A message from Capt. Prater:

Just before dawn on June 12, Spirit Airlines forced its pilots to use the last weapon in their arsenal to negotiate a fair contract—declaring a lawful strike. I’m confident that every one of our 53,000 ALPA members will afford the Spirit pilots the selfless sacrifice it takes from all of us to support a pilot group through a strike. There’s no doubt in my mind that with your backing, our Spirit members will last one day longer than their management. This website will help you track their every step, see pictures and videos from the latest events, and find out where to join them on the picket line next.

The Day After the TA

June 17, 2010 - The morning after Spirit pilots reached a tentative agreement giving them improvements in pay, benefits, and work rules, the pilots attended briefings on the return-to-service and the role the pilots play in normalizing the airline operation. The briefing provided not only important information on the next steps, but also a gathering spot for pilots, families, and supporters to congratulate each other on their solidarity and to express gracious words of thanks.

Click here to view a photo slideshow of the day’s events.

Spirit Pilots Reach Deal with Management
Tentative Agreement Ends Strike, Pilots to Receive Double-Digit Pay Increases

June 16, 2010 - Spirit pilot negotiators, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), have reached a tentative agreement with their management. If ratified by the Spirit pilot group, the resulting new contract would include improvements in pay, benefits, and work rules that recognize and reward the pilots’ contributions to the company’s success.

“We’re pleased to have a tentative agreement that acknowledges the sacrifices each of us made to ensure the success of Spirit Airlines,” said Capt. Sean Creed, leader of the Spirit unit of ALPA. “This agreement provides increases in pay and retirement benefits, protects our work rules, and ensures our job security at Spirit. After five days on the picket line, this agreement also gets this pilot group and this airline back where they belong—in the air.”

Final Hours of Spirit Pilots’ Strike – Day 5

June 16, 2010 - Before the rumors of a potential TA started to swarm, determined Spirit pilots and their loyal supporters were still there to walk the picket lines in Atlantic City, Detroit, and Fort Lauderdale.

In Atlantic City and Detroit, the picketing came earlier in the day, and the number of participants continued to reflect a strong show of support.

Click here to view a photo slideshow of the Spirit pilots on day 5 of the strike.

Read more about the activity in Atlantic City | Detroit | Ft. Lauderdale

Spirit Pilots, Supporters: Exceeding Expectations

June 15, 2010 - At the request of the National Mediation Board, Spirit pilot negotiators and management resumed talks today in Fort Lauderdale in an attempt to reach a deal. The MEC continues to be committed to negotiate at any time and at any place in order to secure a fair and equitable agreement.

The timeline for additional negotiating sessions is not known, and, amazingly, the vagueness hasn’t affected pilots and their families who loyally walked the line. Before heading off to the negotiating session, the Spirit MEC and Negotiating Committee visited the Fort Lauderdale picket line and offered words of support and encouragement to their fellow Spirit pilots and nearly 200 others who joined the line.

Click here to view a photo slideshow of the Spirit pilots on day 4 of the strike.
Watch the latest Spirit pilot video, “Spirit Pilots Hold the Line”.

Read more about the activity in Ft. Lauderdale | Detroit | Atlantic City

Spirit Pilots’ Strike: Day 3

June 14, 2010 - Like a locomotive building up a head of steam, the momentum continues with Spirit pilots.

In Detroit, day after day the number of picketers from Spirit, the AFA, and supporting pilot groups continues to grow: 57 on Thursday, 92 on Friday/Saturday, 97 on Sunday, and today, an astounding 115 picketers at a domicile with only 100 pilots.


Spirit Pilots on Strike: Day 2

June 13, 2010 - Thirty-six hours into their strike, Spirit pilots aren’t flinching—with high turnouts of picketers in Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, and Atlantic City compelled to walk the line.

They were, of course, joined by a bounty of supporters: fellow ALPA members, family, and friends, and other union workers. The camaraderie among the groups is electric and continues to feed the energy needed to stay unified and stay strong.

Click here to view a photo slideshow of the Spirit pilots on strike.
Join Spirit pilots on the picket line.

Spirit Pilots Stand Strong in Early Hours of Strike

June 12, 2010 - No rest for the weary, but the determined stay strong. Spirit pilots, and many supporters, returned to the picket line today following the long-awaited strike announcement at 5 o’clock this morning. Their signs had a new message: Spirit Pilots On Strike.

It was the final weapon in their arsenal for gaining a fair contract, one that could cripple the company, further demonstrating the obvious and critical need for airline pilots. Without them, the planes stay parked, and Spirit pilots have vowed not to fly the line until management comes to the table with a deal that recognizes the worth of a professional pilot.

Click here to view a photo slideshow of the Spirit pilots on strike in Ft. Lauderdale.
Watch a video of Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport showing picketing, parked planes, and canceled flights.
Join Spirit pilots on the picket line.

