Spring is in the air (unless you live above the Mason - Dixon Line... in that case I am not sure when you know when spring starts up there!) and the natives are growing restless. Here at F-HU, students have taken a liking to being outside, wearing flip flops, washing cars, and enjoying the sunshine. The countdown has begun for spring break and mid-term exams. Yep, its official, this year is clipping along at a pretty fast speed. We are a week away from March and it is time to start moving on to the next phase of our mission trip(s).
March is the deadline to officially withdraw from the trip. Anyone who has signed up to go on one of the mission trips can withdraw in March and still get a full refund of money that has been paid in for the trip. After March 31st down payments and deposits are made that are non-refundable. After March refunds are given based on what is left after deposits and down payments have been made. The closer we get to the trip the more money will have been paid for specifics such as lodging, insurance, etc. We certainly understand that things come up that are unexpected that might cause someone to miss the trip, but once money has been paid out we simply cannot get it back.
March is also the month most people begin buying their airline tickets. I know there is a large number of you that have already purchased airline tickets, which is great. For the rest of us, the time has come to start shopping in earnest for our tickets. I have been watching the websites closely and ticket prices have been going up and down (mostly up) and with the crisis in the Middle East right now, I do not expect ticket prices to come down any time soon. One thing is certain, there will be a limited number of seats available on the dates we will be traveling, and once those tickets have been purchased there will not be any more. Since we are not the only group traveling this summer, tickets are selling and selling pretty fast. Delaying your purchase increases the likelihood of losing out on a seat on the flight. Hopefully most, if not all, of you are ready to purchase tickets.
American Airlines: http://www.aa.com/
Continental Airlines: http://www.continental.com/
Delta airlines: http://www.delta.com/
Spirit airlines: http://www.spirit.com/
Some departure / arrival city abbreviations:
San Jose, Costa Rica: SJO
San Pedro Sula: SAP
If you are going on the Costa Rica trip, June 9th - June 19th, you have several flight options. Depending on your departure city, you will make a connection before you go down to San Jose. It is important that you arrive in San Jose before or around 12:00pm on the 9th. The following flights arrive during that time frame:
TACA flight #319 departs Miami at 6:45 am to San Salvador. You connect on TACA #321 which arrives in San Jose at 9:45 am.
Continental flight 1528 departs Houston at 9:10 am and arrives in San Jose at 11:50 am.
American flight #971 departs Miami at 10:10 am and arrives in San Jose at 10:55 am.
Spirit flight #755 departs Ft. Lauderdale at 10:48 am and arrives in San Jose at 11:40 am.
Delta flight #415 departs Atlanta at 9:50 am and arrives is San Jose at 11:55 am. Return flights vary so check the websites for choices leaving on June 19th.
If you are going on the trip to Honduras June 24th through July 4th, here are your flight options:
TACA flight #190 departs Miami at 5:10 am to San Salvador. Flight continues to Tegucigalpa and arrives at 9:32 am.
Continental flight #756 departs Houston at 9:05 am and arrives in Tegucigalpa at 11:10 am.
American Airlines flight #953 departs Miami at 11:15 am and arrives in Tegucigalpa at 11:35 am.
Delta flight #551 departs Atlanta 10:10 am and arrives in Tegucigalpa at 11:45 am. Return flights vary so check the websites for choices leaving on July 4th.
If you are staying in Honduras until July 11th, you will be flying home from San Pedro Sula. When you book your ticket you need to select the multi-city option on the website. You will fly into Tegucigalpa on one of the flights listed above, and then you will select a return flight from one of the following choices:
TACA flight #575 departing San Pedro Sula at 7:05 am to San Salvador. Connect on TACA #310 departing at 8:55 am arriving in Miami at 1:30 pm.
Continental flight #763 departing San Pedro Sula at 11:45 am arriving in Houston 3:30 pm.
American Airlines flight #944 departing San Pedro Sula at 7:10 am arriving in Miami at 11:35 am.
Delta flight #504 departing San Pedro Sula at 12:05 pm arriving in Atlanta at 5:20 pm.
Spirit flight#826 departing San Pedro Sula at 1:15 AM arriving in Ft. Lauderdale 5:39 am. Check connections to your final destination for flight options.
Check with airline websites and read checked baggage information closely. Also check to see about carry on bags. Every carrier has different policies and charges. Make sure you read information pertaining to international flights. Weight restrictions vary too so make sure you know all of the "fine print" details before you book. Once you have booked your flight please send me a copy of your flight information. I will need it to make arrangements for transportation once you arrive! Eso es muy importante!
Along with booking flights, March is when rule sheets, Spanish release forms (for anyone under the age of 18), photos (everyone needs to send me a passport type photo to attach to your application), and a photocopy of your passport is due. Email me if you need a copy of any of the forms mentioned. Once this is done all of the paper work that you are to turn in is completed. Your final due date is May 31st when the final payment of your balance is due.
This is a lot of information. I hope you will copy and paste this to make your flight search a bit easier. Please make sure anyone you know that is going on the trip is checking this blog and reading the information that is being posted. I know people are reading the blog everyday, unfortunately, I don't know who those people are and more importantly, the ones who are not reading it. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, deep thoughts, jokes, etc., I would love hearing from you! take care and I will be posting again soon. Reinados de Dios!