Spirit Airlines CEO expects flight cancellations through weekend

  • Spirit Airlines’ CEO Ted Christie said the airline will continue to cancel flights this week.
  • The budget airline is covering some stranded passengers’ hotel costs and tickets on other airlines.
  • Spirit has been sending some passengers $50 vouchers for future flights, which some call an insult.

Spirit Airlines CEO Ted Christie publicly addressed this week’s operational meltdown for the first time Thursday, blaming the more than 1,700 flight cancellations on a series of events variety of factors that left it short on pilots and flight attendants as August began.

Bad weather at the end of July, a time when flight crews start to run out of eligible hours to work, caused cancellations and “tipped us over,” he said. Pilots and flight attendants timed out, leaving the airline with no slack in its system and forcing cancellations.

Things began falling apart for Spirit passengers on Sunday, Aug. 1, and have gotten worse as the week’s dragged on. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Spirit canceled more than 60% of its flights. On Thursday, it canceled 449 flights or 56% of its flights.

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