Delta Says It May Cancel More Flights Today Over Inspection Issues

Delta will announce sometime today whether or not it will ground more of its planes to perform additional inspections, reports CNN. Yesterday, while American Airlines was grounding 200 of its planes for safety inspections, Delta also canceled an unnamed number of flights. Both airlines’ renewed focus on safety inspections comes after reports that Southwest Airlines was caught flying planes that hadn’t met inspection guidelines.

Delta (DAL, Fortune 500) is inspecting the wiring of 117 MD-88 and 16 MD-90 aircraft. The airline says the checks are voluntary and are expected to be completed by week’s end. American Airlines, meanwhile, is examining wiring secured to the MD-80 aircraft.

“Delta may cancel more flights “ []
“American Airlines canceled 200 flights today…”
“Did FAA Allow Southwest To Fly Unsafe Planes To Avoid Flight Disruptions?”
(Photo: Cubbie_n_Vegas)


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  1. mrmysterious says:

    Wonderful, I have to fly out on American tomorrow.

  2. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Everyone wants things to be safer, excpet when it throws a kink in your plans.

  3. hubris says:

    While I applaud their trying to make sure planes don’t fall out of the sky, THIS SHOULD BE A REGULAR THING. If they weren’t scared of being caught and fined, they wouldn’t be doing shit. No wonder airlines are such clusterfucks. They should have a proper safety inspection cycle that causes minimal disruption in flights because they’ve PLANNED for it and have them inspected on a rolling basis rather than all at once.

    God damn airlines. And I *never* fly.

  4. noquarter says:

    So is this just a coincidence with the multiple airlines inspecting MD-made planes? Should I be worried about flying on a MD-80 flown by Northwest, since they haven’t stopped flights to do inspections?

  5. rustyni says:

    My sister’s flying into Nashville this coming week on AA, and while I hope she can just avoid all hassle and get here as planned, I’d rather have my sister safe and on the ground, stranded in Los Angeles, than going down in flames on an airplane.

    If it means she’ll be flying safer, then we can deal with a delay or two.

  6. BlondeGrlz says:

    @noquarter: Probably.
    I have a wedding to get to in a week, on a Delta flight. I’d rather be late to the rehersal than die in a crash because they had faulty wiring. But damn Delta, I just forgave you and you’re already making me nervous. Why you gotta act like this?

  7. jaydez says:

    Wow. I flew on an MD-88 with Delta last week. Part of me is glad they didn’t inspect them last week. It was bad enough I almost missed a connector in Cincinnati as it was.

    The other part of me is wondering how safe the plan I flew in was.

    This shouldnt afect Delta though. They never take off and land on time. They should change their slogan to “We’ll get you there… eventually.”

  8. rellog says:

    @AlteredBeast: Wrong response…. the correct response should be…”I’ll take safety over everything else, but DAMNED American Airlines for being corrupt and greedy when they shirked their responsibility to ensure the planes were safe in the first place…”

    They, Delta and Southwest were cutting corners and since SW got caught, the other two decided to straighten up. What’s ridiculous is that consumers are made to suffer for their poor management.

  9. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @rellog: While I agree that consumers shouldn’t be inconvienenced by this mess, and things should have been safe in the first place…at the end of the day I’d rather complain about flights canceled than flights crashing.

  10. @omerhi: Woah. You’re awfully angry at the airlines for a person who *never* flies. Or is that sarcasm, I honestly can’t quite tell. Either way, the stress is probably not worth it.

    Most airlines do do safety checks regularly, as generally the worst possible press an airline can get is an emergency landing or crash. Maybe not to the extent that they should, which is obviously bad, but I have a hard time believing that all airlines consistently send up planes that aren’t flight-worthy just to save a few bucks. If that were the case, then we’d be hearing about diversions and crashes much more frequently. Now, Southwest has shown themselves willing over the years to sacrifice just about anything to save a buck, that’s true. That’s exactly why their tickets are so cheap, comparatively. I don’t know how a sane person can fly on them and not expect that some serious corners have been cut in all regards. But despite the obvious lapses in safety, you still don’t see Southwest planes falling out of the sky left and right. I mean, they’re still taking risks they shouldn’t and as such deserve all this bad press and closer regulation by the FAA, but to suggest that this incident implies all airlines are taking their passengers and employees lives in their hands out of sheer greed and laziness seems like an exaggeration.

    It just happens that these days bad press for one airline frequently translates into bad press for the industry as a whole (in some ways this is completely justified, I might add), so I wouldn’t doubt that AA and Delta are just trying to shake off any guilt-by-association from the Southwest debacle as quickly and publicly as possible. A day of interrupted flights is no fun for the passengers, but from a business perspective one day of insanity is probably better than months of passengers questioning their commitment to safety.

  11. benwellington says:

    Notice that while admits the problem on the front page of their website, and puts up a statement about the issues, and what to do about it, does not even mention it. At all.

  12. starrion says:

    The whole thing is the other airlines trying to avoid the public beating that SWA took in the press. If this were a severe issue with the MD-80’s it wouldn’t be voluntary. There would be an Airworthiness Directive that said this must be done by X time for the aircraft to fly.

    The MD-80 and the 737 are both exceptionally safe aircraft. The US commercial flight system is so remarkably safe, that it has been 7 years since there was a major aircraft lost. Millions of people fly these planes and those people get to their destinations safely.

    There was one regional Jet lost because the pilots took off on the wrong runway because they weren’t paying attention.

    Southwest took a brutal beating in the press because they put off mandated inspections. This is the inevitable fallout.

    @noquarter: NWA doesn’t fly MD-80’s. Their DC-9’s preceed the MD-80 model and are not the same.

  13. MissTic says:

    Southwest’s business model has allowed them to be the only consistently profitable airline in the industry. The fact that they offer “cheap seats” is precisely because of this model. You cannot always equate quality with price either. If other traditional airlines used the same business model as WN, they could offer the same low fares. Other carriers have jumped in to emulate Southwest to varying degrees of success (JetBlue, Airtran, etc…)

    I think the Southwest inspection issue was debated at length here. No need to rehash.

    I’m just as freaked out and pissed off as anyone else because I fly a lot. But my understanding is that (at least in AA’s case) an audit revealed the wire cover issue. So, the system worked. There was oversight.

    Are some corporations greedy? Yes. Do some of them cut corners? Sure. Do we know that’s the case here? No. The inspections and audits are there for a reason. When the system catches something, were’ supposed to be thankful. Not start blaming the airline for being careless.

    If an investigation later reveals that greed was to blame, then I will gladly take that comment back. For now, I’m just glad they caught things and are addressing them. I’d mch rather be grounded than on an unsafe aircraft.

  14. Claystil says:

    Delta’s still in business?

  15. oakie says:

    everyone wants the world given to them, but they dont want to pay for it.

    you can have aircraft and airlines that meet 100% of their scheduled maintenance, or cheap tickets. you cant have both, and no matter how much whining you do on Consumerist, it still wont happen.

    mechanics dont work for free.