Spirit Airlines’ Never-Ending Operational Meltdown

Spirit Airlines’ Never-Ending Operational Meltdown

87

American Airlines had a rough week operationally, but that pales in comparison to what’s going on at Spirit Airlines. I don’t remember the last time we’ve seen a major airline in the United States break down to quite this level without a specific cause.

Spirit has canceled ~1,900 flights this week

Since last weekend, Spirit Airlines has had an operational meltdown on a completely different level than anything else we’ve seen. According to FlightAware data:

  • On Sunday, August 1, 2021, Spirit canceled 165 flights (19% of the schedule)
  • On Monday, August 2, 2021, Spirit canceled 334 flights (42% of the schedule)
  • On Tuesday, August 3, 2021, Spirit canceled 429 flights (61% of the schedule)
  • On Wednesday, August 4, 2021, Spirit canceled 427 flights (60% of the schedule)
  • On Thursday, August 5, 2021, Spirit canceled 449 flights (56% of the schedule)
  • On Friday, August 6, 2021, Spirit canceled 351 flights (44% of the schedule)
  • On Saturday, August 7, 2021, Spirit canceled 170 flights (23% of the schedule); this is only as of 2PM ET, so I imagine we’ll see some more cancelations

When you add it up, we’ve seen around 1,900 flights canceled, which is an absolutely shocking number over the course of a week. The good news at this point is that it looks like the worst is behind us. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were worst for Spirit, and things are slowly but surely improving. But to still see over 20% of flights canceled six days into this mess is pretty bad.

Hopefully by early next week the airline can get below 10% cancelations, but who really knows at this point…

Spirit canceled up to 61% of flights on a given day

Why are so many Spirit flights being canceled?

Spirit Airlines is blaming weather and staffing issues for the number of cancelations we’re seeing. There has indeed been some bad weather in the past week, but ultimately this just seems to be a good old fashioned airline summer meltdown that happens every so often, except to the extreme.

Why are there staffing issues? At the moment the schedules of all major airlines in the United States are being pushed to the limits. Demand for domestic and regional air travel is through the roof, but airlines aren’t back to pre-coronavirus staffing levels.

Airlines are taking a best case scenario approach to scheduling, which is to say that they have enough staff to operate all flights if things run smoothly. When things go wrong, though, it’s a different story, and everything falls apart. In the airline industry there’s a massive domino effect when there are irregular operations. In order for a flight to operate, you need both an airplane and a crew, and when you don’t have many spare planes or staff, it gets tricky.

You might have a plane ready to operate a flight but not a crew (because they’re stuck in another city and/or have maxed out their flying time, and there aren’t many reserves), or you might have a crew but not a plane.

Spirit employees were running away

With Spirit Airlines having major operational issues, there have been reports of passengers trying to assault Spirit Airlines employees, and damage Spirit Airlines equipment. As a result, Spirit Airlines has pulled employees from many airports, and has even encouraged employees to change out of uniform. Yes, that’s how bad things have become, at least towards the beginning of these operational issues.

This seemed to start in San Juan, where all contract employees left their positions. While there had been reports that this was some sort of industrial action, it seems much more likely that they simply left for their safety, given how they were being treated by some passengers.

https://twitter.com/casan787/status/1422184492467474441

Early Monday morning, planes were being told to divert away from San Juan due to “civil unrest happening within the facilities.”

C’mon, folks, act better. This is completely unacceptable. Obviously everyone is extremely frustrated by cancelations and delays, but it’s wrong to let this out on frontline employees. They have no fault in this, and are just trying their best to get people on their way. Assaulting them is so wrong.

Spirit Airlines is having a staffing shortage

What’s going on with Spirit’s operations department?

Airline meltdowns happen, it’s just a function of how smoothly airlines can recover. In the case of Spirit Airlines, it seems that things really spiraled out of control. I can’t help but wonder what’s going on with Spirit Airlines’ operations department:

  • Did Spirit have a bunch of people working in operations retire during the pandemic, and the airline isn’t staffed to handle issues like this?
  • Is Spirit’s technology for fixing messes like this and rescheduling planes not as good as at other airlines?

While you never expect an airline can fix its operation from one day to the next, it seems like it’s taking Spirit an especially long time to recover from this.

