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American Airlines Grounds Flights: Is Pilots’ Union to Blame?

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American Airlines is under investigation by the federal government for two separate incidents of passenger seats coming loose mid-flight — passengers were not injured in either case.

The airline said Monday it would ground those two flights and six Boeing 757 jets to inspect for additional seat malfunctions.

According to a report by the Associated Press, "The Federal Aviation Administration said both planes had recently undergone maintenance work that required seats to be removed and reinstalled."

This news comes on the heals of hundreds of cancelled American flights in recent weeks due to a heightened level of maintenance concerns and pilots calling out sick.

In a recent interview with The Daily Ticker Barbara Peterson, senior aviation correspondent at Conde Nast Traveler, said pilots could be to blame for the flight delays as retaliations for stalled labor negotiations while American undergoes vast cost-cutting measures as it wades through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

"Something is going on," says Peterson in the accompanying interview, taped Monday, September 28. "Pilots have been the most vociferous about their unhappiness with the airline and the company. They feel like they've had to give up a lot in recent years. Pilots are doing this to hurt the company so the company will come back to the bargaining table."

According to American Airlines spokesperson Kent Powell in an email to The Daily Ticker:

"We're working very diligently to gather all the facts related to our 757 seats issue. Our maintenance teams continue to inspect aircraft in our 757 fleet to determine what caused the issue. We'll have an updated statement and additional information to share this afternoon."

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