Spirit Airlines passengers were allegedly forced to wait more than seven hours in the plane before takeoff, the latest incident from the controversial airline.
On 15 August, passenger Lindsey Mascera shared a video to TikTok which showed a plane full of passengers who reportedly waited seven hours inside the aircraft. The video has since been viewed more than 11 million times.
Most airlines usually allow passengers to off-board the plane or find another flight in the case of delays, but according to Mascera’s TikTok, passengers were left fidgeting and standing as they waited for news from the airline staff.
“We have 200 passengers on this flight right now,” Mascera said in the video. “How long have you been waiting?”
“Seven hours,” a fellow passenger replied, to which the TikToker claimed: “They told us it was going to be 30 minutes and we’re all still on this flight. It’s almost 11 pm and we’ve been here since 4pm.”
She then panned her camera towards the empty cockpit: “We got delayed, and now there’s no pilots to be found and there’s no answer.”
The video ended with Mascara simply stating: “Do not ride Spirit. They suck.”
Although well-known for its low ticket prices, Spirit Airlines is perhaps best known as the second most complained about airline in the US, according to data on passenger complaints from the US Department of Transportation. Many grievances ranged from flight delays, to cancellations, to missed flight connections.
In the TikTok video’s comment section, there was an outpour of users sharing their negative experiences with the airline. “My dad waited 12 hours, and it was cancelled,” one user recalled, while another claimed: ”Once I was with Spirit, and it took 13 hours.”
“Bro I would’ve opened that back door and been gone,” someone else wrote, as another said they would’ve yelled: “I’ve been kidnapped by Spirit Airlines. HELP!!”
Despite the criticism, some people contended that at least the airline’s seats looked “comfortable”.
In a follow-up video uploaded by Mascera, a flight attendant could be heard offering passengers a refund if they wished to deplane the aircraft: “I have no arguments with what all of you think and your frustrations. If you do want to come off the aircraft, you can come off the aircraft, and we will issue you a refund.”
Mascera later claimed that she waited “12 hours” in the plane.
In a statement to The Independent, a Spirit Airlines representative said: “Spirit Airlines flight 1736 returned to the gate in Fort Lauderdale (FLL) on 15 August due to air traffic control-imposed delays and weather conditions. Once at the gate, our guests were offered access to the terminal. Despite our best efforts, the continued ATC and weather delays affected our abilities to reschedule, and we later cancelled the flight.”
The representative added: “Our guests were offered the option to rebook on the next available Spirit flight or request a refund. We apologise for the inconvenience.”
The Independent has contacted Mascera for comment.