American Airlines limiting passengers due to shortage of life rafts

American Airlines has announced that it will be limiting slightly the number of passengers it carries on its 767-300 planes as it orders additional life rafts to comply with FAA regulations.

The carrier said that it only learned this week that its 767s did not carry the required number of life rafts. The FAA requires airlines to have enough rafts — or room on rafts — to accommodate everyone on board the plane, including crew members.

American said it can carry a maximum 228 people, including crew, on its 767s, which generally have a capacity to hold 236 people.

The company said the shortage occurred when it added additional seats in its refurbished business class section a few years ago.

AA says it is also reviewing life raft compliance on other plane models in its fleet.

There is no doubt more attention being paid to life raft compliance following US Airways flight 1549, which was forced to ditch in New York’s Hudson River, its passengers evacuated with life rafts.