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-   -   Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked Spirit leave passengers stranded in Peru without food, water, accommodations, or any support to get home. (

rezahg Aug 13, 2019 2:55 AM

Spirit leave passengers stranded in Peru without food, water, accommodations, or any support to get home.
Spirit Airlines flight 978 was originally scheduled to depart Lima, Peru at 11:05pm on Saturday August 10th with a destination of Fort Lauderdale, FL. The flight was delayed 7 times with the final delay listing departure at 2:30am. At approximately 3am the flight was cancelled. No announcements were made by staff at the airport during this time. Updates were obtained by word of mouth from passengers who had mobile device service to check the Spirit App. The 2 Spirit agents at the gate provided varying and inconsistent information when asked directly. One agent was noted to say "the pilots are being *****". Other explanations included the flight crew not liking how the ground staff prepared the plane, the crew did not want to fly, and the need to re-run tests on the plane. The gate was also changed early on and passengers were moved to a gate which was out of service meaning each of the delays were reporting departure times which would be impossible. Ultimately passengers waited until approximately 5 am at the gate at which point staff asked for everyone's passports to rescind the immigration departure stamps from the previous day. Passengers were then brought outside of security to the registration counters where no information or assistance was provided. Light food was provided around 1am but at no point afterward in the airport. Passengers stood, sat, and slept on the floor in front of the registration counters until approximately 8am at which point some passengers boarded a bus which took them to a hotel about 45 minutes away which did not have rooms available. Passengers remained primarily in the lobby and the bus returned them to the airport around 11am. Passengers were notified the flight was rescheduled for 4pm on August 11th and while standing inline at ticketing again, at approximately 12pm on August 11, passengers were notified the flight was cancelled again. This time the reason was the crew was unavailable to fly. At this point passengers were borrowing each other's phones where possible to try calling customer support. Most passengers were unable to receive any assistance and most were offered a refund of their fare and were told they would need to rebook on their own with another airline. Notably, passengers spent as much as 8 hours on the phone with spirit's customer support telephone line overnight with no assistance. Passengers were consistently hung up on and not provided with alternative flights. A small number of passengers were able to rebook through Spirit and some were offered flights leaving Tuesday - Friday, 3-7 days after the original flights. Most passengers remained either stranded or some with the ability paid high prices to buy new tickets through other airlines. For example, some passengers were forced to pay $2,000 - $5,000 USD for a new flight. My friend and I were able to book a new flight with another airline to leave the night of August 11th for approximately $4,000 USD.

Notably, Spirit violated several federal regulations (FAA and DoT) include not making any announcements to passengers during the delays, not communicating accurately when asked directly, not rebooking or otherwise providing assistance to passengers either by phone or in person, crew refusing to fly not due to weather or mechanical issues, not providing food/water/or accommodations, especially for frail elderly or children, some of whom had medical conditions and were without their medications.

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