Spirit flight attendants stage picket outside Metro Airport - KMSP-TV

Spirit flight attendants stage picket outside Detroit Metro Airport

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By Taryn Asher
Fox 2 News Reporter


ROMULUS, Mich. (WJBK) -- The busy travel season is officially here and there is already some turbulence.  Flight attendants staged an informational picketed Wednesday outside Metro Airport's North Terminal.

"We're near an impasse and quite honestly it could be anytime," Nicole Trupiano told me.

Five years of negotiations is way too long, said Trupiano, who represents around 400 flight attendants in Detroit, Las Vegas, Dallas and Atlantic City.

The Association of Flight Attendants is asking for a modest wage increase, better health benefits and fair work rules from the low cost airline, which has continued to raise its costs and baggage fees for travelers.

"They've recorded profits for five straight years quarter after quarter after quarter.  They're raking a lot of money and what we're asking for is not unreasonable," Trupiano said.

In response, Spirit Airlines issued this statement.  "Our flight attendants do a great job every day for the company and our customers.  We are committed to reaching a fair agreement that rewards our flight attendants for their contribution and supports the company's growth."

Flights are on schedule for now, but if the National Mediation Board gives the flight attendants the green light, a strike could happen within the next 30 days, which means flights over the Christmas holiday could be in jeopardy.

Back in 2010 when Spirit's pilots walked off the job, around 1,000 flights were canceled and 100,000 passengers were left stranded.

If flight attendants do go on strike, they could enact something called CHAOS, which stands for creating havoc around our system.  Basically, they can choose random flights and call for the strike with no warning to travelers or management.

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