Southwest just put the Boeing 737 MAX back on its schedule
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.
Boeing’s journey to get the 737 MAX back in the sky is nearing completion, at least in the U.S.
Over the weekend, Southwest Airlines became the final domestic carrier to put the beleaguered jet back on its schedule. The Dallas-based carrier will restart MAX service on March 11, with four flights scheduled to take off at the same time across the network (9 a.m. Eastern, 8 a.m. Central and 7 a.m. Mountain).
There are 32 total MAX flights scheduled for March 11, across a host of routes, all of which are listed below according to Cirium timetable data.
Southwest’s MAX rollout plan is significantly more comprehensive than other carriers. American Airlines became the first U.S. carrier to restart MAX flights on Dec. 29 with once-daily service between Miami (MIA) and New York/LaGuardia (LGA). American has since expanded its MAX schedule to cover an average of 45 daily flights, according to Cirium schedules.
In addition to American and Southwest, Alaska Airlines and United have the 737 MAX in their fleet. On Thursday, Feb. 11, Chicago-based United will restart MAX service with 24 flights across the country. At the outset, the plane will be primarily based in Denver and Houston.
Alaska just took delivery of its first 737 MAX roughly two weeks ago. Alaska’s first MAX is scheduled to enter service on March 1 with daily roundtrip flights between Seattle and San Diego, and Seattle and Los Angeles. The airline is then expected to take delivery of its second 737 MAX 9 later in March.
For Boeing, Southwest’s move is welcome news. Unless plans change, every U.S. carrier will have the MAX back in the air come March 11. All eyes will then turn to other major markets, like China, which still haven’t recertified the plane.
On Nov. 18, 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration ungrounded the plane, following two fatal crashes that took 346 lives combined. All recertified jets must receive software updates to the flight control systems, which takes just four hours, according to one of American Airlines’ top mechanics.
Pilots must also undergo new required training before they fly the plane once again. All Southwest pilots will be retrained prior to the March 11 relaunch, which includes some test flights without paying passengers.
Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest, recently flew on one of the carrier’s readiness flights, remarking on Twitter that “my flight today only reaffirmed my supreme confidence in the airworthiness of the MAX.”
Southwest flyers who want to avoid flying on the MAX will have some added flexibility. Through May 31, customers may contact the airline for a fee-free change to a non-MAX flight within three days of the originally scheduled departure date.
All Southwest tickets, including those operated by the MAX, qualify for free cancelations in exchange for future travel credit.
A full list of Southwest’s first 737 MAX routes is below:
- ATL – RSW, Flight number: 6589
- BWI – MSY, Flight number: 6008 (one of the first four Southwest MAX flights)
- BWI – RSW, Flight number: 6024
- CMH – PHX, Flight number: 6007
- DEN – MCO, Flight number: 6013
- DEN – MDW, Flight number: 6001 (one of the first four Southwest MAX flights)
- HOU – MCI, Flight number: 6548
- HOU – SLC, Flight number: 6029
- LAS – PHX, Flight number: 6020
- LAS – SAT, Flight number: 6237
- MCI – HOU, Flight number: 6028 (one of the first four Southwest MAX flights)
- MCO – DEN, Flight number: 6598
- MCO – MDW, Flight number: 6623 (one of the first four Southwest MAX flights)
- MCO – MSY, Flight number: 6010
- MDW – DEN, Flight number: 6002
- MDW – MCO, Flight number: 6555
- MDW – PHX, Flight number: 6026
- MDW – RSW, Flight number: 6004
- MSY – BWI, Flight number: 6011
- MSY – MCO, Flight number: 6268
- PDX – PHX, Flight number: 6016
- PHX – CMH, Flight number: 6006
- PHX – LAS, Flight number: 6021
- PHX – MDW, Flight number: 6027
- PHX – PDX, Flight number: 6015
- PHX – SLC, Flight number: 6017
- RSW – ATL, Flight number: 6025
- RSW – BWI, Flight number: 6023
- RSW – MDW, Flight number: 6399
- SAT – LAS, Flight number: 6019
- SLC – HOU, Flight number: 6030
- SLC – PHX, Flight number: 6014
Featured image by Mark Ralston/Getty Images
This article was corrected to show that Southwest plans to restart MAX flights on four routes at the exact same time on the morning of March 11.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
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.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- 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.
- 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 $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