At least 9 flights canceled Monday by airline at Florida airport
Screams and commotion took over Fort Lauderdale’s airport Monday as travelers clashed with Spirit Airlines employees and police. “Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport this evening”, Paul Berry, Spirit Airlines spokesman, said in a statement, blaming pilots for the disruptions.
“It’s kind of ridiculous to me”, said Dakota Barton, who was waiting to board a flight to Denver.
Would-be passengers at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale’s airport nearly started a riot after nine Spirit Airlines flights were cancelled on Monday night.
Yet that’s precisely the scene that hit social media Monday, as cellphone footage depicting the fallout found eyeballs around the world.
They are charged with inciting a riot, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and trespassing and are being held at the Broward jail on $10,000 bond.
“Just witnessed police brutality at Fort Lauderdale airport @SpiritAirlines trying to get back to NYC … i’m exhausted its 2017″, witness and Twitter user Brionka Halbert wrote in a tweet with a video.
According to the airline, the flight cancellations were the result of a legal showdown involving contract negotiations between Spirit and the Airline Pilots Association. They estimate that about 20,000 customers have been affected since the cancellations began last week.
“We are disappointed that ALPA has chose to engage in this unlawful slowdown”, Spirit spokesman Paul Berry said.
ALPA has denied that Spirit pilots have been engaged in job action, claiming airline operations have been recently impeded by other “significant problems”. The low-priced carrier said the cancellations were the result of pilots turning down flight assignments in a union-led effort for higher wages.
Witnesses said the workers were overwhelmed by the number of frustrated passengers.
However, the ALPA announced on May 5: “Simply put, pilots who want to pick up open time should do so and not be questioned”.
These tensions don’t come as a surprise.
But the ALPA says their pilots are not on strike, but are instead working to fix the ongoing issues while the lawsuit continues.