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Southwest Airlines' CEO Appears on CNN

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Our CEO, Gary Kelly, appeared on CNN this morning to address concerns regarding the safety and inspections of our aircraft. Please click this link to watch:  http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2008/03/07/intv.gary.kelly.roberts.cnn?iref=videosearch
69 Comments
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Hi Southwest, I am shocked to hear of this. I always thought Southwest was one of the safest carriers and the cheapest. I will have to say I was seriously wrong and will re-evaluate my choices in the future. I will pay extra to ensure my life and safety because whats a few extra bucks versus your life.
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I always fly Southwest non-stop to Buffalo, NY to see my kids. I have an upcoming trip in April, and I am now very nervous about flying with Southwest. May have to take a different airlines to ensure my emotional safety.
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Shame of you. Do you like play with life of people? How in this world you denied your responsibility. You failed. The inspection are REALLY IMPORTANT FOR THE SAFETY.
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Another example of trying to stir up scary news to keep the public off balance. Just like the report that Patrick Swayze will die in five weeks. When are the people going to say "enough is enough" and we don't believe anything the media has to say. If you can't live the moment first hand then be very suspect as to what you hear and see in the news. That's my opinion and I am sticking to it as well as continuing to fly Southwest!
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Shame on the media, though it doesn't shock me that they are so irresponsible as to bring up something that's over a year old. Not only did Southwest found out about the missing inspection area, they notified the FAA immediately and then promptly reinspected all possible affected aircraft. This is not the act of an irresponsible company. I say let their accident record speak for itself - 14.85 million flights as of Dec. of '07 - 0 fatal accidents. I'd say the credibility goes to Southwest Airlines and NOT the media!!
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This is no surprise considering the money-grubbing moves you have made the last coulple of months. !. Hiking fares beyond the moon for your "first class" service. What?? Extra credit, free booze, and get to buttinski in front of others. Boy that's worth an extra $200 one way!! Then suddenly you reduced the checked luggage allowance to 2. My third piece of "luggage" is a cart. So now I have to carry it on board and try to avoid boinking someone on the head as I try to find room in limited overhead, since everyone else is now bringing extra luggage. You have fallen in favor where a lot of your passengers are concerned!! Harry
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Rebecca, Your numbers on the accident record are incorrect. Southwest has never had a crew or passenger fatality in an accident, however the accident at Midway did kill a person on the ground. Never the less, this is still an impressive record, and one to be commended.
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Boy, all we hear anymore from your employees is that "this is not the airline it used to be". Herb is gone, fares are up, employees are discruntled and\or laid off even though you call it something else that just sounds better. Safety was always numero uno, what happened? Oh well, i guess i still luv you
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Being an avid follower of Southwest Airlines, I hate to see people accusing this airline of wrong doing in the media. Mr. Kelly said that the EXPERTS at Boeing, the actual manufacturer of all the aircraft Southwest flies, that these cracks were not a hazard to the safety of the half a dozen or so airplanes with cracks found on them. If Boeing says its fine, then I feel no need to be worried. Southwest will continue to get my buisness.
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The first page of Google results about Southwest Airlines flack Paula Berg tells us this: http://www.blogsouthwest.com/2007/06/15/behind-the-scenes-blog-queen/ Now, never mind "wacky", and "off-the-wall" - "behind-the-scenes Blog Queen" and "Nuts about Southwest" say it all for me. So, to Paula Berg of Southwest Airlines, the airline companyÃ
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I'm wondering what other safety checks you guys have missed? The ones that come to light are often the tip of the iceberg. You say you notified the FAA .... WHEN you discovered the missed checks! But of course you have to do that because things will look far worse if the FAA actually finds out themselves, however unlikely that is! As I understand it, these were checks related to causes of prior 737 crashes. I will not, repeat not, be flying your airline again any time soon.
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I have been a loyal customer of Southwest for over 20 years. I am shocked and dismayed at the business practices of Southwest to maximize profits. The hypocrisy is beyond the paleÃ
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For thirty years I have gone out of my way to fly SWA. And I hope I can continue for another 30 years with them. Over the previous thirty , SWA has had the youngest fleet of aircraft, the newest models.Always on top of the cutting edge of air transportation technology. As a pilot of a general type aircraft, I am well aware of the superb professionalism of the two fellows up front that I have seen from SWA over and over again. The airline is an efficient airline, pionerring the quick 'turn around', so I can have a very low air fare.I know that Rep. James Oderstar has had a few aviation committee assighnments, but I am sure that his expertise in aviation is a lot less than the FAA or SWA, which have been around for a long long time. Maybe he is more interested in Minnasota based Northwest Airlines, than SWA. I find it hard to believe he would come down on Northwest. Really irks me to see someone like this come down on a superb organization such as SWA.--- KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK YOU SWA GUYS!!!!
