Spirit Airlines' run of "extremely difficult" days continued on Wednesday, the fourth straight day in which it has been forced to cancel a hefty chunk of its scheduled flights, with many more being delayed. The airline's word on the cause: "overlapping operational challenges including weather, system outages, and staffing shortages in some areas of the operation." The numbers are big: 60% of flights canceled or delayed on Sunday and 71% on Monday. On Tuesday that figure was 81%, with cancelations accounting for 61% and delays the other 20%, CNN reports. At the time of this writing, flight tracker FlightAware showed 60% of Wednesday's flights had been canceled, and another 7% were delayed. CNBC quotes Spirit as saying the cancellations were made in an effort to "reboot" operations.
The AP spoke with a source who said some of the blame should go to a Tuesday morning outage of the crew scheduling IT system, with schedulers reportedly unable to gain access for over an hour. The AP's take: "The disruptions ... are just the latest examples of airlines scrambling to deal with an increase in travel this summer. Airlines have thousands fewer employees than they did before the pandemic, but US air travel has recovered to about 80% of 2019 levels." If you're wondering if people are furious on Twitter, the answer is duh. One sample tweet: "Stranded in New Orleans trying to get home to Detroit. 3 canceled flights later, we are renting a car to drive home. It's been horrible. #spiritairlines." (Read more Spirit Airlines stories.)