Hang 10... or as they now say...hit the lip!

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Topic Title: Spirit.
Topic Summary: Again.
Created On: 07/29/2021 12:23 PM
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 07/29/2021 12:23 PM
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johnnyboy

Posts: 20160
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

I know this all sounding very familiar, but here I go again. Just got back from Costa Rica last night. Spent a week there. I took my whole family down, five of us, two adults three teens. The round trip with insurance was $1,629.00 out of FLL. No one else even came close. I paid for two board bags and suitcase. Flight was scheduled to leave at 10:40 am.

That was never going to happen. FLL had lines so long it didn't matter what time you got there, you were waiting to book in and get boarding pass for hours. We waited in line for two hours until they announced that anyone flying to SJO could skip to the front. We got to the front and the woman said to open my board bags, which I did and she said I was not allowed to have clothes in them. SHe threatened to send me to the back of the line. We took out the clothes and put them in backpacks. By this point its after ten am. She finally tagged the bags and sent us through.

We got on the plane and every seat was booked. Packed and no leg room. I knew this and accepted it. The plane sat on the runway for two hours while the loudspeaker blared that they were trying to cool the cabin. I dont know why a hot cabin would be two hours of delay but we waited.
We finally boarded, took off and relaxed. I tried to get internet so I watch Hulu. I paid three dollars for it and it never worked. None of the apps would allow its certificate of authenticity into the firewall.

Got to Costa RIca about 90 minutes late. No boards. Spoke with the Costa Rican baggage claim expert and confirmed that I would not be seeing my surboards for at least a day. At least? I knew it would be more.

We got to Hertz for the Hotwire booking of a RAV 4 or similar. I showed the guy my confirmation number and he told me my reservation was cancelled because I was two hours late. I showed him the time it was under two hours by 15 minutes. He suggested that I go to his buddy at Europcar because he had a sedan. I get pinballed between Alamo, Europcar, Hertz, and four others who are clearly in communication with eachother. I went online and looked, everything was gone and they were not honoring any reservations. It was now close to three, I had no car, a ferry to make and no prospects.

A guy hearing me bitch pointlessly gave me his brother in law's car company and I whatsapped him and he had a Daihatsu with racks for 660 for the week with insurance The only other option I had was a rav 4 for 1200. I ended up putting my family in this guy's car at the airport, driving to his house in Alajuela, paying half cash and half card, and speeding to Puntarenas to make the 6 pm ferry. We made it with 7 to 10 seconds to spare. The roads are much better these days.

I called Spirit everyday. Finally, Saturday morning, they flew my boards to Tambor and paid a guy over 100 bucks to deliver my boards, which I got a 10:00 am. Finally surfed on my board and was very happy about it. My buddy flew out two days after us on spirit. I warned him about the lines at FLL, the lack of staff and they dont give a f about the boards, but mostly about the rental car.

He arrived late, they laughed at his reservation and since he was later in the day they all close at five, he ended in a Rav 4 for 1200$. I think he's trying to get the money back by complaining as a loyal customer.

It should be understood that the waves were big, clean, heavy and I got a serious fix in a slow summer. I am sharing this mostly for the logistics nightmares.

On the way back, we got to SJO and stayed the night at the hampton inn across from the airport. They wont rent to five so we said we had four and I took out the sleeping bag foam pad from between my boards and let the teens decide who got the floor. We were able to get the airport shuttle to the testing site for the required covid test and it was either 50 or 60 and the results were damn near instant.

We got to the airport at 10 in SJO for the 12:40 flight. No real lines. Easy, except that they showed I did not pay for one of my two board bags, which could not even be possible since they were both there and tagged. I explained that they were not even delivered and I expected to be comped. They guy was trying to be generous when he told me to shrink wrap them both into one. I told him I would pay the $100, but he finagled a voucher and made it 50.

FLight delayed another 90 minutes again. Got to FLL late with lots of other air traffic. They kept us on the plane another 30 because there was no room in customs. They released us finally so we could all see with our own eyes that there was no room. About two and a half hours later, we got through. My boards made the plane and we finally loaded them up and went hom.

*I packed the boards in a way that could withstand morons, bad roads, angry luggage apes, and deliberate assholes. I have a four board bag that I use for two boards because Spirit checks and I have been busted. I wrap the perimeter if each board in a large half split fun noodle and duct tape it. I place a sit up/yoga/sleeping bag mat between the boards and on the top and bottom. Last I take a really big noodle and put one on the top and bottom to make the bag round. This prevents the luggage apes from putting your boards first and stacking ten 100 lb suitcases on top of it. I also should mention that I internally strap them in too.

