'm a nervous flier. I count to 30 seconds every time my plane takes off because I read somewhere that crashes are more likely in the first and last 30 seconds of a flight. After those 30 seconds I try...
Andy_Hakes
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BTW, as an aircraft mechanic of nearly 19 years, I can assure you that "cracks" on an airplane structure are not exclusive to Southwest, and there are thoroughly researched and engineered methods of dealing with them. The scope of the entire aircraft maintenance process is much more comprehensive and scientific than politicians and the media would have you believe. Let the facts be told.
MHTflyer
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Well, first of all, I hope the accusations I have heard on both GMA and NPR that you were flying unsafe 737s is false. I am an airplane enthusiast, and have always loved and supported Southwest. I hope that this was just another case of the media blowing a story out of porportion, and I am seing WN as innocent until proving guilty. I will always love WN!
JP1
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As usual, the media, in their infinite wisdom, has the tendency to blow things out of porportion under the guise of "unbiased" reporting!!!!!! Man, talk about cerebral impotence. To all of you so-called experts who "have the facts", did you do your homework? In case you didn't notice, Southwest Airlines has an impeccable safety record. The best you can come up with is what amounts to something you got from watching TMZ!!!!! People like yourselves are the reason for sex (I'm not talking about using padded headboards and fluffy handcuffs either)!!!!!!!! The media did the same thing with the B-52 incident involving the flight with nuclear weapons from North Dakota to Louisiana. They didn't get their facts straight. As a result, 70 people faced sanctions ranging from losing a promotion to being relieved of command. A few of them, I knew personally. Bottom line, people. Before you begin expounding about things which you have have no clue about, pause and think. Get ALL the facts first. If you dare to challenge this logic with the temporal audacity that some of you have displayed in your comments, then my statement regarding cerebral impotence and safe sex stands!!!!
Anon4
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Just because something is printed in a newspaper does not make it true. An airline that cuts corners on safety in order to profit does not maintain a spotless safety record for 37 years. It just doesn't happen! Furthermore, plenty of Southwest employees fly on these planes, many of them "commute" to their jobs via a Soutwest flight. Do you really think they would skimp on safety when they and their families are flying on this airline, often several times per week? I hope Soutwest vigorously defends itself against these allegations and not let the media do the usual bit: slandering someone while the story is hot and then when it all turns out to be a big nothing you never hear about it. The media has just moved on to the next big "story". I KNOW Southwest has never skimped on safety.
David33
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Paperwork!!!! SWA, get your paperwork in order, do all your deferred maintenance, pay your FAA fine and get all of your planes fixed and inspected now! Your low bid, third-party maintenance contractors are the problem!!! Clean house now and mea culpas out the wazzo in the press before the flying public moves back to, god forbid, USAir! Geeeeezzzz SWA, are you all asleep over there? This isn't rocket science, just good management. Promote Hoot Gibson to CEO before someone gets hurt.
james_a_alpeter
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It would seem that the FAA and Congress have more important things to do than going on the attack against one of the finest and more profitable airlines in the industry! The local FAA inspectors passed the planes in question and the matter should have been dropped. It appears that the individual that made the complaint had no basis other than attempting to cause trouble,If the issue was so serious why not identify yourself by name so that a proper response can be made directly to the individual.Beth Harbin,keep up the good work,and respond directly to these fools!
Mark_H
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As a Flight Attendant for Southwest Airlines, I would like to add my two peanuts worth, so to speak. I have been with the Company for fourteen and a half years, and I have never hesitated to step aboard one of our flights, either as a working crew member or as passenger hitching a ride from here to there. As Flight Attendants, we are trained to ensure a SAFE and comfortable flight for our Customers with SAFETY being our number one priority. We are encouraged to raise concerns if something appears out of the ordinary, even if it seems to be Ã
JP1
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To David and everyone else whose thought process is flawed regarding this issue: I ask you: What qualifications do you have in assessing the situation regarding the safety of Southwest Airlines operations? Can you explain the sucess this airline has enjoyed for 37 years and counting? When you can answer this, then get back with me. I challenge you to defend your logic(?)
Bobby_Thomas
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Paula, please tell us how you know the inspections were done? Were you there and watched them all? No you weren't. You're job was to write that little blog entry, and press release. You are PAID by the company to write what they TELL you to write. You are a liar and as much as a shame on the human race as Bush.
