Spirit Airlines Passengers Grounded At Ft. Lauderdale Airport

FT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Hundreds of passengers were stranded at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after Spirit Airlines delayed flights.

Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson told the Associated Press the Miramar-based airline is completing “a proactive and voluntary check” on aircraft as a precautionary measure following the engine failure on a flight last week.

The work should be finished Thursday morning.

Pinson says it takes about 45 minutes to check each aircraft but some flights are “experiencing significant delays.”

The Miami Herald reports that many passengers slept on the terminal floor overnight.

Passengers reported airline representatives told them the Federal Aviation Administration had deemed the planes unsafe for flight, according to WPLG-TV.

“Tempers are getting heated up like the temperature, because the air-conditioning seems to be as broken as their planes,” delayed Dallas passenger Teri Moran told the station.

Broward sheriff’s deputies were called to the airport, a duty officer tells CBS News.

She said there were some rowdy and irate customers who’d been delayed for hours.

The duty officer told CBS all Spirit Airlines planes were going through mechanical checks, and the carrier didn’t have enough mechanics to do them.

At least two Spirit flights took off from the airport Wednesday night, but numerous others were delayed.

Earlier this month a Dallas to Atlanta Spirit Airlines jet was forced make an emergency landing because of an “uncontained” engine failure.

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