Angry passengers arrested after Spirit cancels flights in Florida

Several people were taken into custody at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida when 11 flights were canceled Monday.

Cell phone video captured by Jose Rodriguez showed at least three people being arrested as long lines of angry people lashed out at the airline.

Rodriguez said a group of people going to a graduation Tuesday had their flights canceled and will now have to miss the event. Upset over the cancellation, travelers starting yelling and pounding on the counter. Security stepped in to calm them down, but their attempts failed.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office was at the airport to keep the situation with the passengers under control. Police could not immediately be reached for comment.

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The flight cancellations came amid ongoing negotiations between Spirit Airlines and the Airline Pilots Association. The airline canceled 11 flights and 26 more were delayed Monday, according to FlightAware data.


Spirit Airlines had to cancel 11 flights out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Monday.

(Lynne Sladky/AP)

Spirit Airline’s spokesman Paul Berry told CBS News in a statement that a lawsuit has been filed in federal court against the union for “unlawful job action by the companies pilots.” The airline is claiming the pilots won’t fly out of protest to the negotiations.

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At least three people were taken into custody at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Monday when passengers angrily reacted to flights being canceled. 

(DANIEL SLIM/AFP/Getty Images)

“We are disappointed that ALPA has decided to engage in this unlawful slowdown. This has led to canceled flights and prevented our customers from taking their planned travel, all for the sole purpose of influencing current labor negotiations. So we reluctantly filed this suit to protect our customers’ and our operations,” Berry said.

Spirit Airlines did not immediately respond to the Daily News for comment.

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