Two American Airlines flights make emergency landings after seats come loose during flights
POSTED: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 1:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — An American Airlines flight headed to Miami had to return to Kennedy Airport Monday after some of the seats became loose on the plane, the second such incident on an American Airlines plane since the weekend.
American Airlines Flight 443 left Kennedy Airport at 7:11 a.m. and returned to the gate at 8:18 a.m., officials said.
A second plane arrived to take the passengers to their destination, ultimately leaving JFK at 11:04 a.m. and landing in Miami at 2:19 p.m.
Conchetta and Vincenzo DiGregorio were on the plane headed to their honeymoon in Antigua, and missed their connecting flight as a result of the delay.
"He says 'We're up in the air, there's something wrong with the seats -- that they are loose. We're just going to do a quick check,'" said Vincenzo DiGregario. "Meanwhile, they changed equipment, changed planes and came down."
"It was very unorganized," said Conchetta DiGregario. "Nobody helped us."
On Saturday, Boston-to-Miami Flight 685 made an emergency landing at Kennedy Airport when a row of seats became loose.
The passengers aboard the flight were placed on another aircraft for Saturday's trip to Miami.
An initial internal investigation has indicated that in both incidents, there may have been an issue with a certain model of seats and how they fit into the tracking.
Both planes were Boeings 757s.
The company said it has flown in engineers, tech crew chiefs and inspectors from its Tulsa maintenance base to New York to evaulate eight other Boeing 757s that may have the same seat issue.
The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating.
Airline and government officials discouraged speculation that the incidents could be related to labor-management tension at American, which is cutting labor costs and laying off maintenance workers as it tries to turn around under bankruptcy protection.