Pilots working for Spirit Airlines decided to go on strike Saturday morning, leaving thousands of would-be passengers uncertain of how they will reach their destinations. The strike comes after long debates between the pilots and Spirit Airlines. The pilots claim that they do not receive compensation that matches those working for other discount airlines such as JetBlue and AirTran Airways, and that they will continue to strike until this situation has been rectified. Spirit says that it offered the pilots a 30 percent raise over five years, a $3,000 signing bonus, and increased benefits.
Spirit Airlines has officially canceled all flights for Sunday. No public decision, however, has been made regarding Monday or the following days.
The small, Florida-based airline does not carry many passengers. It only serves about one percent of the nation’s total fliers on any given day. Despite the airline’s small size, the strike has caused considerable problems for passengers.
Spirit Airlines is the only airline that offers flights from Ft. Lauderdale, the company’s hub, to five cities in the U.S. and 15 foreign destinations. The airline has become increasingly popular for Floridians traveling to Latin American and South American countries.
Many of those passengers now find themselves stranded at terminals because they cannot afford the higher prices of larger airlines such as Delta.
Spirit Airlines have given customers complete refunds for Saturday flights. An additional $100 is supposed to help improve the situation for stranded passengers. Since same-day tickets on other airlines often cost two or three times the amount of the original Spirit Airlines ticket, though, many of those passengers have little chance of finding an easy route home.
(Image via: Yahoo! News)