Girardi | Keese

Loose seats on planes cause dangers for passengers

Of the top fears that people have reported around the world, flying is one of the top ten. The main factor for people revolves around malfunctions that can occur with the planes themselves. People in California and across the nation expect that when they step foot on a flight that their plane has been thoroughly inspected and is otherwise safe to fly.

But for passengers on a number of American Airlines flights, a slew of improperly installed clamps on several rows of seats has made for terrifying flights that many passengers say they will never take again.

In the last few weeks, two planes have had to make emergency landings when rows of seats began to rattle and came loose during take-off. The first sign of trouble showed up in September when American Airlines' crews noticed loose seats on a plane that had flown from Dallas-Fort Worth to Colorado. The seats were tightened before it departed again to Boston but the same plane had to make an emergency landing when the seats suddenly came loose, frightening passengers.

According to aircraft investigators, the reason the rows of seats are coming loose is because of improperly installed clamps. Four additional planes have been inspected and have been found to have the same dangerous problem.

Experts from the National Air Disaster Alliance, a safety-advocacy group, say that passengers could be hurt or killed if the seats were to slide around enough to slam into a person seated near them. The president of the group also points out that the malfunctioning seats could make an otherwise survivable crash a death trap if the seats were to come loose from their moorings.

Many passengers say they are less likely to fly American Airlines after the recent news regarding the defects in the aircrafts. American Airlines is aware of passengers concerns and claim to be doing whatever it takes to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

Source: USA Today, "American Airlines: Installation job caused seat snafu," David Koenig, Oct. 3, 2012

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