Airlines To Avoid if You’re Afraid To Fly Boeing (and Which Ones To Use Instead)

In the wake of recent Boeing malfunctions, FinanceBuzz found out which major airlines use Boeing planes, and how much of their fleets are Boeing-made.

Commercial airplane flying above dramatic clouds during sunset
Updated May 13, 2024
Fact checked

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Too many recent news stories about air travel have involved planes being grounded or stories about a plane part breaking in midair. The common denominator? Boeing 737 planes.

Boeing’s issues have become prevalent enough that Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, announced a halt on the airline’s order of Boeing 737 MAX 10 planes after extended delays waiting for FAA certification. (United asked for more MAX 9 planes instead.)

If the news has made you nervous to fly, but you need to book flights for future travel, then you may be wondering how to avoid Boeing planes. To help anxious fliers, the team at FinanceBuzz analyzed which airlines have the most Boeing planes in their fleets.

In this study

Key findings

  • Southwest Airlines has the most Boeing 737 planes in its fleet. All 817 of Southwest’s planes are some kind of 737 model.
  • Boeing airplanes also make up 100% of Sun Country Airlines’ 56-plane fleet
  • At least half of the planes in the current fleets for Delta, American Airlines, United, and Alaska Airlines are made by Boeing.
  • There are five major airlines that do not have any Boeing planes in their fleets: JetBlue, Spirit, Frontier, Allegiant, and Breeze.

How many Boeing planes are currently in use?

Travelers who want to avoid flying in a Boeing plane may not have the option. Boeing is one of just two major companies worldwide (along with Airbus) that manufacture large passenger aircraft at scale. Due to the lack of competition in the marketplace, Boeing planes make up a significant portion of the current fleets for many airlines across the U.S. and the world.

A pie chart showing the three manufacturers that produce the airplanes in major U.S. airlines' fleets. Boeing accounts for 59%.

Nearly 5,000 aircraft make up the combined current fleets of the 12 major U.S.-based airlines we looked at, and the majority of those planes were built by Boeing. The embattled manufacturer produced 59% of all planes in those fleets. Airbus made 39% of the remainder, and Embraer, a smaller Brazilian manufacturer, made 3%.

Airlines with the most and fewest Boeing planes

While the small number of companies manufacturing commercial aircraft makes it hard to avoid Boeing planes, it’s not impossible.

A table showing major U.S. airlines with the total number of planes in their fleets and what number of those are Boeing planes and Boeing 737 MAX planes.

The largest overall plane fleets among airlines in the United States belong to:

  • Delta (985 planes)
  • American Airlines (967 planes)
  • United (954 planes)
  • Southwest (817 planes)
  • Alaska Airlines (317 planes)

Boeing planes comprise more than half of the planes in each one of those airlines’ fleets, including 100% of Southwest’s fleet, 81% of United’s, and 73% of Alaska’s.

Due to recent history, the 737 MAX line of planes has been among the most concerning for travelers. The Alaska Airlines flight that lost a fuselage plug was a 737 MAX 9, and there was a worldwide grounding of all 737 MAX models for nearly two years between March 2019 and December 2020 following a pair of fatal crashes involving 737 MAX 8 planes.

With that in mind, we investigated how many 737 MAX planes are in each airline’s fleet. Four airlines — American, United, Southwest, and Alaska — have more than 50 of these planes in use. Southwest leads the way with 228 MAX planes, followed by United (166), Alaska (66), and American (59).

The largest airline in the country that does not count Boeing planes of any kind among its fleet is JetBlue, as all 290 of its planes are made by either Airbus or Embraer. The only other airlines that do not have any Boeings in operation all fall into the “budget-friendly” category. Spirit, Frontier, and Allegiant Air all have fleets made up entirely of Airbus planes, while Breeze Airways has a mix of Airbus and Embraer models.

Bottom line

The make and model of the plane you’ll be flying in is just one of the many factors that can cause flight anxiety. However, there are many ways to make your travel experience more pleasant no matter which airline you choose:

  • Fly more comfortably with TSA PreCheck reimbursement. Using TSA PreCheck can help you breeze through security at the airport. And many popular credit card issuers offer cards that cover TSA PreCheck. With reimbursement through your card, you can essentially enroll for free.
  • Get a fresh start on travel rewards. If you aren’t an expert, a top travel credit card for beginners is the perfect place to start earning points and learning the ropes to maximizing travel rewards.
  • Kick back and relax at the airport. Regardless of which airline you use, lengthy delays and layovers happen. If you have a free lounge access credit card, you’ll be able to relax while you wait and enjoy airport lounge amenities.


Fleet data for each airline was collected via in April 2024. Fleet numbers represent the entirety of the “current” fleet for each U.S.-based airline at the time of writing. This includes all planes actively in service as well as any that are currently parked for any reason, including routine maintenance, repairs, etc. Plane Spotters updates its database on a daily basis, so numbers may change slightly due to factors such as the delivery of new planes, the retirement of old planes, and other variables.

Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards


Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Apply Now
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Bank of <span class='whitespace-nowrap'>America<sup>®</sup></span> Travel Rewards credit card
Apply Now

on Bank of America’s secure website

Read Card Review

Intro Offer

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Annual Fee



Why we like it

Author Details

Josh Koebert

Josh Koebert is an experienced content marketer that loves exploring how personal finance overlaps with topics such as sports, food, pop culture, and more. His work has been featured on sites such as CNN, ESPN, Business Insider, and Lifehacker.