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Squawks en OpschriftenSouthwest Airlines fined $150,000 for slow response to complaints

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Southwest Airlines fined $150,000 for slow response to complaints

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Southwest Airlines, the nation's largest domestic carrier, agreed to pay a $150,000 fine for failing to give timely responses to passenger complaints. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the fine Wednesday, saying Southwest did not respond in writing within 30 days to complaints related to access for the disabled, as required by federal regulations. Southwest officials said the airline inadvertently missed the complaints because of a technical glitch. The Department of Transportation… (www.latimes.com) Meer...

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Av8nut
Michael Fuquay 4
So they credit them 115K becuase of the refunds.

What about the other 35K? Does any of that money go to the passengers? Doubt it.
mburrows
Mike Burrows 1
the $35 is used for the bar bill at teh next FAA conference.
crazyforcubssr
Gerald Smith 2
I know that $150,000 isn't a lot of money from Southwest Airlines but, we, the consumers will eventually pay within the air fares for whatever the check amount is. There must be other penalties with out involving a monetary figure.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
The second paragraph clarifies that the fine was for an ADA compliance, that 115K was credited for SWA refunds paid to customers. That said, 150 K is chump change. A group of ADA lawyers in Calif are shaking down business for 5K a pop if they can find any compliance minutiae and issue demand letters. That 150 K represents 30 small businesses. One of them was the original Squeeze Inn in Sacramento, 12 stools and a counter.

Sorry for wandering off topic.
chosyndesha
chosyndesha 1
yes. like shutting them down for a week.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Assuming it could be done, just how would that benefit the consumers mentioned by Gerald Smith?
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
That is only minor to some other crap with SWA. Used to work for them... Didn't stay long. Their push push push maintenance practices are not good.
bentwing60
bentwing60 7
Sparkie, won't dispute your history with or comment on SWA maintenance practices, but their safety record would lead one to believe that either their maintenance program is not that egregious, or they do on hell of a job training pilots to fly broken airplanes.
sparkie624
sparkie624 -2
They have had 2 fuselage panels to blow out and forced an emergency landing with the latest being in KCRW. They had a landing in 4500 feet, ran off the runway, went through a barrier and hit some cars, killed a 6 year old boy. There are quite a few other incidents that can be brought in, but I do not feel their safety record is that good, and from actually working for the company I can see why, and that is why I do not work there any longer.
bentwing60
bentwing60 3
I respect your opinion and won't argue the point further. The best way to register your displeasure with a company is with your feet, and
bentwing60
bentwing60 3
I got cut off to relog on and I will say that I respect your opinion for that. Nuff Said.
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
The blow outs are a Boeing design flaw, not SWA maintenance practices.
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
LOL, Yeah... You keep believing that...
devsfan
ken young 2
Disgruntled ex- employee. That is what I am seeing.
If SWA had such a piss poor safety record then let me ask...Where are the incident reports? Where are the accidents? Where is the news media on the stuff you described?
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
Ok, lets lay it on the line. this is the fact. They want a 737 tire changed in 10 minutes, a brake change in 20... Not nearly safe. they push mechanics to the edge making things that you should take your time on, they want done right now. Starting out as a new employee is nothing more than Boot Camp, as a matter of fact boot camp is easier. If you do something that someone does not like they write up speedy notes on you and that is held against you in reviews. Reviews are nothing about how bad you are. I told the supervisor that I thought reviews were to hear the good and the bad... He agreed, but says that he has to hear the good things first. I mentioned 3 separate items that I had done that were above the norm and fixed the plane... His answer was: "Oh I did hear you are a good R&E" (R&E with them is radio and electrical). He still never came up with anything good. Only downing. Before I left I got written up because I am not a social person.. Any one who knows me can attest to that. When I tracked out what I really got written up for is that 15 minutes to clock out I did not socialize with them at the time clock before leaving... I do not drink Alcohol and do not feel it should be in the work place, especially when it was in a hangar where people were actively working an a/c.

If you want their incidents, they have plenty:

Flight 1248 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Airlines_Flight_1248

Flight 1455 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Airlines_Flight_1455

Flight 2294 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Airlines_Flight_2294

Flight 812 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Airlines_Flight_812

Incident grounds Southwest flights - http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/apr/03/incident-grounds-southwest-flights/ (from preforming incomplete inspections allowing a/c to fly not under AD Compliance.

If they had done the inspections correctly they probably would have detected the corrosion that caused the blow out of fuselage panels. These inspections are in place due to Aloha Airlines Flight 243 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloha_Airlines_Flight_243).

You call me a "Disgruntled ex- employee.", no that is not at all correct. I am a concerned mechanic who would rather work in a safe environment and keeps our plane safe. I am currently a Maintenance Controller for an airline. This kind of stuff WOULD NEVER BE TOLERATED.

