Southwest Flight 1380: What You Need To Know

Apr 18, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Albuquerque banking executive Jennifer Riordan, 43, died Tuesday from injuries sustained during Southwest Flight 1380’s engine failure and emergency landing.

Jennifer Riordan with her husband Michael and their two children. Photo by Cinnamon Wolfe, courtesy of the Riordan family.


“It is with great sadness that I confirm there was a passenger fatality on Flight 1380,” said Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly. “This is a sad day, and on behalf of the entire Southwest family, I want to extend my deepest sympathies for the family, and the loved ones of our deceased customer. They are our immediate and primary concern, and we will do all that we can to support them during this difficult time and the difficult days ahead.”

The left side engine of the Boeing 737-700 suddenly blew out just a few minutes after taking off from LaGuardia (LGA) at 10:43am ET for Dallas Love-Field (DAL). Shrapnel from the shredded engine hit one of the passenger windows, shattering the window and instantly depressurizing the cabin, causing oxygen masks to deploy. Riordan, who was seated by the window, was “partially sucked out of the plane” from the imbalance of pressure, according to passenger reports.

Riordan “hung out the window for many minutes” while passengers tried to pull her back into the plane amidst unstable cabin conditions, until two men were able to get her back in her seat, according to two passengers seated behind Riordan. A nurse answered a call for help, performing CPR to stabilize Riordan. Other passengers attempted to cover the window as the pilot rapidly descended from above 35,000 feet.

During the 15 minutes following the engine failure, Southwest flight captain Tammy Jo Schults piloted the aircraft to a safe landing at Philadelphia (PHL) at 11:23am ET, just 56 minutes after departure. Schults, who has been with Southwest since 1994, was one of the first female fighter pilots in US naval history. Once the aircraft landed, Schults personally addressed each passenger as they deplaned.

Immediately upon landing, Riordan was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition, while seven other passengers were treated on the scene for minor injuries.

Todd Baur, relaying information from his daughter-in-law, who was a passenger on the flight, told CNN that the cabin was “completely depressurized, oxygen masks were deployed.” A “big noise was the first sign that something was wrong,” he said. “A window blew out near the engine, the woman was almost taken out, was pulled back in.” Baur said there was a nurse and EMTs on board the aircraft, who helped administer CPR immediately. “Just true heroes. The pilot just managed the plane perfectly to get it down, flight attendants were amazing and kept everyone calm.”

Although some passengers described the plane as being in “free fall” on social media, flight data shows that the aircraft descended from over 30,000 feet to 13,000 feet in five minutes. The Fire Commissioner of Philadelphia stated that, during an emergency landing, descent “happens in a fairly rapid manner.”

The last fatality involving a commercial US airline took place in 2009, when Continental Airlines Flight 3407 crashed into a house in Buffalo, NY, due to icy weather-related conditions. All 49 people on board, as well as one person on the ground, died in the crash.

Robert Sumwalt, Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), gave a brief report on the incident on Tuesday afternoon, confirming the fatality and stating that the NTSB would conduct a thorough investigation into what occurred.

Soon after the NTSB report, Southwest released a follow-up statement:

“Southwest Airlines confirms an accident involving Southwest Airlines Flight 1380. The flight made an emergency diversion to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) earlier today after the Crew reported issues with the number one engine which resulted in damage to the fuselage.

We are deeply saddened to confirm that there is one fatality resulting from this accident. The entire Southwest Airlines Family is devastated and extends its deepest, heartfelt sympathy to the Customers, employees, family members and loved ones affected by this tragic event. We have activated our emergency response team and are deploying every resource to support those affected by this tragedy. For a message from Gary Kelly, Southwest Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, please click here.

The aircraft involved today was a Boeing 737-700 (N772SW) and was en-route from New York LaGuardia (LGA) to Dallas Love Field (DAL). In total, the flight had 144 Customers and five Southwest Crewmembers onboard.  We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Southwest Pilots and Flight Attendants who acted professionally and swiftly to take care of our Customers during the emergency diversion and landing.

Finally, Southwest Airlines officials are in direct contact with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support an immediate, coordinated response to this accident. Southwest is in the process of gathering additional information regarding flight 1380 and will fully cooperate in an investigative process.

Please join the Southwest Family in keeping all of those affected by today’s tragedy in your thoughts.”

The airline has changed its website banner and Twitter profile image from its signature red, yellow and blue heart symbol to one of a gray, broken heart.

Riordan was the vice president of community relations for Wells Fargo in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was returning from a business trip in New York, according to her last Tweet:

Riordan described herself on Twitter as a “proud Team Member. Wife, mom of two, baseball fan, wine and coffee lover, passionate about my community.” She was an active volunteer well known for giving back to her community, and had been appointed Commissioner of Volunteer Engagement by the State of New Mexico. Her husband, Michael Riordan, is the former Chief Operations Officer for the City of Albuquerque. The Riordans have two young children.

Updated at 9:50pm: The family released a statement Tuesday evening, saying:

“Jennifer Riordan has passed away as a result of previously reported events on Southwest Airlines flight #1380. Jennifer’s vibrancy, passion and love infused our community and reached across our country. Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never be fully measured. But foremost, she is the bedrock of our family. She and Mike wrote a love story unlike any other. Her beauty and love is evident through her children. We are so appreciative of the outpouring of support from family, friends and our community. We do ask that those who seek to express their condolences and prayers as well as media outlets respect our privacy at this time. Our family and friends need this time to both grieve and celebrate Jennifer’s impact on us all. In her memory, please remember to always be kind, loving, caring, and sharing.”

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.