The Boeing 737 MAX is Back
by Cassie Sclafani, on February 16, 2021
After an almost two year grounding following two fatal crashes a couple of years ago, the Boeing 737 MAX is back in the air. Four major domestic carriers have once again scheduled flights on the aircraft after the FAA cleared them for safety back in November.
Prior to taking flight, all 737 MAX planes must receive software updates to the flight control systems. All four airlines are requiring additional pilot training for the MAX and conducting multiple test flights before the planes are put into passenger service.
American Airlines was the first U.S. airline to reintroduce the 737 MAX back in December with once-daily service between Miami and LaGuardia Airport. They have since expanded the MAX schedule to cover about 45 flights a day. American has waived change fees for travelers booked on an American MAX flight or they can cancel for a future travel credit.
United restarted 737 MAX service with 24 flights across the country last week. For now, these flights will be primarily based in Denver and Houston. If you’re scheduled on a MAX aircraft and would like to change your flight, United will rebook you for free or refund your ticket (this is true for all domestic tickets, including Basic Economy, along with international tickets).
The MAX will rejoin Southwest’s fleet on March 11th. All Southwest tickets come with free cancellations, and MAX flights are no exception. Through May 31st, you can contact Southwest for a free flight change to a non-MAX flight within three days of your originally scheduled departure.
Alaska Airlines has the MAX scheduled to reenter service on March 1st, with daily roundtrip flights between Seattle and Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego, Portland and Las Vegas and Portland and Los Angeles. They are also qualified for routes to Hawaii.
While all four carriers are confident in the safety updates of the MAX, we know the circumstances surrounding their grounding might cause travelers some discomfort and they might not want to board a 737 MAX just yet. That’s where we come in.
When searching in a2b, travel bookers can see the type of aircraft that is scheduled for each flight. If you see a 737 MAX aircraft listed, you can decide if you want to book that flight or if your traveler would be more comfortable on a different flight.
If you realize that you’re booked on a 737 MAX but would rather fly a different aircraft, we can help! We can change your ticket with no fees from the airline and help you get rebooked - just reach out to one of our travel advisors, our team is ready to help.