In the early hours of Thursday morning, Spirit Airlines encountered a “technical issue” that affected their website, mobile app, and airport kiosks, leading to significant delays for travelers across the country. However, with commendable dedication, the discount airline successfully addressed the problem and restored normal operations by noon ET, much to the relief of affected passengers.
“We sincerely apologize for the delays and inconveniences caused by this incident, and we are fully committed to returning to our regular operations,” assured the airline in an official statement.
Frustrated passengers took to social media to share their experiences, recounting tales of lengthy delays and even having to deplane just moments before departure. Many faced difficulties in booking or checking in for upcoming flights due to the technical glitch.
To assist affected individuals, Spirit Airlines urged them to directly contact their customer service team for personalized assistance relating to the outage. Additionally, passengers were advised to monitor FlightAware for real-time updates on the status of their flights.
This recent incident bears a resemblance to a similar technical issue that Southwest Airlines encountered in April, resulting in flight disruptions and over 2,200 delays. This occurrence came only four months after a more significant system failure during the busy Christmas travel season.
Industry experts emphasize that airlines have made considerable progress in addressing problems that contributed to a surge in flight cancellations and delays last summer, when approximately 52,000 flights were canceled between June and August. Carriers have significantly expanded their workforce by hiring around 30,000 employees, including thousands of pilots. Additionally, they have adopted larger aircraft to accommodate passengers without reducing the overall number of available seats.
A recent report from the Government Accountability Office placed responsibility on airlines for the increase in flight cancellations during the pandemic recovery period. The report also highlighted airlines’ relatively slower recovery from disruptions such as inclement weather.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg reaffirmed the government’s commitment to holding airlines accountable for treating passengers fairly during cancellations or significant delays. However, it’s worth noting that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), responsible for managing the nation’s air traffic, has faced its own challenges, including staffing shortages and occasional technology breakdowns, which have also contributed to disruptions in air travel.
To alleviate congestion and improve efficiency, the FAA has urged airlines to reduce the number of flights in the New York City area this summer. Furthermore, new flight paths have been introduced over the East Coast to mitigate bottlenecks and enhance the overall travel experience.
Although summer travel can often be an arduous ordeal, travel analyst Henry Harteveldt remains optimistic about airlines’ improved operational capabilities this season. By limiting the number of flights, carriers aim to enhance reliability and reduce delays. The early results indicate promising progress, with flight cancellations occurring at a rate of only one in every 70 flights this year—a substantial improvement compared to last year and even lower than in 2019.