Flying is a service that I have come to love. Like all services, things come with a price. Southwest can't fly to every single town or area I need to fly to and at times I need to take another airline. I would actually not have an issue with paying for baggage if it were at some reasonable price. How somebody just made it immediately $25 and up was really a disservice to the customer. I would have no issue, (even on SW) to pay a minimal fee. (But hope I never do.) So my short message here to SW Airlines. If that day comes that you ever have to charge, I would gladly pay $5 per bag, but if it goes higher than that I might as well fly the other airlines, and know which seat I am getting.
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You should probably start a new thread @moxieindenver but hopefully I can answer. You shouldn't have to provide a doctor's note or anything, the gate agent should take your word for it that it is necessary when you check-in. If they ask (they shouldn't) just describe the issue with past surgeries and arthritis. I don't worry about jumping in to line at the last second though, that's the great thing about the numbered positions. Find the person that would otherwise be behind you and let them know that you can't stand that long and you'll be hopping in front of them at the scanner, it should be fine. It isn't anyone else's business. Or if you have something in the middle of the A's, just wait for A60 to roll by and jump up then, you'll still have plenty of aisles or windows. You'll have to stand in the jetway though. You'll be better off pre-boarding.
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Its a shame that there is NOTHING that flies into the Great Parks of the Dakotas, Wyoming or Montana. There MUST be a market for Jackson Hole or Rapid City? Denver is as close as u come... FlyOver States are IMPORTANT, too.
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Imagine you are a U. S. soldier deployed and far away from home with the holiday season just days away! How would it feel to receive a message of love and support from home at this special time of year?
During November, Southwest’s Military Heroes Month, Southwest Customers and Employees wrote more than 6,000 patriotic and inspirational messages on our “We LUV Our Troops” cards. These individualized and unique messages included children’s drawings, veterans’ recollections, quick lipstick kisses, holiday remembrances, and simple messages of support and appreciation. The A Million Thanks organization will send these cards to military bases around the globe just in time for Christmas.
Southwest provided “We LUV Our Troops” cards in the gate areas of the 73 airports we serve for Customers and Employees to sign, and we joined with A Million Thanks (a non-profit organization) to deliver the messages at no cost to the troops. The A Million Thanks Campaign began in 2009 with a lofty goal of one million messages of appreciation to be delivered to our troops; that original goal was met within six months. To date the campaign has sent 5.2 million messages from a grateful nation, and that number doesn’t include the more than 6,000 being sent from Southwest. These messages are a simple “Thank you”’ and a “We are thinking of you”’ from the millions of Americans whose freedoms these soldiers are ensuring and protecting. We hope this touch of home conveys just how grateful we are, especially during this time of year.
"You have definitely hit it on the head; support from home makes a big difference to us and is an enormous morale booster."
"Thank you for your kindness and support. I really appreciate all of the words and prayers that I receive.”
"Thank you very much for your continued support of the Soldiers and Airmen in Qalat, Afghanistan. We truly appreciate all that you do for us, to include the pictures, drawings, and letters of support."
"Your support and patriotism has helped strengthen the resolve of our Marines. It's people like you that keep the Marines motivated and proud to serve our country."
