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Spirit Airlines Disruption Enters Fourth Consecutive Day

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After a major network issue caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled out of Orlando, Spirit Airlines is now entering a third day of disruptions. The carrier has cancelled over 800 flights since Monday, August 2, 2021, with today’s cancellations affecting 60 percent of their schedule.

For the third consecutive day, Spirit Airlines has cancelled over half of their schedule as they look to “reset” their network and get back to regular operations. Airline tracking website FlightAware shows Spirit cancelled 418 flights – or 60 percent of their schedule – on Wednesday, August 4, 2021, bringing their total cancellation count to over 800 flights.

Spirit Blames “Overlapping Operational Challenges” for Fourth Straight Day of Cancellations

While summer weather has been to blame for many of the cancellation issues, Spirit is in a unique situation in that storms are only one part of their “operational challenges.” In a statement to ABC News, the carrier blamed overlapping situations for the mass cancellations.

Although the carrier noted that the irregularities “impacted crew scheduling,” they came short of blaming a lack of employees for the backups. Both the Air Lines Pilots Association and Association of Flight Attendants-CWA have issued statements that strikes are not to blame, and the combination of “weather, schedule month change over, and IT outages” are at the root of the issue.

Spirit confirmed those issues in their statement, noting they are in the process of “[implementing] a more thorough reboot of the network, allowing us to reassign our crews more efficiently and restore the network faster.” However, that does not help those who are currently left stranded by the carrier. Social media users are sharing images from their experiences, ranging from mini-protests to distressed flyers waiting for luggage.

American and Other Carriers Return to Normal After Weather

Despite the weather and crew disruptions, other carriers have been able to return to normal operations. American Airlines, which was also heavily affected by storms over the previous weekend, has only cancelled four percent of their schedule, leaving 118 flights grounded. Southwest Airlines is only reporting 42 cancellations and 531 delays, while United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have reported negligible cancellations.

SamirD August 4, 2021

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