Photo: Jeff Hitchcock/Wikimedia Commons (Fair Use) The Boeing 737 MAX will soon be back in the sk y, following a 20-month grounding. American Airlines is expected to be the first U.S. airline to return the troubled aircraft to service, with flights starting December 29. However, passengers may not be able to easily tell which plane version they’re flying on, as some airlines are dialing back usage of the MAX name. We’re here to help.

The 737 MAX was grounded after two fatal crashes. In 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in Indonesia, killing 189. Five months later, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in Ethiopia, killing 157. The result of these crashes was a scandal and a nosedive in trust in Boeing . What followed was almost two years of fixing the aircraft’s deadly flaws, testing and ultimately recertification.

In reporting by Reuters , some airlines are said to be pulling back usage of the MAX name in reference to the airliner. Sources familiar with the situation say airlines may slowly phase out the MAX name in favor of the model name without the MAX branding: 737-7 or 737-8 as an example.

Passengers looking into American Airlines flights should see the MAX name on booking systems, however they won’t see it in their safety cards .

A spokeswoman for American says the change is to standardize safety cards across the 737 models. Via Reuters : This approach is consistent with other fleet types where we do not have different safety cards for sub-fleets. To […]