CBS2-Header-Logo WFAN 1010WINS WCBS tiny WLNYLogo

News

Expert: American Airlines Safety Headache Could Prove Costly

American Airlines terminal at LaGuardia Airport Oct. 3, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

American Airlines terminal at LaGuardia Airport Oct. 3, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – American Airlines has been dealing with a public relations headache all week, after a row of seats on three separate flights came loose forcing emergency landings.

Another technical issue on Tuesday caused an American Airlines flight to turn back.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

Flight 1862 had just taken off from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport bound for St. Louis turned back after a cockpit indicator showed a problem with the landing gear.

These potential safety issues could wind up costing the airline big-time in the long run, said CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenburg.

“The dollar effect here is huge when you have a 55% on-time arrival situation,” Greenburg said.

Even some long-time American Airlines customers have said they are thinking of jumping ship.

“I’ve been with American for twenty years, but I’m leaving them because I don’t think they’re managed well and some of the airports we’ve been into with American Airlines, it’s chaos,” Mike Kumal told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

Others flying in and out of LaGuardia said they are willing to give American another chance.

“I’m just keeping the faith,” a woman told Diamond. “It is not always about the bottom line, it’s about people’s safety.”

One potential upside to the recent technical problems, said Greenburg, may be a resolution to an ongoing contract dispute between the airline and the pilots.

“We’re at that pivotal threshold point now where, yes, they will probably go back into negotiations and there will probably be a contract but the real question is, at what price?” Greenburg said.

The airline said improperly installed clamps may have caused the rows of seats to come loose. American has inspected dozens of 757s to try to prevent more incidents.

Will you continue to fly American, or have these recent incidents caused you to use other airlines? Sound off in the comments section below…