Seat Issues Force American Airlines to Cancel Nearly 100 Flights

Cancellations come amid labor battle with airline's pilots and impending takeover by US Airways.

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American Airlines is cancelling more than 100 flights to deal with seats that are breaking loose from the aircraft floor, CBS News reports.

The nation's third-largest airline says faulty clamps and "gunk" from spilled soda have caused several seats to pop out of the track that holds them to the floor in recent days. It cancelled 50 flights Thursday and 44 Friday to work to ensure its seats are properly secured. Inspectors found problems least six planes, the airline said.

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American will remove and reinstall the seats and install additional locking mechanisms to attempt to fix the seat issues, its spokesman told CBS News.

The cancelled flights and seating issues come amidst financial and logistical troubles for American. The airline's parent company filed for bankruptcy in December, in part due to issues over labor contracts with its pilots. The company recently cut pay and benefits for pilots as part of its bankruptcy protection, and says pilots have effectively sabotaged the airline as a result.

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In the latter half of September, nearly half of its flights were delayed, more than any other airline and well above the 10 percent delay rate for other major airlines, according to the Chicago Tribune. American says many of the interruptions are due to unnecessary maintenance delays to fix things such as broken coffee pots, torn seatback pockets, and other relatively minor issues reported by pilots in order to cause delays and silently protest labor contracts.

American is fighting to prevent being bought out by or merged with rival airline US Airways.