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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 2:33 pm

Spirit Airlines MCO-FLL-MCO 4-26-09 (long)

Sat May 02, 2009 1:35 am

I wanted to go to the Marlins game since I have never been to Dolphins Stadium before. I decided to avoid the 4-hour drive down to Miami from Daytona Beach and dealing with traffic and parking at Dolphin Stadium and fly down to Ft. Lauderdale and take the bus from there after seeing that Spirit offered a $50 off roundtrip coupon on their website for a limited time ($5 normal web discount each-way, +additional $40 off). With the discount the roundtrip fare was $31 including taxes and fees.

I apologize for the lack of pictures, apparently my pics are a large file size and airliners.net only allows me to upload up to 2MB, so I've only included two pictures.

Sunday April 26, 2009
NK 675
Scheduled Departure Time: 0745
Scheduled Arrival Time: 0846
Actual Departure Time: 0738
Actual Arrival Time: 0830
Flight Time: 0:37
N533NK (New Colors)

I checked in online the day before in order to get my seat assignment (Spirit charges for seat assignments in advance, or you can take what they give you at check-in). When I checked in Saturday morning I was given seat 24D; however when I went to check-in 24 hours before my return flight, my seat assignment had changed for the outbound flight to 25A. Needless to say my Spirit experience wasn't off to the greatest start so I was already confused as to why they would have changed my seat assignment.

Left DAB around 5:30 am to drive down to MCO. After stopping for gas along the way I arrived at the Parking Spot around 6:50. Short shuttle ride over to the airport and I could already see my aircraft parked at the gate on the ride over.

Security line was unusual short for the morning rush at MCO and I made it down to Airside 2 via the tram. When I arrived at Gate 32, the rest of the passengers where already onboard even though it was still 25 minutes or so before departure. Told the gate agent my boarding pass situation with having two different seat assignments and she politely looked in the computer and told me my correct seat assignment, 25A.

As we were waiting for boarding to finish and the door to close, the morning arrival from Ft. Lauderdale was pulling into the gate next door.
Big version: Width: 2592 Height: 1944 File size: 982kb

We pushed back early and taxied out to rwy 17R for takeoff at 0749. Made the left hand turn after takeoff and flew out to the east of the coastline, staying off the coast on the way south. On the descent to Ft. Lauderdale we flew back west over the coast past the airport and downtown Ft. Lauderdale before turning back to the east for landing on rwy 9L. We quickly taxied over to Terminal 4 and parked at gate H10.

Took the bus ride down to Miami Gardens, transferring at Aventura Mall. It was a huge mall, and I took a bunch of pictures of it. Dolphin Stadium could be seen from far away and the road in front of the stadium was aptly named Dan Marino Drive.

Had fun at the game even though it was a blowout, set in the right field corner by the foul pole. Down below the stands is a private area to have a BBQ and sit in hot tubs! (Never seen hot tubs at a baseball stadium before) After the game, it was time to head back to the airport and I arrived with nearly 3 hours until my return flight to Orlando. While waiting outside the terminal I took a picture across the airfield where I saw this all-white painted 767:
Big version: Width: 2592 Height: 1944 File size: 949kb

Does anybody know whose it is and what it is doing there?

NK 626
Scheduled Departure Time: 2055
Scheduled Arrival Time: 2153
Actual Departure Time: 2205
Actual Arrival Time: 2308
Flight Time: 0:35
N514NK (Old Colors)

The 8 PM hour at Ft. Lauderdale is extremely busy for Spirit with aircraft at all of the gates on the H concourse except for Air Jamaica's gate. Our aircraft arrived early from Atlanta but had to wait for gate H3 to open up as the 7:55 PM departure to Tampa was slightly delayed. Boarding began on-time and I took my seat at 24D. Seatguru said the last two rows (25 and 26) had less legroom than the rest of "Deluxe Leather" cabin and I could tell the difference between row 24 and 25 after being subjected to being cramped on the flight down to FLL. I even had the middle seat next to me empty, so I was able to spread out a little bit.