Because we get it, and we understand how important it is to be together, especially over the holidays, we offer our thanks to our Customers and Employees for providing a little bit of home for those that are so far away. From our grateful hearts to your warm hearts, we wish you a Merry Christmas and to all—including our U.S. Troops—a good night. - See more at: http://www.blogsouthwest.com/blog/million-thanks#sthash.fa56xBs7.dpuf
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You know every family has their fair share of awkward holiday photos through the years. The crazy haircuts, the holiday sweaters, and the strange props make these Holiday photos memorable for years and years! Sometimes, if you were lucky enough, mom would share those photos via Holiday card with friends, relatives, and fortunately for us…co-workers! At Southwest Airlines we have a time honored tradition of celebrating the Holidays to the extreme! Our Employees LUV to get in the spirit and share holiday cheer! In the halls of the Southwest Airlines Headquarters, in Dallas, TX, lurk some of the best treasured memories of past holidays. In the images below, we’ll share with you the best of the best Southwest Airlines Holiday Cards and photos that have been shared through the years. These cards and photos have been shared with the Company by real Employees and Customers. Our Social Media Team provided captions to help bring the images to life, but feel free to share with us your best photo captions! Or, upload your own funny holiday photos and share with us on Instagram or Twitter using the Hashtag #SWAwesome Southwest: Having FUN and modeling our tackiest Christmas sweaters since 1971! Happy Holidays! 1988 called... and wanted to wish you a Happy Holidays! Oh, and it also made you a mix tape full of its favorite hair bands. Rock on! Santa Claus and his upgraded sleigh. Hope your Holiday Season is Puuurrrrrfect! I don't always fly on an airplane during the holidays, but when I do, I fly Southwest Airlines. - Santa Santa’s Helpers Fly SWA! Southwest Airlines: Your Personal Air Chauffeur! Who needs reindeer when there’s TJ LUV? Santa touches down in Columbus for a photo op! A Classic display of Warrior Spirit and holiday cheer! Christmas in Texas Y’all! Because nothing says Happy Holidays like ornaments with heads in them! 'tis the season of giving! Happy Holidays! Hope your holiday season is a splash! Southwest Airlines is proud to give you the Freedom to Fly. And we even got you these golden reindeer! Okay, fine. They're chocolate. Season's Greetings! Did anyone ask the golden bear if this was okay with him? ...and has anyone seen my red vest? Don't worry, girls, Phil called and he is on his way. But he has some questions about this year's outfit. You know you're in Texas when people are wearing shorts in a Christmas picture and still smiling. There's something on the wing. Some... THING! Tom's gotten really good at whittling, but he can't stop showing off his work. Wait so... does this thing have a chimney? There are precisely two normal things going on in this picture. Can you name them? Charity break! If you clicked on this picture, go and spread some holiday cheer in your community! Okay, once you see the sleigh, we gotta move fast if we're gonna take off after him! Uh, Santa? I think we better turn around and pick up the other reindeer. Get out there and give back this Christmas season! Gals, do you think anyone noticed that I reused my Robin Hood costume from Halloween? Two satisfied Customers! Exact replica of one of our planes. But right? I think the shoes have poms on them, and that is in no way disappointing. It's no apple, but I think we can detach the star and time it appropriately to ring in the New Year!
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I was VERY impressed with the way Southwest handled my "Sandy" situation. I was scheduled to fly from Atlanta to Newark on the Monday just prior to the storm and when I called to switch it to Thursday, when I "thought" it would all be over, they told me I could book any flight for no additional fare cost. And then when I delayed it two more times because of the extended emergency conditions, they continued to offer that same flexiblity! Without me asking! Unbelievable! I had two friends also stuck in Atlanta and when the events they were heading to the NY area for were canceled, Delta gave them NO leniency on moving their flights without incuring both change fees AND the addtional fare costs. That also was unbelievable!!
I'm from Atlanta and was raised with Delta, but now I'm a LOYAL SOUTHWEST FAN!!!! Thank you!!
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The new uniforms look great but I worry about the culture of the Company changing. I honestly feel that one of the big reasons that SWA has been so successful is that they have made the Company a "fun" place to work. There's nothing wrong with trying to be more professional but I can detect a change in the attitudes of the F/A's when they are wearing the uniforms. When in their khaki's and tennis shoes, they were comfortable and treated people as equals. I see a little "Delta or American" attitude creeping in.
Please, please don't mess with the culture. I realize that you are not a small Company anymore but the dress has been one of the defining differences with SWA. But, I have to admit, I still miss the hot pants and go go boots.
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Today our Customers had a very special treat waiting for them at Dallas Love Field. As the Official Airline of the Texas Rangers, a few of our favorite Rangers pitchers were on hand to “relieve” Southwest Airlines Employees by marshaling in a Southwest Airlines 737, unloading baggage from the aircraft, and greeting Customers as they arrived at Dallas Love Field.
The players included Robbie Ross, Mark Lowe, and Derek Holland – all part of the Rangers stellar bullpen. The guys were joined by the Rangers Six Shooters and everyone’s favorite mascot, Captain. The players signed autographs for our Customers and posed for photos, and a little Dallas rain shower didn’t stop these guys from helping out on the ramp – actually, I think they enjoyed the cooler temperatures! Another fan favorite of the day was Derek Holland doing the boarding announcement in the voice of famed sports announcer Harry Caray! It was a spot-on impression! The Rangers face off against the Baltimore Orioles tonight at home. Hopefully they’ll have time to rest up a bit before they suit up, we worked them pretty hard this morning!
