CHICAGO (CBS) — The United States is one place you’ll still find Boeing’s 737 Max 8 planes in service even with flight attendants, ground crews and the unions that represent them urging otherwise.
The European Union banned the use of the plane and prohibited it from entering its airspace after the Ethiopian Airlines crash Monday took the lives of all 157 on board.
More than 10 other countries have done the same.
Southwest, American and United all stand behind their 34 737 Max 8 planes but they said they’re closely monitoring the ongoing investigation.
But customers with an upcoming flight with them might get a notice like some customers did Tuesday letting them know they may change their flights at no additional cost.
“The overwhelming public response has been so negative,” said CBS travel editor Peter Greenberg.
The reason behind it may be related to the debacle, according to Greenberg.
“In this situation, without ever attributing it to just the 737 Max situation, Southwest Airlines is basically giving people the option to change their mind,” Greenberg said.
Southwest issued the following statement to CBS 2:
“While we are not issuing refunds of non-refundable fares, we are working with concerned customers individually who wish to rebook their flight to another aircraft type. As a courtesy, Southwest will waive the fare difference.”
“An airline like Southwest doesn’t operate all of their 737 Maxes like you think they do. They only operate a small fraction of them based on their entire fleet,” Greenberg said.
Southwest then followed up to say some customers are getting warnings and notices about flights because of weather issues.
“In a long-term situation, they’re going to have to address this like every other airline is as well,” Greenberg said.
CBS 2 is told Southwest’s customer relations team is responding to customers with upcoming flights individually, and refunds are not being issued on non-refundable fares.