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Flying from Cartagena to Cancun on Spirit Air

Spirit Air to the rescue, $1,000 for family of three to fly from Colombia to Cancun, Mexico

This was the problem I was facing: how do I get out of my hole in Colombia and get to the south of Mexico? Flying at first seemed a no go — $2,800 for all three of us. Traveling overland to Panama, then busing it fast through Central America seemed a torturous proposition with my two year old daughter, and doing this would more than likely leave me arriving in San Cris alone and divorced. I was faced with an enigma of travel that I have never experienced before: I seriously could not afford to go where I wanted to go.

This is unacceptable. 

I needed to leave Colombia, this was certain: I am living half as good here for twice the cost of most other countries I’ve traveled in. I wanted to get back to Mexico. If I was going to do this, I needed to fly. General flight searches brought up nothing but expensive tickets, so, in desperation, I turned to my arch nemesis, Spirit Air.

I try to avoid Spirit Air because they are a budget airline of the worst sort: they advertise super cheap flights but then pull tricks like adding fees for everything (including carry on baggage, seats, and payments made with a credit card — how the f’ck else do you pay for a plane ticket online?), and, essentially, sucking every penny out of you until you are almost paying as much for their service lacking flights as you would on a real airline. But I was desperate.

Knowing damn well that Spirt Air will often not sell single tickets for multi leg journeys, perhaps in an effort to sell you two tickets and make you pay the baggage, seat, and an array of miscellaneous fees twice (i.e. I could not fly from Cartagena to Mexico with a connection on a single ticket, I would need to buy two separate tickets) I began plugging in flights to Spirit Air’s hub in Fort Lauderdale and then on to Cancun, Mexico.

And I found a cheap way through.

Spirit air logo

Spirit airlines logo

Flying from Cartagena to Fort Lauderdale I came up with a ticket for around $250 each. Then from Fort Lauderdale to Cancun I landed a few “$1” fares that ultimately added up to around $100 each. I found that I could get my three person family from Colombia to Mexico for around $1,000. I gobbled these tickets up gratefully, and will soon go in for another Spirit Air experience. An arduous proposition, perhaps, but I at least a way out of my Catch-22 in Colombia.

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Filed under: Air Travel, Colombia, South America

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3169 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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