February 18, 2019 / 3:57 PM / 7 months ago

U.S. FAA investigates Southwest over baggage weight discrepancies - WSJ

Feb 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is investigating Southwest Airlines Co for widespread failure to accurately track the combined weight of checked bags loaded onto its jets, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Monday.

The U.S. aviation safety agency's year-long civil probe found systemic and significant mistakes with employee calculations and luggage-loading practices, resulting in potential discrepancies when pilots compute takeoff weights, the Journal said on.wsj.com/2V5h9Jo, citing government officials and internal agency documents

The FAA has not decided whether to impose fines or any other punishment, the report cited people familiar with the investigation as saying.

The inaccuracies ranged from a few dozen pounds to more than 1,000 pounds in excess of what the paperwork indicated, sparking disputes between the company and some agency inspectors about potential safety consequences, the report said.

A Southwest spokesman told the Journal the company's dealings with the agency were part of a "routine dialogue" and "do not constitute findings of noncompliance," adding the agency had not imposed fines or taken any other formal enforcement action.

The FAA and Southwest Airlines could not be immediately reached for comment.

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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