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Entries in Seats (4)

Tuesday
Oct022012

American Airlines Inspecting Planes as Third Loose Seat Incident Reported

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- American Airlines tells ABC News it is inspecting eight Boeing 757s in its fleet that recently had new seats installed after another report of loose seats aboard one of its flights surfaced Tuesday morning.

The latest incident involves a flight from Vail, Colo., to Dallas on Sept. 26, according to the New York Post, and marks the third such reported problem with loose seating aboard an American Airlines flight in less than a week.  The other two incidents took place last Saturday aboard a flight from Boston to Miami, and on Monday aboard a flight from New York City to Miami.

While American Airlines blamed recent flights delays on labor troubles with pilots, it insists the seat incidents have nothing to do with the airline's bankruptcy filing or labor issues.

"This is a mechanical issue. That's all it is. It's not related to anything else despite all the rumors and speculation," says American Airlines spokesman Bruce Hicks.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct012012

Two Sets of American Airlines Seats Become Loose in Flight

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Another set of seats came loose on an American Airlines flight Monday, the second such incident in three days on one of the carrier's flights. There was a similar incident of seats becoming loose, resulting in an emergency landing, over the weekend.

The latest incident took place on flight 443 from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport to Miami. The plane returned to JFK without incident when the seats were discovered, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

An airline spokesperson said the airline does not believe either incident is related to American's ongoing labor issues.

The earlier incident took place Saturday night when seats came unbolted on American Airlines Flight 685 from Boston to Miami. The flight was diverted and made an emergency landing at JFK.

The passengers in those seats were moved to other seats on the plane. No one was injured and the aircraft landed safely at JFK. The passengers were delayed three hours before being put on another flight to Miami.

As a result of the two incidents, the carrier has taken a total of eight aircraft out of service until they can be inspected.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement it is looking into both incidents and said both Boeing 757 jetliners have been taken out of service. The FAA said that the airline's initial inspection of each aircraft found other rows of seats that were not properly secured.

"Preliminary information indicates that both aircraft had recently undergone maintenance during which the seats had been removed and re-installed. Including these two airplanes, the airline has taken eight aircraft with similar seat assemblies out of service until they can be inspected," the FAA statement read.

The FAA has stepped up scrutiny of American during its bankruptcy, as it has in the past for other carriers in similar situations. AMR Corp., American Airlines' parent company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Nov. 29, 2011.

American Airlines spokeswoman Andrea Huguley said in a statement the airline is conducting an internal investigation and that there could possibly be an issue with a certain model of seats and how they fit into the tracking used to secure the seats.

"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 workgroup.

"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.

"We are in contact with the FAA. They are aware of our internal review."

This is the latest in a string of recent problems for American Airlines. Maintenance and employee issues have led to significant delays and cancellations in recent weeks.

ABC News reported last month that the airline was forced to delay nearly 40 percent of its flights, with most forced to be late or even cancelled by an "unprecedented and very significant" increase in maintenance issues. The airline blamed the pilots, who it claimed were calling out sick 20 percent more than normal.

"The recent disruptions are primarily due to the significant increase in maintenance write-ups by our pilots, many right at the time of departure," the airline said in a statement last month.

The pilots union said there is no sanctioned work action under way and disagreed with American's accounting of sick leave and crew cancellations.

A fight last month between two flight attendants over a cellphone forced a plane to turn back to the gate at JFK and delayed passengers four hours while the airline found a new crew.

The trouble at the airline has prompted at least one airline industry expert to advise passengers to book away from the airline for the time being.

Wall Street Journal travel editor Scott McCartney warned passengers, "My advice is, until things get straightened out with the operations, if you have a choice, you ought to book another airline. It's just not worth it."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May242011

Child Safety Seats on Planes: New Recommendation from FAA

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Federal Aviation Administration recommended Tuesday that children weighing 40 pounds or less sit in FAA-approved child safety seats when flying.

"The safest place for a child on an airplane is in one of these seats, and not in the parent's lap," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt at a Washington, D.C., press conference. The Association of Flight Attendants also joined in the recommendation.

In addition to the air travel safety implications, the FAA flight safety suggestion also means added cost for families with children under two wishing to follow the recommendation. Current rules allow children under the age of two to fly for free if they sit on the lap of an adult passenger.

While the FAA says it is safest for children under the age of two to sit in their own seats, the administration is not making this a requirement because it argues that the extra cost may push families to drive to their destinations instead of flying. The FAA maintains that a child is safer on a plane, even if sitting on a lap, than in a car.

Veda Shook, the president of the flight attendants' association, said if families have already purchased tickets for upcoming trips, and did not purchase tickets for their young children, parents can still bring their children's car seats to the gate. If there are extra seats available on the airplane, the seats may be used for the child's car seat. If there isn't any additional seating room, the child seat can be checked at the gate for no extra charge.

If a child's car seat is approved by the FAA for air travel, it should be noted on the side of the seat. Booster seats without seat backs are not approved for air travel.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb072011

400 Ticketholders Locked Out of Seats at Super Bowl

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- It was a glorious night for fans of the green and gold -- unless you were one of more than 1,200 ticketholders to get booted from your seats at the Super Bowl.

"We drove from Green Bay, Wisconsin, through bad, bad weather to get here and we can't get in.  They're holding them like animals outside of that gate.  Like cows," said one female ticketholder.

The fire marshal deemed four sections of temporary seating unsafe.  The NFL found new seats for 850 of the fans, but 400 were locked out.  All were promised a refund of three times the ticket value, but for some no price was worth the chance to witness the championship.

"But we have this letter refunding our money back which we don't care about.  We just want our seats," said another ticket holder.

The NFL apologized, saying "The safety of fans attending the Super Bowl was paramount in making the decision...We will conduct a full review of this matter."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio