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IL-96-300 aircraft boarding passengers. In an Aeroport. Boeing 747 in the background
Yevhen | Adobe Stock

How to Check if You’re Flying on a Boeing Plane

After a series of high-profile accidents involving Boeing aircraft, including crashes and a door plug blowing out mid-flight, you may be concerned about flying on a Boeing plane. In fact, a former senior manager at Boeing turned whistleblower, Ed Pierson, recently told CNN that he got off a plane once he realized it was a Boeing 737 Max as he did not feel safe flying on that aircraft. 

If you want to avoid flying on a Boeing aircraft, there are a few ways to check which type of plane you’ll be traveling on before booking.

  1. When searching for a plane ticket, look for the aircraft type used for the flight. This is generally displayed right below the flight details for almost every airline. If you search on Google Flights, you can see the aircraft type right below the flight times.
  1. To make it easier to find a flight on a non-Boeing plane, you can search on Kayak. Kayak has an aircraft filter that allows you to exclude certain aircraft models, such as the Boeing 737-8 Max.

If you’ve already booked your flight, you can find out what type of aircraft you’ll be flying on by logging into your reservation. Most airlines will display the aircraft model under your flight information.

If you can’t find this information on your reservation, you can go to SeatGuru and input your flight number to see what aircraft you’re flying on, along with a plane seat map. 

However, a schedule change, mechanical issue, or weather delay could all cause an airline to swap the plane that was originally scheduled to be used for a flight. This could result in a different type of aircraft being used than was listed when you booked your flight. 

Which Airlines Use the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9?

Although there have been significant concerns around the entire Boeing brand lately, the two aircraft that have garnered the most bad press are the 737 Max 8 and the 737 Max 9.

The 737 Max 9 was recently grounded following the Alaska Air doorplug incident but is now back in service. The 737 Max 8 was grounded by the FAA a few years ago after it was involved in two fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. However, it was recertified and returned to the air in November 2020. 

The airlines that use the 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 are:

  • United Airlines
  • Alaska Air
  • Copa Airlines
  • Aeromexico
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • Lion Air
  • Flydubai
  • SCAT Airlines

What Can You Do If You’re Already Booked on a Boeing Plane?

Contact your airline directly if you have concerns about the type of aircraft that will be used for your flight. If you’re booked on a Boeing 737 Max 9 and don’t want to fly on that aircraft, the airline may work with you to change your flight, even if you’re booked on a non-refundable ticket. A spokesperson for United Airlines told SmarterTravel, “We’ll work with customers directly to ensure they feel comfortable flying. If they wish to change their flight, we’ll move them onto the next available flight.”

Alaska Air has a similar policy, telling SmarterTravel that although they have “complete confidence in the safety of all our aircraft,” guests who are uncomfortable flying on a Max 9 can call the airline and be rebooked on a different flight without an additional charge. This policy applies even to Saver tickets. Alaska Air says they will not charge a difference in fare for the tickets.

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