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Shame on SWA! Loyal, unsuspecting passengers deserve better than this. My cousin flew on a SWA flight recently, and said that his flight was prolonged because the landing gear would not deploy. The captain had to circle around for about an hour until the landing gear opened up. Customers beware! Your life is worth more than this. Pay a little extra, but don't sacrifice your life for some cheap fare!!
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MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA.....seems once again the media didn't catch the whole story .SWA did everything by hte book and I think Gary Kelly will prove that. SWA fully disclosed the cracks to the FAA in 3/07 and repaired what needed to be repaired per BOEING. The FAA signed off on the corrections/repairs in 4/07...what is the problem??? seems someone is out for SWA.! I will continue to fly the WORLD'S SAFEST AIRLINE and #1 customer service :-) SWA LUVER
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The CNN Article is blow way out of propotion... ALL Airlines have had that kind or worse problems... CNN has made it sound much worse than it really is. Of course that is there JOB! SWA has a good and active maintenance plan, and they continue to expand their maintenance programs as needed. The planes that flew with out the inspection(s)... A crack or 2 was found... This does not necessarily mean the aircraft is unsafe.. Sure it needs to be fixed before further flight... But it does not mean that it is DOOMED. CNN Should stick to what they do best... I would tell them what that is... But I do not think anyone knows what that should be. The Boeing 737 (which SWA Exclusively utilzies), is 1 the most popular airplane flying in the world. There is 1 takeoff or landinging averaging around the world, 24 hours a day every 15 seconds... That is alot of Airplanes. It is a stable plane that has been out since the 60's and has been receiving improvements ever since. It is solid built, takes a liking and keeps on ticking. IF SWA AIRPLANES WERE UNSAFE, THE FAA WOULD IMMEDIATELY PULL THERE FLIGHT CERTIFICIATE AND ALL THEIR PLANES WOUND BE GROUNDED IMMEDIATELY NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE AT. Under CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) part 121, Air Carrier Certification, the airline has to present a plan of operations. In the case of the maintenance department, in many complanies is termed the GMM (General Maintenance Manual). Before the 1st plane can fly, the FAA Must approve this document. It instructs the Maintenance department on how to maintain the a/c that they are working on for standard practices and more. If they change this manual, it must be approved by the FAA. It is very hard for an Airline to get away with anything. In the case of SWA, all of the findings were what is known as "Self Disclosures" (Oops.. We screwed up). The FAA did not find this, the company did and then reported this. How about looking at other airlines. USAir, Delta, United... Geez.. All of them have this kind of problems, and it is NOT a big deal. It happens every day. The only difference is... CNN is using scare tactics. Maybe they should look for some real problems... Maybe they should take there cameras under cover into a maintenance facility and see how things are done. They do not want to do this, because is what they will find is By The Book work and no news. They would rather throw a "Self Disclosure" Way out of propotion and show it as BAD news.. Because BAD NEWS SELLS! and that is what makes them money... Just for the record.. I am not a SWA Employee... But I do work as a mechanic for another major airline to remain nameless. I would also further like to say that I envy to work for SWA because they are doing what is right to make it all work. They have not show 33 to 36 years of profit by doing shotty maintenance and throwing 10+ Mil to the government in fines... Come to think of it.. How many times has this happened here... Not sure.. I think this is the first major fine they have ever gotten... How many other airlines can say that! Enough said...
