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Boeing 737 MAX 8 FAQs

Lindsey Employee
Employee

Southwest Airlines has been in constant contact with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing, and we are complying with the FAA requirement issued Wednesday, March 13 for all U.S. airlines to ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8. Our goal is to continue operating our schedule with every available aircraft in our fleet to meet our Customers’ expectations during the busy travel season.

 

Below are answers to some of our Customers’ most frequently asked questions regarding the 737 MAX 8.

 

 

How is Southwest responding to the 737 MAX 8 grounding?

 

We continue to work with Boeing, the FAA, and our industry partners to ensure we have the most up-to-date information so that we can make the best decisions affecting our People, our Customers, and our Company. We have the highest confidence in our talented and highly trained Employees; there is no other organization that knows as much about flying and maintaining the 737 as our airline.

 

The Safety of our Customers and Employees is our uncompromising priority, and the FAA’s grounding reflects the commitment to supporting the current investigations and regulatory concerns.

 

 

How soon will I know if my upcoming flight has been impacted?

 

Our goal is to operate our planned schedule with as few cancellations and as little impact to our Customers as possible. To support our Customers, our Teams are working diligently to increase reliability and reduce the amount of last-minute flight changes caused by the MAX 8 grounding.

 

Currently, we are amending our flight schedule through October 1, 2019, to incorporate changes that will occur as a result of our 34 MAX 8 aircraft being taken out of service. We are taking steps to proactively notify Customers affected by these changes.

 

Please know there are still other factors to consider when traveling that have potential to impact a scheduled flight on any given day. These factors include but are not limited to weather, unscheduled maintenance, operational delays, etc. As your flight date approaches, you can track the status of your flight using our Flight Status Tool on Southwest.com.

 

 

How will I be notified if my flight has been impacted?

 

The limited number of Customers who have already booked their travel and will be affected by our amended schedule are being proactively notified of their re-accommodated travel plans, according to our flexible accommodation procedures.

 

 

How can I verify my aircraft type?

 

Instructions for verifying the aircraft type scheduled to operate your flight can be found here.

 

 

What is Southwest offering to Customers affected by a 737 MAX 8 flight cancellation?

 

Any Customer affected by a flight cancellation can rebook on alternate flights without any additional fees or fare differences between the original city pairs or Carrier-recognized co-terminals.

 

Safety will always be our top priority, and ever since complying with the FAA's requirement to ground the MAX 8 aircraft on March 13, we have been doing everything we can to alleviate impact to our Customers’ travel by rebooking Customers on alternate flights, offering flexible, no-fee flight changes, and covering MAX 8 flights with other aircraft from our remaining fleet of over 700 aircraft.

 

If alternate flights do not meet the needs of a Customer affected by a proactive schedule change, a refund may be requested or the funds will be available for future use consistent with the fare rules and refund procedures specified in Section 4c of the Southwest Airlines Contract of Carriage. The limited number of Customers who have already booked their travel and will be affected by our amended schedule are being proactively notified of their re-accommodated travel plans, according to our flexible accommodation procedures.

 

 

How many 737 MAX 8 aircraft does Southwest operate?

 

Southwest operates a fleet of more than 750 Boeing 737s, and the 34 737 MAX 8 aircraft account for less than five percent of our daily flights. These 34 aircraft have been removed from service pending additional FAA direction.

 

 

Will this affect my flight to Hawaii?

 

No. We received ETOPS authorization from the FAA to serve Hawaii with the 737-800, which is not the same aircraft type as the 737 MAX 8. 

 

 

How can I get in touch with a Customer Service Representative?

 

Customers can reach Southwest Airlines Customer Service and Support at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA or via any means here.

54 Comments
SWDigits
Active Member
Thank you for posting this information.
jramat
New Arrival

Lindsey.......I checked my flights and the equipment scheduled is a 737-800 departure and returning on 737-700. Do I understand correctly that when it says "737-800", it is NOT a 737-8MAX? Is the issue only concerning 737-8MAXs'? Even though I've been offered the chance to change flights, why would I if I'm not flying on the MAX equipment? Am I off-base on this and if so, please set me straight. Thanks for the help!!

bec102896
Rising Star

@jramat 

 

the 800 is a different aircraft from the MAX. The issue is only with the MAX jets the 700 and 800 are safe to fly on.

