Why did Spirit Airlines cancel 365 flights? Thousands of passengers left 'tired and hungry'

While they canceled 165 flights on Sunday, August 1, over 200 flights were canceled on August 2 in San Juan, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando

                            Why did Spirit Airlines cancel 365 flights? Thousands of passengers left 'tired and hungry'
Spirit Airlines canceled 165 flights on August 1, followed by 200 more on August 2 (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Spirit Airlines reportedly canceled over 30 percent of its scheduled flights, affecting thousands of passengers who were stranded in airports across the country. On Monday, August 2, it was the second consecutive day that the budget airlines decided to disrupt their service. While they canceled 165 flights on Sunday, August 1, over 200 flights were canceled on Monday. Disgruntled travelers lashed out at the airlines all over social media, while they waited in line for hours. 

The budget airlines has been involved in their fair share of controversies, prompting passengers to question their service time and again. In April 2021, the airlines came under fire after a flight attendant forced a family of four to deplane because their toddler was refusing to keep a mask on. In another incident from May, a violent brawl broke out midflight on a Spirit aircraft, putting passengers in severe distress. Even recently, a shocking incident of molestation took place onboard a Spirit flight, where a young woman was groped by a middle-aged man. 


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Due to the mass-scale flight cancellations on two consecutive days, passengers were stranded in airports like San Juan in Puerto Rico and Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando in Florida. Photos have surfaced on the internet showing passengers seated on the floors, while they desperately waited for an update from the airlines. They faced issues with delays in update, missing luggage, and long wait for ticket refunds. 

Initially, the rumors of a pilot strike started doing rounds before a Spirit spokesperson denied the same. They later attributed the rampant cancellations to "weather and operational challenges", without providing further details. 

"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. We needed to make proactive cancellations to some flights across the network, but the majority of flights are still scheduled as planned," Spirit Spokesperson Erik Hofmeyer informed the Sun Sentinel in a statement. 

Meanwhile, stranded passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration, as one user wrote, "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 #Spirit #useless"

"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," another user tweeted. 

A third passenger tweeted, "Stuck at the Orlando Airport since 8am. Extremely disappointed in @SpiritAirlines how do you not have staff for a flight you scheduled???? Please let us know when there will be another flight to Kansas City. Getting ahold of you guys is almost non existent."




There were speculations among passengers that Spirit Airlines employees reportedly resigned in mass, to protest poor wages and work environment. However, reports about the same were not confirmed by the airlines. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents Spirit's flight attendants, said in a statement that the operational issues were due to weather and technology outages, among other issues. What is was not about, the union said: a worker strike, as some have speculated. "A few news outlets have incorrectly reported that this may be due to a strike. This is not true. There is no flight attendant strike. Crews are not the issue,'' the union said, according to USA Today.

"Before it becomes news: Spirit Airlines employees quit en masse in protest of low wages and poor work conditions today, stranding thousands at Orlando International Airport. Folks all over the world are wondering where their loved ones are," a Twitter user wrote. 

Another said, "Spirit Airlines cancelled tons of flights and stranded passengers. Allegedly their ground crews (contract, not Spirit employees) quit and walked off the job," while one more user tweeted, "Everybody that works for Spirit Airlines just flat out quit today."