Fort Lauderdale airport had more in common with a drunken fraternity party than a hub of civilization on Monday after Spirit Airlines cancelled a number of flights. The budget carrier has cancelled hundreds of flights in the past week due to, they claim, a dispute with a pilots’ organization.
At the airport’s ticket counter, tensions reached a boiling point and fights broke out. Broward County police arrived to try to calm the chaos and arrests were made. According to CNN, passengers were already on the plane when their flight was cancelled. When they were removed from the plane, they rushed the ticket counter where other passengers were already waiting.
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CBS Miami reported that three people were arrested and one person was detained following the incident. Time Magazine, citing the lawsuit between Spirit and their pilots, stated that the airline has lost $8.5 million in revenue.
Spirit released the following statement.
“We are shocked and saddened to see the videos of what took place at Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport this evening. This is a result of unlawful labor activity by some Spirit pilots designed to disrupt Spirit operations for our customers, by canceling multiple flights across our network. These pilots have put their quest for a new contract ahead of getting customers to their destinations and the safety of their fellow Spirit Team Members.