October 5th, 2012
08:09 PM ET

American Airlines blames debris-filled locking mechanisms for loose seats

Our fifth story OutFront – gunk.

American Airlines is now claiming soda and coffee spilled by passengers over time gunked up seat locking mechanisms, causing some sets of seats to come loose on at least three recent flights. The incidents forced the airline to take 48 Boeing 757 jets out of commission for repairs.

The airline initially explained that subcontractors had installed the saddle clamps on the seats improperly, which led some to question whether the airline's maintenance operations were being affected by its financial troubles. So what's behind this new explanation? And does it add up?

Bill McGee is the author of "Attention All Passengers: The Airlines' Dangerous Descent – and How to Reclaim Our Skies" and he comes OutFront tonight.

Filed under: Aviation Industry • News
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