Ryanair Won’t Tell Passengers They’re Flying On A Boeing 737 MAX

During the booking process, Ryanair passengers won’t be informed that their flights will be on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The carrier’s chief executive confirmed this news yesterday.

Ryanair 737 MAX
Ryanair feels that extra measures to notify its customers on their flight’s aircraft type won’t be needed. Photo: Boeing

No procedure in place

The way that the airline’s booking system works means that fliers aren’t informed on what plane they are due to board. Flight Global reports that Michael O’Leary doesn’t feel that this move will be a problem for his firm’s customers.

He claims that notifications won’t be necessary because confidence in the plane will soon be restored. Furthermore, the businessman states that those who will enquire if the plane is a 737 MAX aren’t likely to fly on it anyway.


“The reality is [if people want to know whether or not they are due to fly in a Max jet], the answer is that you won’t,” O’Leary told FlightGlobal in Brussels.


“Because we won’t know. We do our aircraft allocations on a nightly basis. You’re booking your ticket six, eight weeks in advance.”

The CEO went on to use examples of previous groundings to back his faith in the jet. The Boeing 787 was grounded in 2013 over safety fears. However, the aircraft type bounced back and is now rarely questioned by passengers.


“I think the best example of [a similar issue with an aircraft type] is the 787 – when it had the lithium-ion battery [issue] and was grounded while they replaced the batteries, there was concern about customer sentiment,” he said, according to the report

“Customers got over it about a week after the plane was back flying.”

Ryanair Boeing 737 MAX
The Ryanair CEO is confident in both the 737 MAX and the trust of its passengers. Photo: Boeing

A different case

Even though most travelers recovered from their fears of flying on the 787, the 737 MAX issues are more likely to leave a greater mark. The two fatal crashes that led up to the groundings were well-publicized. Along with this, there has been ongoing reporting on the situation ever since the range was grounded in March.

Ryanair’s approach is opposite to other airlines such as United. The US-based carrier’s CEO Oscar Munoz shared that his company won’t force customers to board a 737 MAX once it is back in the air.

The airline has put in measures to make sure that customers are aware when their flight is booked on the aircraft. Furthermore, if passengers aren’t comfortable with boarding on the plane, they can rebook their flight at no extra cost.

Ryanair 737 MAX Aircraft
Ryanair is not planning to change its customer service approach with the 737 MAX, unlike many other operators. Photo: Boeing

Important investment

Ryanair has relied heavily on the 737 MAX. The groundings have cost the airline millions of dollars and it continues to be disappointed with its delivery delays. Recently, the airline announced that it will receive only 10 of the aircraft next summer, which is down from the 20 that was previously expected. This number is also down from the 58 aircraft that was initially planned.

Nonetheless, O’Leary is still a huge fan of the airliner as he says that passengers will love its interior. Additionally, he states that the range will be one of the most audited and regulated aircraft in history, giving him true confidence in its operations.   

Simple Flying reached out to Ryanair for comment on its approach. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What do you think of Ryanair’s take on the 737 MAX? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.


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I’ve been flying Ryanair for almost 20 years.
The day that they take delivery of their first 737 MAX is the day that I’ll switch to an alternative carrier…even though it will entail having to travel to another airport…

High Mile Club

Random question: is RyanAir akin to being the Southwest Airlines of Europe?

Not a fan

Essentially yes. I’m not sure about southwest’s boss, but o’leary is a lunatic.

Lai Hong Yi



Yes, it is…although some people might prefer to compare it to Spirit, which I don’t think is correct.
Its main virtue (unlike Southwest) is that it predominantly operates out of secondary airports, of which it has a HUGE network. For people living outside of capital cities, that’s a great advantage, and a boost to local economies.

High Mile Club

Ah. At least WN is honest about whether you’ll fly a MAX, and those only cover a small amount of their current fleet.


The unofficial strapline for this outfit is, “Ryanair, We don’t care”. It’s a low cost, low service, bus in the sky that will probably get you there, maybe.


Wow – the ego on these guys…

Niklas Andersson



This is a strategic blunder by Ryanair. It tells the passengers they do not care about their safety concerns.