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SWA Safety Violations and a Huge Fine by the FAA? Unbelievable!! Just to let you (SWA Mgt) know, I do strongly sympathize with and support SWA on the recent very unwarranted and unbelieveable FAA safety violation charges and large FAA fine, for what purpose I can't understand or believe! Damage control by the FAA? SWA is the proven safest and most accident free airline I have known, yet the FAA finds it necessary to flex its muscles and authority to impose a fine of over $10 million, for something so long ago and insignificant based on what I have read?? Maybe just a very technical fine and charges, I don't think so! This is obviously a very political act that smears and defames SWA before the public and its Passengers, as the FAA is currently being critized by Congress for not being tough enough on airlines for safety and other bad performance! So, the FAA goes after the airline with the deepest pockets and imposes an unfair and unjustified fine, based on mostly nothing, it appears! Perhaps it is the FAA that should be heavily fined or sued for false charges and defamation? SWA may be afraid to do this,in order to try to stay in FAA's good graces as the regulators? SWA should fight this unjustified fine tooth and nail in the Courts and public opinion, if it has the hard and clear facts to refute the charges and fine! The FAA is apparently trying to save face or re-direct blame from itself to an airline or someone else that has deep pockets, and can pay, and that won't be hurt by such a large fine! I support SWA all the way in defending these defaming, ruthless and political business damaging charges and the fine!! However, I don't support your current very weird Boarding System and almost as weird Boarding Pass Row assignment System, with Blog comment details listed below!! Note: I was forced to include these critical and negative Blog comments in this Blog Posting (which is OK and applicable for a Blog comment/reply to the CEO's CNN interview about safety, as the Boarding Pass Blog could be considered a Safety issue also!)! This was necessary, because the Original Blog contents (Titled: New Boarding Process-After the Holidays) was archived under Airports and Flying and the archived Blog will not now accept new postings past those for Feb 08 ??? This Blog should have been continued in order to allow new postings, as its the biggest and most important problem/issue with SWA (outranking even the FAA charges, in my opinion!)!! ---------------------- New Boarding Process-After the Holidays (Title from Archived Blog ending Feb 08) This Blog space is too small (I think) to list all my negative comments about the new boarding system (even much worst then the hated old one), so I plan to follow-up with a formal USPS letter (SWA still does not accept email letters, due to bone-headed tradition and plain poor and slow Customer Service feedback options!!) to the SWA's Leaders (its CEO & President) on this same subject and the recent FAA Safety fine (unless SWA considers this Blog comments an email letter feedback system?)! A short Summary of my negative comments on this topic follow, by number: 1) I've read all previous comments (now archived and not open to new comments) and agree with all the mostly negative ones and some of their suggestions on how to finally fix the goofy SWA Boarding system problems! 2) I've read the few postive comments and don't agree with any of them, as most are laughable as they were posted by SWA employees, are out of touch with reality, don't have a clue, don't fly often on SWA or any of all the other Airlines that have a compatible reserved seat system that all work better!, or who are just kidding themselves or trying to impress SWA into giving them a free ticket! 3) SWA!, get over trying to maintain this so-called SWA tradition of having or being a small time low-volume Airline that does not need to reserve seats, in order to keep original customers happy because they think SWA is so unique to be different! Wakeup, they don't think this anymore, if they ever did (if they do, they haven't experienced the new SWA Boarding system!)! 4) SWA!, break tradition (finally), and adopt the normal and proven reserved seating system used by every other airline in the World except for SWA (for your sake, families with kids, and anyone else who still might want to fly on SWA, not to mention the negitive effects on the bottom line at SWA)! Yes, even other Airlines have changed their reserved seating system to load by Section or Group Number/Letter, in order to speed boarding, improve efficiency, and load the aircraft from rear to front or front to back if they choose! The assignment of which section you are in for other airlines is determined by how soon you get your boarding pass before flight, which is the only thing similiar to what SWA does in its old or new boarding system! However, it is definitely not the same, as passengers on other airlines already have an assigned reserved seat, even if they are the last person to board in any such grouping, and even if they are late boarding! So, it is not at all important for other airline passengers to stand or get in line or fight for a place in the section boarding! However,for SWA Passengers it is now very important to be at the assigned row and place number in one of the overcrowded A,B,C lines, in order to get favorable seats together or window seats or exit seats, etc. (except for Business Class Passengers, who don't know what they are paying so much extra for, as far as Boarding goes??)! They (other airline passengers) have reserved assigned seats and can board at leisure, by section called, or when they want to or last if they choose and still get the seats they want and reserved in advance, all without having to wait in yet another line after the long TSA line! How simple and efficient and fair is this with no enforcement needed, not to mention modern and stress free! Maybe that is why all other airlines use this proven system (does anyone at SWA get it yet, or will they ever get it?)! SWA!, please try to get over your ownership or pride for this system (very inefficient and full of stressed out anxious passengers) or so-called tradition of boarding Passengers like cattle, or queuing them up like unbehaved undisciplined school kids waiting for the lunch bell to ring! Your stubbornness is killing SWA, and any Passenger loyalty left! The System is outdated and frankly you've outgrown it (if you haven't noticed?)