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Last week, I wrote about American Airlines potentially adding the 737 Max to their schedule before the end of the year (original post below). Well, it appears the plane has now been added to the calendar between Miami (MIA) and New York (LGA) with the following schedule:
|Flight #||Origin||Destination||Departure Time||Arrival Time|
American stated last week that they would “make customers aware they are flying on a 737 Max.”
Interestingly, I selected the 737 Max specifically and completed the entire booking process and and was never ‘alerted’ that I would be flying on the plane so I have no idea when the carrier contacts passengers scheduled on this flight.
Original Post: American Airlines is “going for great” but I have a sneaking suspicion this initiative may not go as well as they hope for…
737 MAX RETURNS TO SKIES
As if 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, American Airlines is taking the lead on a travel-related concept.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the carrier said it plans to return the 737 Max to service before the end of the year.
The airline also said that it expects the FAA to certify the plane by late November and if all goes according to plan, American will begin operating a daily 737 Max flight on the busy corridor between Miami (MIA) – New York (LGA) in late December.
737 MAX BACKGROUND
The aircraft has been grounded since March 2019 after two fatal crashes that killed nearly 350 people.
The first 737 Max crash occurred in October 2018 in Indonesia, and the second was less than five months later in Ethiopia.
For what it is worth, the cause of the two fatal crashes was determined to be a safety feature designed to push the nose of the plane down if it was climbing at a steep angle and was in danger of stalling. However, in both aforementioned crashes, the computer system provided false calculations, pushed both planes into nose-dives, and the pilots were unable to regain control.
Here is a glimpse into the planes capability from the 2018 Farnborough Airshow…
Boeing has since redesigned the software and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reviewing those changes and conducting test flights but hasn’t given a timetable for their approval.
American Airlines says that it will begin taking bookings for the flights this coming Friday and will make customers aware they are flying on a 737 Max.
Personally, I’m extremely interested in seeing how they will do this. Most customers do not have the slightest idea of the type of plane they are flying on and even if customers are interested in the type of plane, you have to know where to look (which generally takes a click or two to find the details).
Additionally, many flights are still being cancelled daily. Is the airline also going to let passengers know they are being re-booked on a 737 Max?
Many studies have shown that air travel is extremely safe (more so than driving), however, I suspect that AA will be the first airline to discover how many travelers are NOT interested in stepping foot on the 737 Max.
It’s also worth noting that Boeing rebranded the 737 Max and didn’t tell anyone. Remember that?
What do you think about this development?
Cover Photo: Boeing