Gary Kelly Message Regarding the 737 MAX
Gary Kelly Message Regarding the 737 MAX
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Southwest's Chairman of the Board and CEO Gary Kelly addresses the FAA's order for U.S. airlines to temporarily ground the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft series.
So, SW has been my go-to airline. I have loved it. But that it has adhered to the FAA timeline regarding the MAX 8 is, for me, a passive way of putting profits over people. Shame.
Also, SW no doubt knew of Boeing's decision a few years ago to not replace the 737 but to modify it, by enlarging the engines, thus changing the wing's flight impact, and thus to require procedural modifications to the new tendancy of the planes' tendancies to 'nose up', meaning a fatal flight flaw. If pilots or the software are not aware of thus, all might be imperiled. Nice biz decisions, right?
How do you find out the type of plane your reservations are on?
What if the flight I'm scheduled for was on a Boeing 737 Max 8?
I thought I would comment here about the Boeing 737 Max issue - I've been scouring the SWA website and the internet trying to find the type of aircraft I'm flying on Friday. I finally discovered how to figure that out here on this post. Never been here before and I am a long time fan of SWA - this blog is helpful! I was on hold with SWA for two hours earlier this evening trying to change my flight because I am booked on a 737 Max, but got disconnected for some reason. It appeared someone answered and then hung up. So, I called back and have been holding 1 hour and 45 minutes. Fingers crossed I get a live person soon! I'm sure it's crazy and I understand, but please don't disconnect me!
I am trying to find out if 737 800 is the 8 MAX. I looked up the flight I will be on next week for tomorrow and it has been cancelled. So I am think it is the Max. ???
yes I also want to know is a 737 800 a max8
@Pennypoo81 @JENNIFERSHELL83 the 737-800 is not the same aircraft as the 737 MAX 8. You can find more information here.
For a list of answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the 737 MAX 8, visit this post.
The 737-800 is NOT the 8 Max. I looked online last night and when doing a mock booking, you can click on the flight number, it will show you the aircraft type scheduled for that flight (I was already concerned yesterday about it)
I scrolled and checked every single flight and did come across a couple of flights that listed the aircraft type as 727 MAX8. My flights flying to LAS this Saturday are both 737-700, and now sold out.
Hope that info helps you.
I rebooked my original flight that was canceled for tomorrow. This evening while packing received a text sharing that my rebooked flight was cancelled. I went to the provided link. I am guessing that the site crashed. I held for 2 hours when my call was dropped. SW are you kidding me. So at this point there isn't anything available to "rebook my flight", and the one or two flights that show are not reliable information. I am so disappointed. I can't believe that the top dogs did not see this coming and left their employees and customers twisting in the wind. Eventually, I will get over being upset about not getting out on my flight to take my trip that has been planned for three months. But I don't think I will get over the disappointment from their leadership. I wonder how long it will take before I actually get to speak with a person?
im sorry you have had trouble getting through on the phone tonight it’s been a mess with everyone trying to get rebooked because of the winter storm and this MAX 8 grounding. I recommend you reach out to Southwest on Twitter and hopefully they can help you as soon as possible.
Really Blake, Twitter..sigh
I have been a Software Developer and Analyst for 38 years. I understand well the basics of system design. One of the first Principles taught in Computer Science classes is now an old adage: "Garbage in - garbage out". The Corollary is: that all software should be carefully tested using many input values, especially 'out-of-bounds' inputs - data that is unusual, unexpected, or considered "impossible". From this principle and corollary comes the Requirement: that any inputs, including those 'out-of-bounds' must never lead to a catastrophic outcome...
Although MCAS is a wonderful and perhaps necessary software system, it appears that MCAS may not properly deal with some cases of faulty inputs. If this is the case, then there is a very serious flaw in the software. If this is the case, then Boeing must make public a full explanation of the role of the MCAS software in theses crashes, rather than just blame a faulty sensor or say it was 100% pilot error...
My confidence in the previous generation, Boeing 737 NG, is solid. However, I don't expect to fly any 737 MAX (model 8, model 9 or model 10), without knowing two things: a) final and complete determination of the causes of the two recent 737 MAX crashes, and b) all of the system software has been thoroughly analyzed, fixed and tested...
