I’ve heard various reports about this, some going as far as to say that ALL Oasis-reconfigured 737s were out of service, and I wanted to try and help clear the air (pun fully intended) after receiving clarification from American.
Ok so what’s up?
American released the following statement:
At American, safety is our number one priority and is always at the forefront of all that we do.
American operates 304 Boeing 737-800 aircraft and we have identified an issue with the quality of work conducted on overhead bins on two of these Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The interiors on these aircraft were recently updated by a long-time FAA-licensed vendor.
After further inspection by American, the work that was conducted on these two aircraft was not up to our standards. 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. 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.
We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans, and we are sorry for the trouble this has caused. 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.
Ok so what does that actually mean?
Basically American found some issues with the work done by an approved (and FAA-licensed) third party. Technically the flaws were only found with 2 aircraft (which had been modified to the new Oasis configuration). There are 12 other aircraft on which the same vendor worked, so American pulled those aircraft out of service as well.
All in all, this affects (at time of publishing) only 4.6% of American’s 737 fleet.
Are my flights affected?
Per the above, American said there have been only 40 flight cancellations so far. American has plenty of 737s, however, and this shouldn’t impact their overall operation too much. It’s always a good idea to “garden” your reservations and check on them every couple of days or so anyway, so go ahead and check your reservations, but odds are American would’ve already reached out to you if you were affected.
Should things escalate further I’ll let you know, just wanted to clarify!