American, Local Transport Release Statements On Loose Seat Issue

Tulsa's Transport Workers Union is at odds with American Airlines over who is responsible for aircraft seating issues.

It all stems from reports of loose seats in some of the company's Boeing 757 aircraft, and whether or not Tulsa's maintenance base is involved.

So far, there have been three separate reports of passenger seats coming unfastened from the floor during flight.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that one of the planes was last serviced in Tulsa, and another by a third-party company called Timco Aviation Services in North Carolina.

American airlines spokesperson Andrea Huguely said technicians from Tulsa went to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport to inspect just some of the 47 total aircraft being double checked.

"American's internal investigation has focused on one of three types of Main Cabin seats on the 757s and how the rows of these three seats fit into the track that is used to secure the rows to the floor of the airplanes," Huguely said.

Huguely addressed claims that the issues were related to Tulsa or Timco.

"The issue does not seem to be tied to any one maintenance facility or one workgroup," she said.

But Tulsa's Transport Workers Union Local 514 disagrees, said John Hewitt. He said the seat problem was not caused in Tulsa, but by Timco in North Carolina.

"This is exactly why we fight so fiercely to keep work in-house here in Tulsa so that it can be performed by highly-trained individuals."

Hewitt said reports that American employees were the last to touch the seats in question is a "gross misrepresentation of the facts."

"Our workers were the last to touch the seats only in the sense that after the seats came loose we were dispatched to inspect the problem when the planes were grounded," Hewitt said. "For the company to infer that TWU maintenance workers had a hand in sloppy workmanship is simply wrong.