!! Your very lame attempt to overhaul the old system with a hybrid system, in order to keep the main and worst part of the old sytem that does not include reserved seats, is not working and is actually a total failure! Admit it, and Get over it sooner, rather than later! The new system is driving more people away (see the Blog posts!), is confusing, still requires you to get in lines and now in your numbered place, has to be enforced by SWA employees to work or there will be fights, and is just plain dumb! I, and I believe most other Passengers after any objective direct observation, would characterize the old and new SWA Boarding Systems as Dumb and Dumber! I am, or was a frequent SWA flyer, or used to be and won't be, if SWA doesn't get its act together and finally go to the proven reserved seating system! Quit patting yourselves on the back (SWA Mgt) for coming up with or adopting a new and more pathetic seating system than the old one, as such self adulation will get SWA nowhere! 5) About the SWA Boarding Pass System (also broken and in need of replacement)! What is wrong with how the Row (A,B,C) and row numbers are assigned to Passenger's Boarding Passes, who are ticketed together or purchased together and then have Boarding passes printed or issued at the same time??? Twice, I have printed advance Boarding Passes online, with two legs of travel for my wife and I on both flights. We both have been assigned different rows (A & B or C) with place numbers, even though I printed the Passes at the same time both times?? There is no way this should be allowed or permitted by your Boarding Pass system, if it has any computer logic at all!! 6) I do have other issues with SWA that were touched on in the Blog comments! I'm disappointed in the cutbacks for baggage allowance, and the continuing and expanding devaluing of RR credits and awards by limiting seats available for RR use and when they can be used!! I don't understand the feable attempt to attract (for more profit I suppose) more Business Travelers (at the expense of your Core Travelers, who mostly enjoy the low priced seats, when they are available which is less and less)! This is a pitiful attempt at revenue growth that in-turn slows the growth of its Core Passenger base and their use of SWA!! I hope you make up your mind on who SWA is going to primarily serve! Finally, the neglect in not fixing the severe problems with Boarding and waiting in yet another new unreserved seating SWA created line(s) system! The other Blog comments show this has been happening to many others, with no explanation given and no fix given by SWA? The comments above say that this happens because one party has more flight credits or has flown more often?? If true, this in no way justifies separating Husband and Wife or Families into separate waiting Rows, and in fact nothing should justify this separation action or process! This needs to be fixed ASAP, as I had to hide my Wife's Boarding Pass with a C row, as my Pass was in the A row! Otherwize, we would have had to fight with the SWA employees who sometimes try to enforce the new numbered lineups (hard as that is to do in the crowded area at the Boarding Gate!)! We did nothing wrong in correcting the weird row and position assignments ourselves, as SWA doesn't even acknowledge this is a problem and has refused to fix it! I don't question assignment of different rows, if Boarding Passes are printed at different times or locations. However, this is not the case with ticket pairs that are purchased at the same time and Boarding Passes printed at the same time! SWA, please fix this problem or at least acknowledge it is a problem or part of the overall problem with your Boarding System (if we Had reserved seats, we would have no problem with being in separate rows)! PS: Other airlines also have this weird Boarding Pass problem, with different boarding sections being printed on the Passes for boarding two people traveling on the same ticket? However, its less of a problem with them, as you have reserved seats and can board separately with no problem! Maybe I want have to write that formal USPS mail letter, as stated at the beginning, after this online blog message is posted, received, or reviewed by SWA Mgt?? Any bets?
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Living where I do affords me the opportunity to fly out of Jax, Mco, or Tpa. I have flown on Southwest from all three. I appreciate the low fares and will continue to fly Southwest when ever possible. This Democratic congress has had more than 300 investigations and hearings since the last election and have come up with nothing but a bag of HOT AIR. It appears that Mr. Oberstar wishes to share the stage with Henry Waxman..These people have so much hot air they could fill up an onion sack. I will continue to support you and be a customer.
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I feel the issue of safety w/SW Airlines is best put by the Blog from Suzie D on March 7th. This is yet another example of the inaccuracy of the Media coverage in today's world. I am a tremendously nervous flyer and have always felt that my best bet was with SW Airlines due to their flawless track record in terms of safety. More than that I will say they always have the most consciencious crews and flight attendants. In speaking of their great crew members I need to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful flight attendants yesterday who took me 'under their wing'. After having a few exhausting days of dealing with the details of my Stepfathers untimely death I was finally on my way from Oregon to Arkansas to attend his funeral. My apprehension about flying along with the emotion of my loss hit me just after I boarded the exchange flight in Chicago.. I was in tears having one of those 'grieving waves' that happen when you loose a loved one. Michelle Crossman (#32729) and the other attendants Jeannie Shaffer (#32729) and Kevin Dunbar (#33621) were incredible. Their skill in comforting me (and continually checking to see if I needed anything ) without drawing undo attention was yet another great example of SW Airlines and the Professionalism that so many other Airlines do not have these days. Hopefully the Media will be forced to report the more accurate details of their story. I will continue to fly and reccommend SW as one of the safest and best 'customer' service airlines.
