Spirit Airlines
A Spirit Airlines airplane sits at a gate at the O'Hare Airport in Chicago, Oct. 2, 2014. Reuters/Jim Young

Several would-be passengers boarding Spirit Airlines at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport were arrested late Monday after cancellations affected nine flights, inciting a massive brawl. Thousands of travelers were affected by the bargain carrier’s cancellations — part of a larger pattern of cancellations affecting roughly 300 flights — which culminated in the Monday brawl at the Florida airport.

Several 911 calls requesting police backup at the airport’s Spirit Airlines terminal have now been released. ABC reported Thursday that at least five calls were made to emergency dispatchers during the chaos. During one of the calls, the individual on the phone requests police assistance for “irate passengers.”

“You said an ‘irate passenger?’” asked the dispatcher.

“Passengers — more than one,” the caller responded.

Another caller told the dispatcher passengers were being “rowdy, very rowdy.”

While a Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman told ABC that no one was injured during the incident at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, one passenger reached by local news station WSVN said employees for the airline were unable to contain the situation.

“All of a sudden, one particular flight got canceled, and a mob ensued up here at the front counter, in front of everyone else who had been waiting in line,” the passenger said.


#spiritairlines right now _ this shit is wild, canceled flights

A post shared by Jary Romero (@kallejero) on

Among those taken into custody were Desmond Waul, 22, Janice Waul, 24, and Devante Garrett, 22, reported ABC. The rowdy passengers reportedly face charges of inciting or encouraging a riot, disorderly conduct, resisting an officer and trespassing after a warning, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

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The melee reportedly began after a union of Spirit Airlines pilots went on strike, claiming their salaries and benefits were below industry standards. Since the beginning of May, roughly 300 flights with the Florida-based carrier were canceled, affecting the travel plans of over 20,000 customers.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday forcing the carrier’s pilots to return to work. Spirit Airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents the airline's pilots, reached a deal Thursday to extend the restraining order indefinitely. The deal was made avoid more cancellations while both sides negotiate a new permanent contract, or “if applicable, the parties are released from mediation by the National Mediation Board,” Spirit Airlines told International Business Times in an emailed statement.

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In response to videos of Monday’s incident that surfaced on social media, Paul Berry, a spokesperson for Spirit Airlines, told IBT, “We are shocked and saddened to see the videos of what took place at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport this evening. This is a result of unlawful labor activity by some Spirit pilots designed to disrupt Spirit operations for our customers, by canceling multiple flights across our network.”

“These pilots have put their quest for a new contract ahead of getting customers to their destinations and the safety of their fellow Spirit Team Members. It is for this reason, Spirit has filed suit in Federal Court to protect our customers' future travel,” Berry added.