Last spring we visited Puerto Rico as the embarkation port for our Southern Caribbean cruise and fell in love with the beautiful island. Ever since we got home we have been watching flight prices just waiting to return. When we started brainstorming ideas for a Christmas trip with my mother-in-law, we were looking at a few warm-weather destinations and we were shocked to find flights to San Juan for less than Florida or New Orleans. I’m not going to lie, the flights were awful. They had overnight layovers in both directions at some of the largest and busiest airports that were made even busier thanks to Southwest’s meltdown before Christmas. But, we made the best of it because we got to return to sunny Puerto Rico!
The first leg of our journey had an overnight layover in Orlando and we left security and slept in the Hyatt Regency at the airport knowing we would have to go through TSA again. There were so many people trying to get to their flights in the morning that the sign advertised a 65-minute wait to get through TSA. I am very glad I checked the airport’s website when I got up because we got ready quickly and got in line. At one point, the line stopped moving completely and we thought we were going to miss our flight, but we got to the gate right as they started boarding. We were told it was a full flight but there were only half of the seats filled. I’m guessing we left some people behind in that TSA line. If you have an early flight (I think this one left at 5:55 am), don’t assume the airport will be empty. Most airport websites will tell you how long the TSA wait currently is and if you’re checking a bag, remember to add on time for that line too. Since this was a layover, we didn’t have to worry about that line.
This was our first time flying Frontier and overall, it was a pretty good experience. We have flown Spirit many times so we are used to budget airlines, but they are not exactly the same. Frontier has more legroom. It is not as cramped as Spirit is notorious for. Everyone we encountered was friendly and each plane has an animal mascot. We liked flying on Max the Lynx. Frontier does not have wifi on their planes. If you need to work while in the air, look for a different airline. Every single flight we had left 10-15 minutes late and they were not good about communicating the delays. When we got to our departure airport, we got a text saying our flight was delayed but when we got to the gate the board said the plane was on time and that didn’t change until after our departure time passed so there were a lot of confused people standing around. For one of the flights, we got a text saying the flight was delayed after we had already taken off. We got to the airport in San Juan early and there was no one at the Frontier desk for probably an hour. The line got very long but we got to the plane with plenty of time. It wasn’t a perfect experience, but the next cheapest flight to San Juan for the same dates was several hundred dollars per person more expensive. Personally, I will take a little bit of hassle to get where I want to go and save money.
Here is an outline of what is to come on this trip report:
Day 1: Old San Juan (San Juan National Historic Site, Christmas lights at Paseo de la Princesa)
Day 2: Drive to Adjuntas (travel fail story), Ponce, to Fajardo
Day 3: Ruta de Lechon (the Pork Highway) & Biobay Kayaking
Day 4: El Yunque National Forest
Day 5: Ron del Barillito Distillery Tour
Be sure to check back next week as I share about our time re-visiting Old San Juan!
Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! For my list of gadgets to make your travels easier, click here. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.
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