Report: FAA investigating Southwest Airlines over baggage weight discrepancies


    Cropped Photo: Tomás Del Coro / CC BY-SA 2.0

    The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating Southwest Airlines over the widespread failure to accurately keep track of the combined weight of checked bags on their passenger jets.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that during the FAA's yearlong civil probe of the airline, they found "systemic and significant mistakes with employee calculations and luggage-loading practices" which, according to internal documents, resulted in marked discrepancies for pilots computing the weight of the plane during takeoff.

    Those inaccuracies ranged from a few dozen pounds up to 1,000 pounds in excess of the stated weight, according to government officials.

    The FAA has ordered “a comprehensive solution to the methods and processes used” according to an email to WSJ. No fine or other punishment has yet to be imposed.

    In an email exchange with the Journal, a Southwest spokesperson says the airline has cooperated fully with the FAA investigation and calls the company’s dealings with the agency part of a “routine dialogue.”

    Southwest also told WSJ that the airline voluntarily reports issues to the FAA to "enhance safety."

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