Southwest Airlines Grounds 42 Planes, Suspends Workers

The FAA says that Southwest Airlines has grounded at least 42 planes for “possible structural damage,” says the Dallas Morning News. The announcement comes after the FAA proposed record-breaking fines after an investigation uncovered that Southwest may have kept 46 planes flying even though they required safety inspections for fuselage damage.

The airline has also placed 3 employees on administrative leave.

Southwest Airlines grounds dozens of jets after safety probe [Dallas Morning News]
(Photo:Paxson Holley)


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  1. puka_pai says:

    Sounds like they’re taking it seriously.

    The fines, that it. Not the planes themselves. Shame on Southwest!

  2. ViperBorg says:

    Yes, I love how it takes the threat of larger fines to get companies to do what the fuck they are supposed to do in the first place.

    • Bob says:

      Remember this situation when some stupid politician with an (R) by their name wants to cut back on regulations and want companies to police themselves.

  3. RandoX says:

    They wanted to ground them until someone started throwing Rule 240 around.

  4. MattO says:

    so what happened to the other 4?

  5. Considering the fleet is under-inspected, it’s probably a good thing they aren’t flying a lot of these planes and gambling with people’s lives. +1 for SWA for this anti-potentially-killing-measure. -1000 for being pricks about inspection.

  6. ptkdude says:

    I loved it when Southwest said they shouldn’t have been fined because nothing bad happened!

  7. chemmy says:

    Hmmmmm. Fly an unsafe plane and risk death….


    cancel flight for safety reasons even though it means hundreds of people inconvenienced

    (note: inconvenienced, not dead.)

  8. ViperBorg says:

    @chemmy: I’ll take the option without the risk of death, please. Thank you.

  9. beavis88 says:

    So, were the employees suspended for not ensuring the planes had been inspected, or for telling the FAA about it?

  10. MissTic says:

    I bet those girls who were too pretty to fly are grateful today!!!

  11. I think I know what’s going on* -Southwest is boycotting us! It’s all a giant Smirnoff-esqe protest for calling them on their crappiness.

    *a very very rare situation, I assure you

  12. mrbiggsndatx says:

    DING: you are now free to die across the country in a ball of fire!

  13. bigmac12 says:

    Sure…now the ticket prices will go up!!

  14. urban_ninjya says:

    I’m flying Southwest in a couple weeks. It was a really hard choice. Pick and airline with inspection violations.. or Pick and airline that doesn’t have money in the bank to repair their planes.. (considering most hairlines are heavily in debt)

    Tough choices.

  15. greensmurf says:

    Can you still buy one way tickets?

  16. MPHinPgh says:

    @BayStateDarren: I love it when we award points.

    +10 to BayStateDarren

  17. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @greensmurf: no, but you can buy 1/2 way tickets!

  18. Orv says:

    Where’s the post about how outrageous it is that they make me show my receipt when I board?

  19. Carencey says:

    Oh wow, I can’t wait for the reassuring email from corporate that THIS news is gonna generate.

    I bet they’re still “taking it seriously:.

  20. guevera says:

    @urban_ninjya: i’d pick the broke airline. Broker the better, in this case. Once airline files bankruptcy FAA actually increases inspections because of risk of corners being cut. My guess is airlines are always cutting corners, but the ones in bankruptcy have more chance of getting caught and more incentive not to.

  21. theblackdog says:

    This doesn’t bode well for my flight next Tuesday.

  22. LUV2CattleCall says:

    So much for my username…