Loose seats found on two of American Airlines‘ aircraft resulted in emergency landings recently.
A Miami-bound flight took off from Boston on Saturday. A row of seats then became unhinged, and according to reports, slid around the cabin, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing at New York’s JFK Airport. The Daily Mail also reported that a second Miami-bound plane was forced to return to JFK Airport because of loose seats.
American spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan told the Daily Mail that passengers were moved to safer seats and that a “second aircraft was used to continue the flight to Miami.
“Safety is our top priority. We never have – and never will – compromise the safety and reliability of our fleet.”
It is suspected that the problem lies with the way that certain seats fit into the tracking of the Boeing 757. However, there has been speculation that the problem could be related to tensions over labour-management at the airline. It has laid off maintenance workers while it tries to improve under bankruptcy protection. This line of thought has been strongly refuted by both the airline and government officials. The maintenance of each aircraft concerned was completed by different sets of workers and therefore is not attached to one facility in particular.
The airline is investigating the cause and has grounded an additional eight aircraft as part of its inquiry.
UPDATE: There has been another report of an emergency landing of an American Airlines aircraft. The Chicago to London Heathrow flight had to be diverted to Ireland’s Shannon Airport after a passenger reported a ‘smokey odour’ in the cabin. On full inspection the cause appeared to be an overheated fan. Passengers have been given overnight accommodation and will fly to London on the same plane tomorrow.