Operational challenges force Spirit Airlines to cancel flights into, out of Tampa

Hillsborough County

A Spirit Airlines jet comes in for a landing at the airport in Latrobe, Pa., Sunday, July 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Spirit Airlines is causing major headaches at airports across the country, including right here in Tampa. Over the last few days, the company cancelled numerous flights, inconveniencing thousands of customers.

Nicole Raimond was forced to sit in the airport for nine hours after finding another flight with a different airline. She’s one of the many impacted by the cancellations.

“It’s a bummer that Spirit’s not even trying to help out,” Raimond said. “They refunded the flight but no travel vouchers or anything to help compensate for time and lost money on cars or hotels.”

Emily Nipps with Tampa International Airport told 8 On Your Side they saw more than 20 cancellations on Monday and 19 on Tuesday.

“They’re a very popular airline. They’re a low cost carrier,” Nipps said. “People love flying because they have very affordable fares, so it is disruptive.”

The company cites operational challenges like weather, system outages and staffing shortages for the delays and cancellations.

“We’re just waiting on them to work out these issues. They’re mostly crew-related issues,” said Nipps.

Rumors of a pilot strike have also circulated the internet, but Spirit Airlines confirmed with 8 On Your Side that there is no strike. Officials with Tampa International Airport are encouraging everyone flying Spirit this week to keep in contact with the airline and continuously check your flight status.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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