TAMPA, Fla. - Spirit Airlines and its passengers faced their fourth consecutive day of widespread flight cancellations Wednesday, canceling at least 419 flights across the country. The airline has canceled more than 1,000 flights and delayed several hundred since Sunday, including ones in and out of Tampa International Airport.
"I'm just disappointed I didn't get a heads up that the flight was canceled," Spirit Airlines passenger Barbara Greer said Wednesday as the airline canceled more than 400 flights, including all seven departing from TIA.
"This is my long weekend off with my kids, so I was really hoping to have a smooth time of it," Spirit Airlines passenger Patty Gilroy said.
Spirit Airlines first started canceling flights Sunday, blaming everything from summer storms, technology outages, and staffing shortages. Customers were given full refunds or allowed to transfer to a new flight on a different airline at no cost. However, most major airlines don't offer service to the same smaller airports leaving passengers like Gilroy with few options.
"I always said I would never drive, but I got the time off and time is money and opportunity," Gilroy said.
Gilroy wasted no timing changing course, making a last-minute decision at the airport Wednesday afternoon to drive more than 18 hours to Atlantic City, New Jersey. Her group of nine split up, with half driving through the night and the other half banking on the hope that their flight Thursday morning won't be canceled.
Spirit Airlines responded to FOX 13’s request for comment via email late Wednesday, saying in part, "After working through yesterday’s proactive cancellations, we’ve implemented a more thorough reboot of the network, allowing us to reassign our crews more efficiently and restore the network faster."
The airline says cancelations should start dropping Thursday.