FILE PHOTO: The tails of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are seen at a Boeing production facility in Renton, Washington, U.S., March 11, 2019. REUTERS/David Ryder/File Photo
(Reuters) – Travel websites have begun to respond to consumer concern and the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX planes by changing policies and introducing new options that exclude flights on those planes from customer queries.
Kayak.com is tweaking its search filters this week to allow customers to exclude particular types of aircraft from queries, the travel platform, part of the Booking.com stable of firms, told Reuters.
The changes come after a Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed in Ethiopia on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board.
As a growing number of countries ban or ground 737 MAX planes, anxious travelers have taken to social media and travel agents to check if they are booked on these aircraft.
CWT, a privately held company that manages business travel, said some of its clients were interested in exploring the possibility of temporarily restricting travel on Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes.
“This could potentially result in travelers being left with fewer flight options and susceptible to higher airfares, depending on the route,” a CWT spokesman said.
Norwegian travel agent Berg-Hansen, dealing with cancellations of flights on Norwegian Air’s 737 MAX planes, said clients were primarily concerned with whether their flights were still running, and that the company was using alternative airlines including SAS, AirFrance and KLM to re-book.
Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos in Oslo and Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; editing by Patrick Graham and Sai Sachin Ravikumar