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American Airlines loose seats: Was outsourcing, not soda, to blame?

Excerpt from The New York Times

Nov 24, 2012 8:47 am

Skift Take

Cost-cutting American Airlines has been shifty in its explanations for the loose seats, and it’s totally intolerable if the reason turns out to be that outsourced installers didn’t know the proper procedures.

— Dennis Schaal

Latest Report: The Future of the Aircraft Cabin

American took dozens of its Boeing 757s out of service when passenger seats loosened.


Last month, American Airlines grounded dozens of Boeing 757 airliners after passenger seats came loose on four flights. Just a few weeks earlier, another American plane, a Boeing 767, was grounded after a problem was reported with the installation of some seats, though in that case no seats actually came loose.

American, like other carriers, is in the midst of reconfiguring its coach section to give more leg room to some economy seats. To get the extra space, it is creating three rows instead of four. The airline then charges more for the seats, which it calls Main Cabin Extra.

American Airlines hired outside contractors to install passenger seats with more leg room. The seats have come loose on several flights. And airline documents show that those workers did not understand how to properly install the seats.

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