When President Donald Trump announced that the Federal Aviation Administration was grounding the entire fleet of Boeing Max jets, passengers were left stranded at airports across the country as airlines scrambled to book them on other flights.
The Boeing Max 8 and 9 jets are used by Southwest, American, and United Airlines. Southwest has around 150 flights scheduled on the planes every day while American has 85 and United has approximately 40. The planes have enough seats for 200 people, meaning airlines are being forced to accommodate tens of thousands of passengers on other flights.
A 22-year-old woman who was flying from Washington D.C. to Orlando, Florida told NBC News that her plane was on the runway waiting to take off when the pilot informed the passengers that the aircraft had been grounded and they were returning to the gate.
"The pilot already had explained that we were on one of the Boeing 737 Max 8 planes but that he was confident in his ability to fly it," she said. "Not even 10 minutes later, he announced that we had to go back because of the emergency order."
She said that the earliest flight she could find was on Saturday leaving her stuck in D.C. and causing her to miss work.
Some flights were in the air when the order was issued, but the airlines did not tell the passengers until they had reached their destination.
"It’s terrifying, you know. They should notify the passengers before. They didn’t. Unfortunately, they didn’t," Fadia Shashan told KPRC after landing at Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas.
Passengers who are unsure if they are scheduled to fly on a Boeing Max jet should check in with their airline before arriving at the airport to see if their flight has been changed.
Photo: Getty Images