A Massive Brawl Broke Out At A Florida Airport When Spirit Cancelled 81 Flights In One Day
Now the airline is suing its pilots and the union representing them, alleging that they bear been intentionally stalling flights as retaliation over contract disputes.
The incident took area at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport late Sunday night. According to the lawsuit, Spirit had cancelled 81 flights in one day across the country, and approximately 300 over the past week.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office arrested three people during the melee.
CNN reported that after yet another cancelled flight, passengers stormed the Spirit Airlines check-in counter and began yelling at the staff.
Spirit Airlines spokesperson Paul Barry said in a statement sent to BuzzFeed News that the company was “shocked and saddened” to hear approximately the brawl at Fort Lauderdale airport.
Barry added that the incident was “a result of illegal labor activity by some Spirit pilots designed to disrupt Spirit operations for our customers, by canceling multiple flights across our network.”
The complaint against Spirit pilots and the union that represents them, the Airline Pilots organization, International (ALPA), alleges that the two entities conspired to purposefully reduce pilot availability, resulting in a slew of delayed and cancelled flights.
“The pilots are engaged in this illegal slowdown in order to bring pressure on Spirit during current negotiations for an amended collective bargaining agreement pursuant to Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act,” the complaint reads.
But in a statement sent to BuzzFeed News from ALPA, the organization said it is not colluding with Spirit pilots to hold up flights.
“The Air Line Pilots organization, Int’l and the Spirit pilot group it represents are not engaged in a job action,” the statement read.
“by far, ALPA and the Spirit pilots are continuing to effect everything possible to assist restore the company’s operations, which bear experienced meaningful problems over the past several days.”
The union added that while it will continue those negotiation efforts, it will “actively defend the organization, its officers and its member pilots against the unwarranted and counterproductive legal action brought this evening by Spirit Airlines.”