Southwest Airlines --the air travelers's absolute last resort-- whose Scratch-and-Dent / Breached Hull Aircraft Discount Program drew tens of new customers to the company, has been told to discontinue the program after a flight made an emergency landing with what passengers described as a 3-foot crack in the fuselage of their Boeing 737.
"I can't believe that we had to fly on a Southwest flight with a gigantic f--king hole in it, just to save a couple bucks," said one passenger. "I can't have assigned seating or a first-class cabin, but I'd like to have a plane without a breached hull."
Southwest said in a statement that the flight crew "discovered a hole in the top of the aircraft."
"In order to keep our prices low, there are certain cutbacks we had to make," said the Southwest Airlines statement. "It is tightening-of-the-belt strategies like removing toilets, using regular gasoline instead of jet fuel, and discontinuing safety checks that allow our deadbeat customers to pay $59.00 to fly from LAX to Las Vegas."
"Even with a broken hull, the 737 has an outstanding safety record," said Julie O'Donnell. "Just not with our airline."
The FAA will continue its investigation.