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WN temporarily grounds 79 733s; check your flight status!

WN temporarily grounds 79 733s; check your flight status!

Old Apr 2, 11, 9:52 am
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Exclamation WN temporarily grounds 79 733s; check your flight status!

Southwest has temporarily grounded 81 older Boeing 737s while it works with Boeing engineers to develop a skin fatigue inspection program:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...tml?cmpid=yhoo
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Old Apr 2, 11, 9:56 am
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Southwest Statement about the Inspections/Cancellations

I posted this on the thread about the incident, but I am repeating it here.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES WORKS TO MINIMIZE CUSTOMER DELAYS AS IT INSPECTS AIRCRAFT

Customers Should Check Their Flight Status on southwest.com

DALLAS—April 2, 2011--Southwest Airlines said today it is working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to determine the cause of a depressurization event during a Phoenix- Sacramento flight on Friday that diverted to Yuma, Ariz. Overnight, the airline worked with engineers from the Boeing Company to further assess the damage to the aircraft and develop an inspection regimen to look more closely at 79 (not 81 as was previously reported) of its Boeing 737 aircraft which are covered by a set of Federal Aviation Administration Airworthiness Directives aimed at inspections for aircraft skin fatigue. Those aircraft will be inspected over the course of the next several days at five locations.

Southwest expects to cancel approximately 300 flights today to accommodate the inspections. Customers may experience sporadic delays of up to two hours on some flights today. Customers should check the status of their particular flight or rebook their trip on southwest.com before heading to the airport.

"The safety of our Customers and Employees is our primary concern," said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest's executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We are working closely with Boeing to conduct these proactive inspections and support the investigation. We also are working aggressively to attempt to minimize the impact to our Customers' travel schedules today.”

The 118 passengers on board Flight 812 have received a full refund along with an apology and two complimentary roundtrip passes on Southwest for future flights.

Preliminary reports indicated the aircraft lost pressure and oxygen masks were deployed shortly after takeoff from Phoenix. After the plane landed safely in Yuma, the crew confirmed a hole in the top of the aircraft, approximately mid-cabin. One flight attendant was treated at the scene for a minor injury, as was at least one passenger. No injuries required transport to the hospital. The Company arranged for a Southwest Airlines aircraft to transport the Customers on Flight 812 from Yuma to Sacramento last night.

Last edited by ftnoob; Apr 2, 11 at 11:18 am Reason: link to incident thread; formatting for readability
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Old Apr 2, 11, 10:01 am
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Brian, I appreciate your posting of the information which is also posted on FB and probably Twitter.

But why isn't there a blurb on the main page of the website? There wasn't even any mention on the website of the massive problems encountered during the rollout of RR 2.0.

What gives?
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Old Apr 2, 11, 10:15 am
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In today's age of communicaitons, WN should:

1. Immediately put as a headline of major interruptions on their Web Page.
2. Call in extra staff to manage a phone bank -- even if it means a message from the main line for another number to call if your flight is affected.
3. Have a notification system to all affected passengers and, if possible, have some rebooking options to stem the inbound phone calls.
4. Have some extra staff at all airports where cancellations/major delays are likely.

Although these situations do not happen too often, they do pop up due to weathers, accidents, etc. and all arilines should have an Effective contingency plan they can put into place in a matter of hours.
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Old Apr 2, 11, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by SAPMAN View Post
In today's age of communicaitons, WN should:

1. Immediately put as a headline of major interruptions on their Web Page.
2. Call in extra staff to manage a phone bank -- even if it means a message from the main line for another number to call if your flight is affected.
3. Have a notification system to all affected passengers and, if possible, have some rebooking options to stem the inbound phone calls.
4. Have some extra staff at all airports where cancellations/major delays are likely.

Although these situations do not happen too often, they do pop up due to weathers, accidents, etc. and all arilines should have an Effective contingency plan they can put into place in a matter of hours.
Amen! And especially to your point about having contingency coverage for the phone bank.

