Chaos ensued at Fort Lauderdale airport due to mass flight cancellations by Spirit Airlines.
Video footage surfaced late Monday showing customers getting into physical altercations with police officers. The officers were called on scene when passengers became irate with Spirit Airlines employees over mass flight cancellations. Three people were arrested, a spokesperson for Flordia’s Broward Sheriff’s Office told Business Insider.
A witness told ABC News that two people were handcuffed and “dragged” out of the airport.
Paul Berry, a spokesman for the airline, told Business Insider that the company was “shocked and saddened” by the events that ensued and blamed the flight cancellations on its pilots.
Roughly 300 flights were canceled, with 81 canceled on Sunday alone, CNN reported.
Pilots are turning down flight assignments as part of an effort by the Airline Pilots Association, International (ALPA) to negotiate better wages, Berry said. The ALPA is a pilots’ union.
“This is a result of unlawful labour activity by some Spirit pilots designed to disrupt Spirit operations for our customers, by cancelling multiple flights across our network,” Berry wrote in a statement to Business Insider. “These pilots have put their quest for a new contract ahead of getting customers to their destinations and the safety of their fellow Spirit Team Members.”
Spirit has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the ALPA, claiming it initiated an “unlawful slowdown.”
The ALPA did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment. The union denied claims that it was instructing pilots to turn down assignments as part of a slowdown effort to CNN.
This story is developing…
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