Westjet put passengers in dangerous Boeing 737 Max 8

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May 24, 2019
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We flew to Hawaii this February with Westjet and they put us in their 737 Max 8 aircraft. Enroute to Kona, we experienced what I thought at the time was severe turbulence but after learning of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, I now believe that this bone-jarring, terrifying experience was due to the seriously flawed design of Westjet's planes. Upon learning of our horrible flight, family members in aviation told me that had they known we were flying on the 737 Max 8 they would have warned us not to do it as this plane has very bad aerodynamics that make it extremely unstable at high angles of attack. To make matters worse, as many may know by now, Boeing tried to compensate for bad design with the MCAS software patch, with disastrous results. After learning of the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy less than a month after we returned from our trip, and the subsequent grounding of all 737 Max 8s, I was furious that Westjet put its passengers in such a dangerous situation just to protect their bottom line. I wrote their CEO Edward Sims in early April and asked him for a full refund of our tickets as well as several questions about whether Boeing had made Westjet aware of the MCAS software patch before they bought their planes, and if so, did Westjet train its pilots to deal with the MCAS software patch. I also asked if Westjet was aware that several pilots who experienced serious problems with the 737 Max 8s MCAS filed complaints with Nasa soon after the Lion Air crash. Two months later, I still have not received any compensation nor have I gotten any answers from Westjet about how and why they put their passengers in such a dangerous aircraft. Any help with this would be much appreciated!
 
Jul 13, 2016
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They are not going to answer you. You have no proof that the severe turbulence you experienced was caused by a faulty program or patch. Nothing happened to warrant a full refund of your tickets. The airline is not required to answer your questions concerning the 737 MAX 8, and they will never disclose to the public any internal discussions concerning the equipment. Your letter was filed in the garbage can.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Really? Is this a serious post?
Severe turbulence is part of flying, especially around the islands where trade winds can make for rough take offs and landings.
At the end of the day, you had a safe flight, in that you landed.

You request is so ludicrous that you will not receive and will never receive a response.
 
May 24, 2019
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Thanks Globetrottinggal, I appreciate the honest feedback. I'm new to this forum, it sounds like you have experience in the industry, or is it just that you have tons of experience travelling and dealing w/ different airlines?
 
Feb 3, 2017
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Nothing happened to you.

What damages are you claiming that make up the basis for your request for compensation?

I have been bounced around terribly due to severe turbulence numerous times on flights - I'm always just relieved I got to where I am going.

No damages equals no compensation.

And, no business discloses such internal communications - IF that ever occurs, it is usually the result of legitimate litigation.

Forget about it and be glad you arrived safely to your destination. And, when these planes get the green light to be put back in use, maybe avoid booking flights that use them.
 
May 24, 2019
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Hi Lee,
Thanks for the feedback. Yes I will definitely be avoiding any flights on the 737 Max if possible going forward, regardless of any so called upgrades, software cannot make up for bad design. A German engineer remarked in Die Welt that the Max looked like a 'flying traktor.' Problem is, planes can sometimes change at the last minute.
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
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I agree with the previous answers. It seems that you hit turbulence and after the fact, when you heard about the 737 MAX incidents, you were concerned about your safety even though nothing happened. If they got you there safely without injury and then only issue was scary turbulence (which is always scary regardless of the type of plane), I don't think they will feel obligated to refund your tickets. If they did, every airline would go bankrupt if they had to refund tickets for every flight in this plane that had turbulence.

Hi Lee,
Thanks for the feedback. Yes I will definitely be avoiding any flights on the 737 Max if possible going forward, regardless of any so called upgrades, software cannot make up for bad design. A German engineer remarked in Die Welt that the Max looked like a 'flying traktor.' Problem is, planes can sometimes change at the last minute.
Can you provide a link to your evidence that this plane suffers from bad design?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#8
Hi Lee,
Thanks for the feedback. Yes I will definitely be avoiding any flights on the 737 Max if possible going forward, regardless of any so called upgrades, software cannot make up for bad design. A German engineer remarked in Die Welt that the Max looked like a 'flying traktor.' Problem is, planes can sometimes change at the last minute.
They have been grounded. You don’t have to worry about being put on them.

You are not due any compensation. The airline carrier out their contract - they got your from point a to point b. The issues with turbulence have nothing to do with the plane type- it was turbulence, plain and simple. You are not due any compensation.
 
