Sparking widespread alarm, people from around the world questioned what kind of planes they would fly on--scrutinizing every make and model. I, myself, remember flying in mid-March of 2019 wondering if I should keep my flight on a Southwest 737-Max. I decided to keep my flight, said my obligatory pre-flight prayers, and went to Phoenix for Spring Training without incident.
While in Arizona, the Emergency Order was announced. Airlines around the country scrambled to shift passengers from the already filled, more spacious aircraft to smaller ones. Droves of travelers, like myself, were caught stranded or forced to change their itineraries. Getting to the airport a couple of hours earlier than normal, I didn't have a seat assignment. I waited in a seemingly unending line to see if I got bumped from my flight. The mass scramble displaced a dozen travelers from my flight alone, which included me. However, instead of being stuck in the airport for hours or even days like others, I immediately got on a flight to Seattle via VEGAS.
Since that time, Boeing and the whole aviation industry has been repeatedly hit with one thing then another. Throughout the rest of the year, Boeing had major set-backs with the 737-Max investigation. Combine these setbacks with Covid-19 groundings, orders for planes were cancelled left-and-right. Now, after 2+ years since the first incident and 20 months after Administrator Dickson's Emergency Order, Boeing is finally given good news--a long-awaited green light for flight.
The FAA has identified 7 safety items that needed to be addressed, which include adjusting the software systems for the Angle of Attack (AOA) sensor, providing significantly advanced training for the system, and updating maintenance requirements. With the FAA administrator's own test-flights and first-hand experience handling the airplane, he has stated, "I am 100% comfortable with my family flying on it."