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Thread: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

  1. #1

    Default Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    I'm planning another trip down to Nicaragua. I'm planning on traveling sometime over the next two week, and I've discovered that and airline named "Spirit" offers an inexpensive flight from FLL to MGA that arrives in Managua at 1:30am.

    I have never flown Spirit before, and I therefor have a few question for those of you who have:

    1) Should I be worried about this airline leaving me in the lurch in the Ft Lauderdale airport in they cancel the flight--and for that matter, have you'all heard that they often cancel flight? I know that some airlines will send you to a hotel/motel and maybe even hook you up with a voucher if a flight is canceled.

    2) The departure time is 11:30pm, and as I have not flow out of FLL before, I am wondering just how busy that airport might be at that time of night. I was thinking about flying into FLL on another airline, and I wondered how close I should cut it between when that flight arrives and the 11:30 departure time. I would normally allow 3 hours for international flights. However, since it's late and I'll already be in the airport I might need less. Or, since I just got there on another airline, maybe I will need more to get my bags and then recheck my bags... Thoughts?

    3) I'll just have my one bag (backpacking pack) to check. Have any of you have good/bad experiences with Spirit regarding the weight limitations on your checked bag(s)?

    I'm contemplating spending some time around Rivas (as my home base) on this trip. I know this is unrelated to the flight, but since it's still travel/lodging relevant I'll ask. Does anyone know of an inexpensive semi-furnished or furnished room to rent in Rivas? I found a place for $120/month in both Masaya and in San Marcos Carazo, so I was hoping to find something comparable in Rivas. Of course, less expensive is even better.
    Soy el chele mono.

  2. #2
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    Ahh Spirit. They may well shatter what is left of your Heart. Long as you know what you are getting into Spirit is ok, and you are getting into a Torrid Affair,


    First time I flew them they cancelled the flight back from MGA at 9:30 at night while I was in line to check in.

    Read their Contract of Carriage as I did that night and you will see they owe you NOTHING, no room, no meals, no apology, NOTHING.

    FLL is a small and easily manageable airport but the Spirit International flights leave at this same hour and the place is a MADHOUSE.

    On your return I would plan at least 2 hours, and better 3 for any connections from FLL as all the International flights arrive back the same time and Immigration is a MADHOUSE, be prepared to hear Languages you have never heard.

    They are crazy strict on luggage, read and reread their rules. You will see lots of people in line arguing, that is what Spirit is best known for , angry customers, but in all fairness all of their rules and policies are on their site, just have to be read. There is a reason they have cheap flights.

    I really have no major complaints with them as they are usually about half the price of other carriers, you get what you pay for.

    Last trip on them was in July and they were 2 hours late (weather in Florida) I am not a night person and sleeping on a (freezing) airport floor is no longer my idea of adventure.

    When you sit down and put a pencil and paper to it, unless Spirit is half the price it is no deal for me. Due to the flight times I have to get a hotel or camp out in the airport coming and going and worry about transport in the middle of the night. The baggage adds up quick if you are carrying anything. For someone in MGA it would not be a big deal I guess.

    They are supposed to start flying out of Houston to MGA so you might check that, would be easier from your area. Not sure when that service starts or if it has already.

    PROOF OF ONWARD TRAVEL: Have it or expect problems with Spirit. You are probably staying more than 90 days so this gets a little sticky. I always have a Bus Ticket to San Jose, they are good for a year if you leave the date open, $30 but it is cheap insurance. I think I read that you can get them online now. Be ASSURED in FLL you will be asked for it. I have flown Spirit connecting from another city and was not asked but I think that is a rarity. Google Proof of Onward Travel and you can find all kinds of ideas, bus ticket is just easiest for me.


    Check out Delta, they have good deals now and then. Someone, I think Delta is starting up a once a week route to LAX. Also check out Avianca and Copa, sometimes they have some great deals and they are actually enjoyable to fly.

    Here is one tip on Spirit if making a connection on your return to FLL allow 3 hours minimum. Every time I have flown them I have seen people in a bind, crying people, all sorts of freaking out. My last trip on them I could have chose a connecting flight 2 hours after arrival. saw many others that had that flight and did not make it. I chose 1 that left 10 hours later (the only other connection on them). That flight was full and those that missed on the early connection did not get on the late connection either. They do not like to bump people as they DO have to COMPENSATE you for that, I nearly volunteered that trip on the way going up but I was already pissed off about sleeping on the floor and just wanted to get where I was going.

    FLL airport is low on my scale of airports but they have a bus stop on premise and you can take a Shuttle to it. Last trip Igot on the bus into town, found a diner, set up on the wifi, had a great Breakfast and about a pot of coffee, hung out there for a few hours as I had asked and they said no problem, lots of empty tables. Then I walked over to a nearby Walgreens and stocked up on snacks before heading back to the airport. At least FLL does now have wifi, something they were long
    without. Dining options at the Airport SUCK, pack a sandwich, you will be glad you did.
    Last edited by cookshow; 02-25-2015 at 06:38 AM.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    I appreciate your feedback Cookshow; I won't be using Spirit or traveling through FLL.
    Soy el chele mono.

  4. #4
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    Good decision!
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    How to buy bus tickets online

    courtesy of Pamela Rodriguez at Tica Bus:
    1. Send an email to prodriguez@ticabus.com with the scanned passports of the passengers, the desired route, time and date of travel.
    2. Once I receive the email I will forward the information to the Credit Department. They will contact you and send the Credit Card Authorization Form.
    3. Complete and sign the form and send it back to them via email.
    4. The Credit Department will charge your credit card and send the tickets via email.
    5. The Credit Department functions Monday – Friday from 7:00am to 4:00pm….processing of credit cards will happen during that schedule.
    6. IMPORTANT – TICKETS ARE NON REFUNDABLE --

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    I can be accused of being overly cautious--I'll grant you that, Alki. That being said, the idea of sending my passport and my credit card to an unsecured email address in the hopes that I won't be the victim of identity fraud and theft seems somewhat naive. I'm as likely to give large sums of money to a Nigerian prince.
    Soy el chele mono.

