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Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 took off from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, when operators asked for permission to turn back citing technical problems. The plane crashed shortly after, killing all 157 people on board.
Last year, a fatal Lion Air crash – also involving a 737 Max 8 jet – killed all 189 people on board.
In reaction to this weekend’s tragedy, some airlines – including Ethiopian Airlines – have grounded all 737 Max 8 jets. However, the U.S. has yet to do so.
With many major U.S. airlines using the jets – and thousands still on order – here’s how you can tell if you are flying in one:
When you schedule your flight, the booking details generally provide information about the jet type. Oftentimes when a customer books online, the specific aircraft type is available. You can even access this information when simply searching flights.
There are websites that allow you to look into flight details as your travel date approaches, like flightstats.com. You can also set up alerts for your flight on sites like Expertflyer.com.
The 737 Max 8 is a narrow-bodied, single-aisle aircraft, which typically has about 162 to 178 seats (maximum of 200). It was designed to use 20 percent less fuel than other 737 models, according to Boeing.
It also features a split tip winglet – designed to improve efficiency and airflow, while reducing drag. However, other 737 models have similar, though slightly different, split tip features.
The engine nacelles, or coverings, on Max series jets also feature a noise-reducing technology, in the shape of chevron, or saw-toothed, edges. The 787 jets also have this feature, though those jets are much larger.
Airlines that operate 737 Max 8 jets include Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and Air Canada.