Some road warriors standing by Boeing's 787

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 18, 2013 at 10:51 am •  Published: January 18, 2013

Schiavo said she thinks that if Boeing and the FAA believe there is something wrong with a few batteries, replacing them with other lithium-ion batteries would be a quick repair. But, she said, the FAA might force Boeing to use an entirely different type of battery, which could require redesign work and a new round of regulatory approvals that might take months.

Blake Fleetwood, president of Cook Travel in New York, said a few customers have called in the past two days to ask about the plane but none have changed their itineraries. Of course, those flights won't involve 787s if safety regulators haven't cleared the planes by takeoff time.

"A month ago we had people who were dying to get on this plane," Fleetwood said. "Now they're showing a bit more trepidation."

Many people who don't fly frequently may not even notice what type of plane they're on.

From interviews with more than a dozen travelers at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport, it appeared that price, schedule and nonstop service are more important to consumers than the type plane itself. Only one knew that the government had grounded the 787.

Curtis Johnson, a retailer from San Antonio, said that he purposely booked on a 787 last month from Houston to Newark, N.J. "Very impressive," he said, describing the large windows, wide seats and other flourishes.

Johnson said he pays attention to the type of plane when he books a long flight, and he admitted that he might be "a little bit more nervous than I was three weeks ago" about the 787.

Christine Carlton, who arrived on a United flight from San Antonio, said she wouldn't seek to change planes but would instead "just be stuck and hope for the best."

Many sounded like Casey Ager, a 22-year-old from Seattle, who said he wouldn't have any misgivings about getting on a 787.

"If it's out there and they're letting us fly, I trust it's ready to go," he said.


Associated Press Writer Michael Graczyk in Houston contributed to this report.

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