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if i was big enough to be "redirected" to a different seat i would sue all of these airlines who apparently have these two-seat rules that no one knows about because btw, i HAVEN'T read about these situations before. and all of you "skinny" people who think that you are so tiny you aren't hogging the armrest... THINK AGAIN!! regardless of weight, people are just flat out clueless and incosiderate at the same time.
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This weekend Southwest is in attendance at the Resort Showcase at the Walt Disney World® Resort in beautiful, sunny Orlando! The Disney Resort Showcase is an exclusive, invitation-only, event held once a year intended to give the media and others a behind-the-scenes look at all the latest and greatest happenings at the Walt Disney World® Resort!
Even though this event is not open to the public, we thought it would be fun to bring the park to you folks at home (or maybe reading this blog post from work). Since we’ll be exploring the parks, we thought it would be appropriate to use one of our favorite social media channels, Twitter! Follow us throughout the weekend on Twitter (@SouthwestAir) to take part in our #Hunt4Magic, also known as the Southwest Scavenger Hunt.
Throughout the Resort Showcase our Social Media Team will be posting photo riddles to the Southwest account on Twitter. Some riddles will be challenging, so make sure you are brushed up on your Disney Parks trivia! The questions all will relate to the brand new resort, the Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. The first person to reply to the @SouthwestAir account using the hashtag #Hunt4Magic, will get their name entered in a drawing for a chance to win a pair of roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines from Southwest! There will be several riddles posted on each day throughout the weekend, so you have multiple opportunities to enter your name in “the hat” for a chance to win the roundtrip tickets! We’ll announce the winner on Monday, April 30 th .
Read the rules below for all the details on this sweepstakes! See ya on Twitter!
Southwest Scavenger Hunt
1. To Enter: No purchase or obligation necessary. Sweepstakes runs from April 26 th , 2012 12 a.m. PT– April 28th 2012 12 a.m. PT. To enter without purchase or obligation, look for the daily clues on the @southwestair Twitter page and tweet your answer to the riddle provided. If you are the first to answer the riddle correctly and use the hashtag #Hunt4Magic, you’ll be entered in a drawing for roundtrip plane tickets on Southwest Airlines. All entries become property of Southwest Airlines, the sponsor of this sweepstakes (“Sponsor”), and will not be returned. Entries limited to one (1) per person per riddle. Any person found using multiple Twitter accounts to enter will be found to be ineligible Sponsor is under no obligation to post any entry. Sponsor’s computer is the official time keeping device for this sweepstakes.
2. Drawing: A random drawing from all eligible entries received will be held on or about April 30, 2012. Entrants need not be present to win. The prize is guaranteed to be awarded. Odds of winning will depend on the total number of eligible entries received.
3. Prize: Two tickets on Southwest Airlines, on published scheduled service (subject to Southwest Airlines terms and conditions; certain restrictions may apply), to winner’s choice of a Southwest city destination. Airline tickets awarded will expire one year from the date of issue and may not be extended. Approximate retail value: $800. No substitutions, cash equivalents or transfers of prize permitted, except at the sole discretion of Sponsor. Prize is not transferable (and must be accepted as awarded), may not be resold, offered for resale, and is not redeemable for cash.
4. Eligibility: Sweepstakes open to all legal US residents, 21 years and older as of the start of the sweepstakes. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sweepstakes subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. By participating, entrants agree to these official rules and accept decisions of the Sponsor as final. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law.
The sweepstakes is offered in the United States only and shall only be construed and evaluated according to United States law. Do not proceed in this site if you are not located in the United States.
5. To Claim Prize: The correct riddle guesser will be notified by via Twitter after each riddle is posted. The potential winner of the Grand Prize will be notified via Twitter and will be required to complete and sign an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability Release and, where legal, a Publicity Release, which must be returned within seven (7) days after prize notification or prize will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner. If prize notification via Twitter is returned undeliverable, the prize will be awarded to an alternate winner in a random drawing. Grand Prize winner’s guest, or if minor their parent(s)/legal guardian(s), must execute Liability Releases, and where legal, Publicity Releases prior to the issuance of travel documents. Unclaimed or undeliverable prize will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner. Prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. Prize is guaranteed to be awarded. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission (except where prohibited) to use winner’s name, hometown and likeness for purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity in any media without additional compensation.
