Passengers may also be able to find the aircraft type on an airline’s mobile app, in the details of their reservation after they’ve booked. For Alaska, this is available in the app’s “Details” section. Flight tracking websites, such as FlightAware, also have plane information if users search for specific flights using the flight number.
But this is no guarantee. Even if passengers know in advance what plane they are scheduled to fly on, that is always subject to change. Airlines swap out aircraft at the last minute, depending on factors such as weather and logistics.
What if I don’t want to fly on a Max 9?
United and Alaska have both issued flight waivers because of the Max 9 inspections that allow passengers to cancel or change their flights without incurring fees. Alaska’s waiver applies to flights through Jan. 31. And United’s waiver is for flights through Jan. 28.
Airlines have varying policies covering cancellations and refunds, which depend on factors such as when you booked, how far in advance you want to cancel, and what type of fare you have purchased. Once the Max 9 waivers expire, passengers won’t have the same rights to penalty-free rebookings or refunds for flights they opt to cancel themselves.
For future bookings, Kayak has created a new filter that excludes Max 9 flights. That would often mean booking on a carrier that does not use the planes. But on certain routes with a limited number of carriers, that may not be an option. For example, Alaska is the sole carrier flying nonstop between Anchorage and Kona, on Hawaii’s Big Island. The airline has often used a Max 9 on this route, according to FlightAware, a flight tracking website.