Finding Options For Medellin Travel
Living and working in Colombia has been the thrill of my life but traveling back and forth can be a real challenge unless you live in a city such as Miami or Houston. I travel between the USA and Colombia several times a year so I am always trying to find a better way. To get the best price on air fair it is usually necessary to book a flight with at least two stops. This is where the real problems occur. I have found the best fairs are with Spirit airlines. If you are not familiar with Spirit Airlines it is a relatively new airline with limited flights and normally from lesser used airports. I will describe my situation as an example. You could have a much different experience if you travel from areas in the southern United States. The same could be said for areas that are heavily Latino. Unfortunately my family lives in the north so my normal hub is Pittsburgh, PA which is just a short 45 minute drive from my home in West Virginia. You can save as much as 300 dollars on a flight if you can use Spirit Airlines but it doesn’t come without it’s trade offs. Firstly for me, I can not use Pittsburgh International Airport as my hub. Spirt uses Latrobe Airport which is much smaller and a little out of the way. It is named Palmer Airport after golfing legend Arnold Palmer who is a Latrobe native. The good thing about Latrobe is it is seldom crowded and it is a small airport with only one major runway. You can normally arrive a little later and still get cleared without any problems, but I don’t advise it.
The Down Side
So what will you do to save a few hundred dollars? When I travel to Colombia from Latrobe, using Spirit Airlines, it is not possible to have a direct flight. All connecting flights are from Ft. Lauderdale Airport in Florida. The airport in Ft. Lauderdale is nice enough, and it is large with direct flights to destinations in many countries. The biggest problem is the connecting flights to Colombia all leave before my flight arrives from Latrobe. This is pretty much true of any of Spirits northern hubs. So now you can see my dilemma. I normally have a 14 or 15 hour wait to catch the next flight to Colombia and in my case Medellin. This is a huge problem that Spirit needs to address sooner than later. One other down side to traveling with Spirt. Everything, and I do mean everything other than the flight is extra. If for example you are traveling with lots of luggage, the savings with Spirit Airlines might disappear quickly. Nothing is complimentary other than a meal depending on the time of day. If you want a soft drink or water, then you pay. This can be true on most airlines now days.
Depending on your flight, you normally can upgrade to a large seat for 25 dollars. This seating area is not first class but the seats are comfortable and there is ample foot room. I also like flying from less crowded and smaller airports. As I am getting older, I appreciate not having to walk miles through airport with backpack and personal items in tow to find my gate.
Not For Everyone
I am a seasoned traveler so I take sleeping on chairs and waiting in lines as just part of the experience. I find that I can sleep almost anywhere and I have an affinity for other experienced travelers. We don’t get upset waiting in the unavoidable lines in security and customs. We don’t get too upset when a family of 7 jumps in front of us in the ticket line. We know that we are all going to get to our destinations at the same time and it is much easier to relax and accept our fate. Traveling with Spirit Airlines is better when you have that kind of attitude but my experience tells me, it is not for everyone.