On January 5, after a portion of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliner became airborne minutes after takeoff from Portland, Oregon, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded about 170 Max 9 planes, preventing those airlines from incurring losses. Which happened to be very dependent on it. The airline canceled thousands of flights and inconvenienced many passengers.
On Wednesday, the FAA approved inspection and maintenance procedures for the planes, clearing the way for the grounded Max 9 planes to fly again.
Airlines said they planned to resume Max 9 flights this week. Here’s what passengers should know about the plane and their rights if they want to avoid flying on it.
Which airlines use Max 9?
Of the 215 Boeing Max 9 airplanes flying globally, United Airlines operates 79, the most of any airline, and Alaska has 65, according to aviation data provider Cirium. Their combined fleets represent approximately 70 percent of the Max 9 jets in service.
Other operators relying on the Max 9 include Panama’s Copa Airlines, Aeromexico, Turkish Airlines, flydubai and Icelandair.
airlines in general share detailed information About all the aircraft in their fleet on their websites.
When will airlines resume Max 9 flights?
alaska said in a statement Final inspection, which takes up to 12 hours for each aircraft, is underway. The airline said it planned to bring back the “first few aircraft” for scheduled flights on Friday.
United said in a statement that it was preparing Max 9 planes to return to service on Sunday. However, United Airlines spokesman Josh Freed said the planes “can be used as spares” until this Friday.
Copa, which had grounded 21 Max 9 planes, said in a statement that it would “gradually restore flights that were previously cancelled” starting Thursday and return to a full schedule on Sunday.
How can I tell if Max 9 has been booked for me?
Travelers can usually find information about their aircraft type when they book their flights online, either during the seat-selection process or elsewhere on the airline’s website.
Passengers can also find the aircraft type on the airline’s mobile app in the details of their reservation after booking. For Alaska, it is available in the “Details” section of the app. Flight tracking websites like FlightAware also have aircraft information if users search for specific flights using the flight number.
But there is no guarantee of this. Even if passengers know in advance which aircraft they will fly on, it is always subject to change. Airlines swap planes at the last minute depending on factors such as weather and logistics.
What if I don’t want to fly on the Max 9?
Both United and Alaska have issued flight waivers due to Max 9 inspections that allow passengers to cancel or change their flights without fees. alaska discount Applicable on flights till 31 January. And United’s discount is for flights through January 28.
Airlines have different policies covering cancellations and refunds, depending on factors such as when you booked, how far in advance you want to cancel and what type of fare you purchased. Once the Max 9 exemption ends, passengers will not have the same rights to penalty-free rebooking or refunds for flights they choose to cancel on their own.
For future bookings, Kayak has created a new filter that excludes Max 9 flights. This will often mean booking on a carrier that doesn’t use the planes. But on some routes with a limited number of carriers, this may not be an option. For example, Alaska is the only carrier to fly nonstop between Anchorage and Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. The airline has frequently used the Max 9 on this route, According to FlightAwareA flight tracking website.
But experts suggest it may not make sense to avoid planes that are subject to strict scrutiny.
Aviation analyst Robert W. Mann Jr. said, “It’s not obvious or logical why anyone would avoid the most recently inspected aircraft in the sky,” he emphasized that the Max 8 caused several of the two fatal crashes. Flights resumed a year later, killing 346 people.
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