American Airlines scrambles to fix seat problem

American Airlines on Thursday said it would soon inspect 48 of its Boeing 757 jets for problems with loose seats, likely causing the embattled airline to delay and cancel scores of flights.

AA spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said the company, working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), was taking extra steps "to enhance the locking mechanism features used to secure the seats to the aircraft floor" of some 757s.

"The work is expected to be completed after the 48 affected aircraft land at their next destination," said Huguely, adding that some flights "may be delayed or canceled in order to complete this work."

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Blocks of seats have become loose on at least three AA flights, including one on the Boston-Miami route had to make an emergency landing in New York.

The work is expected to be completed by Saturday, Huguely said.

AMR Corporation, the carrier's parent company, has also renewed talks with the airline's pilots union in an attempt to end the bitter turmoil within the company as it struggles with bankruptcy restructuring launched last November.

AMR is engaged in a struggle with its 10,000-member pilots association, which has seen scores of flights being delayed or canceled in past weeks.

Pilots have complained about aging equipment and poor airline maintenance.

On Tuesday, AAA flight 1862 from Dallas to St. Louis returned to the Dallas airport just 10 minutes into the flight when there appeared to be problems with the landing gear, spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan said in an e-mail message.

The plane landed normally. Fagan denied press reports that the crew urged passengers to brace for a crash landing.

by Aminu Abubakar © 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Oct 5, 2012