Bobby_Thomas
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Tamra DAL Mx |: You are an SWA employee. You have a vested interest in lying to the public. You have SWA(LUV) stock. You want the stock to go up, but it went down today like most stocks. On March 19, the airline said it had definitely flown airplanes that had skipped required inspections. But then the airline did something worse, according to the F.A.A. Ã
Jimbo
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Newsflash - MARTIANS ARE SPOTTED ON MARS! I think there are some people on this blog that actually BELIEVE those headlines! The media is a very smart engine and they can help you believe whatever they want you to. Let's stick to the facts people. I own stock in this airline and I want that stock to go UP not down.
Mach_1
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The facts are not all known, and the fact is the planes were all safe. The reason airplanes crack are they are made out of aluminum and they "flex" with each pressure cycle. Boeing designed the skins to be thicker in certain areas and thinner in other areas to save weight in the construction (which allows you to carry more stuff on the plane). This was a good idea and is the norm in the industry. As aircraft ages the thinner areas weaken and start to crack. Boeing designed the aircraft with doublers, tearstraps, and "Bearstraps" to prevent the kind of catastrophic failure seen on the "Aloha" aircraft, which was a much older Boeing design than the Classic. These designed thicker areas are made to prevent a failure as seen in the "Aloha" incident and work very well. The inspection programs are built to catch the cracks, the AD's are more specific in detail and frequency. The first post in this blog asks you to read the FAA letter to SWA, I highly recommend you read it, and try to understand it. As it refers to numerous "If/Then" scenarios of whether or not a certain inspection/AD/cancels out another or is applicable at another time. Having first hand experience trying to make sense out of some of these documents, I feel the real problem is the confusing nature in which the FAA and the Manufacturer's approve and send these documents(AD's & SB's) to the airlines. Southwest Airlines is the most successful, safe, and best maintained airline in the world. Their safety record, customer complaints record, and DOT ratings reflect this. Please wait for the facts to come out as there has been a terrible injustice against SWA and to the trust of those customers who entrust SWA with their lives.
Greg9
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I am very concerned as a Southwest customer and stock holder. The person in charge of your flight safety department needs to be fired today. Evaluate each and every area having to do with safety. Get the lowest level person in each safety department and get the scoop on whats going on. They usually see the most and say the least. This is a wake up call for a great company.
Steven7
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I think it's horrible that you all would put people's lives at risk, all at the cost of money. You have lost a longtime and loyal customer. My company will also discountiue using your services. We will gladly pay more to fly American, because we value the saftey of our employees and their families. This is the cost you all will have to pay for not doing things right.
Becky7
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Note to Bobby: I, like Tamra, am an employee of Southwest Airlines, and if you knew me, you would know that nobody tells me what to say or what to write. I work in Customer Service, but I flew on our airline twice this week (for pleasure--AFTER the ''big news'' broke) on 2 different, almost-full planes loaded with our typical customers--happy, fun-loving, confident and intelligent. These people will continue to fly SWA and we will continue to enjoy many more fun and prosperous years like the last 36! And to those of you who are afraid, well, you have the freedom to fly on any other airline you choose, but keep in mind that you will be boarding a plane that has a safety record inferior to that of SWA's. The other 95.9+ million passengers and I will miss ya!
Chris51
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It's amazing how ignorant some people are when it comes to airplanes, aviation and airlines. SWA is perfectly safe.
carla
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Wow. I think that this situation is indicative of a serious problem with our American culture today. This is an example of why parents have a hard time explaining to their kids why you should do the right thing. "Johnny, YOU need to tell your teacher that you were the one who wrote on the wall. It will be better for you in the long run." "But Mom, when SWA did the right thing and self-disclosed to the FAA, it wasn't better for them." "Johnny, eat your spinach, and now I'm going to take away the next $10,000,000 of your allowance." Johnny is now thinking that he should have just kept his mouth shut. And this all happened last year...so why quit flying now. And I do not fly any other airline domestically and will not fly any other airline domestically in the future. And SWA started life with a legislative attempt to run them out of business...that experience should help them overcome this witch hunt. And I do not own SWA stock. I do not work for SWA nor any of their vendors. And if this was a "normal" corporate site many of the previous comments would never see the light of a computer screen.
