• A series of issues with Boeing planes this year has resulted in boycott threats
  • Various whistleblowers have also made damaging claims against the company
  • So, how can you find out if you are due to fly on a Boeing plane this summer?

It has been revealed that a fleet of nearly 300 Boeing 777 jets being used by United and American Airlines have a fault which could cause fuel tanks on the planes' wings to catch fire and explode.

That follows a man dying on a flight from London to Singapore after a Singapore Airlines flight plummeted 6,000ft in five minutes during extreme turbulence.

The littany of problems for the aircraft manufacturer has resulted in fearful passengers vowing to boycott its planes as we approach summer.

And all of this comes amid a series of whistleblowers, two of whom have died this year, claiming they were pressured into hiding engineering defects. 

So, how can you find out if you are due to fly on a Boeing plane this summer? 

How to check if you are due to fly on a Boeing plane

If you have already booked a flight for your summer holidays, you can search your journey on your airline's website and the expected aircraft should be mentioned.

Alternatively, you can plug your flight information into sites like FlightRadar24 in the days leading up to your trip and they will tell you the aircraft type and specific plane you are set to be flying in.

If you are yet to book flights it is even easier to know whether you are set to fly on a Boeing jet when you do come round to it.

When booking on an airline's site, or just finding the flight there if you are booking through a third party, the 'details' section of any scheduled journey should include the aircraft type.

However, it seems unlikely that passengers will be able to avoid Boeing that easily in practice, given its large share of the commercial aircraft landscape.

What have whistleblowers said about Boeing?

A series of whistleblowers have broken rank this year to put serious accusations at Boeing's door.

In January, an anonymous whistleblower broke rank to say that a door plug blowout at the turn of the year 'was Boeing's fault', rather than that of its supplier - Spirit AeroSystems.

First reported by The Seattle Times, they claimed the fuselage panel was removed for repair then reinstalled improperly at its Washington factory. 

Two months later, former quality control manager and Boeing employee of 32 years, John Barnett was found dead age 62 in his truck outside a South Carolina hotel days after testifying against the company in a lawsuit.

Barnett had made a string of complaints to his higher-ups in his time as a quality control manager before leaving the company on health grounds in 2017.

He had appeared on TMZ to say that the 737 Max 9 aircraft were being launched back into the air too soon in the wake of the door blowout, suggesting corners had been cut

In April, Sam Salehpour, came forward in a Senate committee hearing to accuse Boeing of taking shortcuts when building its 777 and 787 Dreamliner jets, adding that the company had retaliated against him when he raised concerns.  

He doubled down on the claims a week later, adding on NBC that 787s should be grounded fearing 'fatal flaws' which could case them to fall apart mid-air. 

In a 1,500 word statement, Boeing said it was 'fully confident' in the 787 and called concerns about structural integrity 'inaccurate.' 

Later that month, Joshua Dean died suddenly aged 45 having raised the alarm about supposed defects in Boeing's 737 Max jets.  

The former Spirit employee previously said he was fired from his quality auditing role for questioning standards at the supplier's plant in Wichita, Kansas, in October 2022. 

Earlier in 2024, Dean spoke with NPR about being fired. 'I think they were sending out a message to anybody else. If you are too loud, we will silence you,' he said. 

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2024-05-23T12:02:54Z dg43tfdfdgfd