Breaking: US Government Grounds 737 MAX

Filed Under: Misc.

It’s finally happening. President Trump has now issued an emergency order of prohibition regarding all flights of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9. This means all American, Southwest, and United Boeing 737 MAX flights are grounded effective immediately.

This means the US is only 24-48 hours behind the rest of the world, and in the process I’d say Boeing, the FAA, American, Southwest, and United, have all lost quite a bit of good faith in the process.

Now we’ll have to wait and see just how long this lasts.

As an update, the FAA has now issued the below statement regarding the grounding, indicating that this decision was made based on new information:

The FAA is ordering the temporary grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory. The agency made this decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today. This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision. The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation, including examination of information from the aircraft’s flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders. An FAA team is in Ethiopia assisting the NTSB as parties to the investigation of the Flight 302 accident. The agency will continue to investigate.

  1. I’m flying on one in 4 hours. Will it be changed to another plane? Will it be delayed? Or will we fly the MAX 8 and the ban goes into effect at a later time?

  2. @ JB — You definitely won’t be flying the 737 MAX. I guess it comes down to whether they can find a replacement aircraft or not. Good luck!

  3. The last country. Glad he finally decided to pay attention to the entire world. What a joke.

  4. One Mile at a Time has lost quite a bit of good faith with their political slant. OMAT is now grounded as far as I’m concerned.

  5. I’m glad at least Trump is doing the right thing.
    No should ever trust the FAA, Boeing, and UA/AA with anything.
    Clearly the safety of the public is less important than money to them.

  6. $BA down $11 and change right now. They better figure this out soon or it will gut their market value.

    Whatever the issue is, I hope they figure it out and there’s no more incidents with this aircraft. Our safety flying is of the utmost importance.

  7. At least President Trump took initiative… I don’t know of any other country where it took the President or PM to declare an order for them to be grounded. Usually, the local version of the FAA would have done it or the airlines themselves.

  8. @jackie

    Are you serious? This is not a criminal case. It is an administrative matter. Perhaps you should have payed better attention in government class.

  9. Anybody who willingly places their faith in a government as clueless and inept as this one probably deserves whatever they get.

  10. Jackie—This is not a criminal proceeding and no one is being deprived of anything requiring due process. If you are suggesting regulators should not be able to take emergency, temporary action in regard to potentially dangerous products until the year or two it takes for a trial to occur, that is just not the law and I am glad it is not.

  11. Allan

    That is nonsense, lucky has been very measured on this. If I was an American I would feel ashamed of this example of putting domestic profits and national companies before safety.

  12. While I can see why there’s no need to ground it without the proper information, everyone on the US is coming off pretty tone deaf here.

    Also, I saw reports that said Trump spoke with Chao and made this decision based on “new information.”

  13. I am thrilled that the 737Max is grounded. While we don’t know if there is a design flaw in the plane or not, I believe that in an abundance of caution that grounding the 737Max is the right thing to do. Causing fear and panic for the flying public at large is rarely a good strategy and quite a few individuals have already lost their life on this aircraft type so this fear is not irrational.

  14. “At least President Trump took initiative…”

    Sounds like Trump first chose to ask Boeing and the US airlines for permission to ground the fleet. It’s also coming out that Trump’s decision to hold the government hostage over his border wall probably delayed testing and approval of a proposed solution to the first crash.

  15. @Jackie

    Until planes have constitutional due process rights, there is no innocent until proven guilty for them…

  16. Good on the president for taking the correct course of action on this, shame on the regulatory body for putting profit before safety.

    Let the investigations confirm what happened in these cases, make the necessary adjustments, and keep aviation safe!

  17. @jackie

    The 737 MAX’s feelings won’t be hurt, don’t worry. Probably because it’s an inanimate object.

  18. It was already a bad day for Southwest with 10% of their flights canceled (434 flights so far).

    Between the weather, their existing operational difficulties, and grounding of these planes, it’s not a good week to fly Southwest.

