Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

And now, the aftermath.

U.S. airlines resisted for the longest time, yet finally a second-hand Boeing 757 owner, President Trump, brought down the curtain.

No, not the one between First Class and Riff-Raff, but between the Boeing 737 MAX continuing to fly around the U.S. and a total grounding.

President Trump declared the MAX situation an emergency and now the airlines must deal with the consequences. 

So must the passengers.

Which airline might be most affected? A good guess would be Southwest.

It simply flies more 737 MAX planes than any other U.S. airline.

34 of them, each with 175 seats, which is around 32 more than the airline's other 737's. (American Airlines has 24. United has a mere 14.)

Many will, therefore, load their calculators and see the stasis around these planes means that Southwest will be scrambling most of all.

Southwest's current status, though, is complicated. Even more complicated.

You see, its dispute with mechanics is now so mired in unpleasantness that the airline has issued a lawsuit.

The airline's pilots support the mechanics, who are being staunchly rigorous about the way they're looking at planes and deciding whether to take them out of service.

Passengers can expect, therefore, that schedulers are scrambling madly to fulfill the airline's needs.

The question is how Southwest and the other airlines will try and make up the slack and cause the least amount of disruption to passengers.

Airlines like to believe they can cope with any eventuality.

For Southwest, though, this is the very irritant it could do without.

Its passengers have recently been voicing their displeasure. I've heard from many who had have had it not merely up to here, but up to 35,000 feet.

How the airline deals with inevitable cancellations will show just how customer-focused its organization is.

Published on: Mar 14, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.