Spirit Pilots: ON STRIKE
Hundreds of pilots walk off the job to demand fair contract

June 12, 2010 - At 5:01 a.m., June 12, Spirit pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), went on strike against their company—and will not return to the cockpit until a fair and equitable contract is negotiated. Pilot negotiators agreed to extend the strike deadline twice in order to review final proposals put forth by both parties to keep the airline running. In the end, both sides could not reach an agreement.

“Immediately after 5:00 a.m., the Spirit Pilot Master Executive Council, as authorized by our pilots, called for and instituted a lawful strike against our management,” announced Captain Sean Creed, head of the Spirit unit of ALPA.

Join Spirit Pilots on the Picket Line.

Systemwide Solidarity: Walking the Spirit Picket Line

June 11, 2010 - Mere hours before the clock struck midnight – before the NMB requested to delay the strike deadline for 2 hours – hundreds participated in systemwide informational picketing, a pure demonstration of unwavering support of Spirit pilots’ desire to negotiate a fair contract – or strike.

In Ft. Lauderdale more than 200 joined Spirit pilots, illustrating that solidarity is more than just a word to union pilots – it is a way of life. The large crowd gathered at 10:30 PM – the start of all four picketing events in Atlantic City, Detroit, New York, and Ft. Lauderdale – and marched in front of the airport access in what seemed like an endless picket line that snaked into the night sky. The hope is not to strike, but that this last stand will take the Spirit pilots to the final step of reaching a contract.

Please click here for a slideshow from these events.

Spirit Picketers Show Dogged Resolve in Detroit

June 10, 2010 - With less than 36 hours to go before the clock ticks over on their strike deadline, Spirit pilots and supporters from more than a dozen other ALPA pilot groups navigated police barricades to show their solidarity at Detroit’s Metro Airport.

Building on the success of events held earlier this week in Fort Lauderdale, New York and Atlantic City, 92 pilots and flight attendants from Spirit, Jazz Air, Delta, United, Continental, AirTran, Mesaba, Alaska, ExpressJet, Comair, Eagle, Pinnacle, ASA and FedEx participated in the picketing at DTW.

Click here to watch video footage of Detroit, Fort Lauderdale.

More than 150 March in Support of Spirit Pilots

June 9, 2010 - Just over two days left. Spirit pilots, joined by other ALPA brothers and sisters from 14 different airlines and a large contingent from the Spirit unit of the Association of Flight Attendants, marched more than 150 strong in an irrefutable show of solidarity.

The group marched in two locations in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Due to restrictive rules, only four pilots were allowed to picket on airport property, forcing the rest of the crowd to picket at the airport entrance. In both locations, the message was loud and clear: Spirit pilots are unshakably determined to strike if no agreement is reached by June 12. And their resolve of 450 pilots is supported by their families, other fellow union employees, and the largest pilots’ union in the world, boasting 53,000 airline pilots.

Today was evidence of that solidarity: Joined by their ALPA brothers and sisters from AirTran, American Eagle, ExpressJet, FedEx, Piedmont, Trans States, and United, the large group of pilots ignored the oppressive Florida heat in a picket line stretching the length of a football field, slowing traffic on busy US Route 1, and drawing signs of support from passers-by. Demonstrating that quality of life issues know no boundaries, pilots from non-ALPA groups also joined the picket line, including American, Gulfstream, Miami Air, Republic, Southwest, US Airways, and Vision.

Click here to view a photo slideshow of the picketing.

Spirit Pilots Walk the Line at Atlantic City Int’l Airport

June 8, 2010 - With less than four days remaining until the deadline of a 30-day cooling-off period, Spirit pilots walked the picket line on Tuesday, June 8 at the Atlantic City Int’l Airport, in preparation for what could be a final-hour showdown.

Spirit pilots were joined by ALPA members from Continental, ExpressJet, Delta, and United—as well as pilots from US Airways. The more than 30 pilots marched across from the main entrance of the airport terminal.

Click here to view a photo slideshow of the picketing.

Spirit Pilots March on LaGuardia Airport

May 25, 2010 - More than 70 pilots marched on LaGuardia Airport today to send a message to Spirit management: without a fair contract on June 12, Spirit pilots will strike.

Joined by ALPA members from AirTran, Air Wisconsin, American Eagle, ASA, Continental, Delta, Piedmont, and United, the pilots marched through the airport to picket outside the Spirit departure entrance. Television stations from New York came out to film and interview pilot leaders.

“We’re not going away, and we’re not going to settle for anything less than a fair contract,” said Capt. Sean Creed, MEC Chair. “They can try all the scare tactics they want, but with the support of our ALPA brothers and sisters, we will get the contract we deserve.”

Click here to view a photo slideshow of the picketing.