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"One of the reasons why propaganda tries to get you to hate government is because it's the one existing institution in which people can participate to some extent and constrain tyrannical unaccountable power." Noam Chomsky.

 07/29/2021 01:00 PM
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jdbman

Posts: 11517
Joined Forum: 07/28/2003

It was better back then....
Got to have a lot of want to , to travel anywhere now days.

I'm dreading a drive to Orlando tomorrow.

Glad you made it home safe.

-------------------------
So if you are a surfer I wish you the prosperity that allows you more time to pursue the salt water dream, and the true happiness that comes from warm water, clean waves and the companionship of your fellow surfers. If you are an internet troll just spewing bs then f off.
 07/29/2021 01:08 PM
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MyNameIsRobertPaulson

Posts: 59
Joined Forum: 08/14/2014

had a similar experience with spirit. spirit blows.
 07/30/2021 05:55 AM
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long_flaco1

Posts: 1362
Joined Forum: 09/25/2003

BEST COSTA MISSION BREAKDOWN EVER!! Thank you my good Sir!

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SK8 AND DESTROY
 07/30/2021 07:38 AM
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CurtisEflush

Posts: 375
Joined Forum: 09/28/2012

Spear It. I've interacted with two nice people there, and that's it. Every other aspect of every flight on their piss-yellow buses has had some kind of nightmare associated with it. Same nightmare clearing customs at FLL. Last trip to CR on American was worth every penny of the higher ticket price. Two boards in one bag? Same price as any other checked bag: $30 each way.

As for the car reservation? It's basically this.

Sorry for your loss.

Glad you recovered and salvaged a decent trip.
 07/30/2021 07:41 AM
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Cole

Posts: 54358
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

Bring Xanax and a fat wallet. Check!

-------------------------
So long and thanks for all the fish.
 07/30/2021 07:57 AM
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StirfryMcflurry

Posts: 4385
Joined Forum: 08/17/2016

That's the spirit! (...........of NSR comin back to ya) sorry about your (not so bad) luck jb!

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Low tide is the new high tide.
 07/30/2021 01:01 PM
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ww

Posts: 15267
Joined Forum: 08/17/2007

My Global Entry lapsed, waiting for renewal, no idea when that might happen. Domestic flights seem to be jammed. Orlando airport is, too. I did have a half-empty flight in June, Rome to Newark.
 07/30/2021 03:14 PM
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palmtreeg

Posts: 2055
Joined Forum: 04/27/2010

Wow, great story Johnny, thank you for sharing and glad you scored...

I've heard nothing but horror stories with Spirit...hell all of the airlines suck anymore...just when you thought traveling couldn't get any worse...

Thanks for using our taxpayer dollars for GOF research in China gone bad TF

-------------------------
Brevard Surf Report
 07/30/2021 06:36 PM
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SrfGtr

Posts: 136
Joined Forum: 12/19/2006

Hey Johnyboy or other recent travelers : return to States only need antigen/ rapid test correct ? Taking son to El Salvador next week and just want to know latest . Yes I checked but never comfortable w family involved...
 07/31/2021 09:23 AM
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johnnyboy

Posts: 20160
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

Yes, only the antigen. They don't care if you're vaccinated. I should also mention that we renter ATV's. Inevitably, we rolled one and bent the handlebars down and broke the back fender. It turns out the the "insurance" I paid for was phony theft insurance that costs you a $1000 deductible if the vehicle is stolen. Of course they are fully covered. I was walked down a list of replacements that cost me an additional $700 for replacements I doubt will be made. As if that wast enough, my son lost the key to the other surfing. Another $75. Gas was at five a gallon roughly. The only thing that was cheap was a 2 1/2 kilo slab of yellowfin tuna I bought at the end of Malpais from the fisherman who had come in around five. He was cool. We talked fishing for a while and laughed. I tried to give him two twenties for the slab of tuna and he laughed and gave me one twenty back. We chilled it to kill any parasites and cut raw and enjoyed it immediately. The Centanario oro was cheap too. 18$ a bottle. The best way to serve it is with friends.

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"One of the reasons why propaganda tries to get you to hate government is because it's the one existing institution in which people can participate to some extent and constrain tyrannical unaccountable power." Noam Chomsky.

 07/31/2021 11:50 AM
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LBLarry

Posts: 4421
Joined Forum: 05/25/2004

Damn I miss the cheap and uncrowded CR of the 80's & 90's

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"Most people would die sooner than think; in fact, they do." - Bertrand Russell


"Morality is doing what is right, regardless of what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told, regardless of what is right.


If I do not answer you .... nothing personal, I just have you on ignore.
 07/31/2021 02:39 PM
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Cole

Posts: 54358
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

Originally posted by: LBLarry

Damn I miss the cheap and uncrowded CR of the 80's & 90's


Heard that. I got a full YFT dinner in Quepos, beer included, for $12 bucks.

