American Airlines was the first carrier in the United States to extend the cancellation of flights scheduled to be flown by the grounded Boeing 737 MAX through Labor Day.
According to NBCNews.com, American officials announced Sunday the ground Boeing planes were removed from its schedule through September 3, a move expected to impact hundreds of passengers each day.
The airline also revealed that even customers scheduled for flights not being served by 737 MAX aircraft could be facing cancellations, as American will likely be prioritizing high-passenger journeys.
“A flight that was not scheduled as a MAX flight might be canceled to enable our team to cover a MAX route with a different aircraft,” an American spokesperson told NBC News in a statement Sunday. “Our goal is to minimize the impact to the smallest number of customers.”
For passengers who were booked on the canceled flights, they will be eligible for a full refund or the airline will rebook them free of charge. Other carriers such as Southwest and United removed the 737 Max from their schedules through the majority of the busy summer travel season.
Once the Federal Aviation Administration clears the Boeing 737 for flights again, American will need an estimated 45 days of training its pilots to fly the 24 MAX planes in the airline’s fleet.
“American Airlines remains confident that impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in coordination with our union partners, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon,” the spokesperson continued. “By extending the cancellations, our customers and team members can more reliably plan their upcoming travel on American.”
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