Travelers stranded in Atlanta airport after airlines cancel flights

Travelers at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport were left stranded after Spirit Airlines canceled hundreds of flights Wednesday.

It was the fourth day the low-cost airline has dealt with travel setbacks, which the company says is due to operational challenges.

Since Sunday, the airline has canceled over 400 flights, or nearly 60% of its schedule, according to the FlightAware tracking service. Nearly 100 other flights were late. The blame appeared to lie at least partly with a technology outage affecting crew scheduling.

For people stuck in Atlanta's airport, the frustration and annoyance had them saying they'd never fly Spirit again after the experience.

Some travelers told FOX 5's Brian Hill they had been stuck there since Wednesday morning and will, unfortunately, have to spend the night in the airport.

Spirit isn't the only airline that has left passengers across the country scrambling to adjust their travel plans. American Airlines had already canceled nearly 350 flights and Frontier has also been affected by cancelations.

One Frontier passenger at Hartsfield-Jackson said his family had been trying to rebook since Monday.

Travelers also waited in hours-long lines just to change their flights or finally speak to customer service agents.

"Tell us Monday, it's a strike. It's not gonna get fixed, we can make other arrangements and prepare for it but to leave us in limbo and hanging, it's a nightmare," passenger Ronald Todd said.

Many passengers are annoyed right now by losing money to rebook flights and losing precious time away from their families.

"I've had to get up and stretch like five times and you were talking about the vouchers and stuff, about food and accommodations, we didn't get any of that." Ethan Moxey said.

About three-fourths of the American cancellations appeared to be due at least partly to a lack of pilots, according to a company log.

The disruptions at Spirit and American are just the latest examples of airlines scrambling to deal with an increase in travel this summer. Airlines have thousands of fewer employees than they did before the pandemic, but U.S. air travel has recovered to about 80% of 2019 levels.

Spirit Airlines has issued an apology for the inconvenience and says they're working around the clock to get guests to their destination.

The airlines say cancellations will start dropping Thursday.

WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta live news coverage


Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.