Like clockwork, the summer travel season flight delays and cancellations have begun—as was predicted by many industry watchers.
Nearly 90 percent of Spirit Airlines flights were delayed on Thursday. The meltdown was caused by a technical issue that impacted the carrier’s website.
Spirit Airlines tweeted Thursday morning to say that the issue was affecting Spirit.com, the Spirit Airlines app, and also kiosks within airports. All of which triggered delays for scheduled flights.
Later in the morning however, a spokesperson for the airline said in an emailed statement that the issue had been resolved.
“We have resolved a network issue between third-party services that affected our website, mobile app and some internal applications,” the airline said in a followup email, NBC news reported. “We apologize for any delays and inconvenience, and we’re now working our way back to normal operations.”
Meanwhile, a flight-tracking site was showing that less than 24 percent of the airline’s flights were departing on time. As the day progressed, the situation worsened for Spirit. By noon ET, nearly 90 percent of Spirit flights were not departing on time and more than 3 percent were canceled.
In April, Spirit Airlines announced it was adopting new flight scheduling technology
in Amadeus SkySYM to apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) that would simulate and
optimize the performance of its flight schedules moving forward. It’s not clear if the new technology played a role in the challenges experienced by the airline today.
The U.S. Travel Association and many others predicted the summer would be a challenging one. The travel trade association in particular indicated that summer 2023 would be a record-breaking season, but one likely to be fraught with challenges thanks to years of under-investment in the Federal Aviation Administration.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also indicated there may be troubles ahead during an interview with NBC News prior to Memorial Day.
“We have seen demand come roaring back for air travel — and the system has struggled to keep up,” he said.
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