Rows of seats come loose on two American Airlines flights; FAA and airline investigating

The FAA and American Airlines are investigating two separate incidents in which rows of seats came loose on flights along the Eastern Seaboard, the airline said.

In the most recent incident, passengers on board Flight 443, a Boeing 757, from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Miami International Airport discovered a loose row of seats this morning, said American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller.

The flight, which was carrying 154 passengers, left JFK at 7:11 a.m. and returned to the gate at 8:18 a.m., Miller said. The aircraft landed safely and passengers were placed on another flight to Miami at 11:04 a.m, Miller added.

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On Saturday, loose seats were discovered on another American Boeing 757, bound from Boston’s Logan International Airport to Miami International.

Flight 685 was diverted to New York at 12:50 p.m. Saturday. Passengers in those seats were moved to other locations within the cabin. A second aircraft at JFK International was used to take the passengers to Miami.

The company said today in a statement that there could be an issue with a certain model of seats and they will be investigating the 757s where they are installed.

“Out of an abundance of caution, American has decided to proactively reinspect eight 757s today that could possibly have this same issue,” the statement said. “The issue does not seem to be tied to any one maintenance facility or one workgroup.”

On Monday afternoon, engineers, tech crew chiefs, and inspectors came from the company’s Tulsa maintenance base to New York to evaluate and determine the next course of action.

The FAA said in a statement this evening that an initial inspection found other rows of seats that were not properly secured. Preliminary indications were that the seats in both airplanes had recently been removed and reinstalled during maintenance, the statement said.

The other eight aircraft were taken out of service until they could be inspected, the FAA said.