Monday, April 4, 2011

Southwest Airlines = big problems

Most of you have heard at this point about last weeks problem aboard a Boeing 737 in route from Phoenix to Sacramento.  Just after reaching it's peaking flying altitude, 33,000 feet, a hole about 5 feet long and 1 feet wide opened up in the ceiling about mid-craft.  All 118 passengers and 5 crew members managed to make an emergency landing at a 100 degree desert airport and only one person got hurt (a flight attendant fell and cut their face).

Luckily that's all that happened.   Oxygen masks did deploy and most passengers complained about inner ear pain as the plane shot down from 33,000 feet to 11,000 feet in a matter of 4 & 1/2 minutes.   The passengers then jumped on another Southwest plane and finsihed off the trip later that night.

But Southwest this week announced this week the emergency inspection of 79 planes to insure this doesn't happen again.  Over 300 flights had to be canceled to accommodate these inspections and it's going to take a heavy toll on Southwest both financially and with it's normally solid reputation.  As the date of this posting, officials are really unsure why the hole opened up but they're deeply researching the problem.  Southwest has said it provided a full refund, an apology and two complimentary round-trip passes on the airline for future flights. 

Update:  When Southwest pulled a portion of their fleet for inspections, they found 3 planes all with similar cracks as the one in this story.

5pm Update:  Now the FDA is calling for a mandatory review of 175 Boeing 737's following this may-lay.

April 6th Update:  Southwest grounds 2 more planes found with cracks bringing the total to 5.


  1. Here's to hoping that this was just a fluke. I am personally hoping that this scares Southwest into keeping their prices down!

  2. I've also heard some problems about their services. Hopefully, it will be fix as soon as possible.


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