SPIRIT Airlines is being blamed for lying to its stranded passengers after nixing half of its scheduled flights on the fourth consecutive day of travel disarray.
Since Sunday, hundreds of Spirit flights have been getting delayed or scrubbed and customers are fuming, accusing the airline of ducking the truth or ignoring their grievances.
Spirit travelers in Philadelphia were forced to sleep on ticketing seats after the airline cut 60% of its flights since Sunday claiming weather, technological outages and staff overlap was to blameCredit: AP
In Los Angeles, large cues swelled at the Spirit ticketing booth as a result of the delays and cancelationsCredit: Getty
LIED TO AND IGNORED
“The nerve of you all,” wrote T. Kirkland in a tweet. “My disabled mother and 6yr old daughter [were] stranded for hours at both FLL and TPA this weekend.
She claimed the airline served up a whopper for the reasons why they couldn’t take off.
“[The] lies of being down 1 flight attendant on both trips was scandalous! This was absurd.
“Won’t be surprised if a class action follows.”
Allie Coughlin accused Spirit of hanging up on her in an attempt to get answers.
“One of your representatives HUNG UP on us while we were trying to get information on our flight that was canceled,” she wrote. “Horrible customer service.”
So far on Wednesday, Spirit is responsible for the majority of the total of 660 US cancellations, according to FlightAware.
The airline’s struggles were initially chalked up to summer storms, overlapping problems with staffing shortages, and technological outages.
SPIRIT SAYS SORRY
On Wednesday, Spirit apologized to its staff and passengers whose booked trips continued to get slashed from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.
It promised cancelations would “progressively drop in the days to come.”
“The last three days were extremely difficult for our guests and team members, and for that we sincerely apologize,” the statement reads provided by Spirit spokesman Field Sutton, according to USA Today.
“We continue to work around the clock to get our guests where they need to be.”
It went on: “We understand how frustrating it is for our guests when plans change unexpectedly.
“We’re working to provide refunds for cancellations and, when possible, to re-accommodate our guests.”
The apology came after the airline’s initial explanation for the chaos in previous statements appeared to have fallen short.
“In responding to these challenges, Spirit has implemented some proactive cancellations again today to reset our operations,” a statement from Monday reads.
The company followed up with a tweet suggesting they were “experiencing operational challenges.”
The airline had cautioned travelers to heed advisories and emails before venturing to the airport.
“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 operational challenges,” the airline initially stated.
LIKE A HURRICANE RECOVERY
Spirit’s 4,500 Spirit flight attendants are repped by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.
The union confirmed its officials met with Spirit CEO Ted Christie and Chief Operating Officer John Bendoraitis during a Tuesday meeting to get back to normalcy, USA Today reported.
The union compared Spirit’s predicament to recovering from a hurricane.
It also confirmed that despite the cancelations which it said needed to happen for a clean restart of operations, it was offering “premium pay” to workers to be able to handle the surging demand.
“In an operational breakdown like this, the airline needs to ‘reset’ in order to recover quicker and prevent further disruptions that could last weeks,” the AFA informed the publication.
“The reset will see significant cancellations in the short term, but avoid long term disruptions.”
The problems for the airline known for its yellow jets and affordable fares didn’t seem to dissipate by Wednesday.
“I called last night and was on hold for 42 minutes, but figured they were closed. This morning I went to the airport to talk to someone but the Spirit kiosk was empty,” Brenda Deleon said in an interview with the Daily Mail, admitting she had to pony up $1,000 to extend their Puerto Rican stay by two days.
Once she was alerted on Tuesday night of her flight cancelation, Deleon attempted to reach a Spirit customer service representative but was unsuccessful, the publication reported.
A customer named Nanitha Nanithag posted a screenshot of a failed online chat with Spirit.
“Response to your web chat we cannot get a response in any manner,” she wrote.
Expecting mother Robin Wilson said her direct departure from Cleveland to Atlanta somehow rerouted her to Los Angeles International Airport.
“I definitely don’t have a flight out from LAX to Cleveland until Thursday. [I have] no accommodations at all,” the stranded woman told Fox5DC.
“I’m seven months pregnant, I’m high-risk.”
Robin Wilson said she is pregnant and has been stranded in Los Angeles after trying to fly from Cleveland to AtlantaCredit: KTTV
The budget airline is working with its union to help pay extra wages to staff to accommodate the surging demandCredit: AFP
Long lines formed as customers went online to tee off against Spirit Airlines for slashing their flights across the USCredit: AP