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I have been a very loyal customer of Southwest for many years. Most of the time I prefer Southwest to any other carrier to get to my destination. However, I will have to rethink this position as these weeks go by and the investigation results and hearings continue. On CNN the CEO said they completed 99% of all inspections. That leaves 1% not done. In my line of business 1% can kill you. In the airline business 1% can kill you. I applaud Southwest for disclosing the issue. I hold them accountable for allowing many more flights without the inspections once the error was found. That is a management style that puts profit over safety. It would be good to understand the technical rationale to allow the planes to fly once the errors in the maintenance process were found. Other folks say that the record of no fatal crashes due to maintenance speaks for it self. I say Southwest got lucky, and I have a hard time flying with luck being the safety policy. I am glad Boeing made a recommendation to Southwest, but ultimately, Southwest is accountable for their aircraft safety. I am not a fan of CNN or the media in general, and I can cut through the Ã
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SWA will do the right thing if it holds true to it's values, which I'm optimistic that it will. Yesterday changethis.com published a free ebook I wrote that includes SWA. The ebook is entitled "The Connection Culture: A New Source of Competitive Advantage." It's available at changethis.com for free. I hope SWA employees will download and read it then make sure they do their part to uphold the values that have made SWA so special.
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Really, if someone had taken the time to "pencil whip" the forms, would we be any safer? As a maintenance person,(telecom), I try to meet the needs of the equipment, to ensure 99.99999% up time! If I am succesful, no one will notice me. If I fail, I am the center of attention. It seems to me that Southwest has been 100% succesful, in what I consider the MOST IMPORTANT AREA! This continues to hold my respect.
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Safety has got to be given your number one priority even if that causes air fares to go up. Admitting that 99% of inspections are done is not acceptable for an airline or any other tranportation provider! It has got to be 100% of the manufactures recommendations plus any other known or suspect problem and then maybe just a little more often than that! As a customer I expect you to put my safety first! Fines, lost customers and liabilities will cost more than the money saved by not doing it right. I trust you will correct this problem and because of your safety record I will continue to fly Southwest if you can assure us ( your customers) that this issue is behind us, will never happen again, and give us a plan of how you will do that! Humans have been known to make a mistake or 2 but we need to learn from them and correct them or we just keep making them. What is the plan? As for the blog on the seating problems I don't think it is an issue in the northwest. I fly SWA a lot and if I want to sit with colleges I make sure I get my boarding pass early. When flying alone I really don't care where I sit and when I board but if I did I would check in early so I could have my pick instead of assigned seating like other airlines. I prefer the new changes with the numbered passes over the standing in lines to be first to board.
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Trust me as someone very familar with situation THIS WAS NEVER A SAFTEY ISSUE! SWA has a very top notch Maintenance department and are experts on the 737(wouldnt you think) this is another media circus to try and knock down the good guy.Fine the media 10.2 mil.
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I have a question for all of you that are saying I WILL NEVER FLY SOUTHWEST AGAIN! If your car was totally safe but had a recall from the dealership, would you NEVER drive that car again? Now...see how ridiculous you sound!
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To all who are jumping on the "SHAME ON YOU" bandwagon . Why not wait and have all the facts before you make judgements? How many of you called your local Police Dept. or DMV to report that you had driven in an unsafe manner and deserve to have a ticket issued or your license revoked? Because you were: 1. Driving your vehicle after having a drink or more at Happy Hour? 2. Using "recreational drugs"? 3. Been distracted while talking on you cell phone? Or texting? 4. Driving in excess of the speed limit? 5. Applying you makeup? 6. Reading directions while driving?or checking your e-mail? 7.Turning around to settle a squabble in the back seat? 8. Not having regular maintenance on your vehicle, ie...tire pressure,brake fluid, no head or tail lights, no blinkers etc.... 9. Were only going a few blocks with no safety seat belt? 10. Driving with insufficient amount of sleep? I could go on but I think you get my point. Wait for all the facts then make your decision which you have a right to , but in the mean time stop slinging the arrows and take a honest look at your personal SAFETY RECORD and if so inclined make that call to the Police or DMV so my family can feel safe while traveling the road.
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Any company that puts profit over the safety of its customers loses my business forever. I have read the complaint and the answer and I am distressed and disheartened by both.
