American Airlines to fix seats in 48 planes

(CNN) - American Airlines mechanics will fix floor mounts in 48 of its 757s to prevent seats from coming loose, the airline said Thursday.

Engineers figured out "additional preventative steps" to upgrade the mechanism that locks the seats to the floor, an American Airlines news release said.

The carrier said 50 Thursday flights were canceled and 44 on Friday would likely be scrubbed because of the work, which is scheduled to be finished by Saturday.

Three American planes had seats come loose while in flight, including a New York to Miami flight on Monday morning.

"American has instructed mechanics to pay particular attention to the seat lock plunger mechanism that secures the seat to the aircraft floor," the carrier said.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration said the agency agreed with the decision to repair the seat problem at each plane's next stop.

"Our safety investigation continues and we'll take additional action as appropriate," Kathleen Bergen said.

No plane will be grounded and each fix should take about two hours to complete, spokesman Kent Powell added.

He called the fix a "longer-term resolution."

American Airlines has a total of 102 757s, but these 48 planes have the same model seats.

The airline has also been beset recently by labor troubles, delays and flight cancellations.

American, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection late last year, persuaded a judge to throw out its contract with the pilots union last month.

Since then, the pilots have been engaging in what the airline calls a slowdown that has caused the number of flights that are delayed and canceled to skyrocket.

More than 1,000 American flights have been canceled and 12,000 delayed in the past month alone.

Airline management has blamed the situation on pilots filing what it claims are frivolous reports about aircraft problems. The pilots union has denied management's assertion.

CNN's Stephanie Gallman and Joe Sutton contributed to this story.


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