Spirit Airlines passengers delayed overnight because of inspections

A Spirit Airlines jet takes off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on February 21, 2013.

Story highlights

  • Spirit says the checks are complete and apologized for the delays
  • Spirit's voluntary engine inspections caused lengthy delays
  • Dozens of passengers slept at the Fort Lauderdale airport overnight
  • Some travelers lost their tempers but no arrests were made
Spirit Airlines said Thursday it's sorry that hundreds of passengers had flights delayed for hours from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport because of the airline's voluntary engine inspections.
Dozens of passengers slept at the airport Wednesday night, with some waiting nearly 12 hours before their aircraft were cleared for takeoff.
"Some did lose their tempers, but it was all worked out amicably," airport spokesman Greg Meyer told CNN via e-mail.
Spirit announced Thursday afternoon that all checks had been completed and apologized for the delays.
"We are working diligently to get our customers where they need to go as quickly as possible," airline spokeswoman Misty Pinson said. "We expect to be back to regular schedule later this evening. As always, the safety of our customers is our No. 1 priority."
This week's inspections followed last week's engine failure on a Spirit Airlines flight shortly after takeoff from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Spirit Flight 165 was heading for Atlanta when the failure occurred, but returned safely to the Dallas airport.
Besides one flight cancellation, passengers on Atlantic City-bound Flight 268 may have experienced the worst delays. They waited nearly 12 hours to depart on a flight scheduled to take off Wednesday night at 8:15 p.m. They didn't leave until Thursday morning at 8:08 a.m., according to airport flight departure records.