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This is coming from a true aviation enthusiast, loyal customer of Southwest Airlines. It really is sad to see how people will believe anything the media throws their way, especially when it comes to aviation. Most of the time when there are reports about something in aviation, I would say at least 95% of what is mentioned in initial reports is not accurate or entirely false. For example the recent British Airways crash in London, initial reports stated that the aircraft involved in the crash was an Airbus A380! They don't even operate that thing! Another horrible example which I hate to use, on 9/11/01 initial news reports were that a SMALL Cessna aircraft had struck the World Trade Center, wow they were really accurate on that one! My heart goes out to everyone effected by that tragedy. As for this situation with Southwest, If this were true or there really was some sort of risk, don't you think the media would have said something a year ago? I'm sure if there were any threat the FAA would have suspended all Southwest operations until the matter was resolved. And don't you think we would have heard a lot more about this considering that United, US Airways/America West, and Continental all operate the same type of aircraft in question? Sounds to me like the media was having a slow day and finally got tired of reporting on Britney Spears' wild antics or someone is a bit jealous of Southwest and is doing anything in their power to try and bring them down. To those people all I have to say is, Good luck!!! Besides the incidents at MDW and BUR(which were not caused by any aircraft safety issue), Southwest has had an amazing safety record. The last time I checked not one Southwest plane has fallen out of the sky, I won't even get into how many crashes other US Airlines have had. Another thing, and in no way am I trying to bash other airlines but do people realize that Southwest has one of the youngest fleet of aircraft in the industry. I wonder how many people out there know that when they board one of Northwest's DC-9s that chances are that plane is about 40 yrs old if not older, which is more than four times the average age of 9 yrs for the southwest fleet. Just something to think about. Point is people, don't jump to conclusions right away especially when you don't know the facts. For all of you vowing to never fly Southwest again, let's see if you're saying that once you're treated horribly by another airline, they lose your luggage, the aircraft goes tech, they cancel your flight, and all of this only after paying an arm and a leg. To the entire Southwest family, i'm sticking with ya, you guys keep doing what you do best...and continue to "give America the freedom to fly."
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Obviously a lot of semi loyal SW customers are not happy and I agree. Where there is smoke there is often a bit of fire. Unfortunately I certainly cannot trust the FAA given what the Bush administration has done to all federal departments and now I guess I cannot trust SW. To bad.
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OK.....to all the naysayers who have posted here. Yes, perhaps Southwest (in cooperation with the FAA) has made a misstep here. The fact remains nonetheless they stepped up to the plate, disclosed it, and are proceeding to attempt to rectify it in a timely manner. Do you think for one minte that every other airline would admit their shortcomings?....heck NO!!....So, for those of you that now "fear for your life" flying Southwest, go right ahead and book your next trip on another airline next time around. I won't bet the maintenance will necessarily be any better! As for Oberstar, I will refrain from any further comment as this is not a political site....
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To all of those saying "I will Never Fly On Fly On SWA again" Well.. Then you will never fly on any airline, because they all have this kind of problem, of course all cars have similiar problems... Actually worse. Cars are much less safer... All I have to say to you people traveling across the country... "HAVE A NICE WALK!" Of course all of this goes back to Gun Control Analogy... If they get rid of all the hand guns because people use them to shoot people... Would it make you feel better to see them pushing people off of tall buildings?... For those 2 young to understand... That statement comes directly from "Archie Bunker" in "All In the Family" while having a talk with Meat Head. If you do not understand it. I am not going to explain it.
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Trying to make sense of what we know so far: Southwest contacts the FAA and discloses that .006% of the aircraft skin on some older aircraft missed an inspection. Southwest requests technical guidance on an expedited inspection of the aircraft over a 10 day period from Boeing and the FAA. Boeing and the FAA agree the timetable for inspections does not pose a safety risk. Southwest completes the inspections in eight days. Boeing says Southwest Airlines acted responsibly and at no time were the aircraft operated in an unsafe manner. NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator says there was no risk to flying public and operation of aircraft in question was safe. FAA said the 10 day timetable for inspection was safe and posed no risk. FAA inspection program that became an AD (airworthiness directive) was based on the successful maintenance practices at Southwest. Southwest's 37 year record of safety is the best in the airline industry. A member of Congress says that this is most serious lapse in safety in 23 years.
