Release #08.SPA5
August 29, 2008

Spirit Pilots Spend Labor Day Demanding Management Honor Contracts
Pilots to Picket at Fort Lauderdale Airport to Highlight Management Failures

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.—Spirit pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), will conduct informational picketing Monday at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport, one of the main hubs of Spirit Airlines. Just recently, Spirit Airlines management announced that it will require many of the 70 pilots it plans to furlough on September 1 to fly after their furlough date—a blatant breach of the labor contract.

Picketing will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Monday, September 1, at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport main terminal, 100 Aviation Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.

Pilot leaders representing the union will be available for interviews.

“Every week brings a new contract violation,” said Captain Sean Creed, chair of the Spirit unit of ALPA. “The latest ploy—demanding that furloughed pilots continue to fly and be available to fly after their furlough date, and then refusing to pay them the compensation called for in our contract—is an absurd insult that many managers can’t justify with a straight face. These pilots need to find new jobs to support their families and our woefully understaffed carrier is exploiting them. It’s yet another example of how our management from its highest level holds our contract in contempt—and why we need to take back our company.”

Spirit Airlines furloughed 45 pilots on August 1, and announced further plans to furlough 70 on September 1. Almost immediately following the August furloughs, the company made outrageous public claims that pilots had staged a “sick-in.” However, the staff shortage that caused flights to be cancelled was a direct result of furloughing staff without a commensurate reduction in flying. Management continues to address staffing issues by violating the contract, without addressing the underlying problems—poor planning and unrealistic scheduling.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union and represents 55,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada, including more than 500 pilots at Spirit Airlines. Visit the ALPA website at

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Captain Sean Creed—(765) 338-6824
Arthur Luby—(571) 236-3523
Jen Lofquist—(703) 481-4459