  19. Ben (Lucky), I cannot abide how consciously neutral in political tone you’ve been while covering this issue. I will cease reading OMAAT until you adopt a more strident stance. It does not matter which side.

  20. Part of it is politics and image. If there was a grounding of the MAX 8 and 9 on May 1, probably no deaths and a better understanding of the Ethiopian crash. However, I am fine with it. The effects are not as great compared to if all 737-600/700/800/900ER were grounded.

    The MAX 8 is still a niche aircraft. A little more common than the A318.

  21. @JB: The MAX is grounded immediately. Any 737MAX aircraft currently in the air may fly to their next destination and will not be permitted to take flight again until further notice. If you are scheduled on a flight where the equipment was supposed to be a MAX, you’d better consult with your airline about delays/cancellations or an equipment change.

  22. Silly American Government.
    They couldn’t stand the pressure of the World against them and their rubbish Boeing company is completely grounded or better say ground dead.
    We go for the Europeans with Airbus………….

  23. Lucky, I usually think your rant posts against AA are unnecessary but this is one instance where they deserve to be called out. To my knowledge they were the last carrier still maintaining no free changes on MAX operated flights. Even UA and Southwest (a surprising holdout) relented. Just shameful of AA.

  24. An Air Canada 737 Max 8 just departed Palm Springs for YVR at 3:00 pm ET, Guess they didn’t get the message? Or they made an exception so the aircraft wouldn’t be stuck in the US. Imagine being on that flight, the last to depart during the ban.

  25. Good. And its time to take a good hard look at the FAA and why theyre not being impartial.

    We saw this when AA started cramming as many seats as humanly possible in their new planes. People asked “how on earth does this meet evacuation standards” and the response was that the FAA had rubber stamped the new seating charts.

    FAA puts profits above safety.

  26. @Allen how on earth is OMAAT politically slanted? I’ve been following this blog for years and I’ve never detected any political slant.

    @Jackie what do you mean “Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?” Two crashes for a brand-new plane is about as guilty as conceivable!

  27. @Allan. You are not a flight. You don’t actually have to announce your departure. Regardless, goodbye.

  28. @LAXJeff

    you clearly do not know anything about markets. $11? currently down -0.5%….that’s nothing.

  29. Trump is going to get a lot of heat from the airlines, Boeing and FAA. I can see them yelling at him! Trump did one thing right today.

  30. @Noah. They are allowed to reposition back to their home airport with only crew. No passengers. There will be a lot of that today

  31. It’s kind of interesting that Boeing’s two newest planes experienced unilateral groundings shortly after their introductions.

    Wonder what this will do to their sales of new planes, especially the long awaited 797.

    I know the 787 is selling very well and the 737 has a ton of orders, but this does raise concern.

  32. @Jeff, apparently VietJet has 200 MAXs on order, but will be “reviewing this decision” after the investigation finds out what downed these planes.

  33. If and when Boeing loses substantial market value, it will only rebound in time. However, a 3rd incident would have been catastrophic in many ways. Not the least of which loss of life and then the economic effects upon Boeing. They should have gotten on the right end of this 48 hours ago. But glad to see it now.

  34. Boeing has lost nothing in this late grounding of the aircraft. If Boeing had recommended an immediate grounding then it would have been admitting liability for both crashes. If Boeing had waited and then issued a grounding notice later then they would show a lack of understanding of the issue. All Boeing has done was stand by its product, something every single business ever does, until there’s cause to ground them.

    @lucky, your misstatements about Boeing directly are disturbing

  35. Boeing missed a great opportunity to get ahead of this from a PR perspective. They could have announced, on the day of the crash, that they are confident in the safety of the plane, “but out of an abundance of caution, and because our passengers and crew come first, we are requesting that our airline partners ground the plane unit our software fix is issued.” Instead, they rightfully look like a greedy multinational corporation solely interested in profits.

    Regardless of the investigative outcome of the Ethiopian crash, this will go down as one of the biggest PR blunders of all time.

  36. Yes!!! Now that the flying public finally has some national attention, we should demand wider seats with a minimum 34inch pitch. Time to push back.

