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 Sept. 2, 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.