Free changes for MAX8 flights

Old May 24, 19, 10:05 am
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Free changes for MAX8 flights

From https://www.timesunion.com/technolog...o-13885313.php
According to Southwest Airlines Chief Marketing Officer Ryan Green, passengers who find themselves booked on a 737 Max flight will be allowed to switch flights free of charge. "If they're uneasy about flying on a Max aircraft, we'll be flexible with them," Green told CNBC. "We'll be understanding of that and allow them to fly on a different flight without paying any difference in fare."
This will cost Southwest a lot of money. MAX8 fares (and -800 fares) were already some of the lowest due to the higher difficulty of selling 175 seats rather than 143. People will buy those low fares and change to high-fare flights, possibly at the last minute. This will make MAX8 bookings very popular even as the planes depart with many empty seats due to late changes.

This offer is an open invitation to gaming. Southwest should cap the number of times a customer can invoke this exception, but I doubt their software is capable of enforcing such a limit. I suppose Southwest fully considered the financial consequences of this offer and decided that the price was worth paying to get their fleet back to 100%.
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Old May 24, 19, 12:43 pm
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I don't understand the point of this article. This was true for a short period of time before the grounding and nothing has changed since then - there is no anticipated return of these planes and what WN says now I am sure won't be true for an infinite time in the future.... At some point consumer confidence will return to the Max 8 (assuming it flies again of course) and the number who care to avoid will dwindle.
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Old May 24, 19, 12:48 pm
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Surely an airline won't allow free changes if you purchased a ticket on a MAX after it was known that they were grounded everywhere?
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Old May 24, 19, 1:01 pm
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If this is true, they will probably just recoup the money by raising the price of all flights.

It would probably be smarter to lower the price on all MAX flights to entice people to fly on them but not allow changes without paying the fare difference. At least until people are confident that they aren't going to die.

Last edited by Critterlynn; May 24, 19 at 1:07 pm
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Old May 24, 19, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Surely an airline won't allow free changes if you purchased a ticket on a MAX after it was known that they were grounded everywhere?
Yet that's how I interpret the offer. Someone buys a ticket this Fall or Winter and only later realizes that it's a MAX8. Possibly at the departing airport or connecting airport. Possibly after boarding.

Southwest says that the passenger should not be forced to fly the MAX8 or lose his money or try a reverse David Dao. The PR would be horrible for Southwest. Some accommodation makes sense. I just wonder how or whether Southwest can limit gaming of this change option.
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Old May 24, 19, 1:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Critterlynn View Post
If this is true, they will probably just recoup the money by raising the price of all flights.

It would probably be smarter to lower the price on all MAX flights to entice people to fly on them but not allow changes without paying the fare difference. At least until people are confident that they aren't going to die.
They could defer part of the fare until you land, so that you pay the extra only if you don't die.

Or they could offer a free $10 million death benefit to MAX8 passengers, causing all MAX8 flights to sell out to people convinced it's a death machine.
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Old May 24, 19, 5:04 pm
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
They could defer part of the fare until you land, so that you pay the extra only if you don't die.

Or they could offer a free $10 million death benefit to MAX8 passengers, causing all MAX8 flights to sell out to people convinced it's a death machine.
Um, you realize the death benefit goes to heirs, not to the person, because the person is DEAD, yes?
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Old May 24, 19, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
Um, you realize the death benefit goes to heirs, not to the person, because the person is DEAD, yes?
Yes, but millions of people would sign up to die for $10 million to their families. I wouldn't, but if my flight crashes I'd prefer my family to collect $10 million from it. So I'd choose the MAX8 with the free insurance.

Life has different value to different people. Consider the number of people who signed up for a one-way mission to Mars. Your life is worth as little as a handful of dollars to an armed robber, up to tens of thousands to a contract killer. $10 million is more than your family would get from a typical plane crash lawsuit.
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Old May 24, 19, 6:43 pm
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I didn't realize that WN based their fares on the type of aircraft operating the flight. I have always found for whatever reason -700 flights on the routes I fly are cheaper than the -800 or MAX 8 flights.
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Old May 24, 19, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by DCP2016 View Post
I didn't realize that WN based their fares on the type of aircraft operating the flight. I have always found for whatever reason -700 flights on the routes I fly are cheaper than the -800 or MAX 8 flights.
They donít. Itís all based off of supply and demand.
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Old May 24, 19, 7:33 pm
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
Yes, but millions of people would sign up to die for $10 million to their families.
Doubtful, both for one person or for the "millions" you envision.


I wouldn't, but if my flight crashes I'd prefer my family to collect $10 million from it. So I'd choose the MAX8 with the free insurance.
Bully for you. I think you're projecting just a little too much.


Life has different value to different people. Consider the number of people who signed up for a one-way mission to Mars. Your life is worth as little as a handful of dollars to an armed robber, up to tens of thousands to a contract killer. $10 million is more than your family would get from a typical plane crash lawsuit.
Comparisons to one-way trips to Mars are about as non sequitur as one can get.
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Old May 24, 19, 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post

They donít. Itís all based off of supply and demand.
I predict the demand for the 737 MAX will be pretty low.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 9:20 pm
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Just read on airliners.net that Southwest has reprinted safety cards to remove the word MAX .

Now they just say 737-800 / 737-8.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 9:24 pm
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Yep....I noticed it at least as far back as mid-May. Wonder how many "worriers" fussed back prior to then.....
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Old Jun 11, 19, 9:48 pm
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Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
Just read on airliners.net that Southwest has reprinted safety cards to remove the word MAX .

Now they just say 737-800 / 737-8.
As I said in another thread back in May, I assume the rebranding of the MAX aircraft will basically just be ditching the MAX name.

Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
737-8 is another name for the 737-MAX 8. My point was that they wouldn't necessarily rebrand, but rather just drop the MAX designation. The 737-8 and the 737-800 are different aircraft.
More on topic for this thread: I have a flight booked for October that is currently scheduled to be on a 737-MAX. If I try to change the flight the system charges me the fare difference.
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