Bottom line

Spirit Airlines is having an operationally disastrous week, with roughly 1,900 cancelations. This can’t even be attributed to one cause. Rather there has been a bit of bad weather, but mainly it has just been a total meltdown, as Spirit’s operation has been unable to cope with the number of flights scheduled. On top of that, passengers have been assaulting employees, causing staff to be pulled from many airports for their own safety. I can’t help but feel like there’s a bit of room for improvement in Spirit’s operations department here.

Things are indeed slowly improving, though even so we’re still at 20%+ daily cancelations, which is high. Hopefully within the next few days Spirit can run something resembling a semi-reliable operation.

Are any OMAAT readers caught up in the Spirit Airlines mess?

Conversations (87)
Newest comments are displayed first.

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. kevin r

    It is completely wrong to assault employees. BUT let's keep in mind that this airline thrives on "too bad, you knew what you were getting into." and then there's no feedback mechanism for an airline running too skimpily.

    I think if Spirit is telling their employees "don't let anyone know you work for us", then what's that say about the company or how they even want to be seen? This general model can't work. It's...

    It is completely wrong to assault employees. BUT let's keep in mind that this airline thrives on "too bad, you knew what you were getting into." and then there's no feedback mechanism for an airline running too skimpily.

    I think if Spirit is telling their employees "don't let anyone know you work for us", then what's that say about the company or how they even want to be seen? This general model can't work. It's already bad enough that every interaction with Spirit makes it clear that their mission is to take your money, and having to deliver you to Ft. Lauderdale is an unwelcome byproduct of their core mission. By comparison, Frontier is the same on paper, but they're pretty obviously trying to facilitate you getting somewhere, and they don't thrive on gotcha fees the way Spirit does.

  2. Connie Thomas

    Flights were also canceled July 31st after multiple delays. The agents at the gate were unwilling-unable to help but simply told passengers to go back to the ticket desk, out security and ask for a refund. After waiting in line another hour to simply hand me a 1800 number to call Spirit... who then tried to put me on the very plane and gate I had been standing at previously. That plane and every other...

    Flights were also canceled July 31st after multiple delays. The agents at the gate were unwilling-unable to help but simply told passengers to go back to the ticket desk, out security and ask for a refund. After waiting in line another hour to simply hand me a 1800 number to call Spirit... who then tried to put me on the very plane and gate I had been standing at previously. That plane and every other plane that day was canceled. It was a mere hour of this fiasco that Allegiant and others caught on and price gouged their flights...the car rental companies joined in the game as well.

  3. upstater

    What is particularly distressing about the service quality meltdowns that seem to affect all carriers is the lack of regulatory response by the federal government. The airlines know well in advance how many passengers to expect and therefore crew and equipment requirements to meet demand. Aside from severe weather, there is simply no excuse for the incompetence and greed of the executives that allow this to happen again and again. Corporations can do no wrong...

    What is particularly distressing about the service quality meltdowns that seem to affect all carriers is the lack of regulatory response by the federal government. The airlines know well in advance how many passengers to expect and therefore crew and equipment requirements to meet demand. Aside from severe weather, there is simply no excuse for the incompetence and greed of the executives that allow this to happen again and again. Corporations can do no wrong in our one party state.

  4. David

    Has anyone noticed that this summer UA has been the most dependable airline? They are not in the news at all, and that's a good thing. Apparently UA made the decision they weren't going to add more flights then they could handle.

    While it's been rough scheduling flights (frequencies are pretty limited) at least this summer I haven't had one flight cancelled or seriously delayed.

  5. Win

    It’s mostly the folks in network planning. Trying to make as much money as possible with little care , regard for the other departments at the airline. Can’t blame them. It just an airline sucky thing.

  6. Ghostrider5408

    "You reap what you sew"

  7. Deano

    Here’s a bit of a statement from one of their left handed seats. About 2 years ago my neighbors had another child and we’re forced to move to a larger house. At their new residence they had a BBQ gathering with new and old neighbors. I was introduced to one of my buddy’s new neighbors (heck of a nice fella) and through general conversation I asked what he did for a living, he told me...