6. Limitation of Liability: Neither Sponsor, Disney Destinations, nor their affiliated entities, are responsible for printing or typographical errors in any related materials; stolen, fraudulent, entries or mail; or transactions that are processed or lost due to computer or electronic malfunction. Winner is solely responsible for payment of all federal, state, and local taxes on prize and for any travel or other expenses not specifically mentioned in prize description. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel or modify the sweepstakes if fraud or technical failure compromises the integrity of the sweepstakes as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. This sweepstakes offer is being made exclusively by Sponsor.
Sponsor not responsible for technical, hardware, software or telephone failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections or fraud, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission whether caused by Sponsor, user, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the sweepstakes or by any technical or human error which may occur in the process of submissions which may limit a participant’s ability to participate in this sweepstakes.
7. Winner’s List: To request a Winner’s Name List, send a self addressed stamped return envelope, after May 1, 2012, to Southwest Airlines Emerging Media Dept.. All requests must be received by May 30, 2012. Utah and Washington residents may omit return postage.
8. Sponsor: Southwest Airlines Co., P.O. Box 36611, Dallas, TX. 75235-1611
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Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways Meet Another Important Milestone in Their Integration of the Carriers. Customer Travel Plans Unaffected.
DALLAS—March 1, 2012—Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) and its wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways announced today the carriers received approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a Single Operating Certificate (SOC), marking a key milestone in the integration of the two airlines. The process of a full integration of the AirTran Airways fleet into the Southwest Airlines fleet (i.e., paint scheme and interior configuration) is not complete and the transition to a single ticketing system is a large and complex process that will take several years to complete.
“While this is an important milestone and one that we are extremely proud to achieve, as a practical matter, most Employees and Customers will see little or no immediate difference in the two airlines’ flight operations, as allowed by having both carriers named on the Single Operating Certificate,” said Mike Van de Ven, Chief Operating Officer at Southwest Airlines. “This will enable us to continue our integration in a coordinated and thoughtful manner while our Customers will continue to receive the highest level of service and Safety they have come to expect from both carriers.”
The FAA, Southwest Airlines, and AirTran Airways will address the following regulatory changes today: • The Southwest Airlines Air Carrier Operating Certificate will be amended to read “Southwest Airlines Co. and/or AirTran Airways Inc.” • The two airlines will conduct operations under a single set of FAA Operations Specifications.
Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways Customers will continue to experience the same great service from each airline. Customers flying on AirTran will continue to make reservations or check in at airtran.com or by calling 800-247-8726, and visit AirTran kiosks and airport ticket counters. AirTran Employees will still work on scheduled AirTran flights. Customers flying on Southwest can continue to find low fares or check in at southwest.com or by calling 800-435-9792, or at Southwest kiosks and airport ticket counters. Southwest Employees will still work on scheduled Southwest flights. Customers will continue to earn and redeem currency through the respective frequent flier loyalty programs, as they do today. These programs will be integrated over time.
“We cannot overstate the significance of having received our Single Operating Certificate—it is a monumental step in the regulatory process—and achieving it enables us to move forward with the integration of the two airlines into a single carrier. I would like to thank the Employees of Southwest and AirTran, the FAA, and the Department of Transportation for the countless hours of work they have dedicated to achieve the Single Operating Certificate,” said Van de Ven. Southwest Airlines announced plans to acquire AirTran Airways on September 27, 2010, an acquisition that significantly expanded Southwest Airlines’ low-fare service to more Customers in more domestic markets, creating hundreds of additional low-fare itineraries for the traveling public. Since Southwest Airlines closed the deal to purchase AirTran Airways on May 2, 2011, both carriers have worked hard to guarantee a thoughtful and smooth integration process while providing the same high level of Customer Service that Customers have come to expect. Throughout the next several years, Southwest Airlines will continue the process of welcoming AirTran Employees to the Southwest Family, converting AirTran Airways aircraft to the Southwest paint scheme and interior configuration, and transitioning AirTran Airways gates to Southwest Airlines gates (beginning with Seattle in August of 2012).
