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Spirit, American Airlines cancel flights, leave passengers frustrated

Posted at 6:44 AM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 09:46:11-04

BALTIMORE, md. — Spirit and American Airlines have canceled hundreds of flights over the few days due to "weather and operational challenges."

Wednesday morning, the trend continued for Spirit Airlines with all of their departing flights canceled and most of their arrivals canceled. American Airlines only had one cancellation and one delay, everything else was on track.

The check-in desk for Spirit Airlines had a long line of people waiting to get their canceled flight rescheduled. Frustrations were high in that line on Wednesday morning.

"It’s like chaos for real," said Jermaine Miles. He was in Baltimore visiting family and was trying to get back to Atlanta. He found out his flight was canceled when he got to the airport. He added, "they should have more communication, you know? Instead of having people come and it's like the element of surprise. Guess what? Your flight is canceled!"

Tabitha Rihani said the same thing happened to her. She said, "I pay for my bags. I checked in early and it still said everything is fine. I get here and it's canceled. I'm like you've got to be kidding me." She's hoping to still make her girls trip in Vegas for her friend's 50th birthday. She was the only one in her group flying from Maryland and flying Spirit. She added, "I have no choice to be patient about it. I feel like there are other people in worse situations."

That positive outlook continued with other people we spoke with, like Darlene Middleton. She's trying to get to Texas so she can renew her daughter's wedding vows but that's not happening until Saturday.

"I was really shocked that this was a long line. Then when they told me it was canceled I was like oh wow but being a woman of faith I was like okay God you got this in control so everything is going to work. Maybe he will protect me from something? Just go with the flow," said Middleton.

She made a friend while waiting in line on Wednesday, Demetre Brown. He had a similar attitude.

He said, "I have no control over it. I’m not gonna get upset. That’s not gonna help the matter... If they can’t get me on a flight soon we might have problems but right now I'm just like everybody else waiting to get in line."

Brown was trying to get home to Tampa, Florida. After waiting in the Spirit line for a while, they wound up rebooking his flight through Southwest. He was supposed to leave Baltimore at 7 a.m. but is now leaving after 2 p.m. He has a layover in Austin and then will get to Florida later Wednesday night.

He added, "everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens just to be happening. I look at it this way, it was changed for me... something could have happened on my flight. I'll get home. When I get home, that’s the time I was supposed to get home."

Turns out he was happy about the cancellation because he left his personal car keys, to his car that was parked at a Florida airport, in the rental car he used here in Maryland. If his flight left on time, he would have been stranded when he landed without any car keys!

Here you can check the status of all the flights.

Spirit released the below statement on Tuesday.

"We're working around the clock to mitigate the travel disruptions caused by overlapping operational challenges including weather, system outages and staffing shortages in some areas of the operation. In responding to these challenges, Spirit has implemented some proactive cancellations again today to reset our operations. Most of our flights currently remain scheduled as planned.

We understand how frustrating it is for our Guests when plans change unexpectedly. We're working to provide refunds for cancellations and, when possible, to reaccommodate our Guests. We have processed proactive cancellations early to give our Guests as much notice as possible, and we ask that they watch for notifications and check their flight status [spirit.com] before heading to the airport. These targeted changes are mainly focused in markets where travelers have multiple options for alternative flights.

As a team, we strive every day to get our Guests where they need to go on time. We sincerely regret the inconvenience this has caused."

American Airlines did not have a back up of people at BWI on Wednesday morning. Most of their flights were on time, except for one cancellaton and one delay.