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How can you tell if you'll be flying on a Boeing 737 Max

Keep an eye on the listed flight numbers during the booking process.

TAMPA, Fla. — Curious about what type of airplane you'll be flying on before you head to the airport? Every major airline offers up that information as you book your flight.

It might be a question on your mind with Boeing's 737 Max again in the headlines in recent days.

RELATED: Former Boeing 737 MAX chief test pilot indicted for fraud

American Airlines was the first U.S. carrier to bring Boeing's troubled 737 Max back into service in late 2020, with others following into the spring of 2021. The 737 Max is hailed for its better fuel economy, but versions Max 8 and Max 9 were grounded for almost two years following crashes that killed 346 people.

On Thursday, a Boeing test pilot was indicted on fraud charges related to his work in evaluating the 737 Max. Prosecutors allege Mark Forkner gave false and incomplete information to the Federal Aviation Administration about a flight-control system on the plane, The Associated Press and KING-TV reported.

The control system was implicated in the crashes. It pushed the noses of the planes down, and pilots were unable to regain control.  

Airline companies that have returned the 737 Max to service following OKs by federal regulators all have touted increased training — including placing its pilots in simulators — and changes to the aircraft itself that they say will make for a safe flight.

RELATED: Federal watchdog criticizes FAA over certification of Boeing jet

Still, there are ways to tell what aircraft you're scheduled to fly on before you walk on board.

American, Southwest, United Airlines and others will indicate during the booking process the type of plane on the itinerary. For example, a departure next week from Tampa to Phoenix shows a nonstop scheduled flight on a Boeing 737-700 aircraft while one with a plane change in Dallas shows a 737 Max 8 aircraft in use.

Credit: Screenshot

Customers are encouraged to contact their carrier if they have questions about the flight or would wish to make a change.

"You should feel completely confident that we have taken all the necessary steps to confirm that our 737 MAX aircraft are as safe as any of our aircraft flying today," United Airlines says on its website. "Safety has been and always will be our top priority, and it’s something we will never compromise for any reason."

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