American Airlines Problems Continue

Loose-seat issue grounds more flights Friday

By Lauren Petty
|  Friday, Oct 5, 2012  |  Updated 10:08 AM CDT
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Rock Stars: Then and Now

AP

In this photo provided by WBZ-TV seats from an American Airlines 757 are carried before receiving "Main Cabin Extra Refurbishment" Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, at Logan International Airport in Boston. American Airlines says passenger seats on a third flight came loose as the plane was airborne Tuesday, and it's continuing to inspect other jets with similar seating.

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If you're flying American Airlines this weekend, you'll want to call ahead before flying out.

The airline canceled 44 flights across the country Friday after canceling 50 flights Thursday because of a loose-seat problem airline officials say is bigger than previously thought.

Planes had to be taken out of service to fix seat-lock plungers the airline says are allowing rows of seats to come undone. American Airlines is now retrofitting 48 percent of its 100 757s. The work won't be completed until sometime Saturday.

"We recognize that this is a terrible inconvenience," said American Airlines vice president David Campbell, but this is one of those very, very important investments to make sure ... this doesn't happen again."

It was a nightmare for Luke Backus, who was supposed to be in Denver Friday morning for a job interview but ended up at O'Hare International Airport after two canceled American flights on Thursday.

"I flew from Tampa to Miami to connect, and when I got there they said it was canceled," Backus said. "The next best thing is out of Fort Lauderdale, and I take a taxi and pay 70 bucks to get to Fort Lauderdale."

That flight was canceled too.

"So they found me a flight to come here to Chicago overnight," Backus said.

Thankfully his flight was on time from Chicago to Denver. As of Friday morning, all American flights out of O'Hare also were on time.

The issues come after a tough September.

According to flightstats.com, American had the most cancelations of all the airlines at O'Hare International Airports and 37 percent of the departures were delayed.

 Don't Run! Watch ... The 2012 Bank of America Chicago  Marathon kicks off at 7 a.m. on Oct. 7. NBCChicago.com   will bring you live streaming coverage of the entire  event. Watch on your computer, watch on your smart phone or watch on your TV. This is going to be big.  

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