More than a dozen Spirit Airlines flights were canceled at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago Wednesday, two days after a thousands of passengers were left stranded in Florida because of a dispute between the airline and its pilots.
At least 13 flight cancellations were reported for the airline as of Wednesday morning, but it appeared passengers were alerted to those cancellations Tuesday evening.
A federal judge had earlier issued a temporary restraining order against the pilot's union to prevent boycotts or slowdowns after irate passengers started a near-riot over canceled flights at Fort Lauderdale's airport in South Florida.
There, deputies arrested three people from New York, charging them with inciting a riot, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and trespassing.
The discount airline said pilots were refusing to pick up open flying assignments, which Spirit claimed is an illegal and concerted plot by the Air Line Pilots Association to apply pressure during contract negotiations. It has filed a lawsuit, saying it has had to cancel about 300 flights nationally and internationally over the past week because of the union's actions. Another 36 were canceled Tuesday.
Federal District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas issued a temporary restraining order against the union Tuesday, ordering its member pilots to not engage in any boycotts or slowdown, saying that would violate federal law.
Spirit spokesman Paul Berry issued a statement apologizing to customers and saying the company is "shocked and saddened" by the Fort Lauderdale melee.
"We believe this is the result of intimidation tactics by a limited number of our pilots affecting the behavior of the larger group,'' Berry said.