I agree with this article – I think that O’Leary’s comparison between the Boeing 737 MAX and the Boeing 787 isn’t very adequate – yes, the B787 had some problems with its lithium-ion batteries, but at least they didn’t cause two fatal crashes which took the lives of over 300 people in total!
On the other hand, though, IF the B737 MAX does turn out to be a safe aircraft (though I doubt that), then I see no reason for Ryanair to inform passengers if they’re travelling on one, but I don’t know…


I find this to be a total lack of disrespect by Ryanair, especially when you see reports from the FAA that stated they suspected that had the plane not been grounded there would have been other potential disasters with the MAX. This planes design is flawed, I mean this from a pure engineering point of view now, and to think that a fix via a software and a sensor was going to cure it was a major miscalculation, it’s ok until software or hardware fails and there is no actual mechanical way of controlling the plane’s inputs manually that there… Read more »




I cant help but think that boeing could have spent slightly more money developing a new wing and non of this would have happened.


I believe it’s not the wings, but the landing gears are too short to accommodate newer, larger engines. Already, in the previous iteration (737NG), Boeing had to flatten the bottom of the engine in order to maintain enough ground clearance.

Lai Hong Yi

True, the 737 MAX inherits the airframe that was designed in the 1960s and is unsuitable for large turbofan engines, unless the ground clearance gets increased by using longer landing gears.


Wow. Maybe one can ask for permit from relevant authorities to distribute flyers on airport boarding rooms, to help passengers distinguish between 737 NG and 737 Max?


It speaks volumes about the safety of the aircraft, and Ryanair for that matter, that they fear identifying the aircraft by its official nomenclature. Here’s a little ‘Three Card Monte” for you European passengers. How bout a little game of select the shell that hides the pea? I would hope that some savvy European bloggers would start educating passengers on how to identify a Max. Real easy, just look for the chevrons at the back of the engine nacelles. That’s a dead giveaway that you’ll be boarding a Max. There’s still time to cancel!!!


Except it’s Ryanair. You’d never get your money back (and probably never see any hold bag ever again)!


Disgusting behaviour like always anyway. They are much better Lowe cost airlines. I won’t be using them after this statement. Oleary is not above my or my family.

Chris Parker

This is a very stupid decision by Ryanair whose approach has been to keep quiet. If at the end of the day the problem is going to be short lived , why expose yourself to scrutiny? Now the whole world knows Ryanair is trying to cover up the MAX. Is Ryanair dishonest? Ryanair’s safety record is good however it has not been a large airline for the whole period. It also uses the system of matching experienced Captains with new pilots which was the case in the Ethiopian crash. The question I have is that when you have a cockpit… Read more »


“Ryanair won’t tell passengers they’re flying on a Boeing 737 Max”. That great American tv character Gomer Pyle would reply, “surprise surprise surprise”


Ryanair is Ryanair. Everyone (in Europe at least) knows their business model. Anyone really surprised by that? We’ll see what customers are willing to accept (beyond what we already know about Ryanairs business culture) to save a few bucks or to fly around senselessly just because it’s cheap…
With 419 737NGs, 135 MAX orders and 100 MAX options as their sole fleet big trouble may be ahead.


I’m at best, curious, but more realistically skeptical, that Ryanair only allocate their equipment on a ‘nightly basis’.

My limited knowledge of airlines suggest that, in terms of hierarchy, the timetable is scheduled about 9 months in advance. Equipment is selected more or less at the same time. If load factors are below ‘par’ pricing is constantly changed to increase payloads.

Moreover, O’Leary’s comments about the closure of Skavsta and Nuremberg for 2020 as a result of equipment shortages suggests that these matters are not determined ‘nightly’


Play safe, avoid any airline that uses any model 737, or even better avoid any boing, neither boing or its airline customers only concern is profit.

Pauline Conroy

Absolutely agree with the previous comment. I have stuck with Ryanair through thick and thin. I travel for professional reasons and it has suited me. But as soon as they officially start flying this aircraft I’m out of there! I will switch to a viable alternative ( and there are alternatives). Furthermore not informing people about this controversial and potentially life-threatening model of aircraft is quite simply outrageous.

Steve Opie

There is nothing wrong with the Max if you understand how the MCAS system works and you are trained appropriately.
With Boeing’s changes to the MCAS system to make flight crew aware of it operating the Max will be as safe as any of the other 737 models.
( 25000 hour retired Captain that has flown 737 200/300 and 800 series)

Chris Parker

I think the comment about pilot training is a major issue. The whole concept of the MAX was that pilots should need simulator training. However with so many inexperienced FOs , simulator training should be more critical for safety.
Safety v $$$$

David C.

