Another Round of 737 MAX Cancellations Means Fall Travel Disruptions for Many

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Southwest Airlines joins American and United in removing Boeing 737 MAX flights through November 2
Last updated June 6, 2023 | By Matt Miczulski
Cancelled flights board at airport

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Southwest Airlines, the largest U.S. operator of the Boeing 737 MAX, is trying to reduce last-minute flight cancellations and sudden disruptions to passengers’ travel plans by yanking the aircraft from their flight schedule through November 2. This is the second time flight schedules have been revised to accommodate the MAX’s uncertain return-to-service, and, unfortunately, there seems to be no end in sight.

The announcement today follows similar moves by American Airlines and United Airlines just days earlier to extend cancellations for the MAX through Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 respectively. As all three airlines continue to revise their flight schedules a month or two at a time, customers’ travel plans will continue to face uncertainty.

In case you were wondering, here’s how many flights the three major U.S. airlines will be canceling:

Airline Cancellations per day Out of how many flights per day? Additional cancellations through Nov. 2
American Airlines 115 6,700 Roughly 12,000
Southwest Airlines 180 4,000 Roughly 19,000
United Airlines 82 4,900 2,100 in September and 2,900 in October

When will the 737 MAX fly again?

Boeing 737 MAX planes have been grounded since mid-March following two fatal crashes within five months, which killed 346 people. The company continues to work on a new software fix and training requirements that will then need to be approved by Federal Aviation Administration regulators, but airlines are confident these updates will lead to recertification of the aircraft this year.

Thousands of flights have already been canceled across airlines flying the 737 MAX, disrupting travel during peak summer travel times. The ongoing uncertainty around when the MAX can return to service is now threatening to disrupt the busy Thanksgiving holiday period.

What to do if your flight is affected

The airlines are taking measures to mitigate these disruptions by notifying passengers who have already booked their travel and will be affected by these schedule changes — whether it’s through automatic re-bookings on alternate flights or being contacted by representatives to re-accommodate their travel.

Not all flights previously scheduled on a MAX will be canceled, as airlines plan to substitute other aircraft in their place. If your flight has been affected by these changes, you can expect the airlines to proactively reach out to you to re-accommodate your travel. If you don’t want to wait, you can contact the airline directly:

  • American Airlines: 1-800-433-7300
  • Southwest Airlines: 1-800-435-9792
  • United Airlines: 1-800-864-8331

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Matt Miczulski Matt Miczulski is a personal finance writer specializing in financial news, budget travel, banking, and debt. His interest in personal finance took off after eliminating $30,000 in debt in just over a year, and his goal is to help others learn how to get ahead with better money management strategies. A lover of history, Matt hopes to use his passion for storytelling to shine a new light on how people think about money. His work has also been featured on MoneyDoneRight and Recruiter.com.