By Andrea Romano
March 08, 2019
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American Airlines had to ground 14 planes on Thursday due to complaints of overhead compartments popping open during boarding, according to Reuters. The airline had to cancel about 40 flights as a result.

American Airlines has been updating its Boeing 737s with larger overhead bins in order to make it easier to fit more luggage and make them easier to close. But it seems the new compartments did not meet construction standards, according to CNBC. Overhead bins must be able to close before a plane is allowed to take off.

Related: The Right and Wrong Way to Put Your Luggage in the Overhead Bin

Reuters reports that American Airlines hired a third-party company, Aviation Technical Services (ATS), to update the main cabins of two planes, including the overhead bins. The two planes were taken to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they were inspected by mechanics. Gary Schaible, president of Transport Workers Union Local 591, told Reuters that more issues, other than the overhead bins, were also discovered.

The airline took an additional 12 planes, all updated by ATS, out of service “out of an abundance of caution,” according to CNBC.

A total of 70 Boeing 737s have been updated for American Airlines. 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.

“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,” American Airlines said in a statement.

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

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