- On Wednesday, a Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Newark, New Jersey, made an emergency landing in Cleveland, Ohio, because of a cracked window.
- No one was injured as a result of the incident, but some people expressed fear about taking Southwest flights on Twitter.
- Aviation experts said the incident will not damage Southwest in the long-term.
On Wednesday, a Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Newark, New Jersey, made an emergency landing in Cleveland, Ohio, due to a cracked window.
No one was injured as a result of the incident, and Southwest said the plane maintained pressurization throughout Flight 957. The airline also said the broken window was not the result of an engine failure.
But this is Southwest’s second incident involving a broken window in the past month, following an April 17 emergency landing in Philadelphia caused by an exploded engine that broke a window. One passenger died in that incident after being partially sucked out of a window. Robert Sumwalt, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said that passenger’s death was the first in a US passenger airline accident in over nine years.
After Wednesday’s incident, people expressed fear about taking Southwest flights on Twitter.
“@SouthwestAir we are not feeling safe and will consider using a different airline, lower fares and bags flying free are not sounding appealing. You must do something about the ageing aircrafts,” one user wrote.
“Whoa! Glad that you and everyone else aboard the plane are safe! I used to fly Southwest all the time, now I’m scared to fly with them after these latest incidents!” another user wrote in response to a passenger on Flight 957.
The incident on Wednesday comes at a difficult time for Southwest. Last week, the airline said it had seen a decline in bookings since the fatal accident in April.
But while Southwest may suffer in the near future, it’s unlikely to sustain any permanent damage, according to aviation analyst Henry Harteveldt.
“The emergency landing may generate heightened short-term concern among travellers planning to travel aboard Southwest, given how this crack occurred just two weeks after the emergency on Southwest Flight 1380,” he told Business Insider. “Long-term, presuming no more serious incidents occur with the airline, I’m confident that Southwest will be fine.”
Hamlin Transportation Consulting President George Hamlin said the airline’s historical safety record overwhelms any fears stoked by recent incidents.
“Is this a rational fear? Not particularly,” he told Business Insider. “I would have no hesitation to go on a Southwest flight today.”
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