DALLAS, Texas -- American Airlines grounded 48 of its Boeing 737s late Thursday for a second time to make further fixes after seats became loose mid-flight on several planes.
The announcement came hours after the airline had said it had completed inspections on the 48 planes and made all necessary repairs to fix the problem.
American originally grounded the planes on Monday, after seats came loose on two of them on three separate flights last week.
A plane headed from Vail, Colorado, to Dallas on September 26 had seats come loose, the airline's vice president of safety confirmed Tuesday.
The same aircraft experienced a similar problem on a New York to Miami flight on Monday morning. That flight had to return to John F. Kennedy Airport.
Separately, a Boeing 757 from Boston to Miami carrying 175 passengers diverted to New York on Saturday when three seats in row 12 came loose shortly after takeoff.
American originally said the problem was due to a clamp that holds rows of seats to tracks on the aircraft floor.
But on Thursday, the airline said that a combination of wear, poor design and even soda spilled into the tracks caused pins to pop out of the grooves.
Airline spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said repairs would be completed by Saturday, but that there would be some flight delays and cancellations until then.
American officials say they're confident that, after the latest round of repairs, the problem won't happen again.
The loose seats are just the latest headache for the airline, which has been embroiled in tense contract re-negotiations with its pilots.
This week the Allied Pilots Assn., the union representing its 10,000 pilots, announced that it would resume contract talks that had stalled last week.
American's parent company, AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy back in November.
A bankruptcy court judge subsequently decided to allow American to toss out its contract with its pilots.
Over the last two weeks, hundreds of American Airlines flights have been delayed or canceled.
The carrier has blamed pilots calling in sick and requesting maintenance work shortly before takeoff.
When the airline threatened to file a legal injunction to halt what the airline described as slow-down tactics, the Allied Pilots Assn. canceled further contract talks.
But on Tuesday, after the loose-seat problems made national headlines, the pilots association agreed to resume talks with the airline.