Third inflight seat incident with American Airlines reported this week

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Yesterday on PMM, we relayed two incidents of seats becoming detached on American Airlines flights resulting in emergency landings this week.  Well, here we go again. Today, A third report surfaces of seats on an American Airlines flight from Vail, CO to Dallas, TX detaching inflight.  American Airlines strongly denies the link between these three incidents and the ongoing labor dispute though for its customers, the issues continue to mount.

Loose seats raise suspicion video from ABCNews

The bottom line

Whether these three incidents are a coincidence or not, the fact remains that American Airlines has a very serious trust issue with its customers right now.  I continue to make reservations with AA at my normal pace but I do receive questions from family, friends, and readers expressing concern about their upcoming American Airlines reservations. I won’t go as far as to recommend they cancel their reservation but I do deduce that their strong concern over current reservations indicates they have little interest in making new reservations with the airline under the current circumstances.  I like American Airlines and I genuinely want the airline to succeed.

Where do you stand?  Were these three detached seat incidents in the same week a coincidence?

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at

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  1. Cancellations and delays have caused me to jump back to UA. Was happy to continue flying them until the pilot situation. All I was asking for is reliability; they couldn’t give it to me, thus back to my usual carrier.

  2. My not-so-frequent flier parents are concerned about existing reservations and mentioned it to me on a call yesterday (unprompted). So the word is out among the less travel-savvy. They are about to book another flight in December, and even though AA is the most direct route to go where they need to go, they are already strongly considering another airline. Can’t be good news for AA.

  3. I just rescheduled a planned trip to Belize in November and moved it to January in hopes all of ‘jerks’ at AA get their act together soon. Gotta love unions

  4. Waiting for the inevitable DEQM. I have a heavy travel schedule the remainder of the year and don’t want it to become a headache with AA. So far I have only one delay but others have been much less lucky.

  5. TWU – Transport Workers Union’s air transport division has weighed in.

    “The Transport Workers Union of America, which represents aircraft mechanics and other maintenance workers at American Airlines, has launched an investigation into problems related to loose seats on recent flights.

    “Much of the work related to seat installation on American Airlines’ aircraft has been done by an outside firm, TIMCO, rather than by maintenance personnel employed by the airline.

    “Statements by some in the media and by self-appointed ‘experts’ linking the seat problem to labor issues are without any basis in fact. The facts are TWU has ratified agreements with the airline in recent weeks for all its members. Problems related to seats are less likely a labor problem, but rather a management issue related to outsourcing work to third-party facilities.

    “The use of outsourced maintenance is increasing. American Airlines has announced their intention to increase the use of third-part facilities, especially ones located in China and other overseas locations as part of their plan to exit bankruptcy.”

  6. According to American Airlines, the last maintenance crew that touched the planes was an American Airlines crew.

    According to this AP Article:
    “The seats on both planes had been removed and reinstalled during recent maintenance at an American Airlines maintenance base in Tulsa, Okla., and a Timco Aviation Services facility in North Carolina. In both cases American employees were the last to touch the seats, Huguely said.”

  7. If these issues were the result of intentional employee actions, a little prison time is due to somebody.

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