A Boeing 757 from Boston to Miami carrying 175 passengers diverted to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport on Saturday when three seats in row 12 came loose shortly after takeoff. A second American Boeing 757 returned to JFK on Monday morning after a similar seats issue was discovered.
"An initial internal investigation into why a row of seats became loose on two American Airlines Boeing 757s has indicated that there could be a possible issue with a certain model of seats and how they fit into the tracking used to secure the seats," the airline said in a statement. "Out of an abundance of caution, American has decided to proactively reinspect eight 757s today that could possibly have this same issue. The seats were installed by American maintenance and contract maintenance. The issue does not seem to be tied to any one maintenance facility or one work group.
"This afternoon, the company flew engineers, tech crew chiefs and inspectors from its Tulsa maintenance base to New York to evaluate the aircraft and determine the next course of action to correct the problem."
The Allied Pilots Association, the largest independent pilot union and a certified collective bargaining agent for the 10,000 American pilots, said the interior overhaul of the Boston plane was performed by third-party maintenance workers, according to spokesman Gregg Overman.
'I'm not looking for headaches'
One Atlanta-based travel agent shifted one set of clients traveling to Europe this fall from an American flight to a Delta flight.
"Price was about the same. American had a slightly better schedule, but I am not looking for headaches and canceled flights are big headaches."
"In our business, it is very hard to recommend something that you know is not certain," wrote the travel agent, who didn't want to be named, in an e-mail. "Any time you have labor disputes and/or financial problems, the dependability factor goes down."