November 24th, 2010
10:31 AM ET

Spirit Airlines computer crash causes holiday travel snarl

The Spirit Airlines website as it appears at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

[Updated at 10:31 a.m.] Spirit Airlines is working with the with the company that oversees its computer systems to fix problems with their reservations system, Misty Pinson, Director of Corporate Communications for Spirit Airlines told CNN.

“All flights are operating and we have not had any cancellations. We are very proud of our employees for stepping up and ensuring that our customers are checked in without an automated system.”

Scott Wintner, a spokesperson for the Detroit Metro Airport told CNN, Spirit Airlines have been going back to old pencil and paper system - checking people in manually. Instead of checking people in on a first come, first serve basis, agents have been taking people into groups and checking them in based on their departing times. That has led to agents being unable to give passengers approximate wait times.

And if you're flying Spirit you probably won't be able to get any help online either. As of the time of this posting it seems the computer crash has also led to the website being down.

At 4:30 this morning the line was through the entire terminal earlier this morning, Wintner said, adding he had never seen a line like that at the Detroit airport.

[Posted at 10:03 a.m.] As if there weren't enough concerns about trouble at the airports today - Spirit Airlines computers have crashed on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

"Our system is currently down, but we expect it to be up again shortly. In the meantime, we are checking in customers manually. Although this does take a bit more time, we do have additional staffing at our airports today and we are getting customers to their flights on time," the airline said in a statement to CNN affiliate WDIV. CNN affiliate WXYZ said Spirit Airlines told them the system is down for “routine maintenance” and would be back up in two hours.

WXYZ reported the issue was causing long lines at the terminal where Spirit is located at Detroit Metro Airport and that several flights are delayed because passengers are having to be checked in by hand by the airline's agents. WDIV reported check-ins are not working online or at the airport kiosks.

So if you're traveling with Spirit, here are your options: Call Spirit Airlines customer service at (800) 772-7117. They may be able to offer you a full refund, rebook you on another flight, or rebook you on a flight with another airline.

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Charles Dunbar


    November 24, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SF626

    I just logged onto Spirit and was able to check in for my flight.So far the system seems to be back up.

    November 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Allison

    "Routine maintenance" on the system, Spirit? I call shenanigans! An airline doesn't take its system offline voluntarily on the busiest travel day of the year. To suggest that this was anything other than an error is insulting.

    November 24, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rick

    LOL – Spirit Airlines' IT provider decided to "upgrade" the system on the day before Thanksgiving! How wise, how professional!

    November 24, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. unanimous

    all this negative talk about the company that i work for....i admit there are problems but every airline has those....we are turning about 70 planes a day out of Fort Lauderdale and baggage claims are very low for the thousands of bags that we handle each and everyday.....i attest working as a supervisor on the ramp that we hardly ever take a delay (ramp side) TSA is always understaffed and we suffer day in a day out .....Spirit is not a bad airline...other airports that we fly out of our workers are contracted try downloading roughly 150 bags and uploading around the same for our aircraft in 40 minutes....we turn our planes faster than any other airline out there....plain and simple if you dont like the charges fly somebody else .....we appreciate and speaking for myself strive to make our travelers happy

    November 24, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • yea right

      I hope you are using your personal pc for this. Cubby has his troups watching all server traffic in & out.

      November 24, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Goodbye Spirit

      After Spirit screwed us by abandoning us due to their self-absorbed strike, we vowed we would never fly them again. Their so-called customer service at the counter was beyond rude, but at least some of them spoke english unlike the idiots on their phones. Now this joke of a company does routine maintenance on one of the busiest travel days? It is not worth the supposed few cents you save by flying them....stick with the professional airlines!

      November 24, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill-SI

    Better the computer system than the airplanes!!

    November 24, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. lloyd

    I am on a delta flight in atlanta,, we are at the gate still as we have just heard the computers are down from the pilot. they wont let's us off the plane.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mr. X

    Yea, check the routine maint. Before rambling.

    November 25, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
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