    Here’s a bit of a statement from one of their left handed seats. About 2 years ago my neighbors had another child and we’re forced to move to a larger house. At their new residence they had a BBQ gathering with new and old neighbors. I was introduced to one of my buddy’s new neighbors (heck of a nice fella) and through general conversation I asked what he did for a living, he told me he was a commercial pilot. I pretty much had to drag his employer out of him. I asked why he was so embarrassed to fly for Spirit; his reply to me was “Friends don’t let friends fly Spirit”.
    I think that may say something…

    1. Ghostrider5408

      But Deano I get what and how he said it there are a lot of airlines and cargo outfits looking for qualified pilots no matter how much seniority flying for Big Brown pays a hell of a lot more.

  8. dean

    @David
    I don’t think yourcomment about working, wages, and food is fair towards the contracted employees. After all if violence began to erupt, one can’t blame them for leaving their job assignment. Who knows, perhaps their contract employer requested them to leave given the circumstances, I know I sure would have bailed. Sorry, I just don’t think you are giving them a fair shake with all of the unknowns.

  9. Tom

    95% of this story is simply repeated every day.
    Combining canceled and delayed is very misleading. Spirit cancelations give flyers no option to get to where they want to be. Delays are simply inconvenient.

    1. keivn r

      When a delay turns into a missed connection, it's effectively a cancellation, since it could literally be 3 or 4 days before they can get you there, which might be after your return date.

  10. Floyd R Kenderdine

    You get waht you pay for. You want cheap fares, you can expect cheap service.

  11. Peter Beck

    I got bumped from the flight yesterday from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale. I fly Spirit often and find it very adequate. After buying a ticket on a different carrier I finally got into Fort Lauderdale at 1 a.m. last night. Other passengers on the shuttle bus with me said something to the effect of spirit requiring Pilots to get covid-19 vaccinated. Can't confirm this but he said Pilots are going out on strike cuz they...

    I got bumped from the flight yesterday from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale. I fly Spirit often and find it very adequate. After buying a ticket on a different carrier I finally got into Fort Lauderdale at 1 a.m. last night. Other passengers on the shuttle bus with me said something to the effect of spirit requiring Pilots to get covid-19 vaccinated. Can't confirm this but he said Pilots are going out on strike cuz they don't want it. Every Spirit employee I talked to you yesterday was mum on what was happening

    1. doublejade

      You know that is a rumor right?

  12. Aruba1

    My parents' international flight (on 7/31/21) to Ft Lauderdale was a nightmare and it was delayed 2 hours. Spirit cancelled their connecting flight for NO reason and booked them on another flight 4 days later with no hotel accommodation. I had to drive 12 hours to pick them up and 14 hours return drive as we had car issues (darn Toyota fuel pump recall). My mom is 71 and with two cancers. My father is...

    My parents' international flight (on 7/31/21) to Ft Lauderdale was a nightmare and it was delayed 2 hours. Spirit cancelled their connecting flight for NO reason and booked them on another flight 4 days later with no hotel accommodation. I had to drive 12 hours to pick them up and 14 hours return drive as we had car issues (darn Toyota fuel pump recall). My mom is 71 and with two cancers. My father is 79 and in a wheelchair. They don't speak much English (they are shy) so they slept in the airport until I arrived at 8a. They don't have credit cards so they did not eat until late after they saw someone they knew that was on the same flight. The person was kind enough to help them purchase food with his CC. My parents said the airport was a nightmare. Many families with infants slept there too there were about 50 people stranded. We couldn't get them a hotel as all hotels near the airport were booked. Spirit agreed to refund $380 for their connecting flight. The Rep was very kind to cancel their return flights also. He stated he didn't know the exact refund. Six days later the $380 connecting flight refund came in but nothing about the return flights. We spend $300 in gas and toll and we will have to send to the insurance company for refund (fingers cross). I am glad that we got new tickets on a reputable carrier. All this because my mom wanted the cheaper flight ($130) although I was paying for their tickets. Lessons learned, Never Spirit Again! And I will be disputing 50% of the purchase ticket price as I have proof that they agreed on the refund.

    1. doublejade

      What a nightmare. I feel so sorry for your parents.

  13. Gilda Karp

    Assault against anyone is against the law. It is up to the airline to protect its employees.
    Covid has all of us stressed but that is not a free pass to assault employees. Write to the head guy in charge and grow up! Men who assault women are cowards. Women who assault airline employees need to remember what being a lady is. I personally would like to see the whole lot of you get put in mail.

  14. Bob Loblaw

    “causing staff to be pulled from many airports for their own safety.”

