I Flew my first flight on the Boeing 737 MAX

I Flew my first flight on the Boeing 737 MAX

This weekend, I was able to fly for the first time on the new and infamous Boeing 737 MAX airplane. Despite the black eye it got from the 2 fatal crashes that happened two years ago, this new airplane is smooth as silk and has an amazing amount of overhead storage space, legroom, and headroom. The overhead storage space is the largest I have ever seen and will be one of the big reasons people love this airplane. I was amazed to learn there are now over 600 Boeing 737 MAX’s in service today despite only receiving the green light to operate them a short 6 months ago. Boeing also has over 4,000 737 MAX’s on order in the coming years so you will no doubt be flying on the airplane as Southwest, United, and American have all ordered hundreds upon hundreds of these airplanes and plan to make them the key aircraft in their fleets.

Is the Boeing 737 MAX safe to fly? – This was the question everyone is asking after the two fatal crashes a few years ago. My opinion is that this airplane most likely is the safest airplane in the sky. It has been tested, retested, and tested again. Boeing has bet their whole company on this plane as they know if they didn’t fix the problems, the company would go down the drain. The FAA got a black eye from politicians who said they did a poor job of overseeing the original testing of the plane so they have checked and double-checked and triple-checked everything again. The bottom line is the Boeing 737 MAX is safe to fly and it appears they have convinced the public of that as even though the airlines that fly the 737 MAX have offered to accommodate flyers if they don’t want to fly on the new airplane only a handful of flyers have done so.  

4 out of every 10 hotel rooms now goes empty every night – The hotel industry has been hit hard from COVID-19. Before COVID, hotels were enjoying an outstanding 5 year run of growth that was suddenly stopped in its tracks from the pandemic. Even in good years, the average occupancy rate for hotels in the U.S. was approximately 70%, which means 3 of every 10 hotel rooms went empty every night. This year hotel occupancy rates are running around 60%, which means 4 of every 10 hotel rooms will go empty on average every night. This is why there is such a swing in hotel rates and why there are so many websites that offer so many different hotel rates. We are seeing a pretty large increase in hotel room prices of about 15% for 2022. CLICK HERE to see up-to-date hotel occupancy information.  

My worry about flying over the Thanksgiving weekend thankfully did not materialize – I was very worried that the vaccination policies of the airlines would cause them to have thousands of pilots not report for work during the holidays. Thankfully, the airlines have pushed back their requirements by several months, thus delaying the big mess I was worried about. The airlines also reduced the number of flights and simplified their routes to avoid the meltdown that hit them several weeks ago.  Though still not out of the woods, the airlines are aware that they need to minimize labor disputes during the busy holiday travel season.

Airlines are promoting buying frequent flyer miles for Christmas – Just say NO! – This is the time of year the airlines will flood your inbox with offers to purchase frequent flyer miles as a great Christmas gift. Generally speaking, the offers that airlines make this time of year to purchase miles are not a good deal.  The rule of thumb is that if you pay more than 2 cents a mile, you are paying too much for miles. For example, a domestic roundtrip ticket will often cost $250 to $400. It takes an average of 25,000 miles for a free ticket using frequent flyer miles. If you pay 2 cents a mile, that domestic ticket costs $500. Not a good deal. A normal business class ticket to Europe during the summer will cost you about 310,000 miles, which using miles costing 2 cents each or about $6,200. Not a good deal.  However, if you are able to use frequent flyer miles to purchase a business class saver ticket to Europe using scarce “saver awards” that require 110,000 miles and if you pay 2 cents per mile then you have a great value of $2200. That is a real good deal.  The only way buying miles pays off is if you can use them for a trip to Europe and find saver awards. Even then, you should make sure the saver awards are available on the days that you want to travel BEFORE you purchase any miles. Seeking Paradise? An Eye on Hawaii? Join Women of the Midwest this March! We have a few spots left on our exceptional “Aloha Hawaii”-journey, March 8-16, with Women of the Midwest to experience three breathtaking islands; Oahu, Big Island, and Maui. This trip includes black, green, and white sandy beaches, volcanos, waterfalls, scenic countryside villages, farmers markets, craft fairs, and a very special luau to learn everything about Polynesian and ancient Hawaiian rituals. Women of the Midwest has a great “Pair-and-Share”-program for solo travelers. CLICK HERE to read the detailed tour itinerary, and call or email our group department to secure your spot today, (402) 858-0033 / GroupDepartment@executivetravel.com.

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