United will stop offering change flexibility to passengers booked on the Boeing 737 MAX on April 7 less than two months after the carrier returned the plane to service.
The airline brought the Boeing 737 MAX back into service on February 11. Since that time they’ve offered customers booked onto MAX aircraft complimentary changes. Bear in mind that someone might have booked a ticket for a flight that wasn’t originally listed as a MAX, but with the plane flying again the aircraft may have been changed.
As part of confidence-building for the plane, airlines have generally let customers make free changes to avoid it if they wish. Of course most customers don’t seem to be aware of the plane they’re flying on, and relatively few take advantage of switching or seem to be booking away from the aircraft.
In a week, though, if United places a Boeing 737 MAX on your route you’ll either have to fly the plane or be out money. I believe the plane is now safe and indeed that well-trained pilots flying well-maintained MAX aircraft could have flown it without issue even before system modifications were made. Nonetheless, I’d have liked to see flexibility, customers given a choice about flying the plane, continue while we all see the plane operate safely for a longer period.