Spirit Airlines cancels more than half of its flights Thursday

Fox Business Flash top headlines for August 5

Check out what’s clicking on FoxBusiness.com.

Spirit Airlines canceled more than half its flights Thursday, marking the fifth day of travel woes for the embattled carrier. 

By midday Thursday, 415 flights  — or 52% of the airline's flight schedule – were already canceled, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware. About 6% of flights were delayed.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS 

The travel disruptions started last weekend, leaving thousands of passengers stranded at airports to fend for themselves. Images of passengers sprawled out on the terminal grounds and waiting in long lines appeared on social media. 

Many travelers even took to Twitter to express their outrage, with some complaining that they were stuck for over 30 hours before making it to their intended destination. 

A Spirit representative told FOX Business the cancellations and delays were due to "a series of weather and operational challenges" and asked customers to check their flight status before heading to the airport. 

"We needed to make proactive cancellations to some flights across the network, but the majority of flights are still scheduled as planned," Spirit said in a statement.  

A person familiar with the situation said Spirit experienced an outage Tuesday morning affecting crew scheduling, preventing airline officials from rescheduling crews to cover gaps. The person, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said crews were stranded in many places around the country and unable to get to assigned flights.

SPIRIT AIRLINES PASSENGERS REPORTEDLY STRANDED FOR OVER 30 HOURS WITH 'NO SORT OF RESOLVE'

 The airline is "working to provide refunds for cancellations and, when possible, to re-accommodate our guests" on other flights, according to spokesperson Erik Hofmeyer. 

This comes as airlines deal with the increase in travel with a lighter workforce than they are used to. Airlines have thousands of fewer employees than they did before the pandemic although air travel has recovered to about 80% of 2019 levels.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE   

Like Spirit, American Airlines was also dealing with travel disruptions. 

"A prolonged severe weather event in Dallas Fort-Worth on Sunday night into Monday morning brought sustained heavy rain, strong winds, lightning, microbursts and hail to our largest hub," an American Airlines spokesperson told FOX Business. 

Although the nine-hour weather event caused "flight delays, cancellations and nearly 100 diversions," the airline said it had crews working around the clock to help. 

The Associated Press and Fox News' Julia Musto contributed to this report. 

Source: Read Full Article