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Things calm down at Spirit Airlines ticket counter at FLL days after chaos breaks out

3 arrested after Monday night melee

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Things are returning to normal Wednesday at the Spirit Airlines ticket counter at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, two days after chaos broke out when numerous flights were canceled.

Three people were arrested Monday night after passengers allegedly began threatening violence against airline employees.

According to reports, tensions flared shortly after nine flights were canceled, because some pilots refused to fly. 

"Spirit canceled us. Not, 'Hey, would you like to reschedule? We're having problems.' (It was), 'You got canceled.' How does that happen? It's inconvenient," Cylver Smith, who had to rebook a flight home, said.  

"We didn't understand what was going on," Janae Jordan added. "We saw the video. It was really crazy to see the outrage that was going on here at the airport, so we're just happy we made it."

The three people who were taken to jail are accused of threatening violence against Spirit employees and inciting the crowd of about 500 angry customers.

Desmond Waul, 22, Janice Waul, 24, and Devante Garrett, 22, face charges of inciting or encouraging a riot, disorderly conduct, resisting an officer and trespassing after receiving a warning.

The siblings, who are from New York, told Local 10 News after they were released from jail that they were in town celebrating Janice Waul's birthday and needed to return home for her graduation.

They said Spirit Airlines employees treated them poorly, canceled their flight and then re-booked them on another flight that they ended up canceling, as well.

They said they were arrested after getting into it with a Spirit Airlines employee, who cussed them out after they requested to speak with a manager.

"You guys had security handle us like we were animals, all on camera," Desmond Waul said. "That's my sister. She's a girl. That's my brother. You can't be touching us like that."

Spirit blamed the Air Line Pilots Association for the cancelations, but the union claimed the pilots it represents "are not engaged in a job action."

A federal judge sided with the carrier Tuesday and ordered its unionized pilots to stop boycotting flights.

District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas said Spirit likely would win its lawsuit, charging that the union was engaged in work slowdowns that violated federal law.


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