Passengers get rowdy at Florida airport after 9 Spirit Airlines flights canceled

Spirit Airlines Lawsuit

FORT LAUDERDALE -- There was quite the commotion at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) Monday after hundreds of passengers were stranded, reports CBS Miami.

It turns out a legal showdown between Spirit Airlines and the pilots association is playing out not just in the courtroom but at FLL.

A total of nine flights were canceled.

Twitter user Jose Rodriguez has posted a video that allegedly shows the scene at the Spirit Airlines counter after the flights were canceled.

The Broward Sheriff's Office was on hand to keep the peace as one deputy explained what travelers could do to make the process easier.

Spirit Airlines issued a statement saying they filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) -- members of Master Executive Council -- for "unlawful job action by Spirit pilots."

Essentially, this is about labor negotiations. Spirit is claiming the pilots are refusing to fly to influence the outcome.

Caught in the middle: the passengers.

CBS Miami reports the airline is working to accommodate them.

Spirit Airlines's spokesman Paul Berry issued the following statement to CBS News: "We are disappointed that ALPA has decided to engage in this unlawful slowdown. This has led to canceled flights and prevented our customers from taking their planned travel, all for the sole purpose of influencing current labor negotiations. So we reluctantly filed this suit to protect our customers' and our operations."

The pilots association fired back in a statement to CBS News: "The Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l and the Spirit pilot group it represents are not engaged in a job action. Rather, ALPA and the Spirit pilots are continuing to do everything possible to help restore the company's operations, which have experienced significant problems over the past several days.  While we will continue these efforts, we will actively defend the association, its officers and its member pilots against the unwarranted and counterproductive legal action brought this evening by Spirit Airlines."

Here's another view of the crowd at FLL posted to Twitter by Jose Rodriguez:

© 2017 Associated Press


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