Spirit, American cancel more flights Wednesday

Spirit Airlines is facing a fourth day of flight cancellations as problems with technology and crew scheduling continue to plague the carrier.

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As of 7 a.m. ET, Wednesday, the Florida-based airline had canceled 304 flights, according to flight tracker FlightAware.

Wednesday’s cancellations, which represents 45% of the company’s traffic, followed three days of chaos for travelers who had been stranded in airports across the country.

Nearly 100 other flights were late 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,” spokesman Erik Hofmeyer said. “We’re working to provide refunds for cancellations and, when possible, to re-accommodate our guests.”

Spirit has been telling its customers to be sure to check their email accounts for the status of their flights before they leave for the airport.

American Airlines is also seeing cancellations with nearly 350 flights canceled by late Tuesday. The Associated Press reported that about three-fourths of the American cancellations appeared to be due at least partly to a lack of pilots, according to a company blog.

American canceled about 560 flights, or 18% of its schedule, on Monday and nearly 300 on Sunday, according to FlightAware.

According to the AP, the union representing American’s pilots accused the airline’s management of poor planning and not having enough employees.

“It’s pretty simple. They don’t have enough pilots, and they don’t have modern scheduling practices to do more with what they have,” said union spokesman Dennis Tajer. He said that bad weather “hits every airline, but American is the last to recover. This has to change.”