Sorry...I know its long, but I had a lot to say.
I don' pretend to be an expert on airline maintenance and I don't pretend to know what the underlying motivations were that drove Southwest and the FAA to act in the ways that they did. I do understand that many American's have become increasingly distrustful of big corporations (especially profitable ones) in light of corporate scandals like Enron and WorldCom. But it is unfair and, dare I say, ignorant to assume that any company that is making profit will resort to illegal or unethical behavior to protect its profitability. That just simply is not the case.
Don't be too quick to jump to the conclusion that Southwest was only thinking about the bottom line when they decided to keep flying the planes that didn't pass inspection. The fact that Southwest reported the discrepancies to the FAA instead of covering them up shows a level of corporate transparency and responsibility that is all too rare these days. Furthermore, any profit that Southwest would stand to gain by flying a number of "unsafe" airplanes would be far outweighed by a potential crash, something IÃ
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