ABOUT SOUTHWEST Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers—offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and has acquired AirTran Airways, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. Southwest serves 73 cities in 38 states and remains one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet. To read more about how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit southwest.com/cares to read the Southwest Airlines One Report(TM). Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,200 flights a day and has more than 37,000 Employees.
ABOUT AIRTRAN AirTran Airways, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co., has been ranked the top airline in the Airline Quality Rating study twice in the past four years. AirTran offers Gogo Inflight Internet Connectivity and coast-to-coast service on North America's newest all-Boeing fleet. The airline's low-cost, high-quality product also includes assigned seating and Business Class. To book a flight, visit airtran.com.
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Some of us who are gluten-free (not by choice) appreciate that Southwest serves salted peanuts, as the are the ONLY gluten-free snack that are offered on SW flights. And as it is, only every other year, because they alternate with the honey-roasted which are not gluten-free.
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The only time that I have ever flown was to Alburqurque, NM, and I flew Southwest. What wonderful people!! They allowed me to board early because I was so frightened! My husband and I have quite a disparity in heights as I am 5' and he is 6'7" but they led us to the area of the plane that would accomodate both of us with comfort. Best of all was at the end of the flight, the whole plane gave me a standing ovation that I had made this journey and the flight crew gave me a set of wings to pin on my shirt.! This may be standard procedure but it was major comfort to me. YAY, Southwest Airlines!!
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Hey I have a very nice idea for this year Halloween party. Halloween is the hallows eve. So Lets try to make something hallow. We can create so many unique things with the help of cardboard. You can make some horror effect with them on this Halloween. You just need Cardboard sheet, Glue, Coloured Gell Papers. Now Draw some horror creature or spooky house on Cardboard sheet. Cut this down cleanly. And make some hollow features on the body of creature so that light can come out from this. Now paste this on a gel paper. Stick this paper on the glass windows. Switch on the lights in the room. you can use multiple colour papers and design once you understand the concept. Have nice Halloween.
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Additional reports from our Employees and Customers onboard flight 2274 during a stop in El Paso on Sunday now confirm profane language was being used loudly by two passengers. At least one family who was offended by the loud profanity moved to another area of the cabin. Although we have reports of what Customers characterize as an excessive public display of affection, ultimately their aggressive reaction led to their removal from the aircraft. We do not tolerate discrimination against anyone for any reason. In this situation, their removal was directly and solely related to the escalated conversation that developed onboard the aircraft.
Our tenets of inclusion and celebration of diversity among our Customers and Employees—including those in the LGBT communities—anchor our Culture of mutual respect and following the Golden Rule. The more than 100 million people who fly Southwest each year reflect the great diversity of our country and our Company — and ALL are valued and welcome. In fact, we've been recognized as a leader in diversity throughout our 40 years of service.
Our Customer Advocacy Team reached out to extend goodwill and a full refund for an experience that fell short of the passengers' expectation.
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Initial reports indicate that we received several passenger complaints characterizing the behavior as excessive. Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all Customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender. The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight. We regret any circumstance where a passenger does not have a positive experience on Southwest and we are ready to work directly with the passengers involved to offer our heartfelt apologies for falling short of their expectations.
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This has been handled very poorly. You send me half a dozen emails every week about a variety of topics, but for something such as this where I have earned these drink coupons I hear nothing? Why didn't you send everyone an email telling them they couldn't use the coupons? I am very disappointed that you chose to post this to a blog I don't read in stead of telling me directly.
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On Monday, we’ll be celebrating one year of service to Panama City Beach, Florida (ECP)! Can you believe it’s already been a year?! We entered the market last year with eight daily nonstop flights to four Southwest destinations and to date we have carried nearly half a million people in and out of the beautiful airport.
We’ll be joined in celebration by the community and airport officials who will be commemorating one year since the nation’s newest international airport opened! The airport is hosting a celebration on Monday that will feature:
A chance for Customers to win airline ticket vouchers valued at $250 each Entertainment by local band Stainless Steel Fun photo opportunities Cake and beverages
Community members are invited to join this free event sponsored by the Bay County Tourist Development Council and the Walton County Tourist Development Council. The event festivities will kick-off at 11 a.m. Attendees can enjoy live music and take fun beach-themed photos, which they can later access on the airport’s newly launched “I Fly Beaches” Facebook page.
