The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating how a row of seats in the coach cabin on a passenger jet became loose in flight.
The seats on American Airlines Flight 6885, a Boeing 757, became unbolted during a Saturday night flight from Boston to Miami. The flight was diverted and made an emergency landing at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.
The passengers in those seats were moved to other seats on the plane. No one was injured and the aircraft landed safely at JFK. The passengers were delayed three hours before being put on another flight to Miami.
The FAA has stepped up scrutiny of American during its bankruptcy, as it has in the past for other carriers in similar situations. AMR Corp., American Airlines' parent company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Nov. 29, 2011.
This is the latest in a string of recent problems for American Airlines. Maintenance and employee issues have led to significant delays and cancellations in recent weeks.
ABC News reported last month that the airline was forced to delay nearly 40 percent of its flights, with most forced to be late or even cancelled by an "unprecedented and very significant" increase in maintenance issues. The airline blamed the pilots, who it claimed were calling out sick 20 percent more than normal.
"The recent disruptions are primarily due to the significant increase in maintenance write-ups by our pilots, many right at the time of departure," the airline said in a statement last month.
The pilots union said there is no sanctioned work action underway and disagreed with American's accounting of sick leave and crew cancellations.
A fight last month between two flight attendants over a cellphone forced a plane to turn back to the gate at JFK and delayed passengers four hours while the airline found a new crew.
The trouble at the airline has prompted at least one airline industry expert to advise passengers to book away from the airline for the time being.
Wall Street Journal travel editor Scott McCartney warned passengers, "My advice is, until things get straightened out with the operations, if you have a choice, you ought to book another airline.
It's just not worth it."
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