sparky
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LOL - I wish only news organizations would report on what they really know.. But of course, if they did that...We would never have any news... It would be the quite times... Watching CNN would be nothing but a REPORTER sitting at his chair, saying nothing, reading nothing, doing nothing but staring into a camera. They are reporting on stuff they know nothing about. Ask CNN for what they know about 14CFR - Part 121... If you were to ask the reporter that reported this story... it would be the following quote: "Doh!!!!!!!" See my post under Southwest Airlines ' CEO Appears on CNN.
drew
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Not even a month ago the FAA considered this issue resolved. Days before they were to be taken behind the woodshed by Oberstar's committee, they panic, pull a ridiculous dollar amount out of thin air and demand that Southwest pay it. This entire kerfuffle is nothing more than a political game, and Southwest is the FAA's pawn.
Josh13
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I'm really shocked at some of the comments here. Much of these comments are based on information that's shoddy at best. I'm very critical of the mass media blowing this out of proportion in the first place and all the facts are not in there. As someone who tries to stop and take things with a grain of salt, I have to raise my eyebrow first and get al the facts to pass judgement. I think personally Southwest's repuitation speaks for itself. I've been a loyal Southwest Customer for several years now, and I have total confidence in their quality of service, and in their maintenance. Thus far, in its history, I can only think of two incidents where Southwest has been involved with. There also has been only one fatalty related to their flights. But other than that, to this day, there has not been a single crash, or a single major problem with the airline's planes. Try slapping that label on any other airline. Everyone here who hasn't stop to even check the FAA policies needs to understand a clear thing. Just because a plane is "unairworthy" does not equate the plane is unsafe. Simply having a blown out lightbulb for your seat reading light or a missing safety placard would mark your plane unairworthy. Some of the most nitpicky things we take forgranted (magazines, safety placards, reading lights, a blown out lightbulb on the emergency floor illumination, etc.) would make a plane unairworthy. I will continue to take my business to Southwest Airlines, and if possible, increase it. They treat me like I'm in first class, and I must say I will most likely will always choose them over any legacy airline, if and when I can. Best, Josh
Scott9
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I'm not surprised by a lot of the comments below that have already formed an opinion based on knowing half the facts. Lack of education and little common sense normally leads to the "burn the witches" mentality. The fact that SWA let's people rant on their blog without editing just shows how committed they are to complete transparency. (Open and honest communication, no frills, LUV...) Get it?
Peter12
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Fly SW and very dissappointed over recent fine violations. It is your job to keep track of inspection notices as published by aircraft manufacturers and the FAA. They notified you when issues around the 737 were discovered. It seems clear to me that all the LUV promotion you were doing was not heartfelt and that you placed corporate profit above the safety of customers and employees. SHAME ON YOU. You have a great business model but snap out of it an do the right things.
Gowser
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John states that Southwest have never had a plane crash. While their safety record is excellent that statement is not true. They have had two crashes, though it is true that no-one on board a Southwest plane has died in a crash. John's statement should be corrected out of respect for the child killed when a Southwest plane crashed at Chicago Midway. Kudos to Southwest for allowing an open debate on the blog. However, surely someone should be dismissed to prove that the same situation won't be allowed to happen again?
Eileen
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A college professor once said to me "statistics don't lie but liars use statistics" and I have found that the media does just that to make a story seem big. Was it a slow day for the media? Seems like this is much ado about nothing. Sounds like SWA found a problem, notified the FAA, asked Boeing for their guidance (think those aerospace engineers know what they are doing?) and then fixed the problem. This was a year ago. Why are we just now hearing about this? Is the FAA being investigated for something? Are they trying to divert attention from something internal? And leave it to a politician to make an inflamatory statement to grab some free air time. I smell a rat!
Josh13
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Nick, I consider those more as incidents than a plane crash. In my book, a plane crash is when you leave a hole in the earth or fall short of the runway. Both incidents at MDW and at BUR were they landed on the runway, but they went through the barrier and ended up outside the airport boundaries.
Palespring1
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The media took this and ran. It is utterly ridiculous. And I agree with Nick and Eileen. Eileen, it must have been a slow news day! They are always looking for drama. Everyone should read both sides of the story and stop jumping to conclusions. Southwest has the safest record of any airline, I wouldn't change for anything. It's amazing how many ignorant people are posting on here. For all of you swearing not to fly SWA ever again, have fun paying higher fares and getting horrible service on other airlines! Leaves more low fares for the rest of us!!