OKLAHOMA CITY – With some american-made Boeing aircraft now grounded across the country following two recent deadly crashes, many are wondering if travel plans will now be disrupted.
President Trump ordered the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 jets out of American airspace just as spring break is getting underway for many. While some weren’t even aware of the move, others jumped online to find out if they were supposed to fly on one of the jets in question, if their flight would be delayed, or even cancelled.
“I did look it up,” said passenger Anna Jones at Will Rogers World Airport. “I did, and my dad. He’s very into engineering and airplanes as well, but no I’m not going to be on a Boeing 700.”
It turns out it’s not a big issue for Oklahoma City travelers.
“We do have the MAX 8 that flies in occasionally, probably six or seven times a week,” Will Rogers Airport spokesperson Karen Carney said, “but we also have about 400 flights a week, so it’s not a big number.”
One MAX jet that was scheduled to arrive from Baltimore had already been replaced by a different one.
“Airlines are definitely going to work as quickly and as fast as they can to get different aircraft to handle the existing schedules,” Carney said.
Southwest Airlines and American Airlines both have numerous and important stops in Oklahoma City, and both have fleets of the Boeing 737 MAX jets (United Airlines is the third domestic airline with the jet). Southwest has the biggest with 34 in their fleet. Those only make up 5% of its planes. American has 24.
Carney said in most cases, the airline will contact passengers if changes have been made to their flight schedules, but that it’s always a good idea to check before heading to the airport.