Hundreds of airlines have made the decision to ground a significant portion of their fleet because they don’t currently have enough passengers to come even close to filling them. Southwest Airlines is no exception; they’ve so far indefinitely grounded nearly half of its aircraft.
But to add insult to injury, Southwest also recently had to ground 115 of its Boeing 737-800 jets. This time it wasn’t because of a lack of passengers, but weight discrepancies. Apparently the weight data that was sent to flight dispatch personnel was different from its other weight records.
Weight and balance data help determine both how many passengers and how much fuel can be safely carried onto the plane.
The difference was only 75 pounds per plane, but the fact that there was a discrepancy is a big deal to the FAA. In fact, in January 2020, the FAA proposed fining Southwest $3.92 million for alleged weight discrepancies on more than 20,000 flights that operated in 2018. So can you blame Southwest for being extra careful?
Said the airline: “Out of an abundance of caution, we have temporarily ceased flying the respective aircraft to enter the correct weights of the aircraft in question into the system and reset the program.”
Southwest grounded the planes on September 16th but the necessary data changes are in the midst of being made and half of the affected planes are now back in the air, with more to come in the coming days.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary