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DOT Slams Southwest Safety

New Arrival

Despite my enthusiasm for Southwest over the past two years based on their flexibility, two free bags and companion pass, I’m now considering switching back to United or another carrier.  Why?  Because the USDOT has just issued a scathing report that makes clear Southwest doesn’t grasp what Safety Culture is all about.  Read the the linked article:


Southwest - what radical change are  you going to make to give the flying public confidence that you’ve made safety the highest priority?


Re: DOT Slams Southwest Safety

Top Contributor

I agree that this recent report is very concerning.


Be aware though that this is primarily a customer-to-customer forum, and if you'd like to reach Southwest directly, you should do so using any of the contact methods shown at the bottom of this page.

Re: DOT Slams Southwest Safety

Active Member

This is very concerning, indeed!


One of the scariest parts of the article is that "many of the 88 foreign 737s acquired by Southwest were certified in one day, and in some cases put into passenger service on that same day. That process typically takes three to four weeks per plane."


Essentially, those Southwest passengers were flying on a foreign aircraft without knowing it.

Re: DOT Slams Southwest Safety

Rising Star

Interesting. Many of these points address the inaccurate weight / baggage issues, which has been previously discussed as an issue, but it's been undermined how big of an issue this is or what this really impacts, if anything.  


The most concerning to me is the 24 planes in an "unknown airworthiness state." That's fairly generic though. The planes could have been perfectly fine, albeit not properly inspected to prove that point. Immediately after that, the next few points talk about 88 planes, so I am not sure why there is a jump in #s, or if the 24 is included with the 88, or separate. 24 planes is about 3% of Southwest's fleet. 88 is closer to 12%. 


Also: no airline is perfect, but that's not to say that Southwest should not address these issues ASAP, but if you think other airlines don't make any miscalculations (etc) at all, then you would be mistaken. Southwest is one of the top US-based airlines in the country, and I am willing to bet other airlines big (Delta, AA, others) and small (think Spirit, Allegiant, others) have their own issues and problems. 



Re: DOT Slams Southwest Safety

Thanks for bringing your question here, @AlBuck. Safety is our top prirority at all times, so we appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. The measures we have taken are outlined in our statement here.
Community Manager