American Airlines has grounded 14 Boeing 737-800 jets in order to replace overhead bins in the aircrafts that were reportedly “popping open continuously,” though the carrier says that the issue did not affect flight safety.
The Fort Worth, Texas-headquartered airline canceled 40 flights on Thursday as a result, after officials found that the condition of the overhead bins was "not up to our standards,” NBC DFW reported. Taking proactive measures "out of an abundance of caution,” American Airlines also decided to temporarily ground an additional 12 planes.
The bins are said to have been mounted by a third-party vendor licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), CNBC reported, with the technical difficulty creating an issue as “the doors to overhead bins must be closed before the plane can depart.”
Gary Schaible, president of Transport Workers Union Local 591, which reps over 4,500 maintenance employees at American Airlines, described the problematic bins having been “popping open continuously,” as per NBC DFW.
Furthermore, an improper installation of a battery cable near the bins could chafe and catch fire, prompting the temporary removal of the planes from service, according to the outlet.
Reps for the carrier confirmed to Fox News that the planes were indeed taken out of service in relation to the issue, which they have communicated to the FAA, and that passengers affected by nearly 40 flight cancelations were quickly rebooked.
“We will perform additional inspection work on these 14 aircraft. Though the issue did not impact the safety of flight of these aircraft, we are working with our vendor and the FAA to immediately address this issue,” a spokesperson told Fox News.
“We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans, and we are sorry for the trouble this has caused,” the rep continued. “Our team has rebooked all customers that were impacted by nearly 40 flight cancellations thus far and will continue to work proactively to get our customers to their final destination.”