Passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight grew alarmed when they mistakenly thought they were on a 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration grounded the popular aircraft in mid-March following two fatal crashes within six months of each other. In October, a Lion Air plane crashed killing all 189 people on board, and in March an Ethiopian Airlines flight went down killing all 157 people on board.
But when some passengers looked at the safety cards in their seat pockets, they saw "737 MAX 8" printed on them and got worried.
A few took to social media to ask Southwest to explain:
Southwest calmly explained to each confused customer that both aircraft types are printed on the same card.
"Southwest currently offers a FAA-approved Safety Information card for the 737-800 and the 737 MAX 8 that contains safety information applicable to both types of aircraft since the cabin configuration, number of seats (175), and cabin exits are the same for both aircraft types," Southwest said in a statement to CNN.
"All 737 MAX 8 aircraft are temporarily grounded, so customers will not be traveling on a MAX 8 aircraft while that grounding is in place," Southwest said.
Other social media users chastised the confused passengers, noting that both plane types were clearly printed on the card, and asking why they didn't ask their flight attendants to clarify instead of jumping on social media and scaring people.
Some offered helpful advice, noting that you can look up the tail number on the airline's website to see what type of craft you're flying, and encouraging flyers to see if the wings matched the unique split design of a 737 MAX 8.
But Southwest customers were not the only ones asking questions. Passengers flying Norwegian Air had a similar experience. Norwegian Air responded on Twitter assuring passengers that it prints safety information for its 737 MAX 8 and 737-800 on the same card, as well.
The airplanes are set to receive a software update to fix the issues related to the two fatal crashes "no later than April 2019," but the FAA says "additional weeks" are needed for the fix. The FAA said in a statement that it will "subject Boeing's completed submission to a rigorous safety review" and the agency will not approve the last software update until it is satisfied with the safety standards.
Meanwhile, Boeing sales for the MAX 8 have dropped significantly this quarter, as airlines have stopped ordering the airplane.