The skies aren't so friendly right now for passengers and pilots of Spirit Airlines, the original budget "Bare Fare" carrier in America. Three disorderly conduct arrests were made Monday night at the Fort Lauderdale Airport after unexpected flight cancellations caused several hundred stranded passengers to be left to fend for refunds and new flights. And there was anger.
A federal lawsuit filed by the carrier against the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) Monday in the Southern District of Florida alleges that 300 Spirit flights have been canceled since the beginning of May, including 81 canceled flights on Sunday and not including at least 28 more that were canceled on Tuesday morning, a result of what the lawsuit calls a "pervasive illegal work slowdown" by the pilots.
In a statement provided to BuzzFeed, an ALPA spokesman denied that the organization and the pilots it represents aren't engaged in a job action: "Rather, ALPA and the Spirit pilots are continuing to do everything possible to help restore the company’s operations, which have experienced significant problems over the past several days.”
Passengers of Spirit Airlines became disorderly after 81 flights were cancelled on the same day.
Captain Stuart Morrison, who chairs ALPA's Spirit members, told NBC News that "Spirit pilots are not prepared to embark on the fool's errand of accepting substandard pay and retirement based on the unenforceable hypothesis that the company may grow more quickly. Our 'peers' throughout the industry have uniformly and properly rejected agreements based on that theory."
For the past four years, Spirit Airlines has been the only American carrier to be given a two-star rating by transport rating organization Skytrax, "signifying poorer or inconsistent standards of Product and front-line Staff Service for the Cabin Service and the home-base Airport environment." Something to keep in mind the next time you're searching for a well-priced fare.
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