    San Juan and ….?

    Don’t extrapolate one incident with vague hand waves and blame it on customers.

    1. E.M.

      The crazed customers attacking employees occured at multiple airports and is definitely a part of the issue, bud.

  15. EM

    Hello! I have a relative who works at Spirit, and apparently the system Spirit and American Airlines got hacked. I'm not sure why they got hacked, but it was enough combined with other factors to cause the meltdown. Also my relative was attacked by angry people. They think there's a strike, which there absolutely is not. Overall a poor situation and I hope it resolves soon.

    1. Bob

      “ and apparently the system Spirit and American Airlines got hacked. ”

      No. That’s as believable as continuing to blame it on weather.

    2. EM

      Why isn't it believable? :/ A big issue is the IT outage going on in the systems... Do you know anyone personally who works there? Enlighten me to what issues there could be.

  16. William Rivera

    I plan my annual family vacations months in advance. I was all set to take my kids to Puerto Rico this past Sunday. 2 hours before the flight I get a notification that it was cancelled. I called spirit. Waited 30 plus minutes on hold and was told the best they could do was rebook me to Wednesday. I reluctantly agreed. Today I get a notification that today’s flight was once again cancelled. I had...

    I plan my annual family vacations months in advance. I was all set to take my kids to Puerto Rico this past Sunday. 2 hours before the flight I get a notification that it was cancelled. I called spirit. Waited 30 plus minutes on hold and was told the best they could do was rebook me to Wednesday. I reluctantly agreed. Today I get a notification that today’s flight was once again cancelled. I had enough. I called again and demanded a refund. They complied but never again will I trust spirit with my families vacation. The savings they offer are not worth the risks. My kids lost their summer vacation because an airline was irresponsible in its operations.

  17. Mary

    First, there are flight attendants and pilots stranded places with no hotel rooms as well as passengers. This is not something that ANY PERSON AT SPIRIT wanted or did with malice. We don’t live in a perfect world contrary so obviously some of your beliefs. Things happen, things go wrong, you learn from them, you fix them as quickly as possible, which Spirit is trying to do! BUT, when passengers start assaulting flight attendants, gate...

    First, there are flight attendants and pilots stranded places with no hotel rooms as well as passengers. This is not something that ANY PERSON AT SPIRIT wanted or did with malice. We don’t live in a perfect world contrary so obviously some of your beliefs. Things happen, things go wrong, you learn from them, you fix them as quickly as possible, which Spirit is trying to do! BUT, when passengers start assaulting flight attendants, gate agents and any others, you are part of the PROBLEM ALSO. So congrats! Would you go to work in fear that someone is going to jump you….and none of this is their fault! Carry on with your ignorance!

  18. Kelly Seagle

    No it is not acceptable for the employees to be assaulted but it's not acceptable to be lied to by their employees either. I was stuck in fort lauderdale after my connecting flight was canceled. It was a nightmare I never want to go through again. It cost me every dime I had to finally fly with another airline back home after 24 hours of no sleep or food.

  19. Matt

    The biggest issue is that Spirit refuses to rebook people onto other airlines and in some cases is telling them they can’t get a flight for 5-8 days out,

    With a place like Puerto Rico, you can’t just rent a car and drive home instead, so people are very unhappy.

  20. madgoat

    All of the airlines are having a rough go of it lately due to mispredicting demand coming out of the vaccine rollout and reopenings but this takes the cake. In the beforetimes Spirit was awful during IRROPS but this is a whole other level: thousands of PAX stranded, no interline agreements to shift them to other carriers, and sold out flights every day going forward so no seats to rebook them into. How does an...

    All of the airlines are having a rough go of it lately due to mispredicting demand coming out of the vaccine rollout and reopenings but this takes the cake. In the beforetimes Spirit was awful during IRROPS but this is a whole other level: thousands of PAX stranded, no interline agreements to shift them to other carriers, and sold out flights every day going forward so no seats to rebook them into. How does an airline dig themselves out of this? I always avoided Spirit, Allegiant and Frontier because of the thin schedules, small network and no interlining and don't see that changing any time soon.

    As for the rioting PAX, no excuses, but this is Spirit after all and tbh none of us should be surprised.