I have always had confidence that that US airlines care about passenger safety. However, that confidence will be permanently DESTROYED if another 737 MAX crashes before adequate understanding and resolution of this tragedy.
Does anyone know if flights from BWI to CAN (Cancun, Mexico) are 737 MAX aircraft. Been on hold for over one hour trying to get an answer.
I'm sorry to hear about your difficulty getting through to a live agent over the phone. There must be an overload in the systems and trying to get everone reaccomodated. I do however have a solutions for you:
Go to Southwest.com and pull up your reservation using your confirmation number. Click on your flight number(s) and it should let you know the type of aircraft you are flying if the travel dates are close enough.
But at this time, all 737 MAX8 aircrafts have been grounded. So if you're travelling soon, it will be a different series for your travels.
Hope this helps.
I have been a frequent customer of Southwest for 30 years, flying the airline 80% of the time at least 30 times a year. I've always had great admiration for how the company has been run and the great employees encountered. That's why I've been so disappointed in how Southwest responded to this crisis.
You, Southest, were one of the last to acknowledge what was a big warning sign that the 737 Max had a serious flaw. Clearly business came ahead of providing absolute safety for your customers, contrary to what Gary Kelly wrote in his letter.
I do not find Southwest "complying" with FAA to be some big story about aligning to their commitment to safety. If anything it highlights their LACK of it.
Every country in the world (except US and Canada) had grounded the planes. It took goverment authority for Southwest to do what's right which IMO does NOT align with the company's stated values.
I hope this experience causes Southwest's leadership to take a look in the mirror about whether they are acting and making decisions in line with the commitment you say you have to your values.
Well said and fully agree. This will be a rare black mark on Southwest's management.
Keep up the good work. Southwest's safety record, stellar and friendly service are why I have been a loyal customer since the 1970s. Do what must be done to keep the stellar safety record and customer service. You have my full support.
Gary and Staff
I beleive you have an excellent safety record and I enjoy flying your airlines more than ever. This whole Boeing issue is a setback for everyone in the industry and even though it is only 5% of your fleet that adds up to a lot of flights. I wish you the best in working around this issue and hopefully the FAA will get their investigation done so that any problem can be fixed and the planes can get back in the air.
I have been disappointed in how SWA is handling this situation:
- The website and mobile app are opaque in telling whether the flight is actually cancelled. I had to Google the flight and get definite information from flightaware.com
- We still don't know if our return flight from Las Vegas is still on.
- We have to fly out Saturday and cannot delay our flight. The 14 day window will not help us.
- We would like a credit for our outbound flight and solid information our return flight is still operating.
Optics guys optics. From the passenger seat I sit in I have to question what the hell were you thinking? As soon as the European Union made the decision to stop Boeing Max 8 from flying, I wondered again what is up with Southwest? Now we as passengers do not have access to the millions of data points you say you comb through on performance. You waited till the FAA made a decision, when in fact it was our President who made the decision and this guy doesn’t read little to anything. If you were truly focused on passenger safety over profits you would make the hard decision and stand down those planes. That decision vs “we were told to stand down”, would have got my unending loyalty. We as passengers see it pretty plainly that this plane has a problem and I’m sure as hell not going to put my life in the hands of a company that constantly touts customer satisfaction, but when it came down to the hard decision you had to be told to stand down by the President, I mean the “FAA”. My guess it was a business decision which means you factor in customer impact, to some degree... As now has been evidenced you did not factor customer satisfaction from making the tough call. You are no different then any other airline in the industry. Profits before people. Did you read the article where the FAA allows Boeing to replace the FAA inspectors with Boeing inspectors? Did that factor into your really bad decision to delay?
I have faith in Southwest Airlines and their pilots, staff and Mechanics and employees. Even though your stock price has taken a hit, I have invested more into the company not less with the faith Southwest will resolve their labor issues with the mechanics and continue to make safety a priority for all. Thank you for making this video public to reassure everyone of your commitment to safety, quality and performance.
