The Easiest Way To Figure Out What Type Of Plane You're Flying On

The Boeing 737 Max fleet of airplanes has been making headlines for a few years now, and not for great reasons. In fact, the Max fleet has been the center of several aviation disasters involving loss of life and scary near-death experiences. In October 2018, 189 people died a the 737 Max jet from Jakarta crashed minutes after take off, per The New York Times. Then in March 2019, another Max crashed after take-off, this time in Ethiopia, and all 157 people on board were killed. More recently, a Boeing 737 Max had to make an emergency landing in Portland after a door blew off minutes after take-off, per USA Today. Luckily, no one was killed, but one passenger onboard told The New York Times, "The first thing I thought was, 'I'm going to die.'"

Flying 30,000 feet in the air is already a scary prospect for many people, with The Hill reporting nearly 40% of Americans hate flying the friendly skies. Adding into that the possibility of faulty airplanes just makes flying anxiety worse. Experts advise that if you have to fly but want to avoid flying on a Max jet, that precise information is publicly available — you just have to know where to look. As often happens, Google should be your first port of call, allowing you to avoid — or choose — the jet of your choosing. This might be the airline booking hack you're looking for.  

Google Flights will show you the name of the aircraft before booking

Travel expert Stephen Au writes in Upgraded Points that when you use Google Flights to search for routes to your destination, you should select a leg, then make sure to click on the dropdown arrow button to see the full details of the flight. Normally you might click the expanded details to see departure and arrival times, or if there's free Wi-Fi on board. However, Au notes that Google Flights also includes the name of the aircraft model. Other resources like SeatGuru offer similar information.

Barring that, you might also want to harness the power of knowing which airlines totally avoid operating Max jets altogether. Alternative Airlines has published a list of all the airlines — not just in the United States, but around the world — that don't operate Max jets. Stateside, they report that companies like Delta, Jet Blue, and Spirit Airlines don't operate the Max, while American, United, and Southwest do. Although The Independent travel expert Simon Calder stresses that Max jets are safe and passengers should trust the expertise of the pilots, if you're superstitious or a nervous flyer, knowing you can avoid the Max altogether might just ease your stress around flying and offer peace of mind.