  21. Jenny

    Why doesn’t the US Government give us the same rights Europeans have under regulation EC 261/2004? When flights in Europe are delayed or canceled, the airline is explicitly required to pay substantial compensation to the passengers. This hasn’t killed low cost flying in Europe, their largest airlines include the likes of Ryanair, Easyjet, WizzAir, etc. If US carriers deliver on what they’ve contracted to provide their passengers, they will never have to pay compensation and...

    Why doesn’t the US Government give us the same rights Europeans have under regulation EC 261/2004? When flights in Europe are delayed or canceled, the airline is explicitly required to pay substantial compensation to the passengers. This hasn’t killed low cost flying in Europe, their largest airlines include the likes of Ryanair, Easyjet, WizzAir, etc. If US carriers deliver on what they’ve contracted to provide their passengers, they will never have to pay compensation and have nothing to worry about. And if there’s a meltdown like Spirit is having, they will pay the price.

  22. Eric

    Only way forward I can think of out of this mess would be to take a 12 to 16 hour "reset". Spend half or 2/3 of a day to repo planes into position, give time for crews to reset their duty time limitations and address maintenance issues that can't be fixed with an MEL sticker.
    The financial hit will hurt but Customer goodwill is already down the toilet so that's not really an issue.

  23. snowe

    Welcome to Joe Biden's America.
    At least this airport had jet fuel.

  24. Joe

    This article leaves off the fact spirits app doesn't give notifications when flights are canceled, nor are they sending text or calls. When they do cancel the same day of the flight they give no remedy. Their website has no way to contact them and after you get through after hours on hold they say to go to the airport and can't help. They don't auto refund and just keep the money. You have to...

    This article leaves off the fact spirits app doesn't give notifications when flights are canceled, nor are they sending text or calls. When they do cancel the same day of the flight they give no remedy. Their website has no way to contact them and after you get through after hours on hold they say to go to the airport and can't help. They don't auto refund and just keep the money. You have to fill put a request to get your money back and you are shafted and stuck. Then you stuck laying max price. The agents at the airport are no help. Maybe if you are being assaulted your company is reposiblw for treating people like garbage in the first place. Don't blame the stuck abandoned people who are out their money and get no help.

  25. Gregg

    So, Spirit (and American for that matter) are unable to cope with the number of flights scheduled?

    That begs the question “Why did they schedule the flights in the first place?” Was it wishful thinking on their part that crews were going to somehow miraculously become available?

    The onus is on all carriers to schedule only what they can reasonably handle given their confirmed resources available, and not some pie-in-the-sky hope that every little...

    So, Spirit (and American for that matter) are unable to cope with the number of flights scheduled?

    That begs the question “Why did they schedule the flights in the first place?” Was it wishful thinking on their part that crews were going to somehow miraculously become available?

    The onus is on all carriers to schedule only what they can reasonably handle given their confirmed resources available, and not some pie-in-the-sky hope that every little piece will fall into place where and when needed. Come-on, this isn’t their first rodeo. Even when the weather was perfect systemwide their ability to handle the operation was stretched to the limit. That’s just asking for trouble.

    Keep it up and Congress will step in to fix what they and their constituents perceive to be the problem: irresponsible scheduling and delay handling by the airlines. And any “solution” enacted by Congress will only cost everyone more money.

    1. EM

      A part of it that no one is talking about is that the system these airlines use was hacked, which combined with weather, and full flights, led to the meltdown. I don't think it's necessarily their fault that some hacker got into the scheduling situation, then angry people attacked the employees so it's not safe for them to stay around at the airport. I don't know, I don't think airlines plan for cyberattacks usually...

  26. Carl WV

    What "popular" airlines, other than Spirit and Frontier, do not have any interline agreements?

    I assume the Spirit load rate is high, so it seems this will be hard for Spirit to dig their way out of. And no interline agreements just makes it worse.

    1. Sal

      Southwest and JetBlue don't.
      Ok, technically JetBlue has some with foreign carriers and one with American that has never been used.

  27. Jose Alfonso

    Sorry folks. Its people behaving like savages. Its that simple. If you do not like the service then go to another carrier. What is happening in our airports is the manifestation of what our society is turning into. People behaving like savages and then blaming their actions on someone else (In this case its an airline).

  28. Winnie

    Now that I think about it our flight on Friday to Orlando was delayed and Sunday
    coming back was delayed from Orlando to Lauderdale was delayed and from Lauderdale to New York was delayed as well my husband was frustrated .

