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Passengers Sue Southwest In Class Action

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. (CN) - Southwest Airlines ducked FAA maintenance and inspection regulations for nearly a year, sending customers on 59,000 flights on planes that were "flying illegally," a class action claims in Federal Court.

Plaintiffs say Southwest failed to comply with FAA regulations on 59,000 flights between June 2006 and March 2007. The planes allegedly did not undergo inspections for fuselage cracks.

After planes failed inspection, Southwest sent planes on another 1,451 flights without proper repairs, the complaint states.

"Further, according to the investigation completed by the US Department of Transportation Inspector General, in March of 2007, Southwest Airlines had 21 key inspections which were overdue for at least five years," the complaint states.

Plaintiffs demand refunds and punitive damages. They are represented by Gayle L. Douglas.

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