We were eager to embark on our South American adventure, yet the universe was equally as eager to unleash the joke it had waiting for us. At 5:30 AM we were lacking a sense of humor as we laboriously made our way to the check-in counter. We will preface this story by saying, “NEVER fly Spirit Airlines!”–it is by far the most unorganized and unaccountable airline in the United States (yet somehow we find ourselves repeatedly lured by their cheap prices).
Digression aside, after a luxurious night in an upgraded suite at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport, we stepped up to the counter and anxiously handed over our passports and flight information to the Spirit agent. Instead of checking in our bags and handing us our boarding passes as we had anticipated, the agent proceeded to inform us that she was unable to let us on the flight! The reason? We had no return ticket to the US, and according to her company’s standard procedures, she could lose her job if she let us go. After Ryan argued with the lady for at least 30 minutes, she ever so kindly let us (extreme sarcasm) purchase a return ticket, which we were told could be canceled for a refund within 24 hours. Perfect! Finally, we were allowed to sprint through the terminal, cut our way through security, and jog our way to to the tarmac to board the plane heading to sunny Cartagena, Colombia.
The flight was short and we made it through customs without a single question about our return ticket to the states, let alone our reason for entering the country. The agents as Spirit Airlines, however, weren’t quite as hospitable as the customs agents. The warm Cartagena sunshine taunted us as we were forced to spend the better half of our afternoon in the airport waiting to speak with someone from Spirit who could cancel our return flight and refund our money. Inevitably we secured our refund, and despite the bumpy start, we were both in good spirits as we excitedly motored our way through rush hour traffic to our hostel in hopes of exploring Cartagena before the sun set.