You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Southwest Airlines' Landing Mix-Up Could Have Been Super Scary Despite the inconvenience to passengers, mistakenly landing at the wrong airport points to larger security and safety issues.

By Jason Fell

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Imagine if you were on a flight -- any usual flight you might take for business or pleasure -- to find out that your plane had mistakenly landed at the wrong airport. It's a big inconvenience, especially if you have a connecting flight or someone waiting to pick you up at the airport.

This exact situation happened this weekend when a Southwest Airlines flight departing from Chicago's Midway airport landed at Taney County airport in Missouri. Problem is, the plane was scheduled to land at Branson Airport about seven miles away.

"Welcome to Branson," the pilot announced to passengers over the intercom once the plane landed. Um, not exactly, sir. After a moment the pilot apologized and said the plane has landed at the wrong airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have launched separate investigations into what caused the incorrect landing.

Despite the inconvenience to passengers, the mix-up points to larger security and safety issues. If flight traffic controllers were confused, could flight paths have been crossed? That's a serious problem.

More tangible is how the runway at Taney County airport is about half the length of the one at Branson Airport. The pilot was able to brake hard and stop the plane, a Boeing 737-700, about 300 feet from the end of the runway. If he hadn't the plane could have blown past the runway, down an embankment and onto U.S. Highway 65, as CNN pointed out.

Related: How One Traveler Woke Up in the Dark and Trapped Alone Inside an Airplane

Jason Fell

VP, Native Content

Jason Fell is the VP of Native Content, managing the Entrepreneur Partner Studio, which creates dynamic and compelling content for our partners. He previously served as Entrepreneur.com's managing editor and as the technology editor prior to that.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

This Insurance Agent Started a Side Hustle Inspired By Nostalgia for His Home State — Now It Earns Nearly $40,000 a Month

After moving to New York City, Danny Trejo started a business to stay in touch with his roots — literally.

Business News

Side Hustles Are Soaring as Entrepreneurs Start Businesses Working Part- or Full-Time Elsewhere, According to a New Report

The younger the entrepreneur, the more likely they were to start a business as a side hustle.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Scrabble Makes First Change to Its Board in Over 75 Years

The new roll out is only available in Europe as of now.

Management

The Art and Science of Promoting Emotional Intelligence

This "soft skill" has emerged as a particularly critical one for our increasingly remote-work and AI-influenced environment: How to make it an engine of progress for your company.