  37. @dennis – a fix of the problem will solve the issue for Boeing. What will lead to canceled orders is if they don’t find a conclusive reason for either crash.

  38. @ Allan
    Well said
    American will never be ashamed as they are evil crooks thanks to Mr Parker
    He has damaged the brand possibly forever in my perception
    Was a great airlines for decades until he got involved

  39. I wonder what “new satellite data” FAA got today?

    But either way, it is a relief. With 3/4 of these already ground worldwide, It does not serve Boeing very well to insist of flying these in the US alone. It doesn’t solve any problem, doesn’t assure any other country, who is actually VAST majority of 737 Max customers.

  40. Software is all and good but software occasionally has bugs. If China’s statement of poor pilot ability while not using auto-pilot is true then I’m failing to see how Boeing is at fault here. Pilot training should be paramount for any airline, and the pilot shortage understandably hampers growth opportunities for struggling markets and their airlines. If auto-pilot makes it impossible for a pilot to control a plane manually then something needs to change. But I’d be surprised if this is the case here…kind of like WOPR in War Games.

  41. I’m flying Southwest today, not on a max. Should I try to get on an earlier flight to reduce the likelihood of getting cancelled due to them reallocating the plane to serve another route?

  42. The only better time to buy Boeing stock would be if it’s found liable for the crashes. Otherwise this is a great time to buy!

  43. @Jeff

    The 787 situation was handled appropriately, which is why Boeing came out better in the long run. The optics were also considerably different – everyone knew the 787 was an innovative and revolutionary plane. Boeing’s prompt response reinstilled customer (airline and passenger) confidence and excitement in it.

    In this case, it’s the complete opposite. The MAX was nothing more than a cheap, short-sighted decision made by Boeing’s executives. Nobody except for airline execs had any love for it.

  44. The whole MCAS training approach is SOOOOOOOO horribly damaging for Boeing. While we lay people don’t know everything, it seems pretty straightforward that Boeing felt, under marketing pressure, that they needed to launch an updated airplane that did not require meaningful retraining for the tens of thousands of pilots already flying the NG planes. And when confronted with a pitch-up issue caused by engine relocation, they created a software fix that should have been openly disclosed and trained to pilots. Instead, to keep their competitive position, Boeing decided (and the FAA agreed?) to keep MCAS as a secret of sorts.

    VW thought it was a good idea to have secret code to defeat emissions systems during testing. And while a distinction may be that VW willfully committed crimes to enhance their sales, I’m really not sure Boeing’s actions are meaningfully different. A group of engineers, sales, and top executives sat in meetings years ago at Boeing and discussed this issue. Sales won.

    I have a 6-figure investment in Boeing stock. I realize it will recover. But as a shareholder, it is apparent that Boeing has a culture issue that allowed this to happen. So sad.

  45. @Jackie It only ever existed in criminal law. And as the #metoo movement has shown us it doesn’t even exist over there

  46. @Robert Boeing immediately grounding all aircraft following the second crash would not have been “admitting liability” for either of them. Most relevantly, a subsequent remedial measure (such as a change to the aircraft design or safety features or a temporary grounding to determine whether there is an issue at all) is not admissible in court for the purposes of proving that there was an issue to begin with. Further, besides a reported comment by the Ethiopian flight’s pilot about experiencing issues with control during the flight, we do not have any information about what caused the crash. What a grounding by Boeing would have been was a pause in the use of their product while a potential issue was detected and, if warranted, corrected.

    What would have been far worse for them is if there had been a third incident involving the plane and that the hypothetical third incident and the Ethiopian airlines crash (cause undetermined) were all caused by the same issue that caused the Lion Air crash and about which pilots had previously complained. Frankly, I am shocked that their legal department and outside counsel did not recommend grounding flights sooner to reduce risk of that occurring (maybe they did and were overruled by the business side trying to control the free fall that their stock price has endured lately). Their liability for that third incident, with the documented issues and opportunity to prevent it following two incidents, would likely have been extreme.

