Following is the full text of the statement posted by Southwest Airlines on its Web site Friday, Oct. 17, 2003, in response to news that federal investigators were inspecting all domestic airline flights:
While performing maintenance on an aircraft lavatory in New Orleans last evening, several items were discovered in a lavatory compartment. The items, inside a small plastic bag, included a small number of boxcutters and other items intended to simulate a threat.
A similar discovery was made in Houston last night on another aircraft during a scheduled maintenance inspection (C check).
A note in both packages indicated the items were intended to challenge the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint security procedures.
Both discoveries were made on Thursday night, Oct. 16, by Southwest Airlines (LUV) Employees. These items were immediately turned over to authorities with whom we will continue to cooperate during this investigation.
After consulting with the TSA, we immediately completed inspections of our entire fleet of 385 aircraft and found no additional miscellaneous items. We continue to cooperate with the TSA and FBI to determine the origin of these items.
We will not speculate on who might have left these items onboard. We will cooperate with the federal authorities to investigate this thoroughly.