A commercial airliner successfully completed a flight from Miami to New York City today, taking off at 10:30 a.m. EST and landing at LaGuardia at 1:10 p.m. It was the first 737 MAX passenger flight in the U.S. in almost two years.
American Airlines wasn’t the first airline to get 737 MAX airplanes back in service since the grounding in March 2019. That honor belongs to GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA in Brazil, which resumed service earlier this month, but American is the first airline to do it in the U.S. United and Southwest have each said they would resume 737 MAX flights early next year.
The two crashes that resulted in the plane’s grounding were blamed partly on faulty sensors.
American seemed quite pleased with itself.
And it sounds as if the passengers enjoyed it, too.
It is likely the safest time ever to be flying on a 737 MAX, such is the scrutiny being applied as the planes return to service — and in light of all the fixes that have been made. American’s tweet also suggests that it will be putting its more experienced crews inside.
And yet there remains a bit of hesitation, as episodes like this always pull back the curtain on not just Boeing but the FAA as well. Memorably, a Boeing employee once said that the 737 MAX was “designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys.” Which really makes you wonder how many near-misses there have been up in the air that we never even hear about, 737 MAX or not.