  47. It just shows what terrible planning Boeing has done in the past decade. Should have just taken the hard road and made a true 737 successor, instead of trying to fit engines that shouldn’t be on what was supposed to be a regional airplane. And because they can’t stretch what is already a stretch of a stretch of a stretch, they need to make the 797 to replace the 757. Terrible top level planning.

  48. I am scheduled to flight on Sunday AA on a B737 Max8, called them to see what to do but they still haven’t decided what they will do. Options gave to me:

    1) pay a changing fee now
    2) call back again in a few hours

  49. @Ivan X No you won’t. You’ll come back and read how many people agree with me that your post is the best so far. LOLx10

  50. Southwest Airlines Co. (WN) is scheduled to release their schedule on March 14, 2019 for flights through November 2, 2019.

    1) Will WN delay the release of the schedule because of:
    A) labor-mechanics/management issues – horrible increase of flight cancellations
    B) issues with adding additional Hawaii service from the next two mainland
    cities of SJC and SMF along with expansion of intra-Hawaii service to KOA
    C) grounding of WN’s MAX 8 aircraft

    2) In regard to Hawaii, the grounding of the MAX 8’s impede WN’s ability to add additional flights on the 738’s (737-800) and therefore delays the expansion of any additional Hawaii routes and flights from SJC and SMF, reduces/eliminates potential connections from other west and inter-mountain cities, and for the foreseeable future, no announcement of non-stop flights from LAX to HNL.

    What plan(s) will WN revert to during the grounding of the MAX’s and the on-going and seeming not to end labor issues? Operationally, WN needs to get the airline back on-track.

    To me, in regard to the mechanics, it appears the WN mechanics union are reading from now-deceased former Eastern Airlines mechanics union president, Charlie Bryan’s playbook and running WN into the ground.

    WN passengers are getting tired of the numerous delays and cancellations!

    The WN Board of Directors need to step in and take action and settle the mechanics contract ASAP!


  51. Hmmm….. yet US pilots seem more than comfortable flying these planes, per the unions statement today.

    As for the US being 24-48 hours behind the rest of the world, I say the of the world had a shoestring reaction, which of course, our president followed suit. But of course, the president did not ground the flights only because of safety. The president grounded the planes to place a red herring, to change the news cycle because he has taken a beaten. Not the first time he has done it. Can anybody say players kneeling on several occasions, fake US-China trade agreement before the midterm elections, cheating Hillary multiple occasions, witch hunt investigation, border emergency that he knew would be challenged but would dominate the news cycle for weeks.

    As for the stock falling 10%, nothing be speculators and computer algorithms dumping the stock without any knowledge of the situation. Smart money will yawn and the smarter money will pick up shares.

  52. from FAA conference call, apparently they got satellite data confirming the similarity in trajectory and altitude with the Lion Air incident. They got the data from a third party (and not Boeing?) I wonder if it’s the plane engine manufacturer (CFM Intl for the Leap in that case).

    Other news (cnbc, take with a grain of salt) suggest the damaged flight recorder data will be extracted in France, not Germany.

  53. Probably a good idea to ground them until they can figure out what is going on, though I would not have been scared to fly one. Two incidents in probably how many hundreds of thousands of flights for these planes? I also recall the A320 having several crashes when it first was introduced but never this degree of pure panic.

    Let’s see what the data says. Then decide what to do.

    I’m more disappointed that Boeing chose to use a 40-year old airframe design for this plane, rather than show some imagination and design something truly new and innovative from the ground up. The result is you have garbage airlines like AA, cramming even more seats into these MAX planes and making them even more miserable.

  54. @allen….you are correct. However, looking at the comment section on a regular basis, Ben is definitely playing to his audience. That being said, I still find some useful information worth looking at on the site. If it gets worse, I may back off as well.

  55. @Dan: “Usually, the local version of the FAA would have done it or the airlines themselves.” Indeed, perhaps if President Trump had appointed an administrator for the FAA in the 14 months that position has been vacant, that person might have made the decision.

