Continued Flight Of Boeing 737 Max 8s Has Some Travelers Worried

Southwest, the airline with the most passengers at PIT, will continue to fly the Max 8s in its fleet saying it is confident in its safety.

Larry Richert and John Shumway
March 13, 2019 - 10:52 am
Southwest Airlinesq

(Photo by Joyce Marshall/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Sipa USA)

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - The FAA is not joining the growing number of countries grounding Boeing's 737 Max 8 after a deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash and another fatal incident involving the type five months ago in Indonesia.

In the past the FAA has been reluctant to ground an airliner.

As a result, travelers have to decide if they will fly on the jet. CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg tells KDKA Radio most passengers have trouble distinguishing between a 737-700 and a Max 8.

“Take an airline like Southwest which flies nothing but 737s. Even though they only have about 30 of the Max jets in their fleet you can imagine their reservations lines being jammed today with people saying ‘I don’t want to go’,” said Greenberg.

Related: Criticism Of FAA Mounts As Other Nations Ground Boeing Jets

Southwest, the airline with the most passengers at Pittsburgh International Airport, will continue to fly the 34 Max 8s in its fleet saying it is confident in its safety.

The Tribune-Review reports Southwest has flown the Max 8 into and out of Pittsburgh International 24 times since last Wednesday.

Greenberg says Boeing and the FAA identified a flight control software problem on the aircraft and alerted airlines.

“The carriers work very quickly to brief their own pilots about a quick software fix that they can use to not allow the system to override their ability to fly the plane, it’s a short term fix,” said Greenberg

Carriers in the US were quick to respond, but Greenberg wonders if airlines in Ethiopia and Indonesia did the same.

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