American, Southwest extend Boeing 737 MAX cancellations into March
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 and Southwest delayed the projected return of the Boeing 737 MAX on Friday, with each of the carriers saying the jet would not return to their schedules until at least March.
It’s the latest setback for carriers hoping to resume operations with the still-grounded 737 MAX. American and Southwest — along with United, the third U.S. carrier that already had MAXes in its fleet when the jet was grounded in March — have all revealed numerous updates to when they expect the MAX to resume service. But, with no clear timeline on when the MAX will eventually be cleared to resume flying, each has had to keep updating their MAX schedules.
Southwest now says it has taken the MAX out of its schedules through March 6. American has done the same through March 5. The airlines had previously expected the planes to return to their schedules on Feb. 8 and Jan. 16, respectively.
“American Airlines remains in continuous contact with the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation and Boeing. Based on the latest guidance, American anticipates that the resumption of scheduled commercial service on American’s fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will occur March 5, 2020,” American said in a Friday afternoon statement.
American added that “once the aircraft is certified, (it) expects to run exhibition flights, or flights for American team members and invited guests only, prior to March 5.”
A move to fly “exhibition flights” suggests American is preparing for a flying public that may be reluctant to fly the jet.
American has also published a list of frequently asked questions, outlining the MAX’s planned return to service. As in the past, passengers on flights canceled due to this latest 737 MAX delay will be able to request alternate accommodation, or they can choose to receive a full refund.
At Southwest, news of the extended MAX cancellations there came as part of the carrier’s 10-Q filing. The airline noted that “based on continued uncertainty around the timing of MAX return to service, the company soon plans to proactively remove the MAX from its flight schedule through March 6, 2020.”
The airline’s CEO, Gary Kelly, has previously stated he expects it would be “about three to four weeks” after the FAA approves the MAX before the airline can get the plane back into service. And, even there, Kelly has said in media appearances that he had a low level of confidence about a precise return-to-service date for the MAX.
All three U.S. carriers that fly the jet have already said that once the MAX returns to their schedules, they’d allow passengers to switch to other flights if they were nervous about flying on the aircraft.
This post has been updated with additional information about the updated MAX schedules at American and Southwest.
Featured photo courtesy of American Airlines.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
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.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- 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 $80 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 PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- 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