  29. Barbara

    My spirit flight was canceled on Saturday from the Tampa airport. Actually there was 3 canceled while I was waiting in line for 5 hours so the spirit agents could rebook my flight. I really was impressed with the agents. I appreciate spirit rebooking my flight with another airline accommodation for the night and a meal. This is very costly to this airline and they would not be canceling flight unless it was necessary. Come...

    My spirit flight was canceled on Saturday from the Tampa airport. Actually there was 3 canceled while I was waiting in line for 5 hours so the spirit agents could rebook my flight. I really was impressed with the agents. I appreciate spirit rebooking my flight with another airline accommodation for the night and a meal. This is very costly to this airline and they would not be canceling flight unless it was necessary. Come on people every where you look there are help wat d signs posted. A pilot needs special training and is not a someone that can be hired off the street.
    Show PRIDE in America and have a little empathy. Sorry for your inconvenience but you are not alone standing in the long lines. Show a little respect for the agents who did come to work.

  30. JOJO

    What happened to the billions to keep employees on the payroll

    TOTAL SCAM.

    WE THE TAX PAYING PEOPLE GOT FU&KED AGAIN

  31. Louie

    We where in Myrtle Beach yesterday got our Boarding passes then got an email flight cancled. They offered a refund or Possibly get us on a flight 13 hours later and never offered a hotel or even a damn bottle water after standing in line for 2.5 hrs brutal

  32. Miguel

    Lets start a campaign to rename Spirit, how about “we will kill your flying spirit” or “Spiritless Airlines” better yet “Flying Bandits”. How does this disgusting airline with it’s medieval business model survive? It is a throwback to the used car lots of a bygone era. Hmmm, second thought I miss the 300lb used car sales managers of 70s Called Guido, Hey Ha you doin? They always wore a pinky ring and had sweaty palms.

    1. INS Vikrant

      Reminds me of the boss from F is for Family lol.

  33. Mike

    While I do not condone violence, Spirit, and all airlines, need to be accountable for the impacts their poor planning and ops cause. I am not one to call for more government regulations, but if they are consistently selling, but not delivering, their product, they are begging for big brother to step in.

    1. snic

      Or maybe they should just go out of business.

  34. Tim Dunn

    Spirit starts the day today with 37% of its flights cancelled. They are in a wholesale operational meltdown that will take a long time to recover from - all while continuing to be unable to accommodate passengers that have been on cancelled flights form the last several days.

  35. Ella The Cat

    I’m gonna buy a Cirrus or a Diamond aircraft and fly my own ass around.

    1. OPR

      Let us know where you're going - maybe you can sell the other seats on OMAAT :P.

    2. losingtrader

      Do you plan to get a pilot's license or are you just going to "wing it" so to speak?
      You know, Garmin does sell AUTOLAND if you can figure out how to take off...

  36. Ella The Cat

    Recently (2 months) I had reservations on American from LAX to Bogota. That flight was canceled and American online purchase of tickets for the same flight was ongoing! No wonder American posted record earnings last week when they sold tickets and did not fly….
    Plus the dirty low down CEO grifted $10 million dollar bonus from USA citizens with PPP money…

  37. CG

    If AA and Spirit are competing for the greyhound awards, AA passengers are getting hosed. AA charges way more $$$ than Spirit for the same crappy service, not mention AAs tiny commuter planes are seriously cramped, even for short people. I have never flown Spirit and don't plan on doing so in the future, but AA is pretty terrible. And the "Greyhound Award" goes to ....

  38. Matt

    American and Spirit are battling for the title of worst airline. American wins by a nose though because it first screws your wallet before screwing your travel plans.

  39. Megan

    Some of the reports are true. Employees were advised to change and for our safety step away from service roles because we were literally being attacked by the passengers. The conditions were literally becoming unsafe for us with the sheer amount of unruly passengers physically attacking us in MCO, FLL, and SJU. We were made to hide the last night.

  40. Dale

    Rule 240 needs to be codified into law ASAP.

  41. Iop

    Passengers get what they deserve. There’s no reason to fly this airline to save a few bucks. Only then going out of business is what they will understand

  42. Karen

    I work at the airport in Orlando and have witnessed first hand how disorganized and under staffed Spirit Airways is. There are only 4-5 agents checking in passengers with hundreds hundred trying to check in. Then they are expanding service out of Orlando? What are they thinking!

