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The Latest on the Southwest Airlines Issues, Delays, and Cancellations

April 4, 2011 at 8:42 AM | by | Comments (0)

Alright, so in case you missed it over the weekend, a Southwest Airlines plane had to make an emergency landing at a military base in Yuma, Arizona due to a 3' hole in the airplane. The good news is that the pilots and flight attendants kept passengers calm and got everyone back on the ground safely, but the bad news is that this could actually even happen.

Following the incident, Southwest sent a portion of their fleet in for extensive checks, examining their fuselages for cracking. So far they’ve giving the go ahead for around 19 planes to join their friends back in the air and they’re still busy reviewing the rest of the planes to ensure that they’re good-to-go.

In total there are about 79 Boeing 737-300s that are being examined, and it sounds like there were at least three additional troublemakers discovered during the inspections. The airline thinks that by Tuesday they’ll be done double-checking these planes and that any issues should be identified.

Roughly 300 flights were canceled on Saturday and Sunday, and, if you’re traveling today, we’d definitely check online before heading off to the airport. We tried our darndest to fine some cancellation information to pass along, but all we could find were a couple delays—and those could be related to something different. Southwest has like 548 planes—give or take a couple—so they’re insisting that that majority of their flights are not affected.

We’re glad that Southwest is taking this pretty seriously, but still, we're concerned this even happened in the first place. If there are tests and procedures to check for some of these potential problems, we’d kind of hope it would already be completed before an airplane sunroof emerged. If there’s one positive, it’s that we’re pretty sure every other airline is taking a closer look at their planes today—just in case.

Related Stories:
· Southwest Airlines Continues Inspections of 737-300 Fleet [Official Site]
· 'Widespread Cracking' Found on Southwest Plane [Reuters]
· Southwest Airlines coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: wbaiv]

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