Passengers on three recent American Airlines flights experienced distress when their seat rows came loose while their planes were in the air. The incidents led the airline to announce on Monday the grounding of eight Boeing (NYSE:BA) 757 jets, ABC News noted.
While no one was injured on the flights, the planes involved made emergency landings. The Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating the incidents.
American Airlines officials said a preliminary assessment suggested there could be a problem with how a specific model of seat rows was secured to the floor. The company said that while the seats had been installed in the planes by its own maintenance staff and contractors, the events could not be traced to a particular maintenance team.
The airline, whose parent company AMR (PINK:AAMRQ) filed for bankruptcy protection last year, has been trying to negotiate new contracts with its labor unions. After failing to secure a new contract with its pilot union, the bankruptcy judge allowed AMR to impose pay cuts on the pilots.
Earlier this month, it was reported that American Airlines was in possible merger talks with US Airways (NYSE:LCC) and that the two companies had agreed to open their books for mutual due diligence.