  56. Roberts: stop blaming China for grounding 787 MAX, AND blaming their pilots not “well trained”. Thats just completely contradictary.
    If Boeing’s plane can only be flyed by US pilots, then stop selling overseas. Lets see how that helps Boeing company.

  57. This was predictable given the overwhelming public reaction and it was the correct move until such time as the preliminary findings from the crash emerge. In the meantime, the Ethiopian Government is taking its sweet time cleaning up debris and NOT reading the CVR and FDR while the whole world waits- one is left to wonder why…….

  58. Lucky since most of us don’t know anything about what goes into certifying these planes to begin with, maybe a post about that would be appropriate?

    I’m just thinking… these things must have been heavily tested by the FAA and other government equivalents just to fly right? So like… what else are they going to test? And why would we believe that test over the one that certified it in the first place? And if all the pilots are ok flying it, why are we not as the general public?

    I don’t have a side… I just feel like it’s best to go with the experts and not the majority. “Ground them until they’re checked” just kinda does what’s already been done in certification, no? What if tomorrow the whole world decided 747s were scary and, say, France banned them? We just don’t have any proof right now…

  59. 24-48 hours behind the rest of the world isn’t so bad that we look ridiculous.
    The main problem was our perception of the US treatment. We perceived that the US government was downplaying and ignoring the obvious risk of a flaw in the 737 max. The reality is quite different and this emergency grounding is the proof. The government was trying to determine the proper action without an overreaction by a blanket grounding.
    I may be wrong about the government downplaying and ignoring the issue, but the main point still stands that we don’t really look ridiculous just because of a couple days delay.

  60. Boeing should be heavily penalized for its highly profitable but equally dangerous shortcuts to a nose-up, negatively stable commercial airliner and patchwork attempts at correction. Its planned fix to the software is insufficient. For certification, I suggest requiring inherent positive stability of the air frame, even if that requires rebuilding with prior 737 engines or dead weight toward the nose, with the attendant less efficiency. Let the sales drop where they may, as Boeing deserves. Also, as I’ve learned from most of my engineering career consulting to government agencies, it’s common for them to promote rather than regulate those they oversee, and FAA deserves blame for the 737 Max certification. Terminate those responsible. The actions against Boeing and FAA would set a much needed example for unethical business and corrupt regulators. Sorry if my position seems to harsh, but we must not forget what cost hundreds of lives, great sadness and hardship for many more survivors, and justifiable fear of flying among the general public.

  61. Where is Kemp? On the other side of that cockpit door…

    Only people who have been following the comments section the last few days will get this

  62. They based the decision on the satellite data?

    Because the reasons to ground this plane are obvious from outer space? /sarcasm

  63. I am quick to criticize Ben when he plays 3 card monte with the affiliate links. But on this issue, he has been dead right, and I applaud his taking a principled stand which I imagine he knew would result in some readers being turned off (as shown in the comments above).

  64. I love anti-American (both country and airline) comments. So much for inteligent comments. Fortunatelly there some genuine good comments.

  65. Longtime readers might remember the grounding of 787 planes back in early 2013 (batteries where catching on fire), or how a bunch of A380s had to be recalled because of cracks in the wings. Sometimes this happens with a new plane when problems occur, and in those situations it is correct to ground the plane until the situation is clear.

    From the information we have so far, pilot error was the cause of the crash, since the pilots didn’t follow the checklist properly. Software updates would help in two ways, by reducing the likelihood of the nose being pushed down in the wrong situation, and by making it possible for pilots to override this system by pushing down on their controls — both changes may be necessary. But, no software update can fix the problem of pilots not knowing the checklist, and not reading the prior pilot’s notes, which I read is what happened here. The software pushing down the plane’s nose is used in other types of planes and does itself not cause a crash, even if it is malfunctioning, because the pilots have ways to override the system, if they know the checklist.

    The hysterical anti-737Max panic of the public is of course absurd and predictable, as is the eventual caving of the government to public pressure. I have no doubt that flying this plane, even in its current form, is much, much safer than driving a car on any road anywhere, or than taking a train.

