Over the weekend, reports flooded in of seats coming loose on an American Airlines flight. As it happens, that wasn’t an isolated incident.
The airline has since revealed that a flight on Monday also had seats come loose, meaning the problem has now appeared on three American Airlines flights (and two separate planes) in the space of a week.
The latest loose seats incident occurred on a New York to Miami flight on Monday morning. Previously, seats came loose on the same aircraft during a September 26 flight from Vail, Colorado to Dallas, the airline’s vice president of safety confirmed.
A different plane experienced loose seats on a September 29 flight from Boston to Miami, and 175 passengers had to be diverted to New York to change to a new plane.
As a result of the latest seat-shifting PR disaster, the airline pledged to inspect 47 Boeing 757 planes. Company spokeswoman Andrea Huguely was wheeled out to reassure American Airlines customers that their seats are in the process of being rigorously tested:
“Originally, American planned to evaluate the seats on eight Boeing 757 airplanes, but out of an abundance of caution, the decision was made to proactively evaluate a total of 47 Boeing 757 airplanes that have the same model Main Cabin seats with a common locking mechanism. American’s internal investigation has focused on one of three types of Main Cabin seats on the 757s and how the rows of these three seats fit into the track that is used to secure the rows to the floor of the airplanes. Our maintenance and engineering teams have discovered that the root cause is a saddle clamp improperly installed on the foot of the row leg.”
Those troublesome clamps, Huguely revealed, were used on 47 of the company’s 102 Boeing 757 airplanes. Of the 36 planes it has inspected so far, American Airlines has found six with seats that had the potential to become loose. Another 11 aircraft will be inspected Wednesday.
Have the loose seats on American Airlines flights discouraged you from flying American in the future, or are you confident the company will get on top of the problem?