ALPA's Communications Department provides information and support for news media inquiries. An ALPA communications representative can be reached in the Herndon, Va. office at (703) 481-4440.

News Release

Release #02.083
September 10, 2002

Spirit Pilots Reach Out to Their Passengers on the Anniversary of 9-11

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL – Spirit Airlines pilots, as represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), will congregate at airports this Wednesday, Sept. 11 – but many of them will not be flying airplanes. Pilots will be forgoing their day off or coming to work extra early to spend some time talking to Spirit passengers in observance of the one year anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Uniformed Spirit pilots will welcome travelers at the customer service counters at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, Detroit Metro Airport, and Atlantic City International Airport, where the pilots are based. This event coincides with the carrier’s "Freedom to Travel" promotion, offering free travel to passengers on Sept. 11, 2002.

Capt. David Sytsema, chairman of ALPA’s unit at Spirit Airlines, stated, "This event is our way of remembering the pilots, flight attendants, passengers, firemen, police officers, and many others who perished in last year’s Sept. 11 disasters. At the same time, we want to show our passengers how much we appreciate their business and personally encourage them to fly with us again."

"As pilots, we tend to focus on the safety and technical aspects of our job. On this momentous day, we thought it would be appropriate to reach out to our passengers and direct more of our attention to them," said Sytsema.

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Spirit Airlines is the largest privately held airline in the U.S. The Spirit pilots operate a fleet of 24 MD-80 and six DC-9 aircraft with 100 daily departures.

ALPA is the world’s largest and oldest pilots union, representing more than 66,000 cockpit crewmembers at 43 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA Web site at

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ALPA Contact: John Perkinson (703) 481-4440