Epilogue:
After waiting for an hour on the phone to speak with customer service, I was told that my only option for getting to Austin from any of the Bay Area airports would have me arrive in Austin tomorrow night. Too late to salvage my weekend plans, including attending a concert. Southwest basically gave me the options of rebooking or refunding my ticket, with no other compensation for the inconvenience. I'll take the refund - and my future business elsewhere.
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Old Apr 2, 11, 11:14 am
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I moved the OP and some related posts from other threads, and made this a temporary sticky to keep it visible as an alert for those who may be traveling. The sticky flag will be deleted after ops return to normal.
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Old Apr 2, 11, 6:32 pm
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Originally Posted by FWAAA View Post
Southwest has temporarily grounded 81 older Boeing 737s while it works with Boeing engineers to develop a skin fatigue inspection program:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...tml?cmpid=yhoo
Actually, I think you mentions it was 79 aircraft is grounded for the days. I read the newspaper from AZ Central this morning. So here the linked:

http://www.azcentral.com/community/p...-hole-brk.html

Lets keep be aware of entire -300 is completions inspections and it will put back on revenue routes again. So please be patience for a while.
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Old Apr 2, 11, 8:38 pm
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According to Joe Brancatelli and to FlightStats, Southwest Airlines cancelled 252 flights today and delayed 1,025 more (up to 2+ hours) out of about ~3,000 flights scheduled today. Inspections take time - I'd not expect a pleasant Sunday on WN.
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Old Apr 3, 11, 8:54 am
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What are the expectations for how long we'll see 733-related cancellations? I haven't seen any general statements, and of course, the flight status page only extends to tomorrow.

My own next flight is Wednesday: should I be concerned?
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Old Apr 3, 11, 11:09 am
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Originally Posted by swag View Post
What are the expectations for how long we'll see 733-related cancellations? I haven't seen any general statements, and of course, the flight status page only extends to tomorrow.

My own next flight is Wednesday: should I be concerned?
+1. I have a WN flight Tuesday with my last half of a RR 1.0 reward. Last WN flight unless I'm flying into SNA. Sorry guys. With increased delays, higher fares and me now having AA PLT, it just doesn't work anymore. It was a fun 5 years.
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Old Apr 3, 11, 1:27 pm
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From the SWA website

"Southwest Airlines is experiencing relatively few flight delays and cancellations while we are proactively inspecting some of our Boeing 737s. For more information about these inspections, click: Southwest Media

The majority of our scheduled service is not affected, and to check the status of your flight, please go to: Flight Status Information"

Now I think the world of Southwest but have a hard time agreeing that 300+ flight cancellations and over 1000 flight delays constitutes "relatively few delays and cancellations."

I agree that for all of us it's better safe than sorry but personally I would be much more accepting if I perceived a bit more straight information from the airline.
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Old Apr 3, 11, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by swag View Post
What are the expectations for how long we'll see 733-related cancellations? I haven't seen any general statements, and of course, the flight status page only extends to tomorrow.

My own next flight is Wednesday: should I be concerned?
According to an updated status post that SWABrian recently put up in another FT thread:

"· Inspections of the remaining aircraft in the sub-fleet (79 total) will continue for the next few days. As inspections are completed with no findings, those planes will continue to be put back into service today and Monday. The airline anticipates completing the inspections by late Tuesday. The 79 aircraft designated for the additional inspections were designed differently in the manufacturing process."
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Old Apr 3, 11, 7:59 pm
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6:55pm PDT Sunday evening.

WN has been dealing with this issue for a day and a half. I'm on hold with WN's regular reservations number as my Monday flight is cancelled and I cannot attempt to change it on line as it has already has a change made by a phone agent. The announced expected wait time is 57 minutes to one hour 27 minutes. Truly not acceptable for a customer service company, which Southwest claims to be.
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Old Apr 3, 11, 8:14 pm
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Originally Posted by OPNLguy View Post
According to an updated status post that SWABrian recently put up in another FT thread:

"· Inspections of the remaining aircraft in the sub-fleet (79 total) will continue for the next few days. As inspections are completed with no findings, those planes will continue to be put back into service today and Monday. The airline anticipates completing the inspections by late Tuesday. The 79 aircraft designated for the additional inspections were designed differently in the manufacturing process."
Latest AP: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110404/...light_diverted
Inspectors have found small, subsurface cracks in two more Southwest Airlines planes that are similar to the cracks that caused a jetliner to lose pressure and make a harrowing emergency landing in Arizona, the airline said Sunday.
...
Southwest said it cancelled about 300 flights for the second day in a row Sunday as it inspected 79 planes in its fleet similar to the one in Friday's incident. By Sunday afternoon, 19 planes had undergone the intense inspection with no findings and had been returned to service, the airline said.
2 out of 19 is not a reassuring ratio.
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Old Apr 3, 11, 9:27 pm
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"Southwest Airlines: Cracks found in 2 more planes"

Humm...

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT
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