Just curious Ken, What are your qualifications and experience towards evaluating maintenance at SWA, What ratings and certifications do you carry. Mine are as follows: A&P (28 Years, 24+ in part 121, Have been Cat II, CAT IIIa, Cat IIIb, RVSM, Pitot Static, and Transponder certifications.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Well, he DID ask. Got a substantial answer. Thanks for the links.
devsfan
ken young 1
And the FAA? Where are they on these?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Wish you were one state north and freelance. Lol
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
Flight 1248- pilot error
Flight 1455- pilot error
Flight 2294- undetected fatigue crack outside of Boeing's inspection area
Flight 812- undetected fatigue crack before Boeing's inspection was due
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Both of those inspections were in the AD, but the nice engineers at SWA did not create the work package correctly. Those areas should have been covered.
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
That AD cam out AFTER the blow outs, because they had 2 in a relatively short span.
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
Being paid off I would guess
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
If you were a REAL mechanic and not a spark chaser, you would know that these are happening due to the chem-milled skin design.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
LOL, you funny... I have worked every aspect of maintenance.. and yes, i am very familiar with the "chem-milled skin design" and thanks to the tear straps (you may not recognize that term.O is the only thing that saved SWA on 2 of those occasions. How long have you been a Jet Mech.... I guess you are 24 years old. I have had my license for over 28 years... 4 years longer than you were ever a dream. Every time one of you have a system that don't work you call out for us wire chasers crying you can't fix it....
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
35 years old, A&P 15 years, ALL heavy maintenance at an MRO. Experience at all aspects of the aircraft, structures, flight controls, landing gear, engines, hydraulics, pneumatics, electrical, navigation, communication. I have worked on aircraft from SWA, CO, United, Delta, American, Frontier, Alaska, Midway, UPS, FedEx, Northwest, EG&G, L3, Allegiant, Virgin, many VIP BBJ's, and more.. Airframe types, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 717, MD-80, MD-11, L10-11, DC-10, DC-9...
I have seen everything and fixed everything. Out of airlines' maintenance programs, SWA is NOT one to worry about, there are a few that are, but not many.
preacher1
preacher1 1
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
All Heavy maintenance.... that explains it... You need to get out on the line where you can keep a line moving vs working the same plane for weeks on line. The joke is where I work we bring a plane out of heavy check to fix what is broken that was not when it went in... 15 years not bad, but a long way to go... If you work heavy maintenance, you have not seen everything.... Until you work Maintenance Control for an airline, then you realize everyday you have not seen everything. Every day is something different.
suz
suz 2
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Maybe they will have a slow response yo pay, too! LOL
jwhvacr
Jim Wheeler 1
My barber has a shop in a small strip shopping center, where each of the stores received a similar fine for a similar reason (no being handicapped friendly). It was just a ripoff, but he now has a sign in his window offering to help handicapped people to enter if they have problems (which he would have done anyhow). As in many other such things, this has gotten out of hand.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I agree... Well trained pilot... What is the difference in touching the road and still keeping all your controls hot... It can just as easily move around on you if you do not have the full weight down... He just touched the rail... If he had put any real weight on it, something else would have moved. Those emergency services guys have to do a lot more than that in saving our lives. Have to give those guys a real thumbs up and well done.
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 1
Government enforcement departments do this all the time. They pick a well heeled company and shake them down for huge fines. They always reduce the fine if you don't argue and fork over the dough. The agency gets the headline "150,000 fine" but the check is cut for $35K. The disabled themselves have turned into shake down artists too. They will take a flight and then complain about things like the angle of the mirror in the restroom seeking compensation.

I have seen every airline bend over backwards to assist anyone with the slightest disability. I think this technical violation is just the enforcement arm of DOT attempting to show their need to the agency in the hopes of expanding their little empires.

I have to agree with Sparkie about the shop practices of Southwest. Weren't they the one that wrote a note on top of the wing next to a tear in the skin that read "We know about this." Sure it was minor, but I would have been out the door. I don't know about you, but the price of MY ticket includes a well maintained aircraft.
cdierking44
Chris Dierking 3
That was Alaska Airlines.
Bernie20910
Bernie Behling 1
Every airline bend over backwards? I wish you'd have been on my flight to FXE from DCA a few years back. I'd just busted up my left knee two days before, couldn't bend it at all. I didn't have an assigned seat so guess where they put me? Yeah, bulkhead window seat behind first class. I'm 6'2" and had a damn leg that wouldn't bend and that was the only seat they offered me. Oh, but they had no problem at all upgrading six other passengers to business class.
devsfan
ken young 0
This is what out federal government does...Uses financial sanctions to pick winners and losers.
Anyone remember the crap storm the federal government tried to throw at Microsoft during the Clinton admin?