  7. #7
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by drlemcor View Post
    I can be accused of being overly cautious--I'll grant you that, Alki. That being said, the idea of sending my passport and my credit card to an unsecured email address in the hopes that I won't be the victim of identity fraud and theft seems somewhat naive. I'm as likely to give large sums of money to a Nigerian prince.
    Passport less so - especially if you chip enabled one - The can only be forged by the "Good Guys" A chip enabled passport has a picture of a chip on the front.



    As per Credit card - I have done this in the past and it works quite well..

    Sent two emails...

    In email number 1 - Send all digits, save for the last 4, and the month of expiry.

    In the second email send the last four digits and the year of expiry.

    Having your complete number sniffed out by email robots is almost impossible.

    In Canada you are limited to $50 CC fraud maximum, and 99% of the time they wave that - I assume the US has similar rules.

    There is the option of a prepaid Visa card as well...


    p.s. There is no such thing as a secure email address - your email gets channeled through multiple PCs - All of them are free and clear to read it - so whether an email address is secure or not it means nothing as every electronic station it passes through can read its contents.
    ==================================================
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  8. #8
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    BIL David is going to see his new Masaya Sweetie tomorrow - I was conscripted to ticket search duty on Sunday.

    From Detroit, Spirit fare was quoted at $750US with one carry bag - From Toronto the price was $803 and $804 on United and Delta respectively First bag included. With exchange, before the drive to Detroit factored in, Spirit was $100 cdn more expensive (currency exchange)
    ==================================================
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  9. #9
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    Does no one ever figure in the cost of driving 2+ hours to the airport, dealing with your car in long term parking, and an international border crossing? Aren't those worth a hundred bucks?

  10. #10
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    Not to mention the horrid hours of landing and departure, often requiring an additional hotel rental?
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  11. #11
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Does no one ever figure in the cost of driving 2+ hours to the airport, dealing with your car in long term parking, and an international border crossing? Aren't those worth a hundred bucks?

    If we fly a US carrier there no avoiding a US border crossing - Either at Toronto airport (You clear US customs, before boarding a US connecting flight) or at Detroit/Windsor or Port Huron. either way it is a 30 to 45 min wait.

    Parking in Detroit is actually 1/3 the price of parking in Toronto.

    Back in 2011/12 though the savings (for the 3 hour drive, each way) were over $1,100 bucks (with Delta) , so worth it.

    A niece took Spirit in 2012 as well as it saved something like $1800 for them and their 3 kids.. Again - worth the drive
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  12. #12

    Default Re: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by drlemcor View Post
    I can be accused of being overly cautious--I'll grant you that, Alki. That being said, the idea of sending my passport and my credit card to an unsecured email address in the hopes that I won't be the victim of identity fraud and theft seems somewhat naive. I'm as likely to give large sums of money to a Nigerian prince.
    Its like banking online more or less, I use a prepaid credit card from Walmart, costs $3 and that Nigerian Prince should be sending me my money any day now !

  13. #13
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    If we fly a US carrier there no avoiding a US border crossing - Either at Toronto airport (You clear US customs, before boarding a US connecting flight) or at Detroit/Windsor or Port Huron. either way it is a 30 to 45 min wait.

    Parking in Detroit is actually 1/3 the price of parking in Toronto.

    Back in 2011/12 though the savings (for the 3 hour drive, each way) were over $1,100 bucks (with Delta) , so worth it.

    A niece took Spirit in 2012 as well as it saved something like $1800 for them and their 3 kids.. Again - worth the drive
    That's an amazing price difference! Never woulda thunkit.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Ft Lauderdale's got Spirit

    I found a $97 flight from FLL to MGA--which is why I considered it.

    I'm aware that with the exception of creating a secured tunnel (VPN or whatnot) that email can be sniffed as the packets are bounced from router to router on their way to their destination. Encrypting the email would mean that the sniffed packed wouldn't be easy to read--so that another way that some people try to make sending sensitive information through email more secure (even though the connection itself is not secure).

    Also, I am not concerned with a person being able to replicate a password with a government chip. This may be theoretically possible, but there is no way little old me would be a target for such a sophisticated forgery. Still, all of this misses the point I was trying to make.

    The person at the other end of the email will get the information that I send--even if I am not targeted by email packed sniffers (which I grant you is unlikely). This means that I need to trust the person at the other end not to rob me or to steal my identity (made easy with the information on the passport even if they don't try to forge a new passport). I don't know the person at prodriguez@ticabus.com. I similarly don't know the people at these websites that I found while researching this topic:

    http://www.ticketbuscr.com/onward-bus-tickets/
    http://costaricabustickets.com/Onward_Tickets.htm

    I have means of redress against a well established company; if they charge my card, I can not only challenge the charge but I be a PR nightmare for the company. This causes companies to ensure that their employees don't steal (much). A single email address or these website do not appear to be reputable companies with the kind of oversight I've referenced.

    As I mentioned previous, I get that all of my experience working for Web-Hosting companies and seeing all of the fraud that thrives in that world has made me overly cautious. I appreciate your feedback Bill_bly_ca; I pay attention when people tell me they have used a company and found it(them) trustworthy. If I get enough of these positive reports, I may just relax my caution.
    Soy el chele mono.

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