Chaos erupted inside the Ft Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Monday, after hundreds of travelers became stranded due to flight cancellations.
Stranded passengers faced off with airline employees and law enforcement officials after Spirit canceled nine flights out of Ft. Lauderdale. Frustration and anger got the best of some passengers who waited hours for information regarding their flights. The resulting mayhem was captured by cell phones and posted to social media.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 9, 2017
Three arrests were made, according to the Palm Beach Post.
— The Palm Beach Post (@pbpost) May 9, 2017
The cancellations stem from a labor dispute between Spirit Airlines and its pilots union. Spirit filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court Monday, accusing the pilots of taking an “unlawful job action,” according to Skift.
“We are shocked and saddened to see the videos of what took place at Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport this evening,” Spirit said in a statement, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
“This is a result of unlawful labor activity by some Spirit pilots designed to disrupt Spirit operations for our customers, by canceling multiple flights across our network,” the airline argued.
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) denied any wrong-doing, asserting that the pilots are not engaged in a job action.
“ALPA and the Spirit pilots are continuing to do everything possible to help restore the company’s operations, which have experienced significant problems over the past several days,” the pilots union said in a statement, according to CBS Miami.
“While we will continue these efforts, we will actively defend the association, its officers and its member pilots against the unwarranted and counterproductive legal action brought this evening by Spirit Airlines,” the union said.