Furious passengers lashed out at police, were thrown to the floor and arrested during chaotic scenes at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Several people were detained during ugly confrontations with law enforcement when 11 Spirit Airlines flights were cancelled and 26 were delayed at the Florida hub on Monday night.
The group of passengers who clashed with cops were angry because the last-minute disruptions meant they would miss a graduation ceremony.
A mob of irate customers began beating the counters and screaming at staff, prompting airline employees to call the police.
Shocking footage shows people shouting as they are dragged from the terminal building.
Women were also captured attacking officers, only to be thrown on the floor of the departure building.
Some passengers applauded as the women were escorted out.
The ugly skirmishes broke out inside the departure building as passengers waited to board flights.
A woman in a pink dress appeared to be hurled to the floor as she and the officer tumbled over the ropes used to control lines in the airport.
Another passenger can be seen face-down with three officers attempting to make an arrest.
Video footage captured men and women, understood to have been making their way to a graduation ceremony which they subsequently, being led away by officers having confronted Broward Sheriff’s Office.
As the culprits were frogmarched out of the airport, many of their fellow passengers could be heard cheering and clapping, while one even gave a rendition of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline.
The disrupted flights are said to be over ongoing negotiations between Spirit Airlines and the Airline Pilots Association.
Spirit Airlines issued a statement saying they filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) for ‘unlawful job action by Spirit pilots.’
Airline spokesman Paul Berry said in a statement: ‘We are shocked and saddened to see the videos of what took place at Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport this evening.
‘This is a result of unlawful labor activity by some Spirit pilots designed to disrupt Spirit operations for our customers, by canceling multiple flights across our network.
‘These pilots have put their quest for a new contract ahead of getting customers to their destinations and the safety of their fellow Spirit Team Members.
‘It is for this reason, Spirit has filed suit in Federal Court to protect our customers’ future travel.’
Staff at the airline are now working with passengers to try and get them on rebooked flights.
The pilots association responded with a statement, saying: ‘The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l and the Spirit pilot group it represents are not engaged in a job action.
‘Rather, ALPA and the Spirit pilots are continuing to do everything possible to help restore the company’s operations, which have experienced significant problems over the past several days.
‘While we will continue these efforts, we will actively defend the association, its officers and its member pilots against the unwarranted and counterproductive legal action brought this evening by Spirit Airlines.’
Paul Smith described how the tension escalated inside the departure building to WSVN.
‘All of a sudden, one particular flight got canceled, and a mob ensued up here at the front counter, in front of everyone else who had been waiting in line.
‘They were telling me I can’t get out of here until Wednesday afternoon.’
Three people were said to have been arrested during the ugly scenes.