I agree with the others who question Southwest Airlines commitment to safety. While Southwest has an excellent safety record, lately this safety commitment is under scrutiny. To save money, Southwest and other airlines have had their planes repaired overseas which brings into question are the foreign workers properly trained to FAA standards and are the replacement parts they use up to standard? Now with the case of your own mechanics Southwest has been involved in a mechanics dispute for six years and recently sued their own mechanics saying they have been unnecessarily pulling planes out of service to increase bargining power. For instance, the union for the southwest mechanics clearly state they do not pull planes for cosmetic purposes as the Southwest management suggests. For instance, the union thinks the cargo holds should all be properly taped to help prevent fires from stored oxygen tanks while Southwest management seems to disagree with this policy. Southwest was fined in the 2000's for continuing to fly with known cracks in their planes. Fast forward to the fan blade engine accident that killed one passenger last year and then suddenly southwest decides to move up fan blade inspections. This should have been done already with the other Southwest plane had an engine blowout in 2016 and the French company manufacture recommended inspections. Now while I praise the CEO for letting us know about the MAX planes Southwest and American Airlines should have followed Europe and grounded the Max planes immediately as a precaution. I understand not pulling the Max planes if your fleet was 50% max planes but that wasnt the case. When booking on Southwest I use to feel safe and assumed it was a good bet that I was going to safe. Now I just don't know. Please stop the corporate speak "safety is number one priority" when this may not be reality. I get it, you need to make profits to grow and survive as a business. However, putting profits over people in the long-term is a dangerous business strategy that will cost you more money in lawsuits and insurance policy payouts than doing what's right by doing what the mechanics recommend, inspecting planes when there are known issues, and grounding planes for precautionary measures. Unfortunately, my post here will fall on deaf ears and Southwest may continue to follow the maximum profits over people policy which isn't good for the company long-term, it's employees, and the safety of it's passengers and employees. Thank goodness the pilots are so awesome at Southwest or there would be more fatalities. I recommend that Southwest at least buys a few Airbus planes for when any new Boeing model comes out because there are always teething issues. Granted, the new Airbus will probably have teething issues as well but maybe not to the extent of the MCAS system in the Max killing people. Boeing had a good idea in building a plane with better fuel economy but larger engines could be making the max unstable. Finally, while I don't normally agree with increased government involvement the US government may need to change the FAA into more of a hardcore enforcement agency. Southwest and some of the other airlines should do the right thing by actions and stop the corporate speak.
There is a lot of hype and political maneuvering regarding the max 8 and it’s grounding. Especially European governments. Doug mccowns assertion that the engine upgrade and its affect on the wings is ludicrous. I if you don’t know the specifics, please don’t fan the flames of rumors and speculation. Boeing makes the safest planes in the industry. Training levels of airlines and pilot certification of certain airlines may be in question here.
So. I just got off the phone with sw. I have a flight that online said it was the 747 800 but I just called to double check. The representative said it indeed was the 747 8maxx and advised I changed my flight. I did. The time was not ideal. But did anyone else have a flight that had one plane listed online but was different when they called?
I have been a long time loyal Southwest customer for 20 years. I have always felt that Southwest treats its customers more humanely than other airlines and truly cares about their safety and well-being. I believe the decision not to ground the Max 8's after the Ethiopian Airlines crash was a serious mistake. It has shaken my confidence in Southwest. The video talks all about the chairman's confidence in Boeing. That's all fine and good but I'm sure people were confident about each of the planes that crashed until they started flying towards the ground. What did southwest ultimately gain by waiting for the FAA directive? A couple extra days of flying those aircraft? And at what cost? If you had grounded the planes voluntarily you would have stood out among American carriers as definitely putting the safety of your customers and crew first. Now you just blend in with all the others. I wish you had handled this differently.
