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What if I don't want to fly on a 737 MAX...ever.

New Arrival

I have been flying SWA for over 25 years.

I collect rapid rewards to use so that I can take more trips. Southwest flies to most places that I want to go. I have been following the news about the 737 MAX with great interest and do not want to ever fly on one. So, my question is, when I book a flight can I see the aircraft type and if a 737 MAX shows up at the gate, can I change my flight?

One of my others bugs with Boeing 737 aircraft is that the seats are too narrow. I understand that it is because of the narrow body of the aircraft. I am not obese by any means, but I am tall with a large frame. The seats are bearable for a flight of 1 to 2 hours but I do not want to spend much more than that time squeezed into a narrow seat. Besides that, my wife, sitting next to me, loses part of her seat width as well. 

I love Southwest Airlines. You make flying fun. Please consider buying other aircraft instead of the MAX.

Thank you. 



Re: What if I don't want to fly on a 737 MAX...ever.

Rising Star

Then don't pick a MAX when you make a reservation.


When making a reservation on the flight reservtion page (after inputting depaeture and arrival airports and travel dates), scroll down the list of flights. When you click on each flight number, you'll see what type of aircraft is scheduled to fly the flight. Just don't pick one that is revealed as a MAX.


As far as seat width goes, Southwest is known as having more generous seat room than much of the competition. Try Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit if you want to experience "skinny seats." 




As a matter of fact SW has better room than United, Hawiian, some American flights -- and the exact same room as Delta.  Look for yourself:



Re: What if I don't want to fly on a 737 MAX...ever.

New Arrival

Then don't, but it won't be worth suggesting they "buy other aircraft." It won't happen because you want them to.

STILL safer than driving a car...even with the MAX.

Re: What if I don't want to fly on a 737 MAX...ever.

Rising Star

Unless you're buying business class or first class tickets on other airlines, Southwest seats are about as good as you're going to get. The seat width and pitch has nothing to do with a plane being a narrow body or a wide body and is all about how many seats and how much aisle space an airline wants to cram into a plane.


With all the attention and extra scrutiny the Max is getting it will probably be the safest airplane out there once it's back in service, but as others have said, take note of the airplane type when booking and make whatever decision you are comfortable with. 



Re: What if I don't want to fly on a 737 MAX...ever.

Top Contributor

The eventual safety of the MAX depends of course on what changes -- software, hardware and training -- will be required by the FAA and other governing organizations internationally before the planes can fly again.


While this situation certainly generates concern, unfortunately it's somewhat unrealistic to expect to never fly on a MAX aircraft again, unless one is willing to make significant concessions -- ones that approach the eventual complete reduction of air travel. MAX is the only aircraft Southwest has on order, and over time will represent the majority of their fleet. As the best selling aircraft in history (based on current orders), in 5-10 years it will be hard to avoid.  


That said, Southwest has stated that in the short term passengers with concerns will be able to change their flights to another aircraft type when necessary.


As to seat width and overall comfort, various types of planes certainly differ, but Southwest is firmly on the higher end when comes to regular coach seating. I'm certainly not a fan of the new slimline "Heart" seats, but they do offer the appearance of better width compared to other 737 configurations. These seats are primarily in MAX and 800 aircraft.