American Airlines Hides “737 MAX” From Passengers

American Airlines Hides “737 MAX” From Passengers

by Gary Leff

After the Boeing 737 MAX was grounded in the aftermath of two fatal crashes, Southwest passengers were freaking out over a safety card – thinking they were flying on MAX, which wasn’t supposed to be in commercial service.

Southwest Airlines used the same safety card for Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX aircraft, and so the card had both aircraft names on it. That was confusing to passengers, so Southwest came up with new safety cards.

American Airlines has gone in the reverse direction. Their safety cards now say Boeing 737 whether it is a MAX or not.

The crew admin screen on the aircraft still shows ‘737 MAX’, so it’s just the customer facing seat back paper that appears to have been changed.

Boeing has made a run at rebranding the plane in light of its history. Since then new delivery MAX aircraft were even grounded for electrical issues.

However American Airlines offers,

Our fleet harmonization plan began a few years ago and part of that plan included the standardization of safety cards, including for Boeing 737 and Airbus 321 aircraft. The approach for the MAX safety card is consistent with other fleet types where we do not have different safety cards for sub-fleets.

It’s odd to me to call the 737 MAX a ‘subfleet’ rather than a different aircraft type. It isn’t just a group of planes that meet requirements for flying overwater, such as carrying rafts (and American isn’t even putting rafts in all of its narrowbodies in order to eliminate subfleets). And suggesting it is a mere subfleet rather than a distinct plane is consistent with… minimizing the fact that passengers are flying on the 737 MAX.

I generally believe that the plane is quite safe and passengers will get over any concerns about flying on it however I’m not sure removing markers for passengers that they’re flying the mask is the best way of getting there.

Gary Leff May 23, 2021 at 08:39AM

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