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Spirit Airlines scrubbed 850 flights amid pilot showdown

Spirit Airlines cancellations lead to melee

Spirit Airlines stock got clobbered on Thursday as investors learned of the damage caused by a showdown with its pilots.

A new earnings release said there were 850 "pilot-related" flight cancellations last quarter, costing the company $45 million. For investors, that news overshadowed the overall revenue bump that Spirit reported. The company's stock price plunged up to 19% during trading hours on Thursday.

Spirit is the airline fliers love to hate. While it's known for cheap ticket prices -- with fares as low as $41 one-way -- it consistently ranks last in customer satisfaction surveys.

Spirit (SAVE) pilots, and the Air Line Pilots Association that represents them, have also been frustrated with the budget air carrier. They've been embroiled in...