    1. Gil

      I believe Spirit wants to have a big presence in Miami in addition to FLL and Orlando. Good luck with that..

    2. Mary

      The gate agents in Orlando are not employed by Spirit…they are employed by a 3rd party.

  43. John Davies

    How is this possible the government gave the airlines billions to keep everyone on the payroll and now they don’t have enough people. Get my money back from them. Way to go the airlines get billions and now try to tell us they are short people. Give me a break

  44. American waiting on Alaska

    Alaska Airlines is dumping flights right and left, leaving many stranded. We’ve been sitting at SFO for 4 hrs, multiple delays with planes never leaving LAX. After speaking with Alaska reps and being feed their customary lies, we are still here for at least another 3 hours. This is what greed looks like. Shame on every airline for biting off more than they can chew. Empty promises and substandard and/or lack of ANY service will put them out of business, hopefully.

  45. Tim Corbett

    I recently had Spirit delay my flight over 14 hours from Cleveland to LAX. It was a late night flight, and they offered a hotel voucher but the hotel had no rooms available when we shuttled there - at 1:00 am. Spirit personnel at Hopkins were unable to find rooms for us. I slept on the marble floor at Hopkins Airport.
    Our delayed 11:00 am flight the next day on 7/27 was again delayed...

    I recently had Spirit delay my flight over 14 hours from Cleveland to LAX. It was a late night flight, and they offered a hotel voucher but the hotel had no rooms available when we shuttled there - at 1:00 am. Spirit personnel at Hopkins were unable to find rooms for us. I slept on the marble floor at Hopkins Airport.
    Our delayed 11:00 am flight the next day on 7/27 was again delayed until 1:00 pm, due to no crew.
    I arrived at LAX 14 plus hours later than scheduled, and Spirit Air has offered me two $50 vouchers that expire in September if unused.

  46. CMC

    All airlines face this at some point. Delta did it twice last year during the holidays. jetBlue has daily massive delays. AA has an annual meltdown. Southwest was just a couple of weeks ago. Yay for Spirit for making this a very rare occurrence.

    Mind you, there's no way in hell I'd get on a plane on any carrier right now to anywhere. Way too many angry people out there these days.

    1. Bob

      No, not all airlines cancel half their flights for four consecutive days. None. At least not in the US.

    2. dstblj 52

      yep airlines melt down but only the ulcc's go critical

    3. snic

      I've taken a few trips this year and haven't encountered a single "angry person." Plane travel, car rentals, etc have been calm and normal, aside from mask mandates, which everyone I've encountered has complied with without outward rancor or complaint.

      Angry people get social media attention, which might lead one to believe that as soon as you get to the airport you'll encounter rage. Calm people, however, are the vast majority, and most of them...

      I've taken a few trips this year and haven't encountered a single "angry person." Plane travel, car rentals, etc have been calm and normal, aside from mask mandates, which everyone I've encountered has complied with without outward rancor or complaint.

      Angry people get social media attention, which might lead one to believe that as soon as you get to the airport you'll encounter rage. Calm people, however, are the vast majority, and most of them get no social media attention at all.

  47. Karen

    This has been happening for weeks. Not just a couple of days. We waited. 20 hours for flight from phl to myr. Same thing on return flight. They had no crews stop dock plane either. Bottom line.. DONT HAVE ENOUGH STAFF.

  48. Alpha Golf

    Explains why I just spent six hours waiting for a customer service response on WhatsApp.

    They apparently cancelled the BOS-BWI route, including a reservation I had. Offered me a $50 voucher to take credit instead of refund. I opted for refund.

    I flew them quite bit pre-COVID, with no problems, so quite a bummer. They really screwed me over, though -- alternative flights are now terrible.

  49. Stephen Morrissey

    This is sad.
    But hilarious.
    So looking forward to my trip to SJU.
    I will be bringing my 10 foot python purchased in FLL.

    1. Regalyn Williams

      Not the snake, Stephen!

  50. Steve

    Well we all voted for a certain president last november (for good and obvious reasons) however he also prioritizes staying at home collecting unemployment this is leading to staffing problems in all industries, guess we have to take the bad here with the good.

