DENVER (CBS4) – Four children from Aurora are among the thousands of people who were stuck in airports across the nation following a system-wide failure at Spirit Airlines. The airline had to cancel hundreds of flights this week, the company citing a snowballing effect within their company as the cause.
Jesse and Corie Marosy said their four children, all under the age of 14, are stuck in Detroit as a result of the Spirit Airlines issue. The children were in Michigan visiting their grandmother and were supposed to return home on Sunday alongside their mom.READ MORE: Colorado Weather: Fire Danger Ahead Of Next Storm System
Corie was unable to make it to Detroit to pick up her kids, just as her kids were unable to make a flight home due to cancellations.
“My kids are in Detroit, we are stuck here (in Denver.) They won’t get our kids back to us,” Jesse Marosy told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “I’ve probably spent 16 hours at least on the phone (trying to resolve the problem with Spirit.)”
Hundreds of would-be passengers have been abandoned in cities across the United States as a result of the issues at spirit. CBS affiliates across the country have seen people sleeping on airport floors and more while they wait for flights.
Fortunately, for the Marosy children, they can stay at their grandma’s house with plenty of food. Others are less fortunate, having to contend with others for hotel vouchers.
“It’s heart-wrenching. It is a terrible experience and we are doing our best to make up for that,” Spirit CEO Edward Christie told CBS News. “I believe we have, so those people are either where they belong or in a hotel, or afforded the option to go somewhere else.”
However, the Marosy children are experiencing a unique case. The Marosys say they cannot afford to fly another airline, or rent a car, to retrieve their children. So, they are relying on the company to find a new flight and cover costs.
However, because they do not have an adult with them, an unaccompanied minor guide is needed. That costs hundreds of dollars per child to request. Jesse said he paid more than $400 in fees to try and get his children back to Colorado.
Jesse said two of his kids were booked on two different flights on the same day, at one point, but could not fly due to not having a guide with them.
“They need to come home. They are supposed to start school this week. The way it is they’re going to miss their first day of school,” Jesse said.READ MORE: Deadly Hit & Run At I-70 And Pecos Street Under Investigation
The children have already seen multiple flights canceled.
“That flight got canceled. They rebooked it for Monday. That one got canceled. Then they did it on Tuesday, and that one got canceled,” Jesse said.
CBS4 reached out to Spirit Airlines for an interview or statement on the Marosy’s specific case. The airline did not address the specific issues the Marosy’s experienced but did address the airline’s recent problems as a whole.
Spirit provided this statement to CBS4: “Spirit Airlines President and CEO Ted Christie confirmed that our plan to recover from the current operational disruption is working. Yesterday our cancellation rate improved and it’s on track to improve further today. While we never want to cancel flights and inconvenience our Guests, this is a step in the right direction.”
Christie said he expects Spirit’s cancellation rate to continue to improve over the weekend, resuming normal operations by the middle of next week.
Christie went on to explain that this week’s cancellations stem from a month’s worth of tough operating conditions in July. What started with weather and its associated delays led to more and more crew members getting dislocated and being unable to fly their assigned trips. Ultimately, the number of crews facing those issues outpaced our crew scheduling department’s capacity for getting them back in place.
“Our primary objective right now is taking care of our Guests and Team Members and getting our operation back to where we want it to be,” Christie said. “To our Guests, I am truly sorry. We’ve spent years investing in the reliable, on-time experience you’ve come to expect with Spirit, and this week we fell short. We’re going to do everything we can to earn back your loyalty.”
“Spirit continues to take care of Guests impacted by cancellations by offering reaccommodations, flight credits, refunds, hotel vouchers and meal vouchers as warranted by each Guest’s individual circumstance.”
The Marosys said they have dried up their bank account trying to get their kids back to Colorado, but are glad they at least know their children are in safe hands with their grandparents.
“I’m just grateful they are at my parents’ house and not sitting in the airport,” Corie said.MORE NEWS: Jackknifed Semi That Took Out Guardrail In Icy Conditions Led To I-70 Closure
“Fourteen hundred dollars we are out right now. We’ve spent the last of our money,” Jesse said. “I kind of feel helpless. I will never use them again.”