"To most people 12 minutes is not a big deal, but to an airline pushing off a gate 12 minutes late is a big deal … especially to the operations of an airline like Southwest Airlines. With Southwest Airlines turning around many flights in just over 20 minutes from the time the cabin door opens until it closes again, 12 minutes is a very long time. For a Southwest Airlines plane to sit at the gate an extra 12 minutes means that is 12 minutes the ground crew can’t attend to another aircraft at Los Angeles International Airport, a major focus city for Southwest Airlines. 12 minutes means that the gate is occupied, potentially delaying another flight and the aircraft potentially getting delayed in its departure.Additional Coverage: 1, 2, 3.
Many airlines would penalize pilots for unnecessarily delaying a flight … however Southwest Airlines has never been the same as most airlines, and the airline has publicly stated it is proud of its pilot’s decision."
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