David J. Danto


Travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion




eMail: ddanto@IMCCA.org      Follow Industry News: @NJDavidD on all          


Advice – February 2024


  I like to consider myself an expert in a number of areas.  I’ve been in my chosen career for over four decades, often providing consultations and advice to clients.  And (as you know if you’re reading this) I’m generally considered a business travel expert….one of a few that often write about experiences and advice.  While I appreciate that, there are times I’d prefer if people didn’t know of that expertise.  In the last few weeks I’ve been faced with some questions about travel that I’d rather not have had to answer.  Specifically, I’ve been asked by friends my opinion if the 737max9s are safe to travel on.

My thoughts about the Max aircraft and Boeing are not a secret.  I wrote an entire blog about the significant changes that took place at that firm – when they moved from driven by engineering quality to being driven by greed and profit.  (Something that was covered in the Netflix documentary “Downfall – The Case Against Boeing.”  As I said at the time, if you haven’t seen that yet you really should ASAP.)  The Max was an aircraft that was built as a compromise to resolve a market need, not as a completely new next-generation aircraft.  It was felt (and is still felt) by Boeing that the significant design flaws could be compensated for in software.  I’ve learned over my long career that that is never a good plan.  When a project goes south it tends to be both snake-bit from the beginning and also at every step of the process.  That is my opinion of the 737max – a bad idea that continues to go bad at every opportunity.  It is the Edsel of aircraft.

So, when friends call me and ask “is it safe to fly on a 737max” it is a difficult question to answer.  I do believe that Alaska and United are as upset with Boeing as I am.  While I don’t trust US airline management as far as I could throw them, I believe they’ve looked at the recently suspect bolts and insured they are now correct.  They wouldn’t knowingly fly a plane that isn’t safe to fly.  Uncomfortable…poorly performing…over-crowded – absolutely, but one that would fly apart in the air, no – they don’t want that.  The re-inspected Max aircraft are as safe as they ever were – which is essentially the problem.

The only advice I can give people is what I follow myself.  I fly the Max aircraft only as a last resort.  I’ll pick planes at different, less convenient days and times to avoid being on one.  But if there is no other logical time or route or plane, I’ll fly on one.  It won’t make me happy but I won’t feel unsafe. 

The 737max is an ongoing monument to what is wrong with businesses in general and the US airline industry as a whole – greed is more important to those in charge than excellence.  They balance the risk and inconvenience to passengers and excellence in service against how much money shareholders (and executives with share compensation) can make.  Passenger comfort and safety will never win-out in that equation.  We will all need to be somewhat lucky to survive this trend.



Also, p







My next trip to Florida is on the 6am departure from EWR.  I’d rather be on the 1pm departure, but it’s on a 737max.    




This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.

All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.

Copyright 2024 David Danto


As always, feel free to write and comment, question or disagree.  Hearing from the traveling community is always a highlight for me.  Thanks!