NEW ORLEANS, La—From Sunday through Tuesday, airline passengers all over the country suffered from flight cancellations and flight delays.
Hundreds of flights across the country were cancelled that included flights with Spirit, United, American and JetBlue Airlines. Spirit Airlines cancelled close to half of their daily flights leaving passengers furious.
Debohnia Reed is heading to Orlando on Spirit and says, “people were sleeping on the floor. Babies were crying. People were cursing. It was really bad. Whatever happened, they delayed our flight for about an hour and then it was delayed again. When we were asking questions, they didn’t have any answers. Then they told us our pilot was fatigued. Then we were nervous on the plane, because if he was tired, is he tired still?”
Ronald Gamblin is another Spirit passenger who is going to see his mother in Chicago with is granddaughter. His Spirit flight was cancelled.
“I’m a senior citizen and my health is not good and we’re waiting on a flight, that we’ve been waiting on for eight hours now,” says Gamblin. I don’t think I would even tell anybody to fly spirit anymore.”
The airline industry has had a rough year and a half since the start of the pandemic. Just as enthusiasm for travel resumed, the Delta variant of the coronavirus puts more uncertainty in travel. On top of potential virus transmission for employees and customers, the airlines also have to deal with very limited staffing.
Erik Hofmeyer of Spirit Airlines says “we’re working around the clock to get back on track in the wake of some travel disruptions due to a series of operational challenges. We understand how frustrating it is for our Guests when plans change unexpectedly, and we’re working to find solutions. We ask Guests to watch for notifications and check their flight status before heading to the airport.”
Debohnia Reed says she understands the difficulty in traveling, but the attitudes and poor customer service only add to the problem.
“They sent us a meal voucher, but I didn’t get the meal voucher until I landed in New Orleans. They told us to email for a credit, but nobody has been emailing back. I’ve never had a bad experience until now, but they didn’t handle it very well. You can tell they were lying to us. They weren’t being straight forward; they were being sarcastic,” says Reed.
After waiting over eight hours, many passengers were given meal vouchers and flights on other airlines.