Likes: Nancy
Sep 19, 2015
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#9
We flew to Hawaii this February with Westjet and they put us in their 737 Max 8 aircraft. Enroute to Kona, we experienced what I thought at the time was severe turbulence but after learning of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, I now believe that this bone-jarring, terrifying experience was due to the seriously flawed design of Westjet's planes. Upon learning of our horrible flight, family members in aviation told me that had they known we were flying on the 737 Max 8 they would have warned us not to do it as this plane has very bad aerodynamics that make it extremely unstable at high angles of attack. To make matters worse, as many may know by now, Boeing tried to compensate for bad design with the MCAS software patch, with disastrous results. After learning of the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy less than a month after we returned from our trip, and the subsequent grounding of all 737 Max 8s, I was furious that Westjet put its passengers in such a dangerous situation just to protect their bottom line. I wrote their CEO Edward Sims in early April and asked him for a full refund of our tickets as well as several questions about whether Boeing had made Westjet aware of the MCAS software patch before they bought their planes, and if so, did Westjet train its pilots to deal with the MCAS software patch. I also asked if Westjet was aware that several pilots who experienced serious problems with the 737 Max 8s MCAS filed complaints with Nasa soon after the Lion Air crash. Two months later, I still have not received any compensation nor have I gotten any answers from Westjet about how and why they put their passengers in such a dangerous aircraft. Any help with this would be much appreciated!
I am sorry but your request for compensation is not realistic and really is distasteful to all that died and lost family members in the two crashes.

I am in no way excusing what Boeing did -- they were negligent. And the FAA in allowing Boeing to certify itself is scandalous.

But first of all -- the sensors that misread the angle of attack -- but did you notice that this was on takeoff of both flights? That the readings of the sensors are incorrect so the computer program (MCAS) tries to make the plane correct as it is ascending? The software kept pushing the nose of the flight down while taking off despite the pilots trying to make the nose up to continue to take off.

The airplane's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) is the problem -- that is the software system-- it was designed to use the information from angle of attack sensors to stabilize the plane -- the sensors measure the lift generated by the wing at a particular airspeed. Faulty sensors and bad MCAS system caused the two planes to crash upon takeoff.

As far as I know there has not been a patch for the MCAS yet.

Turbulence is not the same thing as the bad MCAS and sensor problem of the 737 MAX; turbulence can be dangerous and it is frightening. You should count yourself as fortunate that there were no sensor problems upon take off that would trigger the MCAS. You have no injuries. The other passenger suffered a terror filled few minutes before death leaving family members with only empty coffins to bury.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#10
We flew to Hawaii this February with Westjet and they put us in their 737 Max 8 aircraft. Enroute to Kona, we experienced what I thought at the time was severe turbulence but after learning of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, I now believe that this bone-jarring, terrifying experience was due to the seriously flawed design of Westjet's planes. Upon learning of our horrible flight, family members in aviation told me that had they known we were flying on the 737 Max 8 they would have warned us not to do it as this plane has very bad aerodynamics that make it extremely unstable at high angles of attack. To make matters worse, as many may know by now, Boeing tried to compensate for bad design with the MCAS software patch, with disastrous results. After learning of the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy less than a month after we returned from our trip, and the subsequent grounding of all 737 Max 8s, I was furious that Westjet put its passengers in such a dangerous situation just to protect their bottom line. I wrote their CEO Edward Sims in early April and asked him for a full refund of our tickets as well as several questions about whether Boeing had made Westjet aware of the MCAS software patch before they bought their planes, and if so, did Westjet train its pilots to deal with the MCAS software patch. I also asked if Westjet was aware that several pilots who experienced serious problems with the 737 Max 8s MCAS filed complaints with Nasa soon after the Lion Air crash. Two months later, I still have not received any compensation nor have I gotten any answers from Westjet about how and why they put their passengers in such a dangerous aircraft. Any help with this would be much appreciated!
Remember that WestJet, Ameican, SW, and United have been flying the 737 MAX for thousands of flights without incident. The two catastrophic events were two of thousands. The plane has serious issues and Boeing and the FAA needed to deal with them much earlier, but there is no basis to claim that the turbulence you encountered is in any way related to anything but normal air turbulence.