Fact Check: All Spirit Airlines Flight Attendants Did NOT Quit Their Jobs And The Airline Did NOT Cancel All Its Flights As of August 3, 2021

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: All Spirit Airlines Flight Attendants Did NOT Quit Their Jobs And The Airline Did NOT Cancel All Its Flights As of August 3, 2021 No Strike

Did all Spirit Airlines flight attendants quit their jobs and did the airline cancel all its flights as of August 3, 2021? No, that's not true: Although Spirit experienced significant delays and cancellations in the first days of August 2021, the claims are false according to a Spirit spokesperson and the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), the union that represents Spirit's flight attendants.

The claims appeared in an August 3, 2021, Facebook post. The user appeared to be sharing the experiences of another Spirit customer who planned to fly out of Puerto Rico but had their flight canceled along with other difficulties. The first version of the post began:

If you are flying anywhere on spirit airlines, all flights have been canceled. All flight attendants have quit so therefore no planes are available to fly across multiple states.

A screenshot showing that this was the first version of the post is included below:

first version of spirit FB post.PNG

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Aug 4 21:11:08 2021 UTC)

The Facebook user updated their post to correct the claims. A screenshot of the correction is included below:

updated version of spirit FB post.PNG

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Aug 4 21:28:33 2021 UTC)

However, the correction did not stop the claims from spreading to Twitter. An example of a tweet (archived here) repeating aspects of the claims reads:

This Spirit Airlines PR thing is crazy! Like all the staff just quit or on strike and hella folks are stranded in Puerto Rico 🇵🇷.

Like dead ass stranded yikes

This is what the post looked like on Twitter on August 4, 2021:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Wed Aug 4 21:37:37 2021 UTC)

In an email to Lead Stories on August 4, 2021, Erik Hofmeyer, a spokesperson for Spirit, denied the claims saying:

Completely false.

Spirit announced that it was "experiencing operational challenges" on its Twitter account in a tweet posted on August 2, 2021 (archived here). The tweet is embedded below:

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Wed Aug 4 21:43:15 2021 UTC)

In an email to Lead Stories on August 4, 2021, Taylor Garland, a representative of the AFA communications team, said:

This is completely false. Please see our statement directly addressing this rumor

Garland directed Lead Stories to this statement (archived here) from the AFA-CWA that reads:

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, representing Spirit Flight Attendants, released the following statement:

'Spirit Airlines is experiencing operational issues causing flight delays and cancellations due to weather, schedule month change over, and IT outages.

'A few news outlets have incorrectly reported that this may be due to a strike. This is not true. There is no flight attendant strike. Crews are not the issue.

'Management is proactively cancelling flights today to recover the operation and prevent further disruption for passengers.'

While the claims all flight attendants quitting their jobs and cancellations of all flights were false, news coverage of Spirit Airlines indicated its "operational challenges" continued through August 4, 2021.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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