Flight attendants who work for budget carrier Spirit Airlines picketed today (April 15) at Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport. It is the latest national union effort to bring attention to the airlines’ recent “mass cancellations,” which left workers and passengers “stranded,” a union statement claims.
Since August, Spirit has canceled and/or delayed flights in a major way four times, the union said. The most recent was earlier this month. The canceled flights are causing flight attendants to experience personal chaos.
For instance, Spirit recently canceled approximately 30 percent of scheduled flights because of Florida weather conditions, the flight attendants’ national union, the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA)-CWA, said.
Flight Attendants Must Help Passengers
The canceled flights led to stranded passengers and flight attendents, the union says.
Flight attendants are left picking up the pieces and handling angry passengers while they themselves are stuck in airports overnight and oftentimes without hotel accommodations,” the union said. The airline is also “violating” the flight attendants’ contract, the union claims.
Also, staffing shortages were already straining the system, the union adds. “Spirit Airlines does not have the staff to quickly recover,” the union adds.
At times, flight attendants find themselves on duty for over 10 hours or even longer after flights are canceled, the union said.
“This has gone on for far too long. We should not be forced to clean up Spirit’s messes while working 20+ hours with no answers and nowhere to lay our heads at the end of the day,” AFA President at Spirit Airlines, Jason Kachenmeister, said in a statement provided to TravelPulse, a national travel site.
Earlier this week, the union picketed at Orlando International Airport and at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. More pickets are scheduled for Fort Lauderdale and Detroit.
Casino.org reached out to Spirit Airlines. The company issued the following statement:
“We are grateful for our incredible Spirit Family, and we’re committed to finding ways to better support our Team Members and address the issues of most importance to them.”
We’ve been through so much together throughout the pandemic, and we are committed to making the necessary investments to build a stronger and more resilient airline for both our Team Members and Guests.”
In recent days, speculation mounted that JetBlue or Frontier Airlines could take over Spirit Airlines. Ex-United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz says such acquisitions make sense for the sector, Yahoo Finance reported.
JetBlue recently proposed acquiring Spirit Airlines for $3.6 billion. That works out to $33 a share. Frontier had offered $25 a share, earlier this year.
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