Huge SW flyer & fan here.usually. However the last 2 days for me have been so frustrating with having 3 flights cancelled with no explanation from reps. No one would tell me if they were due toMAX 8’s or not. I was able to rebook eventually (by the luck of the draw & stalking the SW flight page via the APP ) & the other with an agent re booking me. However both of the rebooked flights on the SW webpage have those flights as 737-800 flights. But when I called SW to confirm the flights~ BOTH agents told me that “on THEIR end ~ their screens say thatthose flights are MAX 8’s & WILL be cancelled.” WHAT?!?! So the agent actually cancelled my flight & said good luck 😬🤦🏽♀️ ~ it was only after my own research & calling back & telling a new agent that something is wrong! Why is your screen saying something else then mine? She put me on hold & talked to supervisor who said ~ no they aren’t MAX 8’s & that what is showing on webpage is correct. So I rebooked my original flight ~ thank god there were still 2 tickets. But I’m still nervous because I have a feeling~ I’ll still get cancelled & there will be no one to take the blame. I’m so very frustrated. I personally fly a good 30 flights per year with SW & this is beyond frustrating. **For reference: one of my flights is for this Sunday 3/24/19 PHL TO DEN #3480 leaving at 7:00pm arriving 9:25pm. On webpage it says 737-800 but it says 737M on the reps. My concerns are that SW agents are not being giving correct info & people are CANCELLING their flights thinking they are Max 8’s! SW please help me to understand this HUGE debacle.
~ yes please see my above post. Their screens are reading different & they are having us cx when it’s NOT a Max 8 anymore. They have reassured me the flights ARE NOT cancelled, but ... we shall see. We are flying out for a dear friends funeral & this doesn’t look to promising 😪
Yeah its so crazy! Good luck MAMABEAR-CO
Can you both both weigh in on the issue I’ve raised above? The SW agents are being shown something totally different then what’s on our screens. And having us CANCEL & try & rebook on another flight. Even when it isn’t?
Btw ~ when I look at the same flight from last week ~ Sunday 3/17 #3480 on ‘flight tracker website’ it shows online that it was a MAX 8. 😳 Is SW acting like they are keeping our flights that previously ‘were’ MAX 8’s ~ acting as if they’ve changed them to either 700 or 800’s but then cancelling last minute? Since probably the ‘easiest’ Solution for SW? Just wondering if anyone has any stats on this? If anyone has flown an actual ‘rescheduled MAX 8 flight’ & time but just diff aircraft used? 🤔 Thx
Southwest and Boeing made a huge mistake here with the 737-MAX. I include Southwest in the responsibility because they were the launch customer for the plane. It is quite obvious at this point (even with all the equivacation) the MAX MCAS system was designed wrong (single point of failure, no pilot notification, no redundancy, single input, no qualification of signal, PURE pilot override.) e.g. the WORST case for any system on a plane, taking the pilot of the equation, with no explicit notice that the pilot is being over-ridden. WHY? Greed. This allowed Southwest, and other customers to not need (in theory) training on the new systems and behavior, creating the worst of all worlds, one in which pilots are kept in the dark, and given no notice. Personally, I will not be flying on Southwest again, until I read they are no longer flying the 737 MAX. That the brand new death machines have been retired. The entire way the aircraift achieved flight certification calls into question its flight worthyness for all time. No way would I ever board a Southwest flight to Hawaii on a MAX, not now, NOT EVER. Not when the "fix" is announced (some software BS patch), on a system that still will not have any redundancy in hardware, signalling, and that BY DESIGN still overrides the pilot, so that the plane model can pretend to fly more like older different design and engined 737 aircraft. Southwest's comments thus far have been UNIMPRESSIVE- as have Boeings, the FAA's, NTSB, the Indonesian investigators, the French investigators, and the launch customer, Southwest. I will not be flying Southwest, again until I read that the aircraft are RETIRED, permanently, for all time, sold or grounded forever. The aircraft really needs to be recertified, and I would prefer that happen on an airline I don't fly. I really don't care about Southwest's investment in the MAX (which is substantial), I only care that their so called committment to safety is actually made good by acknowledging that the aircraft is not ready to fly. Since I cannot be bothered to attempt to figure out if Southwest will be flying this model on any given flight, I will simply refuse to fly SWA until the plane model is no longer in the fleet. Not negotiable. Not subject to half-backed CEO video's, not backed off in any way. I will simply fly a different airline.
