Spirit Airlines sues pilots' union as hundreds of passengers are stranded due to canceled flights

By Bailey Myers, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 09, 2017, 10:40 AM EDT

Spirit Airlines and its pilots are in a legal showdown and that has caused hundreds of flights to be canceled throughout South Florida.

  • Spirit Airlines claims that pilots' union is 'unlawfully' disrupting airline's operations
  • Airline say pilots are refusing to fly
  • Stranded passengers say Spirit shouldn't be booking flights if they are going to be canceled
  • Pilots' union has no comment
  • Read Spirit Airlines' filed lawsuit

That is causing major delays for those trying to get out of town.

It was a different story on Monday in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport where hundreds of people were stranded as nine flights were canceled.

At the moment, Spirit Airlines and the pilots' union Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) are at odds over labor negotiations.

Spirit claims the pilots are intentionally slowing operations and refusing to fly to influence the outcome of the negotiation.

On Monday, Spirit Airlines filed a lawsuit against the ALPA, the ALPA Master Executive Council of Spirit pilots and individual officers, members and committee members of the MEC.

In the suit, Spirit states how ALPA and other defendants were "unlawfully disrupting the airline’s operations", which lead to hundreds of canceled flights, according to Spirit Airlines' Media Relations Manager Stephen Schuler in an email to News 13.

ALPA has not replied to News 13's request for comment.

As for those stranded, they just hope things are resolved soon.

"I think that it's all about money. And I think that … they shouldn't have been booking flights. They should have told us from the beginning that this was going on. They shouldn't have kept delaying it and delaying it and delaying it. And the pilots, if they were going to do this, they shouldn't have just not came to work today," said Spirit Airlines passenger Veronnica McCabe.

The cancellations on Monday night caused a lot of commotion, even leading to reports of fights at the airport.

As for the pilots, they released a statement saying they are not engaged in a job action, instead saying it is the airline that has experienced significant problems over the past several days.