Travelers who are fearful of boarding a Boeing 737 MAX plane in the future don't have to worry. United Airlines is letting passengers who are booked on future 737 MAX flights to rebook flights, without any fee. The carrier has 14 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft in its fleet - all Boeing 737 MAX planes have been grounded globally since March of this year.
According to Andrew Nocella, United's chief commercial officer, if a traveler gets to the gate and has fears boarding a 737 MAX, he or she can fly on a different aircraft. A spokesperson for United confirmed that there wold be no rebooking fee or any fee whatsoever for making the change.
United's website will notify passengers about what plane that they expect to use. However, in the airline industry, equipment changes do happen, but postings at the gate will offer passengers the most up-to-date information about what aircraft will be used on the flight.
American Airlines, which also has had to ground 24 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes in its fleet and cancel flights, doesn't yet have a policy dealing with travelers who are afraid to step foot in the 737 MAX.
Southwest Airlines, the carrier most affected by the grounding, has the most flexible rules when it comes to canceling. A spokesperson for the airline said that if a passenger doesn't want to fly in the 737 MAX, the carrier will give them full flexibility and they can change flights without incurring fees. Southwest Airlines has 34 grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes.
Thus far, the Boeing 737 MAX remains grounded and nobody knows when the grounded planes can return to service. United Airlines and American Airlines have all extended flight cancellations well into December due to the 737 MAX grounding,Southwest Airlines has gone a step further to extend flight cancellations through early January of 2020. It's anyone's guess as to when regulators will give full approval to start flying the aircraft again.