American Airlines: 'Passengers' spilt drinks partly to blame for loose seats'
This week American Airlines grounded dozens more planes due to loose passenger seats, causing nearly 100 flight cancellations on Thursday and Friday, and said the problem was quickly being resolved, while the cause was an array of factors, including 'gunk' from drinks that get spilled by passengers.
In a statement yesterday, company spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said: 'We have identified the issue and our maintenance teams are securing an FAA-approved locking mechanism to make sure no seat can be dislodged.'
'All of our (Boeing) 757s will be back in service by Saturday.'
NBC News reports that Huguely said the seat issue caused the company to cancel 50 flights on Thursday and 45 on Friday.
On Monday eight of the airline's Boeing Co 757 planes were grounded for inspection after a row of seats became loose during a flight on Saturday.
According to the Associated Press, American Airlines said on Friday that it had repaired 42 of 48 planes that were pulled aside for inspection this week and all seat repairs should be done by today.
Although Huguely's statement did not provide details of the cause of the problem, an anonymous spokeswoman for the airline told NBC News it was 'contributing factors'.
'There are a lot of contributing factors - normal wear and tear, gunk that can affect the locking-pin mechanism - whether its debris or sodas,' she said.
The spokeswoman said 'gunk' was not the primary cause. 'There were some installation issues - a lot of contributing factors.'
American Airlines is installing mechanical ties to keep the seats in place on the 48 jets with this type of seat, in case the locking mechanism fails.
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