Spilled drink “gunk” made plane seats loose

American Airlines says gunk affected seat locking-pin

American Airlines has grounded planes causing more than 100 flight cancellations. The reason? Seats on board the aircraft had come loose, at least partly because of the “gunk” from drinks spilled over the years. Seats came loose on three flights, two of which caused emergency landings, prompting the airline to ground half of its Boeing 757 fleet so that maintenance teams can “secure an FAA-approved locking mechanism to make sure no seat can be dislodged.”
According to a company spokesperson, who spoke on condition of anonymity, “There are a lot of contributing factors – normal wear and tear, gunk that can affect the locking-pin mechanism, whether it’s debris or sodas.”
David L Campbell, the airline’s vice president for safety, clarified to Christian Science Monitor, “The fundamental design of this seat is not as robust as some of the latest designs.”
[pictured: American Airlines’ new Business Class seats on its Boeing 767-300s; courtesy oneworld]