Health & Wellness Passenger Rights Security

How to Find Out if U.S. Emergency Grounding of Boeing 737 MAX 8 Planes Will Affect You

On Wednesday, the United States and Canada joined almost every other country and dozens of airlines in grounding Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 planes closely following the second deadly crash of the brand-new aircraft model in recent months. A tragic Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed everyone onboard Sunday followed the deadly October Lion Air crash the went down near Jakarta. Both planes went down without warning, just after takeoff, and in both crashes, all passengers and crew were killed.

President Trump issued an emergency order Wednesday afternoon grounding all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9s, according to the Associated Press. The MAX 9 is a more recent version of the plane that will likely be affected by any safety findings regarding the MAX 8. The immediate response to the move could be some last-minute delayed flights, as the U.S. operates a total of 72 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 planes.

The U.S.-based airlines operating Boeing 737 MAX 8s are American Airlines, which has 24, and Southwest, which operates 34. United operates 14 of the MAX 9. Canadian airlines operating the model are Air Canada (41), Sunwing (four), and WestJet (13). European airlines that fly the 737 MAX models are Icelandair (three) and Norwegian (18).

[st_related]Return of Troubled Boeing 737 MAX Planes Will Come in Phases[/st_related]

Here’s how to check flight delays nationwide to see if your airport could be affected:

On delay-tracking website FlightAware, “travelers can browse live flight delay statistics, showing how many flights are delayed or canceled for the current day,” SmarterTravel’s own Carl Unger has written. “You can click one specific airline to see how it’s doing—here’s Southwest, for example—but the broader view provides some helpful context.”

“For map-appreciating people like myself, the site’s aptly-named Misery Map displays the data by destination and overlays a current radar image to show where weather may impact arrivals and departures. Hovering over a destination displays routes that are experiencing delays and highlights routes that are on time.”

As for finding out if your plane for an upcoming flight was set to be on a Boeing 737 MAX 8, a simple search on your airline and flight number on SeatGuru or FlightAware can typically tell you. It also helps to have the SmarterTravel Air Passenger Rights Guide handy any time you’re delayed, so you know what you have the right to be compensated for.

For more on this developing story, see Will the 737 MAX Fly Again? Where Trust in Boeing Goes Now.

More from SmarterTravel:


SmarterTravel’s Shannon McMahon is a former news reporter who writes about all things travel. Follow her on Instagram @shanmcmahon.

By Shannon McMahon

Editor Shannon McMahon is always planning her next trip and often writing in her travel journal. Follow her on Twitter @shanmcmahon_ and on Instagram @shanmcmahon.

Shannon joined SmarterTravel in 2015. A former news reporter, she's lived in the south of Spain, spotted elephants in Sri Lanka, gone spelunking in the Caribbean, hiked Jordan's Petra Basin, interviewed Sao Paulo's Michelin-Star chefs, and explored China via bullet train. Travel trends, news oddities, and her visits to up-and-coming destinations are some of her favorite things to write about.

Her stories have also appeared online on USA Today, The Sun, Huffington Post, Business Insider,,, and more. Her educational background is in journalism, art history, gender studies, Spanish, and film. She's been quoted as an expert travel source by CNBC,, MarketWatch, The Washington Post, USA Today, and more.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Plenty of extra thick hair elastics. They tame my frizzy curls and come in handy in a surprising number of packing and hotel dilemmas."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Climbing (yes, climbing, it's steep!) the Great Wall of China before it's gone."

Travel Motto: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window, of course."

Email Shannon at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *