Spirit Airline’s passenger brawl, labor dispute deliver punch to reputation

As if canceled flights and an alleged work slowdown weren’t bad enough, the airline watches an airport fisticuffs go viral on social media.

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Here’s a scenario to add your list of PR nightmares: a labor dispute, a lawsuit against an employees’ union, a customer brawl and social media thrashing—all rolled together.

That’s what Spirit Airlines is facing as a labor clash with unhappy pilots and their union led to canceled flights and a wild fisticuffs among passengers at a Florida airport Monday.

The airline won a legal—if not reputational—battle Tuesday when a federal court issued a temporary restraining order barring pilots from interfering with Spirit’s operations.

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