    1. Eskimo

      To be fair to the new muppet, the old muppet was the one who approved the unemployment benefits.
      I always do wonder, what would 2021 be if it was Hillary or Cruz. LOL

      We still need Cookie Monster for President.

    2. Jake212

      What an absolutely moronic and down right ignorant comment. Trump approved the bump to the unemployment benefits because within the span of a month MILLIONS of Americans got laid off. Add on they knew next to nothing about the virus, how it spreads, how best to treat it and companies refused to hire. Biden has been afforded a fully rolled out vaccines, companies are hiring like crazy and people STILL sat on their ass at...

      What an absolutely moronic and down right ignorant comment. Trump approved the bump to the unemployment benefits because within the span of a month MILLIONS of Americans got laid off. Add on they knew next to nothing about the virus, how it spreads, how best to treat it and companies refused to hire. Biden has been afforded a fully rolled out vaccines, companies are hiring like crazy and people STILL sat on their ass at home because Biden’s socialist administration kept pumping enhanced unemployment benefits into their bank account. Biden is an absolute disaster on so many levels. But keep using Trump as an excuse. It’s what all Libs do because they’re now realizing they have no clue to do anything better than Trump did.

    3. David

      You mean, when people aren't as concerned about starving to death, they would rather not work rather than work a job that gives minimum pay but expects the world out of them?

    4. Dave Edwards

      Watch the videos, you can see how the passengers are acting like animals. They used their last few dollars to buy the cheapest flights to Florida and now are complaining they don’t have money for food. Add in they have to start paying rent again and it’s a perfect storm of angry American poor.

    5. Kevin

      You know Steve.... the fact that we live in a country where it is more profitable to sit and home and collect unemployment in itself is a problem. If we had a living wage across the board, people would work rather than collect more money from unemployment.

      The issue is not the unemployment it is the employment.

    6. Regalyn Williams

      Absolutely, Kevin!!

    7. Fsuga

      Nothing could be further from the truth. People get paid precisely what they are worth in the market. How do we know this? They agree to work for the amount of pay they receive. Fortunately, we do not operate in a socialist system where a "living wage (bwahaha)" creates essentially the same level of commitment as unemployment does and fails to give people incentive to better their career and education. Can you imagine living in...

      Nothing could be further from the truth. People get paid precisely what they are worth in the market. How do we know this? They agree to work for the amount of pay they receive. Fortunately, we do not operate in a socialist system where a "living wage (bwahaha)" creates essentially the same level of commitment as unemployment does and fails to give people incentive to better their career and education. Can you imagine living in a world where every business you deal with is staffed with people who work at the DMV or Post Office? Those people know they essentially can't get fired and have zero incentive to perform on a level above and beyond the minimum. No thank you.

  51. Tim Dunn

    thanks for fairly noting that American is not the only airline in meltdown mode this weekend.
    Given that Spirit doesn't put passengers on other flights and doesn't have a network to reconnect passengers, this is impacting tens of thousands of passengers with little hope of quick recovery.

  52. James S

    More proof that AA and Spirit are actually the same airline

    1. Sir Walter Raleigh

      Ol’ dougie fits right in!

      https://www.cnbc.com/id/17099330

    2. Austin787

      American and Spirit merger in the works? lol

  53. Jonathan

    "Spirit Airlines has canceled 269 flights, making up 35% of the schedule
    Spirit Airlines has canceled 126 flights, making up 16% of the schedule"

    I think one of those is supposed to say "delayed"

Featured Comments Load all 87 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

James S

More proof that AA and Spirit are actually the same airline

David

You mean, when people aren't as concerned about starving to death, they would rather not work rather than work a job that gives minimum pay but expects the world out of them?

Gregg

So, Spirit (and American for that matter) are unable to cope with the number of flights scheduled? That begs the question “Why did they schedule the flights in the first place?” Was it wishful thinking on their part that crews were going to somehow miraculously become available? The onus is on all carriers to schedule only what they can reasonably handle given their confirmed resources available, and not some pie-in-the-sky hope that every little piece will fall into place where and when needed. Come-on, this isn’t their first rodeo. Even when the weather was perfect systemwide their ability to handle the operation was stretched to the limit. That’s just asking for trouble. Keep it up and Congress will step in to fix what they and their constituents perceive to be the problem: irresponsible scheduling and delay handling by the airlines. And any “solution” enacted by Congress will only cost everyone more money.

Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published