The flight attendants on this flight were the same as the flight down from Orlando in the morning. I joked to one of them that they must have had a long day, and I thought I overheard them say that they were San Juan-based and still had to take the red-eye flight down to San Juan from Orlando.

Pilots announced a delay waiting for maintenance to return the logbook after a write-up of a minor mechanical issue. After the logbook was returned the pilots attempted to power everything up and then noticed a problem with one of the onboard laptop computers. Maintenance came back on the plane and determined that the laptop needed to have its power supply replaced and trekked off to the hanger to find a new power supply.

After replacing the power supply, we were finally ready to start-up the engines and taxi out. During pushback a burning smell could be smelled in the back of the cabin and one of the drink carts came out of its slot in the galley and started to roll forward down the aisle. After the mechanical delay, it just seemed our plane was trying to throw a hissy-fit saying, "NO, I don't want to go to Orlando!" Flight attendant secured the drink cart and told us not to worry about the smell as it was normal for the engine exhaust to emit that smell.

Finally taxied out to rwy 9L and waited for nearly 20 minutes for arrival after arrival to land before it was our turn to take off. Flight attendants came through the cabin after takeoff asking if anyone wanted to purchase a drink or snack, but said over the PA they would not have time for a "full service". That announcement made me laugh, because they don't do any service at all as you have to purchase everything. Also, I don't know how the service was limited as the F/A's took orders for whatever people wanted on the short 35 minute flight, including a whole row of passengers who ordered Cup 'O Noodles. I decided I would need some caffeine for the drive home as it was getting late and I had had a long day so I decided to buy a $3 can of Coke for the drive home.

We finally landed on rwy 18R a little after 11:00pm and taxied to Gate 34. I was tired and eager to make my way to my car and drive back to Daytona Beach. I finally left the Parking Spot parking lot about 11:45pm and made my way via 408 and I-4 back to Daytona. The can of Coke didn't help too much as I started to fall asleep numerous times on the way home, but somehow God my sure I got home safely (as always I guess, so I'm still alive).

Overall Impressions:
Check-In: B-, confusing when they change your seat assignment for no reason)

Staff: A, Flight attendants and ground staff I encountered were polite and friendly

On-time: C, Arrived early on the way down, but delay of over an hour on a less than 1 hour flight was annoying even though I know those things happen

Comfort: C+, Row 25 was quite cramped, but row 24 had just as much room as a legacy carrier in coach and the leather seats w/ adjustable headrests were comfortable

Value: A, I'm not a fan of nickle and diming passengers with all the fees that Spirit charges, but you can't beat $31 roundtrip

Overall Grade: B, it wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either. If the fares are significantly cheaper than the alternatives I would fly Spirit again.
The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of Southwest Airlines its Directors or its Employees
Posts: 1114
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:09 pm

RE: Spirit Airlines MCO-FLL-MCO 4-26-09 (long)

Sat May 02, 2009 2:10 am

Great TR! I've been thinking to do the MCO-FLL run one time when I go down to MCO  Smile
Roar, lion, roar
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:10 pm

RE: Spirit Airlines MCO-FLL-MCO 4-26-09 (long)

Sat May 02, 2009 2:51 am

Great report and nice detail. Spirit isn't covered too often. I've never flown them so I'm curious and was glad to read your report.

Quoting Unmlobo (Thread starter):
I apologize for the lack of pictures, apparently my pics are a large file size and airliners.net only allows me to upload up to 2MB, so I've only included two pictures.

FYI, there's a way around this if you use a site like photobucket.com or imageshack.us. You can upload all your pics there and embed the links in your report. You can also use a free download like Irfanview to reduce file size.
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:06 am

RE: Spirit Airlines MCO-FLL-MCO 4-26-09 (long)

Sat May 02, 2009 6:06 pm

Spirit is an interesting airline. Apparently the fares are so great that no one cares that the service is so so. Management don't care a hoot about complaints because they know people will come back anyway.

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