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‘The Points Guy’ Brian Kelly warns flyers to avoid Boeing 737 Max 9s after Alaska Airlines horror

Traveler influencer Brian Kelly, aka “The Points Guy,” is warning flyers to avoid hopping on a Boeing 737 Max 9 after an Alaska Airlines jet suffered a terrifying mid-flight blowout Friday.

“So while I still stand by that flying’s very safe, I would probably avoid the 737 Max 9 until they figure this stuff out,” Kelly said in an Instagram Story Monday.

The founder of The Points Guy website — which offers advice to travelers on the best points and mileage programs and has more than a million Instagram followers — was referring to “installation issues” airlines have discovered on some of the Max 9s in the wake of the Alaska Airlines ordeal.

United Airlines, which has a whole fleet of the Boeing models, said it found loose bolts in some of the aircraft on areas around door plugs — like the one that blew off on a California-bound Alaska Airlines flight shortly after take-off.

The Federal Aviation Administration grounded all Max 9s after Friday’s dangerous mishap, which caused rapid depressurization and forced the plane to return to Portland International Airport in an emergency landing.

Travel guru Brian Kelly says he “would probably avoid the 737 Max 9 until they figure this stuff out.” Instagram / Brian Kelly

Miraculously, all 171 passengers and six crew members were OK, with no serious injuries.

“I mean the chances of another incident happening are small but as we saw with the other 737 Max, there were several deadly incidents before they fixed it,” Kelly said, referring to the Max 8 model which was pulled after two Max 8 jets crashed in 2018 and 2019, killing 346 people.

The Alaska Airlines plane involved in Friday’s scare was not permitted to fly to Hawaii after a warning light that could indicate a pressurization issue lit up on three prior flights before the door plug broke off and left a gaping hole in the aircraft.

Passenger oxygen masks hang from the roof next to a missing window and a portion of a side wall of an Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 in Portland, Ore., on Jan 5, 2024. Instagram/@strawberrvy via REUTE
National Transportation Safety Board Investigator-in-Charge John Lovell examines the fuselage plug area of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Boeing 737-9 MAX in Portland, Ore., on Jan. 7, 2024. via REUTERS

Alaska Airlines restricted the jetliner from long flights over water so it “could return very quickly to an airport” if the light illuminated for a fourth time, National Transportation Safety Board Jennifer Homendy told reporters Sunday.

But Homendy said there’s no known correlation between the light and the mid-flight blowout this early in the board’s investigation.

Still, Kelly said: “Let’s give this one a little bit of time” referring to Boeing 737 Max 9s, which he said he avoids anyway since “they’re cramped.”

This photo released by the National Transportation Safety Board shows the door plug from Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on Jan. 8, 2024, in Portland, Ore. AP

In total, 171 Max 9 jets have been grounded. Alaska Airlines was forced to cancel 20% of all its flights early Monday while United canceled another 221.

No other US airlines fly that specific model.

With Post wires

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Written by SaleemBaloch

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