It’s been a long road back for the 737 MAX. Taking into consideration that if all of the regulatory systems worked as they were supposed to, we’re never be in the situation of having to re-certify a plane involved in 2 fatal crashes and the loss of 346 innocent lives because of a design flaw.
However, that’s where we are. Understandably, passengers will be hesitant to fly on a 737 MAX plane even if everyone says it’s totally safe. It was supposed to be safe last time and we know how that ended up.
We’re close to the return of the 737 MAX to service. Even the head of the FAA took it for a test flight, after which he said that the agency wasn’t yet ready to clear the plane for passenger service. It was a surprising move when the European Union Aviation Safety Agency cleared the plane to fly after some additional regulatory hurdles.
It appears that one airline is taking that as a sign that the plane will soon be cleared to fly in the US by the FAA. American Airlines is planning on adding the 737-MAX on a route from Miami to New York from December 29th to January 4th. Tickets will be available on October 24th. It’s not mentioned but I’m guessing the flight will be from MIA-JFK since that route already uses a 737-8.
American Airlines said it would make customers aware that they are flying on a 737 MAX. In July 2020, American stated that it would allow passengers to rebook if they were uncomfortable about flying on the 737 MAX. American has eliminated change fees on all of its US flights earlier this year but still requires you to pay the fare difference. No word if that will be waived if you’re flying a 737 MAX.
As a response to the news, the FAA made a statement referring back to what they said in June.
We will lift the grounding order only after we are satisfied that the aircraft meets certification standards.
We’ll have to see if the FAA clears the 737 MAX in enough time for American Airlines to get one of them and crew ready to fly. Unfortunately, the 737 MAX flight’s return is on the worst passenger configuration of the plane available.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary
Cover Photo from Laguardia Terminal B Twitter