Soaring Spirit

Our youngest darling daughter, a Librarian in Aurora, CO, invited me to be part of the Author panel at their yearly Mini-Con. My very first Author panel!

This, of course, means travel to Colorado from Houston.

Drive, I say. We'll look into travel vans or something, or just drive.

"Because you love driving so much," says Darling, looking at me from the corner of her eye.

Jumping in the car and going somewhere is not a big logistics issue. A few days travel would get Darling and me to Colorado. And a few days travel back...

So I checked airlines. Wow, the fares at Spirit are pretty cheap. Despite the vague memory of warnings from our daughter that Spirit advertises Bare Bones Travel - and means it - I booked our flights.

Well, the cost is good. What's this? The only free carry on is the size of an over-sized lunch box. 

We are excellent packers and have suitcases that fit the bins of most airlines, so I didn't think this would be an issue.

Over $50 apiece to carry on our normal bags. A little less to check them.

If we want to sit together, and not over the wing, it'll be another $20 apiece. 

Still, the cost is less than most airlines.

Our flight is delayed. We sit in the airport for over seven hours. Many other Spirit flights are also delayed, which means the terminal area now contains hundreds more people than they are designed to handle. The place is uncomfortably warm, with the smell of sweat and impatience everywhere.

The plane is an Airbus A321. I'm not a plane snob, but I did spend a career working for Boeing, so Airbus? Ugh.

When did they shrink the seats even more? The seat trays are tiny, but that's okay because...

... drinks are extra. Three dollars for a can of coke, and no complimentary snacks.

I feel a twinge of sadness for the poor young man sitting next to Darling. This is his first plane flight.

Should I mention standing in the cold weather at the airport for our rental car shuttle as Avis and Hertz passed us by a number of times? No, I'd rather forget that.

We still have to fly home after the Mini-Con. I'm not looking forward to it, but then again, I'm a traveling grouch.

On Spirit, I'm not the only one.


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