MIAMI (CBS4) – An American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Miami was delayed Thursday evening because of missing springs from a pilot’s seat.
The problem was not the same as the one plaguing American Airlines over the past few days — loose seats on several flights — but it was another piece of bad news for the reeling airline.
Another problem arose Thursday evening at Miami International Airport that might be related to the ongoing maintenance on 48 of American’s Boeing 757 airplanes — canceled flights.
More than a dozen inbound and outbound flights were canceled and passengers were angry.
Sean McKnight and his wife said they waited for more than two hours in line at the American counter after their flight to Brazil was canceled. The couple is celebrating their honeymoon.
“We haven’t heard anything from anyone,” McKnight told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “I’ve avoided American all of my life. This is the first flight I’ve taken with American. Never again.”
Passengers are wondering if the cancellations are related to the seats that came loose on several recent American Airlines flights. American Airlines said the seats came loose when a clamp holding the seats in place apparently got twisted around.
On Thursday it was stranded passengers — like Dorene Barker — who felt like they were getting the run around from the airline. She and her husband planned to fly to New York to celebrate her birthday. Instead, their flight was canceled and she feared they would lose out on a meticulously planned trip that cost them thousands of dollars.
“It’s been horrible,” Barker said. “No one talks to you. The pilots tried to explain to us what was going on but it wasn’t very helpful to us. There were options to us. No one tried to get us on another flight.”
American addressed the ongoing seat issue Thursday, saying they are working on their planes to make sure the seats are secure.
American said in a statement, “Some select flights may be delayed or canceled in order to complete this work. We expect this work will be completed by Saturday, Oct 6. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this may cause with their travel plans. The safety of our customers and people as well as the reliability of our fleet, is always of utmost priority to American.”
American said they are working with the FAA to resolve the issue.
But the biggest cost to American might be in lost customers.
“Obviously you lose a certain bit of confidence (in the airline),” said passenger Alan Agarrat, whose flight to Trinidad was canceled.