Flight Cancellations Cause Brawl in Florida Airport

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

FT. LAUDERDALE, Florida  --  Another airline is making headlines this week, but this time the incident took place on the ground.

Fights broke out at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport in Florida following a number of cancellations, as NBC's Sarah Dallof reports.

Cell phone video captured the fights that led to three people being arrested.

"This is the first time I've been arrested in my life, my life. I have a college degree," said Janice Waul, who was arrested and later released, as were the others involved.

Spirit Airlines cancelled nine flights, leaving hundreds of people stranded.

"People were getting arrested left and right, nowhere to sit, nowhere to stand," said Jennifer Glann, one of the affected passengers.

"I cried. I'm not going to lie, I cried," said passenger Timari Cameron.

The cancellations come amid labor negotiations between the pilots' union and Spirit Airlines. Spirit blamed the grounded flights on pilots refusing to pick up unassigned trips, and even claimed this in a lawsuit filed against the union.

"The pilots are engaged in this illegal slowdown in order to bring pressure on Spirit during current negotiations. Cancelled flights due to pilot unavailability have impacted over 20,000 passengers since May 1st."

The union denied these allegations in a statement reading, "(The pilots) are not engaged in a job action. Rather (they) are continuing to do everything possible to help restore the company's operations, which have experienced significant problems over the past several days."

Meanwhile, airport officials are working to get operations back to normal.

"It's all hands on deck right now to make sure everyone gets where they need to go," said Greg Meyer of the Broward County Aviation Department.

Spirit passengers are bracing for more possible delays and cancellations but hope for smooth flying.

Spirit Airlines urges customers to check flight statuses and rebook flights on its website. The airline does not fly out of Des Moines.


Latest News

More News