Monday, April 15, 2024

Flight to Florida

We left home a little after 9 am driving to the Hyatt Hotel at Florence Kentucky. We had used our usual to arrange for parking and shuttle to the airport. In the past, we used the Hilton at Florence, but the Hyatt was a dollar per day less than the Hilton. We also had some points that we used to help bring the fee down some. The location of the Hyatt was very convenient, but the check-in process was a little convoluted. We hope that it will be easier now that we are “in the system” at the hotel’s parking vendor.

Mary was able to secure a very good price for our tickets to St. Petersburg – Clearwater Airport (PIE) but the hidden fees were more than we expected. We expected the usual taxes and terminal fees. However, Allegiant has a “Carrier Fee” that is $22 per passenger per segment adding $88 to our total. We learned that Allegiant makes this fee “optional” to not be subject to certain Federal regulations, including a tax. The fee applies to all reservations made by telephone or online and can only be avoided by booking a flight at an Allegiant desk at an airport. This can only be done within one hour of a departing Allegiant flight. Although we were sore over the hidden fee, the flights were still significantly less expensive than Delta or other carriers. We just wish that Allegiant would be more transparent about the fee.
We booked through OneStopParking for $5 per day which was less than at the Hilton where we usually park. We also had some points that we used to help bring the fee down some. Check-in was very different from what we were used to at the nearby Hilton at the Turfway exit. We had to scan a QR code and register. The shuttle was running a little late but was ok since we were very early, and we arrived at CVG well before 11 am. We had already checked in for our Allegiant flight and had boarding passes on Mary’s phone.

We went through the TSA Precheck line at the airport quickly using only our driver’s license to go through security. We walked around the airport for about an hour then ate the snacks that we brought at the gate before boarding our 1 pm flight.

We both read during the 2-hour flight but two of the ladies behind us were loud talkers, but we were able to tune them out. The landing at St. Petersburg (PIE) was a little rough but the flight was fine otherwise. Mark and Cindy picked us up outside the airport and we drove about 1.5 hour to their house in Homosassa.

We stopped at the Homosassa Walmart to get two rolls of polenta and a few other grocery items then continued to their house.

Mark made an excellent meal of polenta with a wild boar ragu and a garden salad. We had some ice cream for dessert. I was surprised by my early birthday gift from Mark which was a one-year freshwater and saltwater fishing license. I hope to put it to good use this week as well as next winter.

After dinner, Mark and I took the kayaks out in Mason Creek to fish some. We tossed soft plastic shrimp imitations along the edges of mangroves and caught some small redfish and catfish, but none were large enough to keep. We saw a couple of porpoises playing in the bay and watched a beautiful sunset from the water.


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