Spirit Airlines Begins Cancellations in Preparation for Strike

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Spirit Airlines earlier this week vowed to fly with the help of other carriers, even if its pilots go on strike. But now there are reports the airline is cutting flights as a strike looms.

The Associated Press is reporting Spirit pilots are threatening to walk out at 12:01 a.m., Saturday morning. Both sides have indicated they'd like to make a deal before that time.

The Florida-based airline began canceling some weekend flights and has been contacting customers to help them with alternate travel plans, AP said. A reservations agent told the AP that all weekend flights out of Spirit's Fort Lauderdale hub had been "suspended."

The dispute with the pilots is over issues including pay. The Spirit pilots say they are paid less than competitors.

"We are looking for pay parity," Sean Creed, a Spirit captain and the head of the Air Line Pilots Association, told AP. He added that many management pilots have promised not to cross the picket line.

Negotiations are ongoing in Washington, and are being overseen by the National Mediation Board.

The carrier flies about 150 flights per day, including from the eastern U.S. to the Caribbean. The privately held airline was also in the news recently when it announced it would start charging $45 for carry-on bags beginning Aug. 1.
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