Boeing lobbied to weaken safety regulations

Remember when the door of a plane flew off mid-flight earlier this month? And Boeing apologized for the "mistake"? Guess what? Boeing wanted to lessen safety protocols, so much so that they pushed for years to weaken regulation. Shouldn't the law have something to say about this? Well, easily traceable, direct contributions to lawmakers were involved.

Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.) — who has received nearly $200,000 in contributions from Boeing's political action committee and employees — pushed through legislation to exempt Boeing's 737 MAX models from a looming safety deadline that would have required changes in their alerting systems.

Republican Rep. Ron Estes (Kan.) — one of the top recipients of Spirit-affiliated campaign cash — pressured the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) over its previous grounding of the 737 MAX. As Spirit faced potential profit losses from the grounding, Estes insisted that the FAA's extended process of recertifying the airplane after two crashes was resulting in "negative repercussions," and warned that "until recertification [of the Boeing 737 MAX] is complete," Spirit and its workers would suffer.

Katya Schwenk, Freddy Brewster, Lucy Dean Stockton for Lever

A bipartisan agreement! But this isn't the reaching across the aisle we've been pining for.

In 2018, a failure of the Boeing 737 Max anti-ice system caused the plane to crash. Following this incident, Boeing asked for exemptions from safety regulations regarding the anti-ice systems. The Foundation for Aviation Safety vehemently urged Boeing not to allow the exemptions, but the 737s took off anyway. And then a month later, a door blew off mid flight.

If this has you feeling uneasy about the state of legitimized legal corruption, consumer rights and flying in general, Kayak now has a setting to avoid 737s.