ALPA Pilots Storm Detroit for Spirit

May 19, 2010 - More than six dozen pilots from eight ALPA carriers and their union colleagues from Spirit Airlines picketed Detroit Metropolitan Airport today, reminding Spirit management that the full weight of ALPA’s 53,000 members will be behind the Spirit pilots should they be forced to go on strike next month.

Seventy-five United, Delta, Continental, Mesaba, AirTran, Eagle, Pinnacle, and CommutAir pilots walked the line along with Spirit aviators, family members, and flight attendants as the clock continues to wind down toward a potential strike on June 12.

Click here to view a photo slideshow of the picketing.

Spirit Pilots Warn Passengers to Check the Flight Schedule
Billboards in Fort Lauderdale, Atlantic City, and Detroit prepare customers for potential strike

May 18, 2010 - Spirit pilots are helping Spirit passengers prepare for a possible pilot-strike should Spirit management refuse to return to the bargaining table to secure a new contract for Spirit pilots. This week, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l placed billboards in Spirit Airline’s three major airport hubs alerting them to the serious labor dispute at Spirit and requesting that passengers confirm their reservations with the airline before flying.

“Any strike has the potential to disrupt plans,” said Capt. Sean Creed, leader of the Spirit unit of ALPA. “We do not want to strike, but if we do, we want our customers to be aware of what may be coming, and to make their plans accordingly.”

Spirit Pilots Picket as 30-day Cooling-off Period Begins

May 14, 2010 - After three long years of contract talks between the Spirit pilots and the company, on May 12, the National Mediation Board (NMB) released the parties from mediated bargaining, triggering the 30-day cooling-off period after which the pilots and the company are free to engage in self-help (i.e., strike, lockout). The pilots marked the occasion by staging informational picketing directly outside Spirit company headquarters. Joined by pilots from AirTran, American Eagle, Continental, Delta, Pinnacle, and United, nearly 100 pilots marched to demonstrate their unity and their resolve to get a fair and equitable contract for the Spirit pilots. In spite of being profitable for the last six reported quarters and expanding the company’s routes, Spirit management continues to ask for concessions in work rules and benefits from a pilot group that is already operating under a below-industry-standard contract.

Click here to watch video footage of the event.
Click here to view a photo slideshow of the picketing.

Spirit Pilots to Management: Fair Contract by June 12—or Strike
Pilots to Mark Announcement with Picketing in Front of Spirit Headquarters in Miramar, Florida

May 12, 2010 - Spirit pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), announced today that they have received confirmation of the 30-day cooling-off period from the National Mediation Board (NMB). The NMB has given the two sides until 12:01 a.m., Eastern time, Saturday, June 12, to reach an agreement on a new pilot contract. After that time, pilot leaders may call a lawful strike.

To mark this announcement, on Thursday, May 13, the pilots will conduct informational picketing outside Spirit company headquarters. The event will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 2800 Executive Way, Miramar, Florida.

Spirit Pilots Decline Arbitration—Strike Could Result Soon

May 7, 2010 - The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), on behalf of Spirit Airlines pilots, has triggered the start of a 30-day cooling-off period—which could result in a strike in the near future if no agreement is reached—by rejecting the National Mediation Board’s (NMB) proffer of arbitration on Wednesday, May 5. The union now awaits the NMB’s notification of the day on which the 30-day clock starts and the date for a possible strike.

“As pilots, we would rather be in the air than on the picket line. We want a fair contract—not a strike,” said Captain Sean Creed, head of the Spirit unit of ALPA. “However, this company has shown time and time again that it doesn’t feel the need to bargain with us in good faith. We hope that the added pressure of a strike deadline will help management realize that a fair and equitable contract is in everyone’s best interest.”

Click here to watch the video of Capt. Creed at ALPA’s 106th Executive Board meeting.

Spirit Pilot Contract Negotiations End: Strike Looms
Pilots picket airport and company headquarters demanding a new contract

February 22, 2010 - Spirit pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), concluded mediated talks with the company on February 18 without any progress toward a new contract. The pilots have been negotiating for three-and-a-half years and in federally mediated talks for over six months. The end of scheduled talks may result in the pilots calling a lawful strike should the group be released to seek self-help from the National Mediation Board.

Spirit Airlines has been profitable for four consecutive quarters, enjoys the lowest cost per block in the industry, and claims that it is growing. However, the company continues to put forward a five-year contract with $31 million in concessions, including work rule changes that would allow the company to furlough more than 54 pilots.

Spirit Pilots to Picket February 19 & 22 in South Florida

February 12, 2010 - The Spirit MEC and SPSC will hold informational picketing on Friday, February 19, at the upper level of Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood Airport, and on Monday, February 22, outside Spirit corporate headquarters in Miramar, Fla.

Letters of Solidarity:

Unity works, but is rarely achieved ... What happens when a group of pilots is beaten down by management and the industry?

Read more ...