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“I can’t help but panic”: these passengers worried about incidents on Boeing

Valentin was looking forward to his couple's trip to New York in the spring, planned for months.

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“I can’t help but panic”: these passengers worried about incidents on Boeing

Valentin was looking forward to his couple's trip to New York in the spring, planned for months. But since the latest incidents which affected the planes of the American manufacturer Boeing, excitement has instead given way to anxiety. “We have to leave in a Boeing 777,” worries the young thirty-year-old. I know this isn't exactly the model with the problems, but I can't help but panic."

Open cargo hold, loss of tire, reactor on fire... Since the loss of a door in mid-flight on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX at the beginning of January, the setbacks have continued for the American manufacturer. Fueled by the investigations which revealed negligence in its industrial process, a certain psychosis sets in, each incident - even minor and unrelated to a fault in the device - finding itself relayed and publicized as long as it has taken place. aboard a Boeing.

Some plane regulars were left lastingly affected by the incidents that made the news. Before, Victoire was never afraid of flying. “I took the plane like the metro! I told myself that it was so safe that there couldn’t be a problem, explains the 25-year-old young woman. Now that I see that a door can come off in mid-flight, I have become very tense. A new fear which, however, does not only concern Boeing, but also Airbus. “It’s my trust in manufacturers in general that is weakened…”

“I'm not normally afraid of air travel, but since the incidents have been linked to the Boeing 737, I admit that it's bothering me a little…” agrees Pauline, especially worried about her husband who has to travel regularly for his work. “I find myself monitoring flight schedules, checking on the airport website to see if he has landed…” Anxious, she began to question him about the model of plane he was boarding before the lift-off. Bad luck last time, the photo of the safety tag slipped in front of his seat reveals that he is... in an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX, the same one that lost its door in flight. “Suffice it to say that I was only able to fall asleep when I knew he had arrived.”

Even the Minister of the Economy got involved: “I now prefer flying an Airbus to flying a Boeing,” Bruno Le Maire said in April. My family cares about me too.” A “stupid and ill-advised” comment which had infuriated the boss of the low-cost airline Ryannair, Michael O’Leary. He then compared the Frenchman to Donald Trump. It must be said that his company's fleet is entirely made up of Boeing planes...

If some companies are starting to put pressure on Boeing and try to reassure their customers, most assure that they are not facing any particular concern from their customers asking to change flights. “There are no questions of this type”, indicates Transavia in particular to Le Figaro. If the company only operates Boeings, it “does not have a Boeing 737 MAX in its fleet,” she recalls. Air France, for its part, did not respond.

On social networks, however, some passengers explain that they contacted their company to ask if it was possible to change their ticket for another flight that would not be operated by a Boeing. Mel, who for example expressed his concern to Air Transat for a Montreal-Miami flight, explains on Twitter that the carrier replied to him that his ticket “does not allow modification”, even if he says “understand [his ] worry".

For the most anxious who want to avoid Boeing at all costs, the only solution remains to find out about the model of plane that will be used for the flight when booking the tickets. Some ticket comparators even offer a filter to exclude flights operated on an aircraft from the American aircraft manufacturer. The week after the Alaska Airlines incident, the Kayak platform indicated in the American press that it had seen the use of this tool multiplied by 15 compared to the previous week.

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