Spirit Airlines blames weather, ‘operational challenges’ for hundreds of flight delays, cancellations

According to FlightAware, Spirit has cancelled a total of 389 flights and delayed a total of 399 flights since Sunday.

Spirit Airlines says it is working “around the clock” to accommodate passengers impacted by travel disruptions at several of its hubs over the weekend.

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According to FlightAware, the airline has cancelled a total of 389 flights and delayed a total of 399 flights since Sunday as of the time of publication. A Spirit representative told FOX Business on Monday the cancellations and delays were due to “a series of weather and operational challenges.” 

“We needed to make proactive cancellations to some flights across the network, but the majority of flights are still scheduled as planned,” Spirit said in a statement. “We understand how frustrating it is for our Guests when plans change unexpectedly, and we’re working to find solutions. We ask Guests to actively monitor their emails and flight status before heading to the airport.”

Spirit passengers at Orlando International Airport told Click Orlando they waited in line for up to 12 hours to speak to a Spirit Airlines representative to reschedule after 33 flights have been cancelled since Sunday. 

Meanwhile, WPLG and PHL 17 have reported similar cancellations at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport and Atlantic City Airport. While passengers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport reportedly claimed the cancellations were due to a pilot strike, both the Air Line Pilots Association and Spirit told FOX Business those reports are inaccurate. 

Spirit Airlines’ issues mirror those experienced by competitors American Airlines and Southwest Airlines over the summer. 

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Executives at Southwest recently pledged on the company’s latest earnings call that it would work to “do better” moving forward, noting it will offer employees “premium pay” to work on days off and ramp up hiring in its large cities to help combat its operational challenges.

As for American, the airline says it has hired nearly 3,500 new team members in 2021 and plans to hire 350 new pilots by the end of the year and more than 1,000 pilots and 800 flight attendants in 2022.