What travelers need to know

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    A Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed in Ethiopia killing everyone on board. The crash of the Ethiopian Airlines plane marks the second deadliest accident involving a Boeing 737 in the past five months. So is there a problem with this particular model?
    USA TODAY

    With President Trump issuing an emergency order immediately grounding the Boeing 737 Max fleet in the United States in the wake of two fatal crashes, travelers on Southwest, American and United are going to be impacted.

    Details are still unfolding but here’s what we know so far for travelers.

    Southwest Airlines plans to issue a travel advisory with details later Wednesdayy but so far issued this information for travelers: “Our goal is to operate our schedule with every available aircraft in our fleet to meet our customers’ expectations during the busy spring travel season.”

    The airline said it plans to offer flexible rebooking policies.

    American Airlines said it is working to rebook customers as quickly as possible.

    United said it expects minimal impact its operation by using spare planes and rebooking affected travelers on other flights.

    Here are 6 things travelers need to know

    1. The grounding is effective immediately.

    2. No one knows how long the planes will be out of service. The last fleet grounding, of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in 2013, lasted more than three months.

    3. A small percentage of flights will be affected. Southwest has about 160 daily Max 8 flights, equal to 4 percent of its 4,000 daily flights. American has 90 Max 8 flights a day out of 6,700 flights, and United has 40 daily flights on the bigger Max 9, out of 4,700 daily flights.

    4. Southwest’s Max 8 flights are spread throughout the country. American’s Max 8 flights are concentrated into and out of Miami.United has a heavy concentration of Max 9 flights in Houston and Los Angeles.

    A week of Boeing 737 Max routes by carrier

    Made with Flourish

    More: Boeing 737 Max: How many of those planes fly for Southwest, American, United, and where?

    5. If your flight is affected, the airline likely will automatically rebook you on another flight at no cost. After the FAA ordered airlines to ground their Boeing 787s in 2013 United immediately shifted passengers scheduled on its six 787s to other flights.

    6. If your flight is canceled, you are eligible for a refund.

    More: How to tell if you’re booked on a Boeing Max 8

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