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Major delays for Spirit Airlines flights at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

Airline says there is no strike despite passengers at airport claiming to be told otherwise

Airline passengers have been voicing their frustrations with Spirit Airlines after several flights were delayed or canceled early Sunday.
Airline passengers have been voicing their frustrations with Spirit Airlines after several flights were delayed or canceled early Sunday.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Airline passengers have been voicing their frustrations with Spirit Airlines after several flights were delayed or canceled early Sunday.

It was reminiscent of something that happened in June of 2010 when Spirit Airlines pilots walked off the job in a dispute over pay.

Pay dispute may not be the case this time, however, but it is unclear exactly what is at issue.

It was passengers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport who told Local 10 News’ Madeleine Wright on Sunday that pilots are once again on strike, and so are the flight attendants.

Responding to a request for comment, Spirit Airlines told Local 10 News that no one is on strike.

Spirit later sent Local 10 News a statement, which read:

“We are experiencing some cancellations today resulting from the culmination of weather events and other operational challenges across various parts of our network. We are working directly with our Guests to handle their needs.”

The Air Line Pilots Association also told Local 10 News that there is no strike happening with Spirit Airlines.

Officials at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport sent Local 10 News a statement:

“We are aware of some flight disruptions today for Spirit Airlines at FLL and our airport operations team is assisting travelers where possible. Since this is an airline matter, Spirit will need to provide more details relating to causes and # of flights impacted today but initial word from the airline is it’s not due to any pilot/crew strike action.”

Meanwhile, passengers were stuck waiting in a massive line to talk to Spirit representatives Sunday morning as they scrambled to rebook their flights.

Bill Chambers was supposed to leave Fort Lauderdale for Philadelphia Saturday night.

“First they delayed it one hour, then it was delayed a second hour, and then it canceled on us,” Chambers explained on Sunday morning. “And it was a mad rush. It was like everybody ran for the ticket booths.”

Sandra Yepes would have arrived in Denver at 9 p.m. Saturday if her flight left FLL, but 12 hours later, she was still in South Florida.

“We’re hearing since the crew from Spirit, the flight attendants and the pilots are on strike, they don’t have crew to send us to anywhere,” Yepes said.

It’s unclear how many flights are affected, but the display board at FLL showed 13 Spirit Airlines flights that were either delayed or canceled.

“I haven’t been up to a window yet,” said Chambers. “I’ve been getting the run around for a little while. Go to this line, go to that line.”

Staff is asking for patience as they arrange for passengers to get to their final destination.

Yepes ended up changing her flight to travel on United Airlines so she could get to Denver faster.

“But the problem is buying tickets at last minute is not easy and they are very expensive, like three times more expensive than a week ago,” she said.

For some passengers, they said they are looking at all options to get to their destinations.

“I’m considering the train,” Chambers said.


About the Authors:

Madeleine Wright is a general assignment reporter for Local 10 News. She joined the team in March 2017.

Joseph Ojo joined Local 10 in April 2021. Born and raised in New York City, he previously worked in Buffalo, North Dakota, Fort Myers and Baltimore.