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.