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Spirit cancels hundreds of flights, leaving long lines at U.S. airports

Spirit Airlines cancelations and delays since Sunday night have left passengers waiting in long lines. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Spirit Airlines cancelations and delays since Sunday night have left passengers waiting in long lines. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Spirit Airlines has canceled hundreds of flights since Sunday night, leaving long waits for service at airports in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as well as numerous other cities the company serves.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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"It looked like a hurricane shelter," Spirit passenger Rebecca Osborn told USA Today, referring to people camping out while waiting at Orlando International Airport.

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"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."

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Hofmeyer added that Spirit is putting a chat function on its website to handle flight changes, credits and refunds, which would become operational Monday.

American Airlines, has also had hundreds of cancellations, accounting for 9% of its flights Sunday and 13% of its its flights Monday, according to FlightAware.com. The airline also had 18% of its flights delayed Monday and 30% delayed Sunday.

Travel news site One Mile At A Time reported that the storm, which affected Dallas-Fort Worth Sunday, American Airlines biggest hub, was the cause for the delay Sunday and had a rollover impact on the carrier's entire system.

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