American Airlines anticipates that the impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX will lead to recertification of the aircraft later this year and resumption of commercial service in January 2020. The previous update on September 1 predicted the planes would remain grounded until at least December 3.
The American Airlines customer relations communications noted:
Customers booked on a MAX through Jan. 6: All customers who were booked previously on a MAX will be automatically accommodated on the same flights operated by a 737-800 with the same seat configuration. No additional rebooking will be required.
Customers booked on a MAX from Jan. 7 through Jan. 15: The majority of these customers will be accommodated on the same flight operated by a different aircraft type, which may include a 737-800 or an Airbus aircraft. Beginning Oct. 13, American’s Reservations and Sales team will contact affected customers who are impacted by any potential flight cancellations. Customers who booked through a travel agent will be contacted by their agency directly.
Beginning Jan. 16: American expects to slowly phase in the MAX for commercial service and will increase flying on the aircraft throughout the month and into February.
My flight through Jan. 15 was scheduled on a MAX. Will it be canceled?
All flights through Jan. 6 that were previously scheduled on a MAX will not be canceled, as we plan to substitute other aircraft types. The majority of customers who were booked previously on a MAX from Jan. 7 through Jan. 15 will be accommodated on the same flights operated by a different aircraft type. On Oct. 13, American will run a formal schedule change, and customers who were previously booked on a MAX will see their reservation updated on aa.com.
Will there be additional changes to the schedule once the MAX returns to commercial service?
American expects to slowly phase in the MAX for commercial service and will increase flying on the aircraft throughout the month and into February. Since American will slowly phase the MAX in our operation over the course of a month, additional refinements to our schedule may occur through Feb. 12. Affected customers will be contacted directly.
My flight wasn’t scheduled to be on a MAX. Will it be canceled?
A flight that was not scheduled as a MAX flight might be canceled to enable our team to cover a MAX route with a different aircraft, in order to affect the smallest number of customers. In total, approximately 140 flights will be canceled per day through Jan. 15.
How will customers know if they are impacted?
American’s Reservations team will contact affected customers directly by email or telephone beginning Oct. 13. Customers who booked through a travel agent will be contacted by their agency directly.
What is American’s policy for when the MAX returns?
Details regarding policies and procedures for customers who do not wish to fly on the MAX once the aircraft enters scheduled service Jan. 16 will be released in the coming weeks.
My flight was canceled and I don’t want to rebook. Can I get a refund?
Yes. If a flight is canceled and a customer chooses to not be rebooked, they may request a full refund by visiting aa.com/refunds.