Southwest Flights Canceled, Delayed

3 canceled, over dozen delayed at San Diego Int'l Airport

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A mechanical failure Friday had local commuters counting minutes and crossing fingers on Saturday. (Published Saturday, Apr 2, 2011)

    Three departing Southwest Airlines flights had been canceled and over a dozen had been delayed by noon Sunday at the San Diego International Airport, part of a fallout to ongoing inspections stemming from the airline's Friday incident with a Boeing 737.

    Sixteen scheduled flights had been delayed as of 12 p.m., and three earlier flights to Denver, San Jose and Baltimore departed a combined 65 minutes late. Most flights, however, showed on the airport's website as having departed on time.

    Southwest Passengers Play Waiting Game

    [DGO] Southwest Passengers Play Waiting Game
    A mechanical failure Friday had local commuters counting minutes and crossing fingers on Saturday. (Published Saturday, Apr 2, 2011)

    The three canceled flights were a 12:15 p.m. departure to Oakland, a 1:25 p.m. departure to Pheonix and a 2:15 p.m. departure to Las Vegas.

    Southwest has encouraged customers to check their flight's status or rebook their trip prior to heading to the airport.

    The airline said it expected to cancel about 300 flights nationwide Sunday as it continues to inspect 79 of its Boeing 737 aircraft.

    On Friday, a 737-300 lost cabin pressure over Arizona skies after a hole opened up in the cabin roof at 34,500 feet.  Federal records show cracks were found and repaired to the same plane's frame a year ago.

    The pilot made what's described as a "controlled descent" to 11,000 feet, an altitude where supplemental oxygen is not necessary.  It then landed safely at a military base in Yuma, Ariz., at about 4:30 p.m.

    No serious injuries are reported among the 118 people aboard. One passenger says she saw a flight attendant and another passenger pass out.

    Federal investigators will try to determine what caused the hole. The FBI says it was a "mechanical failure," not an act of terror or foul play.

    Southwest says it's removing the 79 737s from its flight schedule so they can be inspected over the next several days. Officials say they'll try to "minimize customer inconvenience."

    Flight 812 had been on its way from Phoenix to Sacramento, Calif., when the incident occurred.

    A total of 288 Boeing 737-300s are currently operating in the U.S. fleet, and 931 operate worldwide, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Southwest first reported 81 planes had been grounded before lowing the figure to 79.