Spirit Airlines has begun to cancel flights this weekend in anticipation of a pilot strike. Given Spirit Airlines’ customer service record you will not be shocked to hear that there is no mention of the strike or affected flights on their website.
Pilots and management are at an impasse over pay. Management says they have offered a double-digit increase, while pilots say that they are way, way below industry standard. Spirit’s labor costs per available mile are $1.91, less than half of American’s $4.45 (only Allegiant has lower labor costs, at $1.73.)
Nobody ever wants a strike, but Spirit’s management has a been of a cavalier attitude about what customers think of them (and, as I’ve noted here, I like Spirit quite a bit), and this makes me think they’d be willing to shut the airline down for a while . Although that’s certainly not good, they can afford to sell seats for $9. If they do shut down, you can be sure they’ll sell a ton of seats at $9. Those planes will be full.