A harsh take on events, but accurate nonetheless. It's not what Southwest says, it what they do. And that applies to saying saftey is number one, while demonstrating otherwise. Having flown Southwest since their beginnings as my most used airline, this is the first time I've felt to disappointed by the company's actions. Herb Kelleher would never have done what Mr. Kelly did.
SW is doing rolling cancellations of flights to handle the 737 debacle. Just got caught in one of the unannounced cancellations, spending the night on the airport floor, waiting on the first AM flight. SW does not notify ahead of the rolling cancellations. Hard to see how they could handle this any worse.
I have to say I always have nothing but complements on your customer service but you really dropped the ball this time in a major way. I was scheduled to fly out of Sanb Francisco to attend an important dinner in Scottsdale, Arizona. I checked in for flight 1644 at 330 pm on the 21 March 2019.
I received an email at 653 am from Southwest airlines on March 22 stating flight was cancelled. No flights left out of San Francisco. I have to fly out of San Jose at 945 pm instead of the 320 pm departure out of San Francisco. A 60 mile drive south and a 6 hour delay. Again, I was not notified until 653 am 8 hrs before my flight. I cannot understand how Southwest did not realize that the flight would be cancelled at the time I checked in. I know 37 planes have been grounded and the FAA made that public, but Southwest responded very slowly and poorly cancelling my flight, receiving a cryptic email on the day of my departure. My dinner has since been cancelled , I have no reservation for a car as the flight has me arriving at 1130 in Phoenix. I am asking Southwest for compensation in the way of miles or coupons on a change of flights from San Francisco to San Jose, a cancelled high level business meeting and a taxi have to take from SF to San Jose to make this trip happen. I have been a member of SWA for several years, and yes safety is number one but you must do a better job in communicating changes. Very disturbing and poor planning on your part. You must have known the plane I would have been on was grounded yesterday not 7 hrs prior to my flight. Please review your processes and reward those seriously inconvenienced by your poor planning.
Comment added to Southwest Airlines
I'm a retired engineer and licensed private pilot. From what I can see and read, the whole MCAS on the 737 Max shows every sign of having been a "hack" put together quickly and not thought out. It commands apparently strong control reaction on the basis of a single sensor, rather than using all available information (two angle of attack sensors plus two gyro attitude indicators). No simple way to over-ride, no apparent fail-safe. That a company with the experience of Boeing would put such a hack into service does not build confidence in the Max. Were other control systems similarly hacked?
I believe the FAA and Boeing need to bring in an outside panel of experts and review the relevant aspects of the design and certification. I'm sure the National Academy of Engineering would assist in selecting experts. Unless I see this kind of transparency, I do not expect to have much faith in the Max.
This means that I, sadly, will be much less interested in flying on Southwest which has become my favorite airline. Sure, I might be able to schedule a trip to avoid the Max but on any given day, aircraft and crews get shuffled around by weather, mechanical issues, etc.. and bingo I could find myself out on a trip with no alternative but to fly the Max.
Southwest, you are probably Boeing's single largest customer for the 737 and looking at the order backlog, likely the single largest Max customer. We need you to make it clear to Boeing that you will not be satisfied with anything less than an independent, transparent review of the aircraft design and certification before it goes back into service.
In addition to astute observations by other writers regarding the design and software issues with the MAX, I would add that the necessity of a flight control (the stabilizers) needed on the MAX, that other 737s do not require, makes this plane inherently less safe. Southwest should consider cancelling its orders in favor of the 737-800 aircraft. While I have been an enthusiastic admirer of Southwest’s business model for years and until now have used it as my exclusive domestic carrier, the addition of additional MAX models to the Southwest fleet will cause me to reconsider my choice of air carrier. I hope that Southwest will restrict future purchases of the MAX and instead purchase 800s and pressure Boeing to go back to the drawing board to construct a safer narrow body aircraft.
Wow Southwest - you took down my post. Shame on you. You are part of the coverup.
Hi. Y’all canceled our flight for tomorrow, just 24 hours before takeoff. Reason given, MAX 8.