-------------------------
So long and thanks for all the fish.
 07/31/2021 09:12 PM
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jettyparksurfer

Posts: 416
Joined Forum: 07/25/2009

.

Edited: 07/31/2021 at 09:12 PM by jettyparksurfer
 08/02/2021 10:38 AM
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pumphouse

Posts: 873
Joined Forum: 07/23/2003

but would you go again....we know the answer

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw
 08/02/2021 12:47 PM
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matt_t

Posts: 1293
Joined Forum: 10/21/2003

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2021/08/02/spirit-airlines-flights-canceled-orlando-fort-lauderdale/5452896001/

Looks like FLL / Spirit is a complete Sh!t show
 08/03/2021 05:11 AM
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Central Floridave

Posts: 50020
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

https://www.usatoday.com/story...lauderdale/5452896001/

The summer of major flight woes continues, leaving Spirit Airlines passengers the latest to be stranded.

The Florida-based budget carrier canceled 277 flights Monday, or 36% of its scheduled flights, on top of 165 canceled flights Sunday, according to flight tracker FlightAware. Flight delays are also an issue, with 159 so far Monday and 342 on Sunday.

Passengers reported waiting hours in line for refunds and other customer service help at airports in cities including Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Some stranded travelers camped out.

"It looked like a hurricane shelter," passenger Rebecca Osborn said of Spirit's counters at Orlando International Airport.

Spirit Airlines spokesman Erik Hofmeyer blamed the flight cancellations on weather and unspecified operational challenges, a common refrain from airlines including Southwest and American this summer. (American has its own woes Monday, canceling 429 flights, or 14% of scheduled flights, and delaying hundreds more as it struggles to recover from Sunday storms at its massive Dallas hub.)

Edited: 08/03/2021 at 05:12 AM by Central Floridave
 08/03/2021 08:08 AM
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pumphouse

Posts: 873
Joined Forum: 07/23/2003

on jetblue as i type this, wish to CR, but for work
The airlines have to make up for their so called pandemic losses somewhere

-------------------------
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw
 08/03/2021 10:13 AM
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johnnyboy

Posts: 20160
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

I will go again. But I need the year to dull this memory. Its like one of those married people who reconnect with their high school love's because so much time has gone by and allowed them to forget every bad thing.

-------------------------

"One of the reasons why propaganda tries to get you to hate government is because it's the one existing institution in which people can participate to some extent and constrain tyrannical unaccountable power." Noam Chomsky.

 08/03/2021 12:05 PM
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matt_t

Posts: 1293
Joined Forum: 10/21/2003

I had a chance to do a trip in mid july with somewhat short notice.
I noticed that my usual spots in costa were booked.. so I avoided. El Sal.. similar places were all booked up. So I looked into Nicaragua... which had lots of options available.
flew avianca to Nica. did pay up cause I went with a refundable option as Nica requires a PCR test 72 hrs prior to landing in Nica but it has to be submitted to the airline 36 hrs prior. I think this is the reason few other airlines are even going there.
The PCR test did add some stress but all was well. I paid approx $650 round trip (also paid up for upgraded seat selection and bags). I brought 1 longboard and 2 shortboards all in a triple LB bag. Avianca's website says up to 3 boards for free but they hit me with a $175 fee. Flight was about 75% full... had the whole row to myself. No issues with the flight out other than MIA has few to 0 signs to help you find your ticket counter. Airport in Nica was super smooth and easy. Had a driver waiting for me with a sign with my name on it as soon as I walked out the terminal. I surfed 17 times in 8 days with perfect winds the entire time and very light crowds, often only 3 or 4 of us in the lineup. Camp was approx 175 per night which included 3 meals and all the clean water you can drink.. plus a daily boat trip if you want. Flying back: 24 hrs prior, Did a $50 quick test the surf camp provided with an tele nurse on a zoom like situation.. results emailed immediately. Driver picked me up and got me to airport 2 hrs prior.. perfect timing (roads in Nica are updated and great thnx to China I assume). Avianca hit me with the $175 board fee again. Flight home was easy at about 40% capacity. I have global entry so I got to bypass all the lines in customs, I walked up to the customs machine kiosk. The machine scanned my face and granted me entry without me ever pulling my passport out of my pocket (kind of creepy but easy). I then walked straight to my bags.. had to wait a bit longer for my boards.. got the boards.. loaded them onto a cart and strolled straight to my car.. Was the easiest surf air travel I've experienced.

Edited: 08/03/2021 at 12:10 PM by matt_t
FORUMS : Surfing : Spirit.

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