Thousands of Spirit Airlines passengers have been stranded in airports for hours after the budget carrier canceled 30 percent of its scheduled flights nationwide.
On Monday, the Florida-based airline canceled over 200 flights throughout the US, in addition to 165 canceled flights on Sunday, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.com.
Travelers took to social media to share vent their frustrations from airports in cities such as San Juan, Miami, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale while they waited for updates from the airline.
Photos and videos showed the travelers seated on the ground as they complained of being hot and hungry in packed terminals.
Rumors of a pilot strike began circulating online before a Spirit spokesperson quashed that speculation and said the cancellations were due to weather and ‘other operational challenges’.
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Thousands of Spirit Airlines passengers have been stranded in airports for hours after the budget-friendly carrier canceled 30 percent of its scheduled flights nationwide. Photos and videos posted by travelers venting their frustrations on social media showed them seated on dirty airport floors as they complained of being hot and hungry in packed terminals
While rumors began circulating of a strike, a spokesperson for Spirit quickly denied those rumors, citing weather and ‘other operational challenges’ as the culprit for the delays
Following the cancellations, many passengers began voicing their frustration online, commenting on long waits for refunds, missing luggage, and other customer service challenges
‘We’re working around the clock to get back on track in the wake of some travel disruptions over the weekend due to a series of weather and operational challenges,’ Sprit spokesperson Erik Hofmeyer told the Sun Sentinel in an email.
‘We needed to make proactive cancellations to some flights across the network, but the majority of flights are still scheduled as planned,’ he added.
Passengers flying on Spirit Airlines were stranded for hours after the budget-friendly carrier canceled 30% of its scheduled flights nationwide, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.com
Following the cancellations, many passengers began sharing their woes on Twitter, describing long waits for refunds, missing luggage, and other customer service challenges.
One passenger even complained about waiting in line for almost seven hours.
‘Update, been here in line almost 7 hrs. I’m tired, hungry, hot and I’m finally close to the front. @SpiritAirlines No comment on what’s going…’ they wrote.
‘This is absolutely ridiculous. First fight was delayed. Twice. Then canceled. Got my flight changed to a different airport. Then THAT flight got canceled. Then went to the desks and all the spirit employees left and refused to come back to help us!’ another user tweeted.
A third passenger commented on agents refusing to assist guests after waiting in line four hours.
‘What’s worse is the fact only two people are actually assisting guests when the other agent assist line are refusing people. Been on the phone for almost 2 hours waiting on an agent to fix this mess as well,’ they wrote.
One passenger said he and his family were stranded overnight in Puerto Rico, without any clothes or essentials for his one and three-year-olds.
‘When #spiritairlines leaves you stranded in Puerto Rico with no employees in sight and holds your luggage and money hostage. We were stuck overnight with no clothes or essentials for our 3 or 1 year olds and are still without answers and searching for flights,’ he wrote on Twitter.
Carolyn Fennell, an Orlando airport spokeswoman, speculated that COVID-19 also played a factor in the cancellations.
‘I think the question of why it’s happening is a combination of weather with afternoon storms and lightning; airline staffs are reduced by COVID not just here but across the nation and you’ve got a huge spike in travel,’ she told the Sun Sentinel.
‘It’s all of that, a perfect storm.’
Spirit did not immediately return DailyMail.com’s request for comment.