  66. Flight profile data (altitude and air speed) indicate that the aircraft maintained acceleration throughout the short flight but went down, short recovery back up, then down again. It was not a sudden loss of power or stall.
    Why can’t Boeing just disable the MCAS so the aircraft can continue flying? That is the only possible cause people are presuming…

  67. Where in the constitution is the federal government authorised to decide who can operate what aircraft?

  68. @Marija they are most likely referring to ADS-B satellites, which record and relay data streams of information from airplanes.

  69. American Airlines and United and Southwest airlines are about to lose some serious “side hustle $ gUaP $.”

  70. @Carol. I am really surprised at your comment. I personally think that Ben shows a great deal of restraint in his posts. He presents thoughts based on the issues with commercial aviation and not those based on politics. Perhaps they sometimes cross, that’s not his fault. I have never seen him take sides outside the realm of how it relates to our passions. So really, what is your issue?

    And is Lucky really “playing to his audience?” I don’t see that either. What I do see is a global community, for which this blog serves, that is for the most part disgusted with many of the actions in the U.S. as of late. The anger and tension is palpable. On both sides. Again, I see nothing in Ben’s posts that seems to stoke that. It’s just there.

    I wish, like you, that I could come here and not see politically charged comments. I really do enjoy reading other’s thoughts on aviation, miles, travel, etc. Not just Lucky – but everyone here who comments and shares. That is the joy of community. We all learn and get a detachment from everything else that can sorta suck at times. Perhaps do like me and try (for the most part) to not get riled up when you see them and just skim over it. And for what it’s worth, as a centrist, I see Trump supporters here equally making snide comments that at times I find offensive. So what. It’s the Internet. Move on to the next one and you can find wonderful gems in the comments that provide tips even outside of what Ben offers.

    Be a community. And if some wish here, to quote Arne M. Sorenson perform as the “noise around the edges” just ignore it and be the community you wish for. There, you have been Bonvoyed! 🙂

  71. FAA took such a long time to decide and after all the other countries! FAA has some Boeing insiders working for them and they don’t have the public safety in their mind!
    Boo FAA !

  72. Ben (Lucky) —

    Do you use any moderator services for comments on this website? I really enjoy reading your posts and replies from fellow traveling members, but when political attacks get injected into serious issues about aircraft/airline safety issues (regardless of which side perpetrates), I feel that this forum is in danger of becoming polluted with ad hominem political attacks!

    Perhaps you can put the word out that this forum must *not* devolve into a political circus platform? When unfortunate victims of airliner crashes die, they all die regardless of their political affiliations! 🙁

  73. I’ve read and re-read the original post several times to try and understand what some have said is political bias specifically in this post and just don’t see it at all.

  74. Lucky,
    I feel that 737-max 8 should have been grounded immediately not a delay. Also causes me to pause what new evidence did they find? Lucky as far as a political stance I cannot see that you took any just reporting the facts.

  75. Talk about being dragged kicking and screaming … the FAA never had much credibility to start with but this is a new low

    At least they found “new evidence” to warrant to delayed action.

  76. For those blaming ‘pilot error’, this should only ever be the starting point for searching for problems deep within the system, it should never be the end point and certainly not at this early stage. If you don’t know that, you don’t know much about how accidents, in an industry, happen and how to prevent them in the future.

  77. Silly decision to ground the planes. There is no evidence that the plane was at fault. There is evidence concerning the Lion AIr crash that the mechanics were negligent in fixing a sensor and that the pilots ignored proper emergency procedures (per Boeing).
    It’s too early to make a conclusion about the Ethiopian plane.

  78. Lucky,
    I didn’t read anything saying 737 Max 9 which is United’s will be grounded effective immediately. Is it Max 8-9 or just 8?

