Spirit cancels 227 flights, stranding hundreds at Orlando airport

Guests say they waited 12 hours to speak to airline employees at OIA

ORLANDO, Fla. – Frustration was the name of the game at Orlando International Airport after 227 Spirit Airlines flights were canceled nationwide since Sunday night.

Hundreds of passengers lined up Monday morning at the Spirit Airlines ticket counter, waiting to speak to an airline employee and reschedule their flights.

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Some passengers said they waited 12 hours before they were able to talk to a Spirit employee. Others said they had been at the airport for 24 hours due to the cancellations.

The No. 1 complaint among the passengers was the lack of communication from the airline.

“I want to go home,” a passenger said.

“It’s frustrating,” another passenger said. “We’re traveling with two little kids.”

In an email to The Associated Press, Spirit, a low-cost carrier headquartered near Miami, cited weather and “operational challenges” for the cancellations and delays.

“We needed to make proactive cancellations to some flights across the network, but the majority of flights are still scheduled as planned,” Spirit spokesperson Field Sutton said in the email.

Sutton said the airline is “working around the clock to get back on track” following the cancellations.

The airline said in a statement that they’re working to find solutions for affected customers.

According to tracking service Flightaware.com., 227 Spirit flights were canceled Monday and 58 others were delayed.

News 6 reporter Treasure Roberts said many passengers were spotted sleeping in chairs and on the floor of the airport.

The long lines come a week after Frontier Airlines passengers had to wait for hours on planes and to receive their luggage due to an apparent worker shortage.

About the Author:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.