St Thomas 2020
Day 2: Monday, July 20
Flying into St Thomas
We didn't need to set an alarm clock because our flight didn't
leave until 11:05am and here recently, I've been waking up at
the crack of dawn (at least by 7am). However, just to be on the
safe side, I did set it because the only luck I seem to have is
We packed everything, called Kendra to make sure she was up and at least moving around, then we decided to just go ahead and go downstairs to check our 39.4# luggage(s) in so that we didn't have to worry about pulling them around while we went to go eat breakfast.
Now we have always flown with Southwest Airlines and we enjoy them. This would be our first experience with another airline and it just happened to be Spirit. I have always heard nothing but bad things about them, but I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt (not to mention $$ played a HUGE factor).
So the difference between the 2 airlines:
SOUTHWEST: 2 free bags per person, free carry on and free personal item (like a purse/bookbag/briefcase)
SPIRIT: You pay for each and every bag and carry on and a free (limited size) personal item.
SOUTHWEST: Your bags can be up to 50#
SPIRIT: Bags can only be 40#
SOUTHWEST: The price of the fare is the price of the fare (unless you upgrade to them pushing the magic button to sign you in and then it's an extra $15-20 pp)
SPIRIT: You pay for the flight, then pay for your seat (which are all different prices depending on where you sit), and any other upgrades you might want (like zip along the check in, be the first to board and so on).
I just wanted to note that also SPIRIT seemed to be the airline that is always the furthest from anything in the terminal.
So we headed downstairs and over to baggage check in. And kept going and going and going...all the way to the right and to the end. Whew! We went to the kiosk, weighed our bags, then up to the counter to turn them in. We were really pushing it with the weight due to all the non-perishables we had in the luggage to save $$ on food while in STT.
After checking the bags in, we headed back to see what might be open for breakfast. We quickly found a McDonalds and ordered. By this time, Kendra was making her way down to check in her bags...slow as usual.
Remember I said I wasn't waiting around this time and pushing the limit on time frames? I told her McDonalds was open for breakfast, we had just finished eating, and we were heading to security to check in. Over to the trams we went and notice there really wasn't many people around again.
I decided to check the weather at home, here in Orlando and in St Thomas where we would be later.
I couldn't believe it was hotter at home and even in Orlando than it was in STT!
After getting over to the terminal, I decided to check in with Kendra to see how far along she and the family had made it in the terminal.
I wasn't shocked to see that she was still over at the other terminal eating and hadn't even caught the "subway" over to the plane terminal and it was already 10:41am. We were boarding in about 15 minutes and she still needed to check in with security. But, that's her for ya. Once again, I'm not waiting. Although she had a point, which was that "we have assigned seats so why are we in a rush?" I just don't like to chance it or be running to the plane.
We were boarding the plane and I let her know. I received a text back saying "Ehh, we have plenty of time". Okie dokie.
The next thing I texted her was OMG!! There's absolutely NO leg room and no holder behind the seat...just a little bungee thing, and the pull down tray was next to non-exsistant! YIKES!! I was in shock.
For those of you that wonder about how everything is working with the COVID situation... Southwest has adopted a system that you are supposed to sit on either the isle or window seats and leave the middle seats open unless you are traveling with family. Since there wasn't many people on our flight, I couldn't really tell you how well this is enforced.
With Spirit, they had EVERY SINGLE SEAT taken. There were a lot of people flying to STT!
Now I had read what the airlines are "doing" to help sanitize. I didn't realize that the following was part of it and it caught me (and the family) off guard. I was like "hmmm, their air is weird" but it was sanitizing everything and destroying those COVID particles ;) LOL
Before long, the plane was almost full... and last but not least...well actually, I'm going to be honest, Kendra was last, along they came and the door was shut.
They informed us it was around a 2 hour and 30 minute flight (although I swear our booking said 2 hours and 55 minutes or something like that). So, I set my timer to see how close they were. However....
they stated that there were some storms and we would have a delay in take off.
We were getting a little bit of rain at this point but it didn't take long before they finally took off.
Up up and away!!!
Then I hear Sakari say "Mom, I think the plane ate a Happy Meal" Um what?
Do you see it?
Before long, it was time to land. I had blew threw about 10 magazines that I brought with me and still had some left over for the trip back home.
I swear it felt like we were about to land it water.
I checked my timer as we pulled in....they were pretty darn close!
After landing, it was time to get off the plane "Hollywood Presidential style". I think this is the first time I have ever had to exit a plane (from both the front and the back) and out in the open. Although very cool, walking down steps since my accident is not top priority on my list of things to do! They didn't even pull out the red carpet for us! It was green.
Our experience at the airport....
We were told to go over and stand in line (outside) along the building, keeping our "social distancing" between each other. One by one, we walked up to the Army people (2 of them) where they would take our temp and ask the "regular" questions you are asked when you visit a doctors office (have you been around anyone with COVID, have you had any of the following symptoms and so on). Then we were told to head in the building. They were passing out forms inside and you filled that out, grabbed your luggage and out the door you went. No one asked where our originating state was, where we had flown in from, for a COVID test or anything. I thought it was strange.
Once we were outside, we got in touch with our car rental place and were told they would be there shortly. They would only take 2 people with them (due to COVID) but we wouldn't have been able to fit not 1 extra person with us anyhow. She pulled up (we did manage to throw our luggage in there) and Kendra and I took off with her as the others waited at the airport. Their rental agency was just across from the airport. I signed the papers, a little bit of small talk, then off we went to pick up the rest of everyone at the airport....WITH ME DRIVING...ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE OF THE STREET!!! EEEEKKKKKK!