You grounded the plane over a week ago so I assumed if there was a Max8 issue you would have let us know days ago.
Now, your flights are sold out and I have to get a hotel room at a cost of $169.
SWA should have either changed out the plane, or cancelled my flight one the day the MAX8 was grounded.
This whole episode left me feeling very disappointed and out $169 plus taxes.
I’m sorry to hear your flight was canceled and you were not notified until the last minute. There are many factors that could have caused the late cancellation such as weather, a crew who timed out, or the aircraft they had for you may have had to go out of service. I know cancellations are not fun.
I recommend you reach out to customer relations at 855-234-4654 so they can look in to your experience and see what happened and they can look in to possible compensation. however since this is a customer to customer forum you won't find the compensation here that you are seeking.
Just sorry that SW lost the opputunity to show its real LOVE and SAFETY for customers and ground this plane asap instead of watching the FAA and BOEING for advice.
the LOVE right now is money driven and that is not love. SAD !
Lindsey, it dawned on me that if SW is moving its MAX 8 fleet to the desert for better preservation thensome of the old 737 - 500 aircraft may also be in the desert in storage somewhere. If that is the case, can any be re-leased on a short term basis and placed into service. I did not like (and most flight attendants I have talked to do not like) the old equipment, but it could be better to cancel fewer flights than to avoid flying in the old style. Of course if the planes have been stripped and the avionics re-implemented this would likely not be a cost or time effective strategy.
Even as I have my Boeing coffee mug here, sad to say that for the time being, I don't trust Boeing. The safety issues & subsequent decisions made with the MAX, & ongoing QC problems with the KC-46 suggest housecleaning is needed.
I’m sitting in Orlando after our cruise to find out my return flight is cancelled. No call no email. I have a 90 year old dad and a son who needs medicine. I was told due to Max 8 we couldn’t get back home for 3 days and no assistance is offered. Very disappointed with this process and lack of help. I will not fly Southwest again as all 7 of us are stuck.
While I totally appreciate the extent to which Southwest is responding to this 737 8 MAX Incident, I am not happy about the fact that we have had to book a hotel room for two nights (along with additional meals) because the next available flight was not available for us until two days later than our cancelled flight.....
I am certain that Southwest (after this incident gets resolved and solved) will have its lawyers negotiate some kind of settlement for the inconvenience and costs this incident has had to Southwest.....but.....what about us ....the customers and loyal followers of Southwest???
I believe the least Southwest can do to offset our additional hotel and meal expense bills (for which I will be happy to provide copies of our receipts) would be to provide a credit of some amount towards our next Southwest flight.
I welcome your response and attempts to keep us happy Southwest fliers...
So...SW rearranged my group flights...never notifying me of the changes. Didn't find out till I checked the flight schedules. I have teenages flying to a conference and cannot leave half of them un-chaperoned. Been on hold with group travel 3 hours thus far - disconnected once. Thanks Southwest...
Yet another LAST-MINUTE FLIGHT CANCELLATION. I thought I was being proactive and checked my flight status before I left home, and everything was stated as on schedule. I boarded my flight from Milwaukee to Oklahoma City. Being a long-standing LOYAL customer of Southwest, I had accrued enough points for a free flight. I always pay the extra for EarlyBird Check-in.
On Friday morning, I checked to confirm my Check-in was successful and it was. At 8:35 am I received my boarding pass for my flight home Saturday morning. A 1:42 pm I received a message that my return flight was cancelled and I was to check the website to reschedule. There were no flights leaving OKC for a week. I called the airline and was told "I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do". I was left stranded 1000 miles from home. I scrambled to find transportation to get back home and found my only alternative was to rent a car and drive 16 hours, through the night.
In summary, Southwest left me stranded 1000 miles from home, it cost me $642 to rent a car and drive all night, and Southwest refuses to reimburse me the extra expenses.The agent in customer relations "Bella" offered me a $50 voucher to cover the inconvenience. That is unacceptable and definitely not an example of good faith or loyalty. I hope and pray there is a lawsuit after this, because I will definitely be filing along with all these other jilted customers.
Very Unhappy Single Parent on a Budget.
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