The Boeing 737 Max is flying again. Not every airline wants to admit it

After a monstrous software and corporate debacle, the Max has returned to the skies. Some, though, appear to want to hide it.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer on

Still some reticence?

Screenshot by ZDNet

The software has been adjusted.

The pilots have, it's said, been re-familiarized with its workings.

So despite the misgivings and legal appeals of some, the Boeing 737 Max has again been flying passengers for some six weeks, without a hint of an incident. Without even word of some mass -- or even tiny -- passenger boycott, either.

American Airlines was the first to fly it -- between La Guardia and Miami. United Airlines has put it back in the air too.

As The Points Guy reported, Southwest Airlines is returning it to passenger service in March. Even the Europeans are slowly bringing it back.

All, then, is well. 

Indeed, the major American airlines are absolutely not hiding the fact that the plane is in the air. When you book, you see in the flight details that the plane is a 737 Max.

It seems, though, that not every airline is quite so enthusiastic. Or, perhaps, confident.

I was moved, you see, by the approach of Cayman Airways. It appears taxed by the idea that its Maxes may be flying passengers again.

The Seattle Times' Dominic Gates spotted the airline's announcement for the return of the Max. Which, oddly, doesn't mention the word Max.

Instead, it's an invitation to the public to "come and walk through the National Airline's brand new Boeing 737-8 jet."

I'm not sure how reassuring walking through the jet might be. Yes, the overhead bins are bigger. It is, though, the plane whose inadequate software and suspect corporate behavior led to the death of 346 people.

As a commenter to the airline's tweeted entreaty mused: "Nothing brings attention to an aircraft your marketers want to disguise like a public aircraft tour."

You might think, though, that once you click the link provided by Cayman, the airline will reveal what it's talking about.

Well, no. There is absolutely no mention of it being the Max. There is the offer of watching it take off and land, however.

One can understand the marketers' dilemma, of course. But isn't it exacerbating any potential nervousness by inviting customers to tour a plane and hiding which plane it actually is? Especially if it's a plane that was associated with so much pain and scandal.

Customers really, really don't like being duped. Cayman might as well have invited them to the Boeing 737 Euphemism.

Imagine what any cabin crew might have to deal with if a passenger who's troubled by what happened to the Max discovers only too late what plane they're on.

It's true that American Airlines also offered a tour of the plane as it hurried to bring it back.

Yet once the plane is broadly flying perhaps it's best to act normally -- honestly, even -- and hope the disasters are in the past.

You'd think airlines would already have enough to worry about.

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