really not reassuring

American Airlines inspects 47 planes after seats come loose mid-flight

October 3, 2012
Getting There
October 3, 2012

It’s all fun and games until your airplane seat comes unbolted mid-air. American Airlines pulled nearly half its Boeing 757 fleet out of service for inspection overnight on Oct. 2 after seats coming unbolted on three different flights. The ABC news site reported that the airline got to the bottom of it:

American said today that it had identified the reason that three of its flights had to be aborted midflight because of loose seats. In one case, passengers flipped on to their backs.

The seats come in rows of three, and the row is held to the floor with what’s called a saddle clamp. It’s that saddle clamp that was improperly installed on the planes where the seats disengaged.

Funny thing is, this comes on the heels of New York-based novelist and satirist Gary Shteyngart‘s internationally-reblogged New York Times op-ed, whose title says it best: A transatlantic trip turns Kafkaesque (Sep. 29). Therein he wrote,

You, American Airlines, should no longer be flying across the Atlantic. You do not have the know-how. You do not have the equipment. And your employees have clearly lost interest in the endeavor. Like the country whose name graces the hulls of your flying ships, you are exhausted and shorn of purpose. You need to stop.

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