American Airlines grounds 14 planes to fix overhead bins

American Airlines Boeing 737-800

American Airlines Boeing 737-800

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.

An airline spokesman said Friday that almost 40 flights had been cancelled as a result.

A woman puts her suitcase in an overhead luggage bin on an American Airlines plane at Miami International Airport.

The airline has completed around 70 retrofits of the 737-800s, the American official said, but only around 15 were done by ATS, with the remainder handled in-house and by a separate supplier. "Out of an abundance of caution, we have proactively removed from service the additional 12 aircraft that were updated by this vendor and have notified the FAA", American said.

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 almost 40 flight cancelations were quickly rebooked. The two planes were taken to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they were inspected by mechanics.

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While the program aims to "harmonize and optimize" the airline's Boeing 737-800 fleet, it also includes adding 12 extra seats to older generation 737-800 aircraft, so they could seat as much as the new 737 MAX planes - 172 passengers.

However, the issue may be a bit larger than that-at least according to Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 591 president Gary Schaible. ATS has only updated a small portion of those aircraft, while the rest have been done by either American Airlines itself or by another third party company, according to Reuters.

"After further inspection by American, the work that was conducted on these two aircraft was not up to our standards", American said in a statement to Fortune.

All passengers on the 40 flights that were canceled were quickly rebooked on new flights, Fox News reported.

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