I know that plane crashes are exceedingly rare. There are something like 100,000 commercial flights each day of which about 8,600 use the 737 Max planes. We have had two crashes separated by about 131 day so that means there have been about 1 million flights (8600 x 131) on the 737 Max planes. Now if you give me a 1 in a million chance of just about anything else, I wouldn’t think twice about it. To give some context, the probability of being hit by a car is about 1 in 4,292 (which oh, by the way, I have already done, but that story is for another day). But for some reason flying on an airplane is different.
As I have already mentioned, I am flying to Charlotte on Sunday. The flight was scheduled to be on a 737-800, which I think is one of the planes that is covered by the 737 Max grouping. As of yesterday morning, I was trying to convince myself that I shouldn’t worry about this, but I must admit, I had a deep sense of unease. Luckily (?) the president and FAA decided to ground those planes. Now, I have moved on to the more prosaic worry: Will my flight be cancelled? I checked on Flightaware.com and it appears that yesterday’s flight was on time, so that gives me some comfort. But I will not be really comfortable until American updates my flight details to show a different plane. My flight home is scheduled to be on an Airbus 321, which should be fine, provided that there is no knock on effect.
We are flying Southwest to Costa Rica and they are the largest user of the 737 Max planes. Per the New York Times, they have 34 max-8 out of a total of 750 planes. Our flights to Costa Rica are not scheduled to be on one of them, but our flights home are (I think. hmmmmm, now I am worried). I guess since those flights are three flights and nearly 2 weeks away, I shouldn’t worry. Also, if I have to be stuck somewhere because of cancelled flights, I would much prefer Costa Rica to Charlotte.