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US government monitoring Spirit Airlines’ response to cancelations

written by Isabella Richards | August 11, 2021

Spirit Airlines faces mass cancelations due to operational issues (Spirit Airlines)

After mass cancellations occurred last week from Spirit Airlines, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has been monitoring the carrier’s response to customer complaints.

An unidentified source told The Points Guy that the DOT is “reminding” the airline of how it should be mitigating the impacts of the cancellations and delays.

Last week, over 2,000 flights were delayed, and hundreds were cancelled due to weather and “operational issues,” according to the Florida-based airline.

According to FlightAware, last Sunday when it began, 341 of the low-cost carrier’s flights were delayed and 165 flights were cancelled within 24 hours.

Originally, rumours circulated that the disruptions were due to pilot strikes, but they were quickly shut down by the carrier and a flight attendants association.

Various customers complained over Twitter about the issues stranding them with no backup plans because of incorrect information being told by staff.

According to the DOT, if a flight is cancelled, customers are entitled to a refund of the unused transportation, even for non-refundable tickets.


Airlines should also provide alternate arrangements for customers if cancellations or delays “significantly” interrupt a scheduled flight.

But this is different for domestic flights, as airlines are “not required to compensate passengers whose flights are delayed or cancelled,” according to the department’s website.

International flights being cancelled should reimburse customers under Article 19 of the Montreal Convention.

Despite this, the laws still allow airlines to mostly define its own rules, but typically carriers should have a mitigation plan for customers, such as rebooking to other companies, and providing other services.

Last Friday, numerous passengers signaled on social media that Spirit airlines had sent them $50 travel vouchers, but they had not received full refunds.

Chief Executive Officer of Spirit Airlines Ted Christie told CNBC: “Right now, all I can say is we’re very sorry for what happened.”

“We’ve worked hard really over the last five years at both building Spirit and building its reputation,” he said in another interview with USA Today.

“I think we’ve made tremendous strides. This is not our proudest moment and we know that.”

The worst is over for Spirit Airlines, as FlightAware shows only 16 cancellations occurred yesterday, and only nine are scheduled for today.

Spirit Airlines was not the only carrier to encounter huge delays due to a thunderstorm that hit Dallas and Fort Worth international hub last weekend.

Southwest Airlines reported 42 per cent of delays when it began, and American airlines also reported 30 per cent of flight delays.




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