What North American Airlines Are Doing About Their 737 MAX Fleets
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.
Following the tragic Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crash on Sunday, airline crew members and passengers around the world are expressing safety concerns about the aircraft involved: the Boeing 737 MAX 8.
The Ethiopian crash, in which 157 people died, is the second fatal accident involving a MAX 8 in just five months. October’s Lion Air flight 610 crash was also operated by a MAX 8. Due to the deadly crashes involving the aircraft just months apart, multiple airlines around the world have grounded the MAX 8s in their fleets. US carriers and other North American airlines, however, have said their MAX 8s will continue to fly.
Despite this, on Monday, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), Sarah Nelson, released a statement calling for the US Federal Aviation Administration to conduct an investigation of the aircraft.
“It is vitally important that U.S. airlines work with Boeing, the FAA, and the NTSB to address concerns and take steps to ensure confidence for the traveling public and working crews,” Nelson says in the statement. ” While it is important that we not draw conclusions without all of the facts, in the wake of a second accident, regulators, manufacturers, and airlines must take steps to address concerns immediately. AFA is formally requesting the FAA conduct an investigation into the 737 MAX.”
Nelson also highlighted the similarities between the Ethiopian crash and the Lion Air crash. Aside from the same aircraft, both crashes happened within 20 minutes of takeoff and both flight crews struggled to maintain a steady, upward climb.
North American airlines that have the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in their fleets include American Airlines, Westjet, Air Canada, Aeromexico, COPA and Southwest. TPG reached out to the airlines to see what their plans were, but none of the airlines responded to phone calls or emails within a timely manner aside from Southwest. “As Southwest operates a fleet of 34 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, we have been in contact with Boeing and will continue to stay close to the investigation as it progresses,” Southwest said in an email to TPG. “We remain confident in the safety and airworthiness of our entire fleet of more than 750 Boeing 737 aircraft, and we don’t have any changes planned to 737 MAX operations.”
They also said that they will be responding to concerned customers individually emphasizing their no-change-fee policy.
The other airlines were, however, responding to nervous customers on Twitter. For the most part, it seems airlines are not waiving change fees for passengers booked on 737 MAX 8s.
— Russ Ptacek (@RussPtacek) March 11, 2019
There’s a list of air carriers that own Boeing 737 Max airplanes at https://t.co/vfb5od00mC . No US-based carriers have grounded them, so I’d avoid flying @united @SouthwestAir @AmericanAir until the situation is resolved. Certainly don’t book flights that use 737 Max’s.
— Allen Holub (@allenholub) March 11, 2019
We remain confident in the Safety of our fleet of more than 750 Boeing aircraft. Southwest Airlines’ focus on the Safety of our operation is constant and unwavering. We will not know the type of aircraft that will be taking that route until about 24hrs prior. -Dillon
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) March 11, 2019
At this time, a goodwill policy for 737-8 MAX has not been created. Therefore, all fare rules still apply. /Chris
— Air Canada (@AirCanada) March 11, 2019
As we receive further information from Boeing or the investigation, we will keep you informed. WestJet, like many airlines around the world, will continue to operate the MAX 8 aircraft on its normal schedule.
— WestJet (@WestJet) March 11, 2019
The 737 MAX 8 flies a variety of routes for these airlines. With 34 of the variant, Southwest operates the largest MAX 8 fleet in North America. The carrier plans to eventually introduce the MAX on its new routes to Hawaii, which will first be served by the Boeing 737-800. American operates 22 MAX 8s, including high-traffic routes like Miami (MIA) to New York LaGuardia (LGA) and Miami (MIA) to Boston (BOS).
For a full look at where airlines are flying the 737 MAX 8, check out our guide here.
Feature photo by Max Prosperi/TPG.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
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 and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- 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 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 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