The Boeing 737 MAX has apparently already proven itself, as United Airlines will shortly eliminate the additional flexibility it has offered surrounding the ticket.
United Airlines Ends 737 MAX Waiver
In February, United began flying the Boeing 737 MAX. The controversial aircraft had been grounded for nearly two years after a pair of crashes exposed software problems that contributed to the loss of life of 346 souls.
Last November, United loaded the 737 MAX into the schedule and introduced the most generous policy of the three U.S. 737 MAX operators. United will not only rebook you for free on another flight, but it will allow you to refund your ticket if turns out your flight will be operated by a 737 MAX.
If you do not wish to fly on a MAX aircraft, we will rebook you at no charge or refund your ticket. This includes domestic ticket changes, Basic Economy tickets and international tickets if you move from one of our MAX flights to one of our non-MAX United or United Express flights. If your original itinerary involved another carrier, we will attempt to rebook you on your original airline on a non-MAX flight as well.
When we begin to fly the MAX once again, you should feel completely confident that we have taken all the necessary steps to confirm that our 737 MAX aircraft are as safe as any of our aircraft flying today. Safety has been and always will be our top priority, and it’s something we will never compromise for any reason.
United even promised to attempt to rebook you on non-MAX flight if your flight was operated by a partner airline.
All that changes next week. Effective April 7, 2021, United will no longer offer additional flexibility on 737 MAX tickets. These flights will still fall under United’s general change fee waiver, but you will need to pay any difference in fare if you choose to book away from a 737 MAX and your new flighty is more expensive.
Starting today, customers also will no longer receive e-mail warnings if their flight is operated by a 737 MAX. A United spokesperson confirmed:
“We are fully confident in the safety of the 737 MAX, in the updates, and in the work technicians performed while these planes were on the ground.”
Although not a perfect analogy, I tend to view the 737 MAX like I do a COVID-19 vaccine. Sure, there was reasonable room for skepticism early on, but regulators would not have approved this aircraft’s return to the skies unless it was safe, particularly with all the additional scrutiny on it. Consequently, I believe the waiver was unnecessary in the first place but certainly unnecessary several months later.
> Read More: Want A Truly Flexible Ticket? Book A Boeing 737 MAX
image: United Airlines