Boeing 737 Max Faces Trust Issues As Passengers Say 'I Want To Get Off The Plane' And Refuse To Board Over Fear

Despite the Boeing 737 Max BA returning to service, some passengers are choosing to boycott the aircraft due to safety concerns.

What’s Happening: The reputation-damaging incident with Alaska Airlines has led to many opting out of flying on a Boeing carrier, CNN reported on Tuesday.

Ed Pierson, a Seattle-based executive director of an airline watchdog group, and former Boeing employee, had a firsthand experience of the Max in 2023. Pierson, who was not initially aware that he was boarding a Max, promptly disembarked the aircraft.

"I said, ‘I can't go into detail right now, but I wasn't planning on flying the Max, and I want to get off the plane.'"

He has since made a personal commitment to avoid the Max.

Belén Estacio, a marketing professional, has also made a conscious decision to boycott the Max following an Alaska Airlines incident. Estacio now checks the aircraft type before booking any flights and prefers to fly with Airbus.

"The whole thing of, ‘If it's not Boeing I ain't going,' it's totally the opposite now," she said.

Elayne Grimes, a U.K.-based communications consultant, has actively sought out airlines that don’t operate the Max following the crashes in 2018 and 2019. Grimes’ resolve was further confirmed after watching a Netflix documentary that raised concerns about Boeing’s working environment.

See Also: Tesla Bull Wants Musk’s Company To Learn From Apple’s ‘Effective Communication’ Strategy To Tackle EV Slowdown: ‘Effective Communication’

Rory Kennedy, the director of the documentary, was similarly shocked by the findings and is advocating for a congressional investigation into Boeing’s culture and decision-making.

"To me, what you really need is an investigation into the culture of Boeing, what's happening at board level, and what kind of decisions are being made to continue to prioritize financial interests over the safety of consumers," she said.

Why It Matters: The Boeing 737 Max has been a subject of intense scrutiny after two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019. The aircraft was grounded worldwide for 20 months before it was recertified to fly in late 2020.

However, the recent FAA audit highlighted non-compliance with manufacturing quality control regulations by Boeing and its supplier Spirit AeroSystems. This has likely contributed to the ongoing skepticism surrounding the aircraft.

Despite this, Boeing continues to secure significant contracts, such as a $439.6 million contract to build a satellite for the U.S. Space Force. The company also recently received a large order from Ethiopian Airlines, indicating that it still has the trust of major industry players.

Read Next: Fund Manager Says He ‘Would Avoid’ Tesla, But Recommends These ‘Phenomenal’ Auto Stocks: ‘Race To Develop EVs Is Going To Be Profitless…’

Image via Shutterstock

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