Aircraft Code for 737 Max 8/9 etc

5 replies

quantumreality

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Jan 2018

Total posts 61

As far as I know, I noticed that some airlines, simply market 737 Max 8 as 737-800 means that when it is shown that 737-800 is being used for the flight being purchased, one never knows whether you will be flying the old 737-800 or the Max version.

(CORRECTION: based on the feedback below, yes, 737 Max 8 is shown as 737-8 on some airlines website, not 737-800; but yeah, this means one needs to be extra careful reading the plane type. I for one confused those two unless it was highlighted to me).

While some people may find it comfortable flying 737 Max 8, I personally would avoid flying it if I could help it. Despite all the assurance of its safety, recent article on ABC news on 30 Jan 2024 about former Boeing employee dishing out on Boeing's safety culture has me worried!

How do I know exactly the type of aircraft on my scheduled flight then?

I wonder if sites like Expert Flyer or Flight Radar do provide a more accurate description of the aircraft model that actually differentiates between the old 737-800 and the Max 8? Or airlines are allowed to obscure the types of aircraft that they fly hence sites like Expert Flyer or Flight Radar would be none the wiser?

Grannular

Member since 31 Mar 2014

Total posts 272

I think you will find it marketed at 737-8 instead of 737.800. That's how Virgin differentiates it and what a quick dummy booking with Malaysia showed up.


AJW

Member since 16 Nov 2011

Total posts 55

I don’t think airlines like Malaysian that have both NG and Max variants deliberately try to mislead with plane type. Where the cabin configuration is near identical they will swap types at will based on operational need


Same is done for A320 family operators too with CEO and NEO variants. BA for example I notice will generally show the flight as a generic version but won’t until a day or two before the flight indicate what variant will operate that specific flights. That’s because in their configuration CEO and NEO are operationally interchangeable.

quantumreality

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Jan 2018

Total posts 61

Thanks Grannular. yes, you are right, if it was 737 Max 8, it is shown as 737-8 insetad of 737-800. I always assume if it is 737-8 it means 737-800, but not anymore. Good to know, thanks!

And AJW, yeah, fingers crossed, I know that Max 8 is being used for the route that I am flying but thus far I have not seen it being used in the last few weeks. Fingers crossed.

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 196

Originally Posted by quantumreality

As far as I know, I noticed that some airlines, simply market 737 Max 8 as 737-800 means that when it is shown that 737-800 is being used for the flight being purchased, one never knows whether you will be flying the old 737-800 or the Max version.

(CORRECTION: based on the feedback below, yes, 737 Max 8 is shown as 737-8 on some airlines website, not 737-800; but yeah, this means one needs to be extra careful reading the plane type. I for one confused those two unless it was highlighted to me).

While some people may find it comfortable flying 737 Max 8, I personally would avoid flying it if I could help it. Despite all the assurance of its safety, recent article on ABC news on 30 Jan 2024 about former Boeing employee dishing out on Boeing's safety culture has me worried!

How do I know exactly the type of aircraft on my scheduled flight then?

I wonder if sites like Expert Flyer or Flight Radar do provide a more accurate description of the aircraft model that actually differentiates between the old 737-800 and the Max 8? Or airlines are allowed to obscure the types of aircraft that they fly hence sites like Expert Flyer or Flight Radar would be none the wiser?

Not answering your question but just pointing out there has been multiple whistleblowers documentaries available for the last 2-3 years relating to Boeing production line work culture and reasons behind moving factory to new sites/different states.


My concerns with Boeing QC occurred in 2019 when there are several news articles flagging these issues while the company was under intense scrutiny while the 2 crashes involving 737 max planes was very much in the limelight.


Mind you, the production concerns are not limited to 737 max variants# but certainly you would have expected given the intense scrutiny and pressure the company was having during (and since) this period that they would have tighten up their processes and procedures.


Maybe Airbus have similar issues but certainly we are not hearing them and seeing them as much as Boeing


# The Bloomberg article republished in ET under the title Boeing 787 production ends at Seattle, shifts to South Carolina, dated oct 2020, also mentioned these issues as well and union woes

Last editedby XWu at Feb 03, 2024, 12:19 PM.

AJW

Member since 16 Nov 2011

Total posts 55

Originally Posted by quantumreality

Thanks Grannular. yes, you are right, if it was 737 Max 8, it is shown as 737-8 insetad of 737-800. I always assume if it is 737-8 it means 737-800, but not anymore. Good to know, thanks!

And AJW, yeah, fingers crossed, I know that Max 8 is being used for the route that I am flying but thus far I have not seen it being used in the last few weeks. Fingers crossed.

I’m wondering if maybe you are confusing the 3 and 4 character designators with the model numbers.


A 737-800 (NG version) goes by the generic 4 character code B738 and specific 3 letter codes of 738 (737-800 without winglets) and 73H (737-800 with Winglets). H being 8th letter of the alphabet


The 737-MAX8 goes by the generic code of B38M or 3 character code 7M8. The MAX also is officially the 737-8 which is not to be confused with 738


But like I said if an airline uses 737-800 and 737-Max8 interchangeably they may just show a generic 738 code. Just like A320 operators who often just show 320 when the operating plane could be any specific variant.

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