Brooklyn, NY – Jittery Travelers Worry About Pesach Flights To Florida Aboard 737 Max Jetliners

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    A passenger holds up a 737MAX safety card aboard an American Airlines flight, March, 11, 2019. (VINnews)Brooklyn, NY – The alarm created by the death of nearly 350 passengers in two separate crashes involving new Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliners over the span of just six months has caused the company’s stock to plunge and created another unexpected wrinkle – travel woes among New Yorkers planning to fly to Miami for Pesach.

    Dina Wohlhendler, a travel agent at the New York City based Global Tours, said that she has received numerous calls from ticketed passengers who are booked on 737s for their upcoming trip to Florida. According to Wohlhendler, American Airlines uses the 737 Max 8 on many of its flights from LaGuardia to Miami, sparking concern among travelers.

    “I already had one person request a cancellation for their entire family at a fee of $200 per person,” Wohlhendler told VIN News.

    With Pesach coinciding with spring break and Easter vacation this year, ticket prices have been priced at more than $700 per person, said Wohlhendler.

    Having received numerous calls from passengers whose flights were booked on the affected aircraft, Wohlhendler said that she reached out to American Airlines.

    “As of now, no change fees or penalties are being waived,” said Wohlhendler. “American said that they have complete trust in their pilots.”

    While a passenger’s ticket may simply list the aircraft as a 737, travelers should be able to determine if they are scheduled to fly on a 737 Max 8 by checking their flight on the airline’s website. Rebooking on another flight may not be an option said Wohlhendler.

    “Flights are very full,” said Wohlhendler. “There isn’t much wiggle room here.”

    Concern about the safety of the 737 Max 8 has continued to spread in the wake of Sunday’s crash in Addis Ababa, with numerous airlines and countries taking preventive steps to prevent any future tragedies reported Axios (http://bit.ly/2T09avV).

    As of Tuesday afternoon, Australia, China, Germany, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Italy have all closed their airspace to the 737 Max 8 and over 25 airlines have grounded the aircraft.

    According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there are about 350 Boeing737 Max 8 planes in use worldwide, with Southwest, United and American Airlines among the United States carriers using the aircraft. All three airlines have released statements expressing their confidence in the jetliner.

    A statement released by the FAA said that it is working with the National Transportation Safety as the investigation into the crash of Ethiopian Air Flight 302 continues and that “immediate and appropriate action will be taken” if any safety issues are identified.

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    9 COMMENTS

    1. These fears are very well warranted.
      For those not willing to take the risk, stay home with your family and give the thousands and thousands of dollars you were going to spend in a resort exposing your yungerleit to all types of treif sites, and instead give the money to the yeshivas that you are claiming you are too poor to pay the full tuition!

      • The second largest observant Jewish community in the US is in Florida and like in the NY metro area, there are plenty of treif sites and also plenty of sites that are appropriate for observant Jewish families.

        During the holidays, it is typical for religiously observant Jews travel to be together.

        Many families spend the holidays together by renting a 7 or 8 bedroom fully equipped and kashered for Pesah house in Orlando for $4500. When you divide this among an extended family, it is a very reasonable way for families to spend Yom Tov together when they do not all live within walking distance year round.

        The drive to FL isn’t too bad if you have 2 or more drivers. You will save on renting a car also and be able to bring a lot of food and other conveniences in the car.

      • Tell me, oh great posek, what if one has parents or children living in Florida, and “staying home with your family” means spending Pesach with them? Will you please give us a hetter to go?

      • send the money you save to yeshivas or orphans or widows or other people that desperately need money – or send it to Israel for trees or hospitals etc.
        let this be the year we don’t spend so much on ourselves.

    2. There is no guarantee, whenever anyone boards any type of commercial aircraft, as to their safety. With one’s car, we usually know, or should know the maintenance history. However, when we board a commercial aircraft, we have no way of knowing the maintenance history of a given aircraft; for example, when where the engines last inspected in depth, when were they last overhauled, when was the entire electrical system, and rudder checked;, when were the fan blades checked for cracks. Also, there is a difference among pilots. Every pilot does not have the skill of Capt. Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger. In addition, there is the problem with weather, air turbulence, which cannot be detected by radar, birds, other air traffic in the air, and air traffic controllers who may or may not be distracted, debris on the runway, etc. In short, for Pesach, I have this advice to all Yidden; either stay home, and save money, or drive, or take the bus or train, to your destination.

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