You are most likely right, however that will not change the public’s perception of the aircraft. And a lot of that perception has to do with the way Boeing has handled it and also the original training modules. If the 737MAx had not plowed over 300 people into their graves within the first 341 examples operating, the airframe would not be tainted. And beyond that, It is still a 1960’s airframe that has been updated to the hilt.


You may be right but this is also a question of trust in Boeing. I am flying quite often although not with Ryanair and I will not choose a 737 Max in the future as I would no longer be able to trust Boeing that now it is safe.

M.D. Bremseth

This comment looks like it came from Ryan Air, i.e., economical with the truth. As Ron Goldman a pilot and aviation accident trial attorney put it: “The B737 was the first type certificated well over 50 years ago,” Goldman said. “Everyone admits that the B737 MAX 8 is a totally new airplane, incorporating, for instance, wings, engines, flight systems, computers and electronics that were barely a gleam in aviation engineers’ eyes back then. Yet, this modern jetliner is grandfathered in under the old 737’s type certificate. By doing so, Boeing was not required to do all the extensive testing needed… Read more »

Herberto Terixeira Leonardo Teixeira

Bad news

Nigel Beale

Does this guy think he can bully everybody? He is going to crash along with Boeing


It will be easy to tell-if it’s. 189 seater is an -800, if it’s a 197 seat it’s planned as a Max8-200. Changes happen but….


Off topic–can @SimpleFlying do an article on the concerning crashes of smaller planes such as Cessnas etc. These planes just seem to be crashing all the time😔


Submit it as a story suggestion


If Michael O’Leary thinks I am putting my life on the line to allow his company to profit from the sale of a cheap ticket he can think again. The Boeing 737 Max is a poorly engineered and built aircraft unworthy of any passenger carrying activity in it’s present form. It’ll be EasyJet, Jet2, WizzAir or a flag carrier taking me places once Ryanair deploy the 737 Max (737-8200) or whatever they choose to call it and I don’t mind paying a little extra for the safety of a 737NG or an Airbus.

Ed Silva

With the well documented issues about safety on the Max737, concerning the delicate software/hardware pilots have to deal with to fly the plane, Rynair should be forced to let their passengers know if they are flying on one or not, by any goverment or private agency with the power to do so.
Personaly, I will be taking my two flights per year to Berlin somewhere else. There is always a choice, and we might only have this life to live, so you have been warned.
Whoever wants to take the risk, go ahead, I don’t play that kind of lottery

Michael Fairclough

I have seen a lot of bad press regarding this aircraft. The failures involved software which as far as I am aware has no control from the pilot when it fails. This concerns me deeply. The pilot must be able to rectify any failure within the controls he has. Its my opinion that no pilot should need to rely on the software to pilot the craft. Without being able to override any issues that he faces.

Getachew Dibaba

Yes I have seen not Ryanair air I know. I was traveled to Brussels south chareloi airport. I thought they bought another new airplane. I m going back uk tomorrow God help us . I know those air max has been grounded and the company admit that the plane has got manufacturing error.


if FAA, EASA, and the pilots said that the plane is safe for flying the plane will fly and some day sooner or later all of you that you said ” I will never fly with MAX” you will.


He needs to be less arrogant and not treat the passengers as idiots. He should learn from United CEO


This is …..crime. It is same situation to visit Gaza, like a tourist from USA.


737 max 200 will hold 197 passengers, instead of the 189 at present. How can Ryanair not know in advance which plane type will be assigned to each flight? Will they fly each 737 max with 8 empty seats? This is not credible

Joanna Bailey

It’s a good question. Perhaps they plan to look at the number of bookings before allocating the aircraft? We’ll investigate further.

Jakob Ek Jensen

The MAX’s are allowed to ferry the planes without passengers to places where they can be stored. This is so that they do not take up space in the popular airports, but also that they do not take damage from severe weather. Therefore, many of them have flown south and one of them Norwegian. Also, if they were going to be placed on a MAX, the aircraft would be verified by the FAA, which means it would be safe just like any other. As you also mention, it’s about winning the trust back again, and therefore, some PAX would notice… Read more »


I agree. In my view, the MAX will be as safe as any other airliner, once the FAA has cleared up their embarrassment.


Typical Ryanair. Zero care for its customers. I remember a story earlier this year where a plane from London to SKG couldn’t land because of bad weather and instead of going to Athens, it landed in Romania, 2 countries away. The stranded pax came back on buses, paying the bus ride themselves and came to Thessaloniki 16 hours late.

I’m glad i’m too tall and cannot fit in their cramped seats.