 

hope this helps

Blake

jramat
New Arrival

Sure does, thanks! It was odd that I received the app annoucement giving me the option to change flights at no cost etc. I had checked earlier in the day and saw what equipment was listed/scheduled and didn't think I had an issue. Then the advisory was sent to me with the offer to change and it really confused me.

EatFlyFetc
New Arrival

I’m so frustrated. We’re going on a cruise and I tried to have this resolved before we leave as I fly from SAN to MDW on 3/24 just a few hours after docking.

 

So, yesterday I called SWA and spoke to a customer service rep who moved me onto a flight that wasn’t on a Max 8. We both looked at the plane information and it was not on a Max 8. Tonight however the new flight is now listed as using a Max 8!! Yesterday it absolutely was not!

 

What are the chances that SWA will not cancel but use alternate aircraft? What are the chances if I do nothing I can get home on 3/24?

cbradbaer
New Arrival

I'm not sure if I need to cancel or not.  Th aircraft was a 737 MAX.  The ticket is for my mother flying From HOU to LAS on March 18th on flight #2471.  The return flight is Flight# 1232 on March 21st.  The website doesn't allow me to check status that far in in advance.  

 

How can I tell if the aircraft has been switched out, or if I need to cancel and book her another fight?

Melissachoate74
New Arrival

SWA -please verify for me if my flight Saturday is a Boeing 737-800 aircraft then that is different than 737-8 max that are being cancelled because when I login it says my flight can be adversely affected and I can change for free. I’m booked on flight #5292 Saturday 3/16. I’m asking on here as I’ve been on hold 90 minutes so far with no message about hold time.

kczonie
New Arrival

Good luck trying to reschedule a flight, you have to get a person first. I am so disappointed.

mrspkm
New Arrival

Can you help me?  I am flying out of Tulsa on Saturday, March 23 on flight 5276 to Dallas Lovefield and then to Baltimore my airplane are 737-700.  Do I need to worry about this flight??

Bionicolas47
New Arrival

I am on flight 2921 at the end of April.  It’s is on a max 8.  Do I have to wait until my flight is officially cancelled before I can switch flights for free?

LorrieA
New Arrival

My flight is on a grounded plane but the flight is not showing as cancelled. What does that mean? Is SW going to replace the aircraft and keep the flight? I don't know if I should re-book. BTW, the lack of proactive notification to passengers on affected flights is appalling. American contacted me immediately. The wait time on your CS line is two hours and you don't have a call back feature. I've spent 60 minutes trying to find an answer to this and still have nothing.

kczonie
New Arrival

I just wanted to say Kudos to Velma out of the Phoenix customer service office. She is a rockstar for Southwest. Yesterday was a hotmess for all and after 4+ hours of holding, to try to rebook my grounded Max flight. (I held for two hours and somehow my call got dropped, and then held for an additional 2 hours.)  Velma was an angel and Southwest is so lucky to have emloyees like her. She was genuinely kind and compassionate. She made me feel like she cared about me as a person. I suspect she is this way with every person she helps, all day long.  She asked me why I was traveling and loved my story. I really want to thank Velma and to share with her how much her excellent customer service meant to me. Perhaps one day I can invite her to the wedding. She will know what that meansSmiley Happy 

jramat
New Arrival

hi...for what it's worth......I called last night and, after a 80 minute wait, I spoke "live" to a representative. 700's and 800's are NOT Max8's. So we are fine. The grounding only applies to Max8's. I asked why I got the alert offering the chance to change and he said it was as a courtesy offered to all customers regardless of what equipment is scheduled. Obviously, those on grounded equipment must make the change, but the rest of us can keep what we have. Hope this helps!

mrspkm
New Arrival

Thank you so much that clears up the 700's,,,Thank You! JRAMAT

drmohs
New Arrival

we are flying out to CHS on MArch 25th at 10pm,  our flight is a MAX8..but it is still saying it is NOT cancelled??

I have tried calling but over a 90min wait,  and I can't change online becuse I have a companion fare with me.

Can you please advise?

berarmo
New Arrival

how many of the concerns expressed by pilots about flying the MAX8/9 were from SWA and how did management address those concerns prior to the grounding?

smallen
New Arrival

I am flying out of Dallas Luv on Saturday, Flight 4845 going to San Francisco. It is a 737- 800 plane. My return is Thursday on flight 2401, and it shows the MAX8. The flight doesn't show cancelled as of yet. I have been having a hard time reaching Southwest. Should I go ahead and cancel the return flight and  try and rebook it, or is Southwest trying to find a replacement plane? 

madams
New Arrival

1) How can I "physically" determine a Max 8 by looking both inside or outside?

