Irate passengers swarmed ticket counters and some started a near-riot at Fort Lauderdale’s airport after Spirit Airlines canceled nine flights, leaving hundreds stranded at the terminal.
The chaos at the Florida airport late Monday was the latest instance of airline crews being accused of behaving badly. Problems began last month with cellphone video capturing a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight. Other horror stories from customers surfaced later involving flights on Delta and American airlines.
Police arrested three people from New York in the Fort Lauderdale airport, charging them with inciting a riot, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and trespassing.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office said about 500 people were crowded into Spirit’s terminal at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport late Monday night after the airline canceled the flights because there were no pilots. The discount airline says pilots are refusing to pick up open flying assignments, which Spirit claims is an illegal and concerted plot by the Air Line Pilots Association to apply pressure during contract negotiations. It has filed a lawsuit. The union has denied the accusation, saying the cancellations are the…