Spirit cancels hundreds of flights, resulting in long lines at American airports.

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Since Sunday night, Spirit Airlines has cancelled hundreds of flights, leaving long lines for service at airports in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as well as numerous other cities served by the company.

Spirit Airlines spokesman Erik Hofmeyer cited “weather” and unspecified “operational challenges,” as causes for the problems, according to USA Today.

The Florida-based budget carrier canceled some one-third of its flights, or nearly 270, Monday. On Sunday, it canceled 165, nearly 20% of its flights, according to FlightAware.com.

Along with the cancellations, more than 100 flights were delayed Monday, and more than 340 were delayed Sunday.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents Spirit’s flight attendants, said the operational issues were due to weather and technology outages, among other issues. Both flight attendants and pilots denied any sort of strike had occurred.

Some Spirit passengers told ClickOrlando Monday they had waited in line 12 hours at Orlando International Airport to speak to a Spirit employee about rescheduling.

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Some passengers also camped out because of the wait, USA Today reported.

“It looked like a hurricane shelter,” Spirit passenger Rebecca Osborn told USA Today, referring to people camping out while waiting at Orlando International 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 weather and operational challenges,” Hofmeyer said in the email.

“We need to make proactive cancellations to some flights across the network, but the majority of flights are still scheduled as planned.”

Spirit, according to Hofmeyer, is putting a chat function on its website to handle flight changes, credits, and refunds, which will go live on Monday.

According to FlightAware.com, American Airlines has had hundreds of cancellations, accounting for 9% of its flights on Sunday and 13% of its flights on Monday. In addition, 18% of the airline’s flights were delayed on Monday, and 30% were delayed on Sunday.

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According to the travel news site One Mile At A Time, the storm that hit Dallas-Fort Worth on Sunday, American Airlines’ largest hub, was the cause of the delay and had a rollover effect on the carrier’s entire system.

 

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