MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Hundreds of passengers are stuck at Myrtle Beach International Airport after dozens of Spirit Airlines delays and cancellations.
According to the Myrtle Beach International Airport website, at least 11 Spirit Airlines flights have been canceled Tuesday, with many others listed as delayed. Other airlines are also showing some delays and cancellations.
“We’re working along the clock to mitigate the travel disruptions caused by overlapping operational challenges including weather, system outages and staffing shortages in some areas of the operation,” a Tuesday statement from Spirit reads.
The statement said that the airline “implemented some proactive cancellations” on Tuesday as a way to reset operations. It said that most flights currently remain scheduled as planned.
“We understand how frustrating it is for our Guests when plans change unexpectedly,” the statement reads. “We’re working to provide refunds for cancellations and, when possible to reaccomodate our Guests.”
The statement said the airline cancelled the flights early in order to give travelers as much notice as possible. It recommends that travelers check their flight status before going to the airport.
“As a team, we strive every day to get our Guests where they need to go on time,” the statement reads. “We sincerely regret the inconvenience this has caused.”
A News13 viewer said hundreds of people at the airport have been sleeping on the ground, and their luggage was taken but can’t be returned while they wait on their flights.
Many stuck passengers are feeling frustrated and said there is a lack of communication. As the hours roll by, and more flights are delayed or canceled, frustration keeps mounting.
“It’s just frustrating that they’re not being upfront and telling us what’s going on,” said Jolene Campbell, a passenger from Pennsylvania. “I don’t want to wait until 10:00 tonight again to find out that our flight’s been canceled and we’re stuck here another day. We have jobs and we have to get back to work.”
“I’m stuck here,” said Derrick Green, a passenger from New York. “I don’t know anybody in Myrtle Beach. I’ve never been here.”
Green has had seven of his flights canceled by Spirit Airlines this weekend. All he can do is shrug his shoulders.
“I don’t even know relatively to where I live where I am,” Green said, as he shrugged. “So I’m just stuck here. I’m at their mercy.”
Green was one of several Spirit Airlines passengers who were stranded at the airport overnight. He slept on a windowsill.
“I hate it. I mean I stick, I want to go home,” Green said. “I want to take a shower. I want to get in my bed.”
Rumors were circulating online claiming that Spirit Airlines employees were on a strike, but in a statement to News13, the airline said that is not true, and cited weather and operational challenges for the issues. The airline did not elaborate on what the operational challenges were.
It’s led to delays and cancellations at many airports nationwide, leaving passengers waiting.
“One flight’s already been canceled today,” Campbell said. “The other one’s been delayed four times. Ours has already been delayed twice for 6 p.m. so we’re thinking it’s not looking good for today either.”
Other passengers, Cheryl Webb and her husband, were given refunds by Spirit Airlines for their canceled flight.
“And that was basically it,” said Webb, who is from Michigan. “I had to pay for another airline for flights going back home to Michigan. I had to pay of course for baggage. I had to pay for another day for a rental car as well as had to get a hotel.”
Count on News13 for updates to this developing story.