Boeing's 737 Max 8 is in the spotlight following the Sunday crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight operated by aircraft. It was the second crash of the new 737 variant in less than six months.
Safety experts says it's too early to draw any definitive conclusions about the jet since investigations about the crashes are still ongoing. Still, some flyers have raised concerns after the latest accident.
Here are some things to know about the Boeing 737 Max.
If you’re booked on a 737 Max 8 flight now, can you cancel? Or get your money back?
Probably not, though there might be some wiggle room depending on the airline.
American Airlines passengers booked on flights operated on American's Boeing 737 Max jets will be subject to the same change-fee rules as any of its other flights.
Southwest hasn't changed its policies either, spokesman Chris Mainz said to USA TODAY.
Unlike its competitors, however, Southwest does NOT charge a fee for changing tickets. But passengers changing flights DO have to pay the prevailing fare at the time they change their ticket, which usually means paying more money unless the original ticket was a last-minute purchase.
United Airlines doesn't operate the Max 8 but it does have more than a dozen of the larger Max 9 version of the 737. United indicated via Twitter that it was open to helping skittish travelers find new options.
“Your safety is our first priority. We completely understand,” the carrier said to one customer who tweeted concerns about the Max 8. “We don't fly 737 Max 8 but we fly 737 Max 9. There are 14 in our fleet. If you prefer not to fly on one we completely understand and will do what is best in our capabilities to find alternative travel arrangements.”
What airlines fly the Boeing 737 Max?
Dozens of airlines now have one of Boeing’s 737 Max jets in their fleets. In the U.S., American and Southwest fly the 737 Max 8 and each have more on order. United also flies another variant of jet, the larger 737 Max 9 model.
Other North American airlines that have 737 Max models in their fleets include Air Canada, Canadian carrier WestJet, Panama's Copa, Aeromexico and Caribbean airline Cayman Airways. The latter has grounded its 737 Max 8s – it has only two currently in its fleet – in the wake of the Ethiopian crash.
Globally, other prominent operators of Boeing 737 Max models include Air China, China Southern, Flydubai, Norwegian Air and Indonesia’s Lion Air.
Can you tell if your flight is on a Boeing 737 Max?
Yes, most airline websites show the type of aircraft used on their individual flights. Details vary by carrier, but most include a “details” or similar link that reveals that information.
On Southwest, for example, customers can click on their flight number when booking to see the aircraft. (Example in image below.) Customers also can use a flight-tracking site like FlightAware to check for their aircraft types.
American's website shows the type of aircraft when customers pick their flights. Other Boeing 737 flights will show up with descriptions like "738," but 737 Max flights typically include the word "MAX" in the aicraft description.
However, travelers should know it’s always a possibility that an airline can make a last-minute swap of one aircraft for another. This typically happens during “irregular operations” (such as poor weather) or in the event of a maintenance issue to a particular plane.
Where is the Boeing 737 Max 8 made?
All of Boeing’s 737 aircraft are assembled at its plant in Renton, Washington. Some 737s destined for Chinese carriers are flown to a facility in China for final installations after they’re assembled in Renton.
What are the 737 Max routes flown by airlines in the US?
Travelers could find the Boeing 737 Max on a variety of routes, and they can vary widely by carrier.
For American, most of its 737 Max jets fly from its hub in Miami, connecting passengers to a variety of destinations in the U.S. and Caribbean. But American also uses the aircraft on numerous other routes, such as on one of its nonstops between Los Angeles and Washington Reagan National.
Southwest operates a point-to-point network instead a traditional hub network. That means its 737 Max are scheduled across a wide variety of routes in its schedule.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Boeing 737 Max: What you should know if you're booked on a flight