Is Spirit Airlines’ business model to blame for the near riot over cancellations?
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Spirit Airlines is in the spotlight this week after cancelled flights led to a near riot at its hub in Fort Lauderdale. The discount airline blamed “unlawful labor activity” by the pilots during contract negotiations, with their refusal to work some flights causing hundreds of cancellations. The union has denied the accusation but says its members will obey a judge’s order not to engage in boycotts or a work slowdown. Spirit pilots make less than their counterparts at bigger carriers, and the airline is known for its relentless focus on cutting costs, including a slate of passenger charges for basic things like printing your boarding pass at the airport. Is the unrest a sign that Spirit’s business model is finally catching up with it?
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