Skip to content

This airline is flying 5 employee-only 737 MAX flights to nowhere

Nov. 29, 2020
3 min read
This airline is flying 5 employee-only 737 MAX flights to nowhere
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.

American Airlines plans to operate five employee-only flights on its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in preparation for the aircraft's return to service.

In order to restore employee confidence in the beleaguered aircraft, American said it will operate the employee-only flights, as first reported by View From the Wing.

Sign up to receive the new bi-weekly aviation newsletter for more airline news!

American sent out the following memo to employees:

"We know that restoring our customers' confidence in the 737 MAX starts with ensuring our own team members are comfortable. That's why, leading up to the aircraft's return to scheduled service Dec. 29, we'll operate five 737 MAX flights, exclusively for team members."

The flights will take course over a period of five days between Dec. 3 and Dec. 17. More specifically, the flights will take off from three AA hubs and spend about one hour in the air before returning to the same airport.

Here's the information on each of the flights:

Date of flightAirportTime
Dec. 3Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)1 p.m. CT
Dec. 8Miami (MIA)3 p.m. ET
Dec. 9New York LaGuardia (LGA)1:30 p.m. ET
Dec. 15New York LaGuardia (LGA)2 p.m. ET
Dec. 17Miami (MIA)1 p.m. ET

American told TPG that team members can register for the flights. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis.

"Safety is our No. 1 priority at American," American said in a statement to TPG. "It’s at the center of every decision we make. It is with this standard and commitment that we will return the Boeing 737 MAX to service now that the aircraft has been recertified by the FAA."

On Nov. 18, the Federal Aviation Administration recertified the Boeing 737 MAX, 20 months after it was grounded following two fatal crashes.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Before the 737 MAX is allowed to return to service, however, the aircraft must undergo certain modifications and the pilots have to undergo new training. The fixes largely focus on the software of the flight control systems, which were the causes of the two downed jets — a Lion Air 737 MAX 9 in late 2018 and an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 in March 2019. Combined, the two crashes took 346 lives.

“I am 100% comfortable with my family flying on it this morning,” said FAA administrator Steve Dickson in a video message detailing the ungrounding order. A certified pilot, Dickson underwent the required training and flew a MAX jet to review the changes in September.

Of the U.S. carriers with 737 MAX aircraft in their fleets, American Airlines is set to be the first to reintroduce it to service. The airline will be the first in the U.S. to resume passenger flights on the 737 MAX on Dec. 29 between Miami (MIA) and New York-LaGuardia (LGA).

Related: The Boeing 737 MAX is about ready to return to US skies. Will it make it for the holidays?

American flew 24 of the MAX aircraft when it was grounded worldwide in March 2019. It still has another 76 of the aircraft on order and is set to take delivery of up to eight by the end of the year.

TPG featured card

OFFER ENDS 5/3/23
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x Marriott Bonvoy Points on each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 125,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/3/23.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6 points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/3/23.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • 6x Marriott Bonvoy Points on each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x Marriott Bonvoy Points on each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/3/23.

    Earn 125,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6 points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/3/23.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • 6x Marriott Bonvoy Points on each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.