American Airlines Says It Had to Fix Seats on 42 Planes Because They Could Come Loose

An American Airlines plane is seen at John F. Kennedy International Airport April 27, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Credit: Getty Images)

American Airlines says it has repaired 42 of 48 planes that were pulled aside and inspected because the seats could come loose.

The airline said Friday that all seat repairs on its Boeing 757 airplanes should be done by Saturday.

American canceled 44 flights Friday after it scrapped 50 flights Thursday because of the seat problem. It said no flights had been canceled for Saturday.

Based on the number of canceled flights, the size of the planes, and American’s typical occupancy or “load factor” for September, it’s likely that about 14,000 passengers were inconvenienced.

American declined to say how many passengers were affected. A spokeswoman said the airline would put them on later flights or give refunds.

“We sincerely apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this may cause with their travel plans,” said spokeswoman Andrea Huguely.

American Airlines said crews inspected the planes earlier in the week and thought they had fixed them. Then on Thursday American said it discovered the real reason the seats weren’t staying in place — a pin that locks them into the aircraft floor could pop out because of wear and dirt in the floor tracks.

The seats were removed and reinstalled during renovations intended to provide more legroom for some seats, which can then be sold for an extra charge.

American Airlines Says It Had to Fix Seats on 42 Planes Because They Could Come Loose

In this photo provided by WBZ-TV seats from an American Airlines 757 are carried before receiving "Main Cabin Extra Refurbishment" Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, at Logan International Airport in Boston. American Airlines says passenger seats on a third flight came loose as the plane was airborne Tuesday, and it's continuing to inspect other jets with similar seating. The airline acknowledged Tuesday that seats came loose on a flight last week from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to Vail, Colo., and the same thing happened aboard the same plane Monday and a second plane Saturday, according to the airline. (Credit: AP)

American officials said this week that the removal and reinstallation process didn’t cause the problem but might have made it appear sooner.

They added that seats are also removed during heavy maintenance overhauls called D-checks, which are performed about every five years, and when carpeting is replaced or wiring installed. The seats are checked for looseness roughly every 6 months when undergoing a so-called B-check, they added.

The seat fiasco comes as American is still scrambling to recover from widespread delays and flight cancellations in September.

Further, American Airlines was faced with another potential public relations nightmare when one of the airline’s flight attendants treated conservative media mogul Glenn Beck horribly during a flight — and he made sure the world heard about it by announcing it on his radio show earlier this month. Beck said he was treated as if he were “subhuman,” presumably for his conservative views.

“Never once did he look me in the eye. Never once did he offer a kind or even a neutral word to me,” Beck said of the incident. “I had service unlike I have never had ever before in my life, and I have had rude service before. I lived in New York City.”

Needless to say, Beck vowed to never use the airline again.

Watch Beck detail his experience with American Airlines via TheBlazeTV below:

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.