 

2) Are all of the 737-800's with the "Sky Blue" interior, Max 8's?

Lindsey Employee
Employee

@smallen @madams 

 

All Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are temporarily grounded. Even if your itinerary shows that it has a MAX 8 scheduled to operate it, you will not be on a 737 MAX 8. 

 

madams
New Arrival

Lindsey, thanks for your response.  I understand the Max 8's are temporarily grounded, however, you didn't answer my question.  I asked:

 

1) How can I "physically" determine a Max 8 by looking both inside or outside?

 

2) Are all of the 737-800's with the "Sky Blue" interior, Max 8's?

 
chopk9md
New Arrival

Just located assigned plane for flight 5022 (Boeing 737-800) departing BWI on 3/17.  Is it recommended that we change reservation?

bec102896
Rising Star

@chopk9md 

 

The 800 series is good to go there is no need to change your flight. The 800 is different than the MAX 

 

hope this helps

Blake 

bohunter60
New Arrival

I am on Flt 2304 leaving from Boise on April 4, arriving in Ft Lauderdale.  My flight has been canceled.  There are 5 people in my family and we are all on that flight.  We are leaving on a cruise the following day.  I am very upset about this.  We cannot change our flights right now without a fee.  Suggestions?

bohunter60
New Arrival

M family and I (5 of us) are booked on flt 2304 out of Boise on 4/4/19.  It looks like that flight has been cancelled.  I have not been able to find out what to do.  I have called sw twice with no answers.  I am very concerned because we leave on a cruise the next day.  Please help!!!

madams
New Arrival

For future reference, I'd like to know the following:

 

1) How can I "physically" determine a Max 8 by looking both inside or outside?

 

2) Are all of the 737-800's with the "Sky Blue" interior, Max 8's?

BrianH
New Arrival

Um, it appears SW deleted my comment, so I'll re-add a condensed version:

1) Why does the mobile app not give the option to see the plane type?

2) As of the grounding of the Max 8's, can we assume the flights that we are able to book are NOT Max 8's?

3) Do red plane icons next to the books (versus the blue plane icons) mean these flights are impacted, even though they were available to be booked after the grounding AND show they are NOT Max 8's?

 

If SW wants us to self-serve via the mobile app or website, then how about making the process clearer and the same between the two methods?

 

whiteknuckles
New Arrival

I called SW. My aircraft showed 737-800  I figured I was good but she clarified that my return flight was the Max 8 although when hovering over Flt # it just said 737-800. Anyone else get that instead of 737 max 8 when looking at their flt #?  I was rebooked on later flt that also says 737-800 so confused

gmladenik
New Arrival

hey! so I was wondering about some clarification:

 

Both of my flights to and from MDW to MCO were listed as 747-800 and only my departure flight out of MDW (flt#1322) got canceled. My return flight is out of MCO (flt#2570) is also listed as a 747-800, but hasn't been canceled because it is not a max??? 

 

And now other comments are telling me a 747-800 is not even the MAX 8. Just wondering some clarification and if I should change my return flight (again flt#2570 out of MCO) to a different make/model. Also, why am I not seeing any distinction between these two flights? If my departure was a MAX 8 shouldn't it reflect that?

 

Thanks!

madams
New Arrival

For future reference, I'd like to know the following:

 

1) How can I "physically" determine a Max 8 by looking both inside or outside?

 

2) Are all of the 737-800's with the "Sky Blue" interior, Max 8's?

SWDigits
Active Member
EDITED AS MY ORIGINAL POST WAS WRONG @madams Apologies as my original reply to you was wrong, see this article:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/todayinthesky/2014/04/10/southwest-flies-first-737-with-new-split-sci...
madams
New Arrival

@SWDigits 

 

Thanks for your description on the winglets.  Sorry, but I have one other question based on your answer.  Yes, I know there are 737-700's, 737-800's, and 737-Max 8's.  Do all three of these models have the "Sky Blue" interior's on SWA?  Thanks!

SWDigits
Active Member
@madams, "The interior of the 737 MAX won’t look different to anyone who has flown on a Southwest 737-800, as the “Heart Cabin” – originally designed for the MAX – ended up debuting on the -800 in May 2016."