  79. Hi Ben,
    I still find your mileage redemtion tips and airline reviews are top notch. You can’t make everyone happy when it relates to politic 🙂

  80. @Lucky in defense of the people who are saying OMMAT has taken a political slant: you did go digging up to bring up a two year old tweet by Trump, and then a current Trump tweet before the grounding and criticizing Trump for not grounding the planes.

    I’m not saying either way that you did anything wrong. But I can certainly understand the frustration of some people who just want to drink their coffee and read about Airline stuff. If they want to read about Trump tweets they can do it on MSNBC or FoxNews.

  81. @Jackie Why have seat belts or safety protocols or elements in place even ? Accidents are rare but based on your statement we shouldn’t assume / accuse that an accident will occur

    Safety comes first. This is not about accusing anyone of anything. That’s for the investigation.

    Precautions and public safety is what the ban is about

  82. First the Boeing plane. And now Facebook is down. Plus Instagram. Are we under subliminal attack?

  83. While I agree with this decision, it’s fully ridiculous how it was made. Does anyone really believe that the FAA discovered new information in the last 24 hours that would justify this? Despite all of the Republican grumbling about the administrative state (aka executive branch agencies like the FAA) this is one of the clearest examples of presidential abuse of executive power regarding the administrative state that we have seen, yet I fail to see any Republican pushback. Mitch McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, who is Secretary of Transportation just forced the FAA to change their tune in order to support Trump’s decision. It may have been the right decision, but it’s still a problem how it was done.

  84. America: 737 Max grounded. (3 min later) trump dems GOP blah blah blah

    Rest of world: Give it a rest America, we’re tired of hearing about Trump. Why does every issue have to turn political and divisive almost immediately. Sheesh.

  85. My gut says the US airlines needed a few days to get their ducks in a row re: swapping planes / changing routes and Trump gave it to them. My AA flight in June was changed this morning before the news broke.

  86. @Lucky and as you can now see in the comments section this has just turned into a Trump/Republican bashing party.

    I’m just here for the trip reports…

  87. @ Frederick – totally agree with your comments . As I said in my comment yesterday , FAA and Boeing colluding to protect US jobs and brand name .

    @LAXjeff -who cares about share price when future lives are at stake ?

    @gus- so many airlines grounding aircraft before FAA/Boeing – they made their own assessments because Boeing was too slow

    I forecast airlines cancelling orders for 737 Max 8 now and looking at other models, they will just not take the chance to damage their respective brands .

  88. Frederik and others. Do you not get it. President Trump actually took time to gather information talk to others who have expertise and then made an informed decision, not just a knee jerk reaction. That’s the problem with the world we live in. Everything has to be done immediately without any thought or contemplation. I blame the press for a lot of this as they are they are the police, judge and executioner.

  89. For the record, Daniel Elwell, acting administrator for the FAA, made the decision to declare an emergency to ground the 737-8 Max and 737-9 Max airplanes (per CNBC interview). Trump did NOT ground them; he (and Chao) “approved” the FAA’s recommendation. Trump simply announced the grounding.

    Daniel Elwell took responsibility after satellite data showed almost exact flight patterns of the Indonesian and Ethiopian 737-8 Max crashes. He said they did not have enough evidence at first because the first flight comparison was only three minutes of data. However, they had since compared the two flights for nearly the entire duration, and the results were nearly identical. Both flights had a short duration, low altitude and instability of flight control.

    Other details (per CNBC), both Canada and the United States were provided with valuable information from FlightAware as early as Monday!

    One has to ask several questions. Why did the U. S. hold out so long?

    Boeing continues to state they feel their airplanes are safe.

  90. Lucky why did you support the DATA and BOEING take on this serious matter. Shame on you!

  91. Boeing (NYSE: BA) will need veteran sales people if they want airlines to order additional 737-MAXs. Or, they could team up with Costco or with Sam’s Club.

    In keeping with the warehouse retailers’ practices, one needs to buy a four-pack to get a discount. Alternatively, a discount will be available if you order the Kirkland 737-MAX

    In all seriousness, it will be interesting to see how long the ban lasts. Any guess, Sir Ben?