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The FAA messed up. Southwest told on themselves to be HONEST. "Hey, FAA. You missed something. We found it and fixed it!" How often do you hear about great things happening? The great customer service rankings are never the top headlines of the night. How quickly the 37 years of customer satisfaction and low fares gets forgotten. My family and many friends are still with you Southwest! You have nothing to be afraid of, and you have done nothing wrong. You acted in the appropriate and responsible manner, as expected.
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To all of the "shame on SWA" folks above...have you read the statement issued by the former NTSB investigator issued March 7? You can find it if you go to SWAMedia...click on news releases...fascinating. SWA actually was source of input used by the FAA for this safety issue. Maybe this whole situation is reminiscent of when SWA started in business..hmmm, let me recall...a group of high-powered airlines got their pet politician to try and rig it where the little start-up would be run out of business. Now, perhaps, a group of struggling, i.e., non-profitable airlines, in conjunction with the media do not want to see one airline remain profitable. It does make those other guys look silly, doesn't it!? For my additional thoughts, see my comment from yesterday under the Safety statement...and thanks, John, for directing me to your comments here! I'm with you all the way, SWA!
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I LUV flying Southwest Airlines!! What other airline do you know that has the best safety record, the best customer service scores,one of the best results for your bags actually showing up. COME ON EVERYBODY Southwest is GREAT!!!! They would never think twice about flying a plane that was unsafe. I guess the media have to five bad press to theleader on top! (SWA)
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Previous Posting on this Topic: RE: SWA Safety Violations and a Huge Fine by the FAA? Unbelievable!! RE: Just to let you (SWA Mgt) know, I do strongly sympathize with and support SWA on the recent very unwarranted and unbelieveable FAA safety violation charges and large FAA fine, for what purpose I canÃ
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As a business owner that built his business around the routes that Southwest offers over the last 15 years, I have NO concerns over safety concerning Southwest. Matter of fact, if one of my employees is traveling, and a competing airliner is cheaper, I recommend they go with Southwest because of safety. No airline comes close to Southwest when it comes to success in business or safety. I trust the management of Southwest over the government any day of the week.
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First, hats off Mr. Kelly for even going on CNN, I think 99 percent of CEOs wouldn't, or would send the flack instead. But having said that, next time I'd advise you avoid comments like "nothing bad happened." For everyone who's posted calling it a "media conspiracy" or a media-driven story, how do you explain the FAA's record-setting proposed fine? Something here is just not adding up. SWA has a sterling safety record, supposedly it did all the things the FAA told it to - yet is about to be socked with a huge fine. I personally buy into the Obserstar theory: having pathetic Northwest Airlines in his district, he's lobbing grenades at a competing airline that, unlike Northwest, seems to know what it's doing. Perhaps the FAA's proposed fine is simply an attempt to curry favor with an influential congressman who's running interference for a key constituent and competitor, that's incapable of competing on its own. Unless the story worsens, I'll continue to fly SWA the 2-4 times per month that I do between BWI and Detroit, and will continue to avoid Northwest like the plague.
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Some of you posting negative comments are going off of emotion rather than fact. Fact: Southwest has never had a maintenance related incident involving injury or death in it's 37 years of history. Many of you have said that you have flown SWA for years and are considering not flying them again. So okay...that makes sense, you have flown them for years and are still here to talk about it without incident, but now they're unsafe? Good call.
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Interesting observation on ALL AD's which are available for public inspection on http://www.faa.gov. Boeing 737's 45 since 1968 which is 1.1 per year Airbus 319's 67 since 1980 which is 3.5 per year MD-80's 53 Since 1980 which is 2.8 per year There are more 737's flying than any other Airline Class airplane in the world with over with one take off or landing every day 24 hours a day once every 15 seconds. According to boeing in 2006 over 6000 737's and that is about 2 years ago. Southwest still has orders for these. in 2007 according to boeing: "Dec. 31: The company ends 2007 with 1,413 net commercial airplane orders, setting a Boeing record for total orders in a single year and marking an unprecedented third consecutive year of more than 1,000 orders. :" Also according to Boeing: "On Feb. 13, 2006, Boeing delivered the 5,000th 737 to come off the production line. The airplane was delivered to Southwest Airlines. Guinness World Records acknowledged the 737 as the most-produced large commercial jet airplane in aviation history. " Hmm... that is almost 6500 planes out there, and only getting 1.1 AD's per year average since 1968... Boeing is doing something right. One thing Boeing does do is make a great reliable airplane that is easy to maintain. What more can you say about it. To those complaining about this, well... I guess we all have the right to complain... But please get your facts straight... They are out there, you just have to search them... If someone would like to file a complaint, please see FAA form "ID-10-T", for those not familiar with how to fill out this for, please go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ID-Ten-T_Error and there is a full explanation.
