ATLANTA (CBS46) — Spirit Airlines passengers at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport are fed up and stressed out dealing with canceled and significantly delayed flights.
Tuesday marks the third day in a row some passengers have received some bad news.
“They should just get rid of this airline for real,” said Adeniyi Oladimej, who was trying to get home to Dallas, TX.
“I was going out for the first time ever to [California] for my birthday, can’t even experience my birthday anymore,” said Jaqorium Galvin, who said this was his first time flying Spirit.
Lines for the Spirit service desk stretched from the ticket counter to baggage collection. And for some passengers it was their second day in line.
“One of the agents came to us and said to call a 1-800 number, that they can’t do anything, they can’t see anything on their own system,” Oladimej said.
According to Flight Aware, Spirit cancelled more than 700 flights over the last two days as of 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Spirit did not fully-explain the problem to CBS46, but said it's working around the clock to mitigate the travel disruptions caused by overlapping operational challenges, including weather, system outages and staffing shortages.
Families told us they can't trust the messages the airline puts out.
“This is very stressful," said Lorry Gibson, who was travelling with her three young children. "When this first happened when I was driving to the airport I got an email saying it was cancelled, but then I got another email saying it was back on, so when I got here to check in they printed out my receipt and it said it was cancelled again.”
While others complained they have received no communication at all.
“Nobody is saying anything to anybody. Nobody is saying why the flights are cancelled. Is it going to be rescheduled? Are they going to refund money? Nobody’s telling us anything,” Oladimej said.
Passengers hoping to snag a flight on another airline were sorely disappointed.
“I checked the Delta website, $1,900, $1,700, just for a one way ticket,” Oladimej said.
Most airlines have negotiated agreements with their competitors so that in the case of a consumer problem, the competitor can provide a safety net. If Delta cancels a flight, these agreements allow Delta to move passengers to United, for example. These are contracts and money is changing hands; it’s not done simply out of goodwill. Spirit has opted to keep costs as low as possible and therefore refuses to negotiate any of these agreements. As a result, there is no safety net provided by the other airlines.
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, there are only 19 cancelled Spirit flights in the US for Wednesday.