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Will I miss my return flight?


Tony1017
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Hi all, I am 100% new to cruising. When I booked my return flight, the thought I had was I’ll walk off the ship and get a shuttle to the airport in no time at all. I’m set to arrive in port (from the European)at 7am on 12/31/2017. My flight leaves from FLL at 9am the same day. On a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the highest chance, how likely is it that I’m going to miss my flight?

 

 

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11.

 

Shouldn’t you be at the counter in the airport 2 hours ahead?

 

Even if you self disembark, you have customs and immigration, you don’t know when the ship will clear, you have travel time to the airport, others disembarking from other ships and no time for “Murphy”.

 

 

Others familiar with FLL may be able to give you a good idea of how long to plan.

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It's possible.

Just checked the schedule on 12/31/17; 5 ships in port. Eurodam only HAL ship in port. We just got off Eurodam Sunday. Expedited embarkation started at 7:20 AM, was scheduled at 7:15 AM. Assume 15-20 minutes to get through Customs, 15 minute taxi ride to airport, you will have one hour at airport prior to flight, assuming no problems.

If it was me I find a flight after 10:30 AM

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It's possible.

Just checked the schedule on 12/31/17; 5 ships in port. Eurodam only HAL ship in port. We just got off Eurodam Sunday. Expedited embarkation started at 7:20 AM, was scheduled at 7:15 AM. Assume 15-20 minutes to get through Customs, 15 minute taxi ride to airport, you will have one hour at airport prior to flight, assuming no problems.

If it was me I find a flight after 10:30 AM

But, since OP has never flown before, I'd probably aim later-noon at the earliest.

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I booked a 9:30 flight once with the same plan. People have often said you can grab a cab quickly if you disembark early. Not really. We hustled through customs, which took longer than anticipated, then finally reached the curb and found a really long line of people waiting for cabs. Uber did not exist yet. I was getting nervous. My partner is partially disabled and moves slowly. Across the way I saw a black van that was hailing people to go to the airport. We got the last two seats, hustled (again, my partner moves very slowly) through security and made our flight but was completely frazzled. Lesson learned: NEVER AGAIN.

 

I hope you can successfully re-book your flight.

 

Bruce

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Ok that’s good to know! Do you think Spirit can change my flight around?

 

 

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Yes, but there will be a fee if it's been more than 24 hours since you booked the ticket. Current price for changing online is $90, plus if the new fare is more you have to pay the difference:

 

https://customersupport.spirit.com/hc/en-us/articles/202097076-How-can-I-change-or-cancel-my-reservation-

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Even though your ship arrives at 7 AM, you can not leave the ship until after it is cleared by the local authorities.

MOST times the ships are cleared between 7:15 - 7:30.

Even if you do self-disembarkation, there will be quite a few others who will be doing the same thing, and there will be a line to get off the ship. Then you have to go through immigration and customs. m Then you can go outside and get a taxi to the airport -- which is about 10 - 15 minutes.

Once you get to the airport, you will have to check-in your luggage. Security lines early in the morning at the Ft Lauderdale airport are very long. And Sundays are worse. Many people stay over a day (because of flight schedules) and they will be among those in the long lines. Besides your ship, there will be 4 other cruise ships in port that day.

You definitely need to change your flight.

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Who in the world advised the OP the insane idea to book a flight out of FLL at 9:00 AM ?? I sure hope it wasn't a TA !! The Port Everglades cruise terminal has gained a very poor reputation recently for posting only a few immigration officers to handle the thousands of passengers disembarking. The average time that I have seen on CC is 40 minutes from the time that you enter the terminal. We exited the Westerdam on Nov 8 and it took 55 minutes to get out the door. People with Global Entry do get an expedited clearance, they run those folks through the special booth on the right side along with handicapped passengers. But even Global Entry can take 15 minutes depending in the number of handicapped folks in line with you. Then you have to get a taxi, which is chancy at that hour, considering the crowds. I'm with most replies, get a noon or later flight. You will NOT make that 9:00 am flight. I'm sure Spirit Airlines will be happy to change your flight, just pay the change fee and the (naturally) higher price for a noon or later flight.

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One of the main reasons that we fly SW is the lack of a change fee. Yes, there will be the ticket price difference but at least there is no change fee. Flying back and forth to Houston and having our treatment schedule change has made me appreciate them.

 

But then, SW might not be an option where OP is headed.

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Posters before me on this thread pretty much sum it up, but to add my $.02, I would DEFINITELY change your return flight to no earlier than noon if you can, even if you have to pay a change fee.

 

Given your zero flying experience, coupled with the myriad of things that could go / will go wrong, the chances of you making that 9am flight are as close to none as it gets.

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Just about impossible.

 

 

 

Read Redneck Bob's recent post about only one customs agent in the terminal to handle all departing passengers from a HAL ship. 9AM way too early in my opinion.

 

 

 

I actually did read that, and that’s kind of what got me thinking about this... at least I have a few days to figure this out before my cruise leaves!

 

 

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I feel bad for the OP. First time flying and they booked Spirit...

 

 

 

I’m starting to gather that... my friends laughed when I told them, and said I’m going to learn a lot of lessons on this trip... (haha)

 

 

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Hi all, I am 100% new to cruising. When I booked my return flight, the thought I had was I’ll walk off the ship and get a shuttle to the airport in no time at all. I’m set to arrive in port (from the European)at 7am on 12/31/2017. My flight leaves from FLL at 9am the same day. On a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the highest chance, how likely is it that I’m going to miss my flight?

 

 

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I'm guess that you mean the Eurodam (not the European?) and if no one else has yet suggested the Luggage Direct Program through HAL, that will save you from the very long lines at the FLL airport just to check your bags. You will be able to go directly to the security line if you have your boarding pass. Still, I agree with everyone else that your flight is way too early. Too many variables (what if the ship gets in late, and/or there are long customs lines, a long taxi line, etc.) In addition, you are coming off of a holiday cruise, so there are bound to be lots of other ships/passengers in port that day. Way too stressful to try to make a 9:00 a.m. flight. Wishing you the best......and a wonderful cruise!

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