Earlier this week, Spirit Airlines Oath to fly with the help of other carriers, furthermore if its pilots go on strike. But now according to reports, the airline is cutting flights as a strike looms. On Thursday in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, the airline started canceling some flights. The reason of flights shut down is not disclosed by officials. Spirit and leaders of its pilots’ union have been silent on the details of contract talks. But travelers previously are feeling the strain. It accounts for nearly one in five passengers at Fort Lauderdale and nearly 1,300 people are employed by it. From Fort Lauderdale to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, flights were departures among the cancellations. After the carrier canceled the 10:48 a.m. flight, some Spirit passengers headed for San Jose, Costa Rica, on flight 336 Thursday were in difficulty at Fort Lauderdale airport; through other carriers, other passengers were re-routed on the flight.
“Spirit pilots are threatening to walk out at 12:01 a.m., Saturday morning, Both sides have indicated they’d like to make a deal before that time,” according to report of Associated Press. AP said, “The Florida-based airline began canceling some weekend flights and has been contacting customers to help them with alternate travel plans.” “The AP that all weekend flights out of Spirit’s Fort Lauderdale hub had been “suspended,” said by a reservations agent. The argument with the pilots is over issues containing pay. The Spirit pilots say they are paid fewer than competitors. A Spirit captain and the head of the Air Line Pilots Association, Sean Creed told AP, “We are looking for pay parity,” and “many management pilots have promised not to cross the picket line,” added by him. The National Mediation Board is overseeing Negotiations, which are ongoing in Washington. The carrier flies approximately 150 flights per day, containing from the eastern U.S. to the Caribbean. Recently, the privately held airline proclaimed it would start charging $45 for carry-on bags beginning 1st August then it was also in the news.
Misty Pinson, Spirit spokeswoman said, in an e-mail on Thursday, “Spirit has pre-canceled some flights and is proactively contacting customers of these affected flights in advance with a choice of alternate travel options“. She said, The moves are meant to “shield customers” in the event of a strike and did not provide further details. Ed Dean of Naples said, “It’s taken five hours to get through one (canceled) flight, and I think if there’s a strike this airline is going to be in big trouble.” Passengers said in Orlando, “Saturday and Sunday flights scheduled to depart for San Juan, Puerto Rico, have been canceled.” “Spirit informed her the flights were canceled because it did not have airplane equipment available to depart,” said by Spirit passenger Ethel Nieves, a sales assistant for Univision in Puerto Rico. Nieves has spent two weeks touring Orlando theme parks with her son, daughter, son-in-law and six grandchildren said, “I’m tired and I want to go home.”
To confirm flight availability, Spirit passengers can call the company’s reservations line at 1-800-772-7117. if passangers are flying Saturday or Sunday and anxious about disruptions should investigate flights on other carriers, travel experts say, and consider buying a non-refundable ticket on an alternate carrier. Canceling an existing reservation and rescheduling will expected activate change fee of Spirit, which is at least $100. “Securing a favorable contract at Spirit is key for two reasons: more pilot contract negotiations are coming to a head at other airlines and issues of pilot fatigue and overtime are being fought across the industry,” said by Pilots. “Pilots want pay similar to wages at chief competitors JetBlue Airways and AirTran Airways, where a 12-year captain earns at least $158 per hour and a five-year first officer earns at least $80 per hour. Pilots also want the company to continue current time-off, vacation time and retirement benefits,” said by Capt. Sean Creed, head of Spirit’s unit of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).
Strike manager for Spirit’s ALPA unit, Paul Hopkins said, “At the end of the day, this isn’t about going on strike,” and “The last thing we want is flights canceled.” With 19 percent of the domestic traffic and 41 percent of the international traffic, Spirit is the largest carrier at Fort Lauderdale airport. Exclusive service is provided to 14 international routes in Latin America and the Caribbean by it. Spirit flies seasonally and represents about 1 percent of the total year-round operations at Palm Beach International Airport.