On Tuesday, the Southwest Airlines Culture Committee will be on hand continuing the celebration with coffee and snacks in the morning, a business card laminating service, and fun games for our Customers and Employees!
If you haven’t taken advantage of our service to Panama City Beach yet, I recommend you put it in your travel plans asap! It’s super convenient to get to, the folks down there are extremely nice, and the beaches are BEAUTIFUL! I hope to see you all on the Beach this summer!
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SOUTHWEST AIRLINES RELEASES STATEMENT REGARDING FLIGHT 1919 AT CHICAGO MIDWAY
Plane Slides Off End of Runway Upon Landing; No Injuries Reported
DALLAS—April 26, 2011—Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) confirmed this afternoon that flight #1919, scheduled service from Denver to Chicago Midway, slid off a runway upon landing at Chicago’s Midway Airport. Local officials report heavy rain in the area at the time the aircraft landed.
Initial reports are that no one was injured. The passengers have been safely deplaned from the aircraft using air stairs and have been bused to the terminal. Southwest officials will be working with passengers to get them to their final destinations.
The aircraft is a Boeing 737-700.
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Southwest Airlines Resumes Regularly Scheduled Operations Tuesday, April 5, 2011 Southwest Airlines said today as of 9:00 a.m. Central Time that it had completed inspections on all aircraft required to resume scheduled operations. Minor subsurface cracking was found in five aircraft that will remain out of service until Boeing recommends appropriate repairs and those repairs have been completed. Two aircraft are awaiting inspection, which will be completed within the next 24 hours, but Southwest is able to operate regularly scheduled service at this time.
The FAA has notified Boeing operators that they will be issuing an emergency directive for a specific subset of the Boeing 737-300 fleet. With our knowledge of what the FAA had planned, we believe the 79 aircraft identified for inspection will accomplish this directive for Southwest Airlines. A reference in the FAA’s statement to similar inspections of certain 737-500 aircraft focuses on a particular set of airplanes not included in the Southwest fleet.
Southwest will operate a full schedule on Tuesday. Customers can always view the latest information regarding their specific flight by visiting http://www.southwest.com/flight/flight-status-select.html
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DALLAS—April 4, 2011—Southwest Airlines said today as of 3:30 p.m. Central Time that it had inspected nearly 90 percent of the 79 Boeing 737-300 aircraft it voluntarily removed from service this weekend. The airline has completed inspection of 67 aircraft and returned 64 of them to service. The remaining three aircraft did have findings of subsurface cracks and will be out of service until Boeing recommends an appropriate repair.
The FAA said late Monday it will issue an emergency directive Tuesday related to the inspections we initiated over the weekend. With our knowledge of what the FAA has planned, we believe the 79 aircraft already identified for inspection will accomplish this directive for Southwest Airlines. The reference in the FAA’s statement to the 737-500 focuses on a particular set of airplanes that does not include Southwest aircraft.
The airline expects to complete the inspections and be able to launch a full operation on Tuesday. For the latest information, Southwest encourages Customers to check www.southwest.com for updates on specific flights.
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Monday, April 4 (10:30am) -- Southwest Airlines said this morning that 57 aircraft have been inspected and returned to service as part of an additional inspection program on a subset of the Southwest 737-300 fleet. The program was developed in cooperation with the Boeing Company. It has cancelled approximately 70 flights from its Monday schedule of 3,400+ scheduled departures. The airline continues to inspect aircraft and will put those with no findings back into service. The inspection involves a non-destructive test (NDT) in the form of Low-Frequency Eddy current of the aircraft skin. This test is designed to detect any subsurface fatigue in the skin that is not visible to the eye. The airline confirms that the additional inspections have identified three aircraft with the subsurface cracks. Those aircraft will remain out of service until appropriate repairs can be completed.
Customers should continue to check southwest.com before heading to the airport to get specifics on their particular flight. The airline is working to minimize the impact to Customers. Southwest expects to complete the inspections late Tuesday.
