Seats come loose on AA flights
MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (WSVN) -- A row of seats somehow came loose after takeoff on two American Airlines flights headed to Miami.
The first incident happened on Saturday; the latest occurred Monday. Flight 443 headed from JFK to Miami had to turn back to New York after loose seats were discovered while the flight was in the air.
This has created more cloudy skies for one of Miami-Dade's biggest employers. "The other airlines I normally travel with don't go to Tampa," said Angela Natty, who flew in from Jamaica. "So I had to use American Airlines."
"Well, we don't have many options, unfortunately," said John Jara. "It sucks because you have to pay so much money for these flights."
Jara is from Miami, but they all have something in common when it comes to their flights.
A flight from Boston to Miami was forced to make an emergency landing at New York's JFK Saturday because a row of seats became loose, making them a bit nervous. The FAA is investigating, as is the airline.
American Airlines spokesperson Martha Pantin said of the improperly bolted seats: "There are at least a dozen reasons why a row of seats could become loose. We are in contact with the FAA, and the FAA is aware of our internal review. Safety is our top priority. We never have, nor will we compromise the safety and reliability of our fleet."
Sept. 18, the airline announced thousands of job cuts as part of the company's attempt to climb out of bankruptcy and even shed a billion dollars in labor costs. The pilots union is currently in negotiation with their contract and flight delays have led to anything but smooth sailing for the airline in recent weeks.
Scott McCartney of "the Wall Street Journal" said, "My advice to you is, until things get straightened out with the operations, if you have a choice, you ought to book another airline."
But passenger Chris Blake will not be taking that advice. "I've flown American Airlines in a number of occasions, and I've never, ever had a problem. We've always had first class service, and the aircraft has always flown fine. I've never had any concerns for safety or had any issues at all."
Some travel editors have said that this is something that happens with airlines, it is not a concern, but again the Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating two incidents involving loose seats on American Airlines Boeing 757 flights. Ten of those planes have been taken out of service.
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