United Airlines is latest to extend Boeing 737 MAX cancellations into 2020

Oct 11, 2019

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.

United Airlines has extended its cancellation of Boeing 737 MAX flights yet again, now saying the plane won’t return to its schedules until Jan. 6.

Previously, United had the MAX returning to its schedules on Dec. 19. With that, all three U.S. operators of the MAX — American and Southwest are the others — have now canceled MAX flights into January.

That means the MAX will remain off those carriers’ schedules throughout the busy Christmas and New Year’s holiday period. American now projects its 737 MAXes will return to service on Jan. 16 and Southwest on Jan. 6.

All three have had to postpone the planned re-entry of the MAX numerous times and work to reaccomodate flyers affected by the schedule disruptions.

“Since the grounding of the Boeing MAX aircraft in March, United has gone to great lengths to minimize the impact on our customers’ travel plans,” United said in a Friday morning statement announcing the latest schedule update. “We’ve used spare aircraft and other creative solutions to help our customers, who had been scheduled to travel on one of our MAX aircraft, get where they are going.”

Related: Snapshot: A Look at United Airlines by the Numbers

With the jet now off the schedules into January, United added “we’ll continue to take extraordinary steps to protect our customers’ travel plans.”

United expects to cancel about 75 flights a day during December because of the MAX issues and about 56 a day during the portion of January that the aircraft will remain grounded.

That’s a small portion of United’s overall schedule that averages about 4,900 daily departures. Still, the tally adds up over an entire month. In December, for example, United projects it will cancel about 2,300 total flights from its originally planned schedule for the month.

For travelers. the latest schedule update takes the MAX out of service during the busy holiday period that’s marked by high demand and packed planes. That means airlines typically have less slack to accommodate displaced customers.

Related: American’s 757-200s, Southwest’s 737-700s Among Jets Sticking Around Longer Because of the MAX

Though the overall odds of being affected by the latest update are small, United customers booked to fly the carrier during between Dec. 19 and Jan. 6 would be wise to reconfirm their itineraries on the carrier’s app or website.

“We are continuing to work through the schedule to try and swap and upgauge aircraft to mitigate the disruption caused by the grounding of the MAX,” United said. “We continue to automatically book affected customers on alternate flights. If we are unable to place them on a different flight, we will proactively reach out to try and offer other options.”

Once the MAX does return to service, United, American and Southwest have all indicated that they would allow passengers to switch to other flights if they were nervous about flying on the MAX.

Featured photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.