BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Flights cancelled. Trips rescheduled. Flyers across the country are scrambling after President Trump announced he’s grounding all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 planes.
The U.S. now joins more than 40 other countries in barring the planes since the crash in Ethiopia over the weekend.
We spoke with one woman who said she learned her flight had been cancelled via email.
Jen Marceaux said she’s a frequent flyer and a loyal Southwest Airlines customer. So when she found out her flight from Houston to Buffalo was cancelled, she was grateful they made it so easy to change.
“Not too concerned, but maybe a little bit,” Marceaux said.
She said she flies a lot, so she’s used to flights being cancelled..
“I actually noticed it today,” Marceaux said. “I didn’t get an email from them, but one of my friends who’s picking me up from the airport was asking me what time my flight comes in. So I went to look it up, and that’s when I noticed it.”
She found a notice to change her Southwest Airlines flight. It said: "You may change your travel date/time at no additional cost. Circumstances beyond our control (weather, etc.) are creating disruptions to our scheduled service and a flight(s) on which you are currently booked may be adversely affected.”
“I did a little Google searching to see if it was weather,” said Marceaux. “When I couldn’t find anything, I actually contacted one of my friends who’s a pilot and he said probably the whole 737 MAX 8 thing.”
Turned out, that’s exactly what the notice was about. Southwest Airlines said it’s grounding the Boeing 737 MAX 8.
Southwest and Marceaux alike said they look forward to more information from the Ethiopian Airline’s flight data recorder.
“I think, especially when you look at a country like Ethiopia, I feel like they don’t necessarily have the same advancements and the same kind of schooling and technology that we have available to us in the United States. So I do think that there may be other things that we have yet to learn,” Marceaux said.
Southwest said any customer who booked a cancelled MAX 8 flight can re-book on alternate flights without any additional fees.