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FAA investigates Southwest over baggage weight discrepancies

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is investigating Southwest Airlines Co for widespread failure to accurately track the combined weight of checked bags loaded onto its jets, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Monday. The U.S. aviation safety agency's year-long civil probe found systemic and significant mistakes with employee calculations and luggage-loading practices, resulting in potential discrepancies when pilots compute takeoff weights, the Journal said, citing… ( More...

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Call me a conspiracy theorist but I think the other carriers put the FAA up to this because Southwest is the only carrier that doesn't charge for baggage. Wouldn't be the first time something like this has happened.
Michael..really sir? this would seemingly be mmore of a whistleblower thing from either a ramp person who actually loads bags,or a mechanic,as they have been in talks with that groups the way, southwest may not charge at this point for checked baggage,but rest assured that is coming in the future..i really doubt the other carriers (and you didn't specify which you feel are "conspiring" with the faa)would go that far..
Not a big problem on todays jets.....there is a safety margin built in. Rare to have this cause problems. Couple exceptions that come to mind.....charters and cruise people headed to Miami. Airbus weighs itself aerodynamically after takeoff so you have a real time won't keep you out of the trees but you will know why you hit them......all I can say is southwest must really be out in left field to get the FAA involved.
sharon bias 2
Out of curiosity, is it true that pilots add an extra 25 lbs per passenger for planes going to Samoa? FAA figures 199 lbs for an average male, but the average Samoan male is 220. Although Southwest doesn't fly to Samoa, you can clearly see how weight is a major issue for pilots and airlines
ADXbear 3
This is an area I was always concerned about when I dispatched at other airlines. There is alot of trust placed on unlicensed people to properly load the aircraft. Also, the assumed weight of passengers. I dont think using the FAA standards of 170 lbs is anywhere accurate in the real world, I would not be surprised if every aircraft is overweight on take off. Im retired now.
They cannot be fined enough, and should be grounded until they can prove they have an accurate system in place.
Steve Brown 1
I'm not a pilot but the Journal said the baggage estimates might be off by a 1000 pounds. Considering the weight of the plane, fuel, passengers, crew and baggage wouldn't 1000 pounds be pretty trivial?
this is an important issue whether you are southwest,american or united..its all computerized now but the numbers still need to be correct as "average" passenger weights (adults and children)are included in the "average" and "overweight "bags and also cargo..then there is the weight of the fuel..i remember having to do this manually for smaller regional aircraft and accuracy was of utmost importance,even as to how many people could go on board and sometimes where they had to be seated!
Tomer Ariav 1
When I first flew, it was a DC-3 flying from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo. All passengers got o a scale and only them got seats. The company was Panair.
I recall being weighed before boarding Southern Airways DC-3s back in the early 60s. Also pax being shifted around in the cabin to manage the CG.
linbb -1
Reading about it there has been no problems found, no AC close calls, just something for the press and FAA to crow about. Yet others have had large problems with cargo and pax loading which resulted in crashes in the past. Also there have been several Alaska problems in the last year.
wx1996 0
This was the first post on the subject:

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Kobe Hunte 1
thats pretty much the only thing you can say on FA..


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