Spirit Airlines flights resume Friday

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

Fort Lauderdale, FL-- Outside the international airport pilots are still picketing until the deal is officially approved by the union. But they were hopeful.

"Smell that? I smell victory," yelled one pilot in the picket line.

The discount carrier and the pilot union announced they had worked out their dispute over pilot pay Wednesday afternoon, 5 days after all flights were halted.

"We gave in certain areas and of course the company gave in certain areas. We came to a tentative agreement that both sides could live with," said union representative Frank Hahn.

What exactly they agreed on hasn't been made public.

But for 3 years pilots complained some of them made up to 40% less than pilots at rival discount carriers.

"We are hopeful that this time the company has realized our true worth as pilots," said union representative Paul Hopkins.

Spirit's CEO has issued a public apology for the mess that stranded thousands of passengers since Saturday.

Part of the problem, Spirit doesn't have code share agreements with rival airlines and many passengers couldn't afford for expensive same-day flight fares.

Passengers like Bill Martindale and his group of travelers told us before news of the agreement that the damage has been done.

"Right now you are looking at 15 people who are not willing to use them again because of the way we were treated today," he said.