Source:
https://airwaysmag.com/airlines/america-say-hello-max-southwest-airlines/

Based on my corrected post above your original question still stands. Sorry!
garyfly60
New Arrival

I read -- it makes sense to me -- that the MACS system to prevent stalls malfunctioned, but pilots who said the bigger problem was lack of training and lack of awareness of how to hit a switch to turn it off.  They didn't blame Boeing so much for flaky software but for not highlighting this and not emphasizing the importance of knowing how to turn it off and fly manually.

 

Like self-driving cars are one thing, but imagine one with ability to take over the steering wheel or slow down removed ... or hidden. 

 

I get a mild version of that with rental cars that put windshield wiper switch and fuel door button in odd locations.

mlukmani
New Arrival

Just sorry that SW lost the opputunity to show its real LOVE for customers and ground this plane asap instead of watching the FAA and BOEING for advice. 

 

the LOVE right now is money driven and that is not love. SAD !

WindyIsle
New Arrival

Due to the MAX 8 groundings, SW has cancelled our flight for this coming Friday (29MAR) to Virginia.  According to this post: "Any Customer booked on a cancelled 737 MAX 8 flight can rebook on alternate flights without any additional fees or fare differences between the original city pairs."  Sounds great, except that there are no other available flights until Monday.  How exactly is this okay?  I've had multiple occurences in the past, where if a flight was cancelled, and the carrier had no other available flights, they just booked me on another carrier.  My wife called the SW corporate office this morning, and they absolutely refuse to do anything other than refund our tickets.  Maybe they'll call my grandmother, and give her the bad news.  We live on separate coasts, and this was to possibly be the last time we ever see her (elderly/failing health).  The trip was to essentially be one last family get-together.  There are people flying/driving in from WA, OR, MI, and other parts of VA.  My kids are devastated...    I've been an incredibly loyal SW customer for almost two decades.  So much for that...   

tepleyiii
New Arrival

I am scheduled for on flight Flight #1123 from HOU to LAS on April 15th.  I see that for the next week this flight is no longer on the schedule.  I just read that SW flights will be impacted until April 20th.  I would like to go ahead and change my flight but don't think I can since SW has not publically cancelled the flight and it is still on the schedule.  I think my only option may be to book another flight at a higher price and request a cash refund when the flight is cancelled.  Any advice?

ronnadrane
New Arrival

Watch out!  They change flights without telling you.  If I hadn't checked on my flight because I was on booking another trip, I wouldn't have known.  What started as a 2 hour layover in Atlanta is now an 8 hour and 25 minute layover.

 

When was I going to be notified?

 

EDIT: Just found (buried deep) this policy:  Flight Schedule Changes.  Flight schedules are subject to change without notice, and the times shown on Carrier’s published schedules, Tickets, and advertising are not guaranteed.  At times, without prior notice to Passengers, Carrier may need to substitute other aircraft and may change, add, or omit intermediate stops.  Carrier cannot guarantee that Passengers will make connections to other flights by the Carrier or by other airlines.  In the event of flight schedule changes or service withdrawals, Carrier will attempt to notify affected Passengers as early as possible.

 

They will attempt to notify.  Great!  Well what if we ATTEMPT to pay.  

houstonflyer77
New Arrival

So, what I don't understand is why does SWA wait until the last minute to cancel flights that were designated as Max 8 flights? I was flying back to HOU from the Northeast earlier this week and there were 2 direct flights on the same route cancelled the same day to HOU due to Max 8 planes. It's not like this wasn't a surprise to them. Couldn't they have notified us passengers even the day before that they couldn't fulfill the flights? Luckily, I got one of the last seats on a late flight but I'm sure that the 200 or so other passengers on the other flights weren't as fortunate. 

Apfanning
New Arrival

I’m on was of these flights and it just got cancelled days before I’m supposed to fly. The only option is to come home early which is going to cost me hundreds of dollars. This is not acceptable, I’m a loyal southwest customer and I’m incredibly disappointed that I was told “too bad”. Getting us booked on another airline or covering our lost expenses should be the bare minimum expectation!

kluba66
New Arrival

Yet another LAST-MINUTE FLIGHT CANCELLATION. I thought I was being proactive and checked my flight status before I left home, and everything was stated as on schedule. I boarded my flight from Milwaukee to Oklahoma City. Being a long-standing LOYAL customer of Southwest, I had accrued enough points for a free flight. I always pay the extra for EarlyBird Check-in.