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SouthWest Airline the safes Airline there is
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I remember Alaska Airlines crashing into the ocean a few years ago so they are not safe and American Airline crashed in Little Rock a few years ago in a lighting storm so I wont fly with them. Who else crashed? Southwest? Nope. My windshield on my car has a crack, maybe I should drive my car either.
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Let's commend SWA for promptly informing the FAA and reinspecting the aircrafts. --Safety was never second best! Do you think they would put the lives of their customers at risk in order to save their behinds? Doubtful. I've been flying SWA for 10 years and have never been disappointed --Unfortunate I can not say that for the competing airlines! I'll continue to fly myself and my family on SWA
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this is troubling news - i fly southwest - i probably will continue to fly southwest - yet it is wrong to operate a plane that is not in compliance - to be technically in compliance doesn't suffice - if you need to lose money by taking 117 planes out of service, too bad - it is not right for you to gain commerical revenue at the risk of our lives
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I have read some of the news articles claiming that Southwest has been lax about airplane safety. As someone who has been flying extensively on Southwest since all the drinks were free (missed the hot pants era), the one thing I have never worried about is my safety in the air on a Southwest flight. I have seen the lengths that the Southwest employees go to that ensure as much as possible the safety of all on board. I have read some of the comments on this blog about the Chicago accident . I must admit that I cancelled my flight to Chicago on Southwest scheduled for the next morning, not because I was concerned about my or my wife's safety on the Southwest flight, but because I shouldn't be driving around Chicago and Michigan in that kind of weather. I will continue to fly on Southwest and don't expect to have to worry about my or the other passengers safety while on board. My thanks to all the employees that make Southwest a great and safe airline to fly.
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I have been a supporter and frequent user of your airline and your services. I thought you were a different airline. You are the same. You would sacrifice your passengers safety to save a few bucks. People like myself don't have a fear of flying because of the altitude, or the speed, or the confined spaces. We have a fear of flying because decisions are made in an office somewhere, by someone I don't know, that could affect me while I sit in a seat at 35,000 feat, going 500mph. If proven to be true, not only did Southwest consciously decide to NOT do required and routine safety checks, but then have the audacity to intimidate those with the public safety in mind? Sorry, but this was a choice that you made, not me. You could have the safest and cheapest airline ever, but I won't ever put myself in a position to have my life hedged on a bet. Now I will make my choice. I will never, ever, fly Southwest again. r
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where do I start I've flown south west for many years and to learn this terrible information really makes me think Do I still want to use your services?It's already like a bus.I'm scheduled for one of your flights soon and I it will be CANCELLED!!Don't want to fly with your airline anymore!!! Not hearing a resonse to the media coverage about what your Airline is doing about this DANGEROUS !! fleet of planes your business has been operating.What are you waiting for let's hear from a SWA rep what's being done about the safety of future flights.I don't want to loose any friends family or want any one else to experience a tragedy so we PRAY you make honest repairs and double and tripple check your futre flights.The media coverage has got to be bad for business.
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Why doesn't SWA, LIST, the aircraft type on the website when you are making a reservation. When I book on other airline websites, I know exactaly the type of aircraft I am flying on - for example - when booking on Alaska, the information is given if the flight you choose will be in a 734, 737-7, 738, or a 739. You know this info BEFORE you finalize your travel plans. SWA should list if the plane for a flight is a 733, 735, or a 737-7. Frankly, I don't want to fly the 733's anymore - not because those most likely are the ones with the cracks, but because they are just plane (no pun intended) OLD ! Get rid of em! (and list the aircraft type on your website).
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You people that are so scared are crazy! This happened a year ago!!! Nothing happened and safety really wasn't a factor. And Southwest doesn't deserve to be fined..I don't want my fares going up! You have a better chance of crashing your car on your way to the airport than you do in the air. If you are soooo nervous to fly from incident that is currently nonexistent then take a damn bus.
New Arrival
You can use Flightaware to determine which class of 737 you are likely to get. For example: The Long Island-Baltimore leg has 7 non-stop flights. The following flights normally get the -700. Flight 796, 978, 3592 and Flights 3049, 292 and 1222 have gotten the -300. Flight 3686 which leaves ISP at 8:35 PM EDT is making its first flight under this number and plan so later tonight we will know which plane will be typically assigned to that one. Which normally happens the first days after the time change. For those of you who wish to make the extra effort to get a -700. Use Flightaware to get a history of which plane you are likely to get.