  92. BTW, Boeing said they didn’t voluntarily ground the MAX airplanes because “they didn’t know what was wrong with them?”

    How is this logical? Can anyone justify their reasoning?

  93. If any of the commenters here that were arguing the plane should have not been grounded had their loved ones among 349 people that perished – people seem to forget that there were 30 nations on Ethiopian flight, with a large majority of people being humanitarian workers heading to a U.N. conference.

    If you are a Canadian, 18 of your own perished. If you are an american, 8 of us are no longer among the living. There is no room for politics of business when human lives are at stake. ZERO.

    Our industry, aviation industry lives and dies by the public confidence. They are the ones that pay fees that enables our industry to progress. If they loose confidence in aviation, we will no longer have shiny toys. Swashbuckling attitude I saw in these comments has no space in an industry that moves over eight million people EVERY DAY, and yet every accident with 100 or so people makes global news. Aviation is under special watch and will always be, because people can relate to walking and driving, but not a whole lot can relate to flying, since there is very few of us being financially and emotionally able to take a piece of engineering art into the sky.

    Our responsibility is safety. RIP to all 349 paying passengers, and hard working service men and women.

  94. Well said Theo people try to make everything political. If politics were removed from this, the FAA would have been the first to ground the plane. I’m glad the president stepped in but because to be frank it appeared the FAA were never going to despite the pressure.

  95. Some of the opinions on this blog are feral (as I suspect the keyboard warriors behind them are).
    But freedom of speech is a good thing. Because it shows how stupid, nasty and down right wrong some people are.
    Ya know opinions are like butt holes…. some are full of shit!
    And should be regarded and treated as such.
    BTW Lucky keep up the great work. Not all your readers are nut jobs.

    What matters now is that we respect the dead and work hard to avoid a repeat. This is not the end of the world for Boeing, they will recover… perhaps some of the ferals lurking here may one day recover (or discover), civility.

  96. “President Trump actually took time to gather information talk to others…”

    It’s hilarious, and rather concerning, that you believe that is how the issue played out.

  97. Very true. It’s not hard to do the right thing when it doesn’t cost you politically. Trump waited needlessly so long after mounds of bad press and finally did it. Ted Cruz represents the state of Texas and I’m sure AA/SouthWest were pissed that he called for the planes to be grounded. The difference is he called for this before even Europe did it. Good on him.

    Again this isn’t a Democrat, Independent or Republican issue. It’s a lot simpler than that.

  98. Trump is such a weak willed cowering idiot. The rest of the world are laughing at his lack of leadership. He seemed more interested in protecting the CEO of Boeing and the big 4 airlines over the perceived safety of the American public.

  99. Is it possible that, globally, we’ve gotten to the point that pilots are under-trained and under-capable to fly today’s engineering marvels? I’m interested to see what the crash investigations say, this can’t rest entirely on a software error.

    As for losing loved ones, I’m incredibly sorry that loss of life happened in these cases. We’re far too interested today in pointing fingers and placing blame. Accidents happen and will continue to happen no matter how much we try to be safe or how intently we focus on preventing problems.

  100. I was supposed to fly on 737 800 next Sat March 23rd with Southwest.
    I am not a frequent flyer.
    Wondering what I should do-wait it out? will they put me on a different plane?

    your opinion would be greatly appreciated

  101. Give it a rest Chuck and Memento. This blog is about aviation not President Trump. Take your political opinions elsewhere.

  102. CMorgan, I had no idea that you were in charge here, and that my opinion is worth less than yours. Please accept my most sincere apologies.

  103. Any idea where each airline is parking their respective aircraft? That would be an interesting sight to see at any airport

  104. Lucky- Hats off to you- I am continually astounded how rude and contentious these folks are who ‘reply’ to your updates.

  105. CMorgan is right! This is not a political blog and frankly people don’t care about your political opinions. That isn’t why people are suppose to be visiting this website. Go to your political blogs. This is an airline blog.

    Based on the comments, this sadly has turned into being a soapbox for people to say how good/bad Trump is. Why are we even talking about this?

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