 

On Friday morning, I checked to confirm my Check-in was successful and it was. At 8:35 am I received my boarding pass for my flight home Saturday morning. A 1:42 pm I received a message that my return flight was cancelled and I was to check the website to reschedule. There were no flights leaving OKC for a week. I called the airline and was told "I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do". I was left stranded 1000 miles from home. I scrambled to find transportation to get back home and found my only alternative was to rent a car and drive 16 hours, through the night.

 

In summary, Southwest left me stranded 1000 miles from home, it cost me $642 to rent a car and drive all night, and Southwest refuses to reimburse me the extra expenses.The agent in customer relations "Bella" offered me a $50 voucher to cover the inconvenience. That is unacceptable and definitely not an example of good faith or loyalty. I hope and pray there is a lawsuit after this, because I will definitely be filing along with all these other jilted customers.

 

Signed,

Very Unhappy Single Parent on a Budget.

 

martif
New Arrival

Because of the confusion with the 737-800 and 737-MAX safety cards, when the flight attendant refers to the safety card in their announcement, they should make sure to let the passengers know that that one card is used for both types of aircraft and that we are not flying on the grounded 737 MAX.

loufaber
New Arrival

Be forewarned, when SWA scrubbed my May flight they rebooked me at an unworkable time. When I went n the website to change they wanted to upcharge me (contrary to their own policy) for the same flights a day earlier and then made me pay again for early boarding. It took a half hour wait and fifteen minutes with an agent, to get a credit and the flights without upcharge. Bottom line, call, don’t use the website!! And don’t trust SWA to get it right - stay vigilant. 

loufaber
New Arrival

Just saying

LayLa
New Arrival

What is the earliest date the MAX 8 will return to service? I'm booking July flight and I will NOT fly Max 8 with my child. 

Meganpaul
New Arrival

Please check fligh #3395 from LAX April 20th 8:45am depart  and return Flight #1098 from ABQ 1:20pm, are they max8? Thanks.

SWDigits
Active Member
"All Boeing MAX 8 aircraft have been removed from our schedule through August 5, 2019. Our adjusted schedule is already in effect on Southwest.com."

Source page:
https://www.southwest.com/html/air/737-MAX-8.html?clk=737MAX8_190408
djoshea
New Arrival

FAA's apparent tentative decision to approve a software only fix to the 737 MAX 8 without requiring simulator training of existing pilots is completely unacceptable.  It is an allowance the destroys the last remaining faith in the FAA.  If Southwest actually takes advantage of this incompitent decision, I won't be flying the airline.  The entire 2nd crash (Ethiopian Airlines) proved pilots DO NOT know how to deal with the 737 MAX 8 MCAS failure, and NEED simulator training.  What is the problem, there are no 737 MAX 8 simulators with MCAS functionality (for testing failures) because the system was kept basically secret.  If Southwest goes down this Boeing/FAA-puppet-regime route, I will be blunt.  I will not be flying the airline, and any attempt to even pitch this idea to customers (including me) will result in disqualification of Southwest from my fly list permanently, forever, for all time.  There is just no coming back from this kind of bad decision making.  It is not explainable, not forgivable, it has no possible excuse.

haggenrg
New Arrival

It is not obvious how I can determine what equipment will be used for a given flight. I have a RT flight in late July/early August but no idea what equipment is being used. The 737 Max 8 is no issue for me but I would like to know if I, at some point of time, I may have to find different flights. I have coordinated my flight with other travelers and would rather reschedule now than take the risk of doing it later. Where do I find this info???

debdsk8gld
New Arrival

On Mar 31st I received a text that our outbound flight scheduled Apr 5th from KC to FT Lauderdale was cancelled.  Our flight was not a Max 8 plane so we were confused as to why our flight was canceled.  When I called to see about making a change very few options were available.  We couldn't risk missing our cruise and even if we were to get there we didn't want to risk it in the event our return flight was also canceled.  Our funds were refunded and we opted to drive 24 hours each way.  As a result we had to take 2 extra days vacation to drive, pay $350 for gas, an additional hotel stay for each drive for $200, $36 to park at the hotel, and $154 to park at the port of Miami.  Southwest should offer something for the all the extra expenses we had because of the flight cancellation.  We are supposed to fly to Vegas July 2nd and I sure hope this vacation does not get interrupted like the last one did.

Kitty1
New Arrival

I've been checking on my yearly flight from Buffalo NY to LasVegas NV for this coming August & September Nonstop can't find but one flight , will you be adding more please update thank you, I only fly Southwest💕