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Monday, April 4, 2011

South by Southwest

So, I'm sure you've all heard about the overhead fuselage that ripped open this weekend on a Southwest airplane. (Is it sad I didn't know what a fuselage was until this?) Luckily, even after an emergency landing, no one was seriously injured of the more than 120 passengers and the crew.
Over the weekend, more than 300 flights were canceled, with an additional 70 recently, according to the New York Times.
As a result, at least 79 planes have been grounded and there are mass inspections of the Boeing 737-300s. Cracks have since been found in three more jets.
Despite this, it seems people are still fairly confident in the planes being used and I agree. The airline has nothing to gain from another incident and everything to lose so it is really in their best interest to ground necessary planes and cancel flights. Sure, it is an inconvenience but I would rather be on a safe plane than one that has a subsurface crack.
Although....there are some not-so-friendly posts on Facebook from some who are stranded. (For example: "WOW! Just looked up the FAA guidelines to when an airline needs to take responsibility and reimburse an individual passengers cancelled flight due to their mechanical errors....... Southwest even includes “mechanical difficulties” in its list of not-our-fault situations. - Been stuck for an additional 36 hours and its seems as if they dont care, wont reimburse, and if is most definitely "Not their Fault"..."-From a Shelly Simone on the Southwest Facebook site. ) Not sure I agree with this policy, but I understand why the airline has it. Less responsibility means less money on their part.
I've always enjoyed flying with Southwest. I flew with them to Vegas a few years back and not only did they have great snacks (which might have been eliminated for budget reasons at this point) but the flight attendants also sang to us. Weird, but cool.
I have a feeling they'll make a quick recovery. In the meantime, don't sweat it too much if your flight was canceled. It really was in your best interest too.


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