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SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CONTINUES INSPECTIONS OF 737-300 FLEET, WORKS TO MINIMIZE CUSTOMER INCONVENIENCE FROM FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS Carrier Returns 19 Inspected Planes to Fleet So Far; Finds Cracks on Two Planes Requiring Additional Repairs
DALLAS—April 3, 2011—Southwest Airlines today provided several updates related to the ongoing inspections of a subset of its Boeing 737 fleet: · In cooperation with Boeing, an additional inspection program was set up for a subset of the Southwest 737-300. The inspection involved a non-destructive test (NDT) in the form of High-Frequency Eddy current of the aircraft skin. This test is designed to detect any subsurface fatigue in the skin that is not visible to the eye. · As of 4 p.m. Central time Sunday, 19 planes had undergone the intense inspection with no findings, and those planes have been returned to service. · In two other airplanes, the testing did detect small, subsurface cracks. Further evaluation and potential repairs will be necessary before those planes are returned to service. · Inspections of the remaining aircraft in the sub-fleet (79 total) will continue for the next few days. As inspections are completed with no findings, those planes will continue to be put back into service today and Monday. The airline anticipates completing the inspections by late Tuesday. The 79 aircraft designated for the additional inspections were designed differently in the manufacturing process. · Southwest continues its cooperation to the ongoing investigation being led by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) into the cause of the hole in the airplane which diverted to Yuma, Ariz., on Friday, April 1. · Sunday, Southwest expects to cancel approximately 300 flights while the inspections are ongoing. Customers should continue to check flight status at www.southwest.com for any changes to their flights as a result of inspections and out-of-service aircraft.
“I could not be more proud of our Maintenance and Engineering professionals who supported Boeing and the FAA in the establishment of these new inspection procedures,” said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Boeing has since identified an inspection program for this section of the aircraft. Based on this incident and the additional findings, we expect further action from Boeing and the FAA for operators of the 737-300 fleet worldwide.”
Southwest operates a total 737 fleet of 548 planes. The fleet is constantly undergoing rigorous checks and inspections as directed by the FAA and Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer. These checks and inspections are dictated by number of cycles (a cycle is a takeoff and landing) and on a calendar basis as well.
“Our highest priority is the safety of our Employees and Customers,” Van de Ven said. “Prior to the event regarding Flight 812, we were in compliance with the FAA-mandated and Boeing-recommended structural inspection requirements for that aircraft. What we saw with Flight 812 was a new and unknown issue. We regret any Customer inconveniences as a result of the inspections currently underway. Delays and cancelations are never the preference, however we are taking every precaution we can to ensure that our operation is safe.”
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SOUTHWEST AIRLINES WORKS TO MINIMIZE CUSTOMER DELAYS AS IT INSPECTS AIRCRAFT
Customers Should Check Their Flight Status on southwest.com
DALLAS—April 2, 2011--Southwest Airlines said today it is working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to determine the cause of a depressurization event during a Phoenix- Sacramento flight on Friday that diverted to Yuma, Ariz. Overnight, the airline worked with engineers from the Boeing Company to further assess the damage to the aircraft and develop an inspection regimen to look more closely at 79 (not 81 as was previously reported) of its Boeing 737 aircraft which are covered by a set of Federal Aviation Administration Airworthiness Directives aimed at inspections for aircraft skin fatigue. Those aircraft will be inspected over the course of the next several days at five locations.
Southwest expects to cancel approximately 300 flights today to accommodate the inspections. Customers may experience sporadic delays of up to two hours on some flights today. Customers should check the status of their particular flight or rebook their trip on southwest.com before heading to the airport.
"The safety of our Customers and Employees is our primary concern," said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest's executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We are working closely with Boeing to conduct these proactive inspections and support the investigation. We also are working aggressively to attempt to minimize the impact to our Customers' travel schedules today.”
The 118 passengers on board Flight 812 have received a full refund along with an apology and two complimentary roundtrip passes on Southwest for future flights.
Preliminary reports indicated the aircraft lost pressure and oxygen masks were deployed shortly after takeoff from Phoenix. After the plane landed safely in Yuma, the crew confirmed a hole in the top of the aircraft, approximately mid-cabin. One flight attendant was treated at the scene for a minor injury, as was at least one passenger. No injuries required transport to the hospital. The Company arranged for a Southwest Airlines aircraft to transport the Customers on Flight 812 from Yuma to Sacramento last night.
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