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Fifth Straight Day Of Cancellations & Delays For Frustrated Spirit Airlines Passengers

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Frustrated Spirit Airlines customers spent another day at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport Thursday trying to reschedule canceled flights.

The airline has been experiencing massive cancellations for five consecutive days. On Thursday, at least half of the scheduled flights were canceled.

Mauricio Mino has been trying to get back home to Atlanta.

He told CBS4 he was rebooked on a flight for Friday but wasn't sure if that would happen.

Pam Crockett and her son said they had been trying to return home to Baltimore since Tuesday.  She is also rebooked to fly out Friday but was unsure if the flight will take place.

The budget airline based in Miramar has blamed the cancellations on a combination of weather, system outages and staffing shortages.

Mino says he was troubled that the airline continues to sell tickets for flights when the flight may be canceled.

"How can you keep selling when you have all these people waiting.  you should take care of the people in front of you first," he said.

While the airline is selling seats at the airport and online, their webpage is now running a disclaimer which says, "they are having operational challenges."

CBS4 went to the counter at the airport and asked about purchasing a seat on a flight Saturday to Newark, New Jersey and returning Monday.

The agent said flights were available.  But when asked if she could guarantee that the flight would be available, the answer was no.

"Spirit is in meltdown" says travel blogger Gary Leff.

Leff runs "View from the Wing" and follows the airlines closely.

He points out that other airlines like American and Southwest have had struggles too recently as the airlines tried to rebound when it looked like the pandemic was waning.

"Airlines reduced staff while collecting 79 billion from the federal government.  And now they don't have

the people when passengers are ready to fly again," he says.

Leff says passengers should always have a backup plan.

Spirit's CEO Ted Christie said late Thursday that passengers should expect cancellations to continue into mid next week and that half of their flights would be canceled again Friday.

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