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Haitian Vacation?

Carol Sottili

Spirit Air announced Thursday that it's going to start flying to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from Fort Lauderdale starting March 22. And to sweeten the pot, it's offering 5-cent fares. It's a bit of a tease, because only a few dates are available at those rates. And when you add the taxes, it comes to $93 round trip. Plus you've got to get to Fort Lauderdale, which is going to cost at least $180 round trip. Also the flight leaves at 7 a.m., so you'd need to stay in Fort Lauderdale for a night.

But for someone who likes a little adventure, it may be worth it. Spirit will initially offer service three times weekly on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Daily service starts May 1. Book the 5-centers by 11:59 p.m. tonight! Go to www.spiritair.com.

By Carol Sottili |  January 19, 2007; 3:02 PM ET  | Category:  Carol Sottili , Deals
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Before you go, get your shots, and read the State Department's travel warning on Haiti: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_917.html

Posted by: Jay | January 19, 2007 4:41 PM

I'm not sure what Spirit Air is thinking? Haiti is not recommended as a tourist destination, and with good reason. The State Department web site quoted in the comment above:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_917.html

... isn't kidding. Do *not* wander around at night. Do *not* drink the local water, even in hotels. Do *not* eat raw vegetables, lettuce, salads, etc. *Do* consider visiting your doctor to bring a prophylactic supply of antibiotics with you. *Do* get all shots advised by the State Department in their travel advisory. Be advised that flying back into the US, if you have a connecting flight, you will be re-routed through security and have your bags inspected again. While TSA has repealed the Advisory about security at Port Au Prince airport, it remains a location of concern. Be *very* careful to reclaim your bags as soon as you arrive to the Port Au Prince airport, so they do not "wander off."

Haiti is trying to revive their tourism industry, but there are many parts of the country that are very unsafe. The Haitians I met when I traveled there for work in the summer of 2003 were very polite, and very friendly. The US Dollar is a very hot commodity there. Be advised that some social norms are more 'conservative' there; wearing deck shorts (instead of a skirt or long trousers) got me a request to leave one of the airport lounges because I, as a young woman, was inappropriately dressed.

Driving is "mostly" on the right-hand side of the road, but many drivers will drive in any direction at will.

Posted by: Kate | January 22, 2007 5:22 PM

Finally there will be some competition for American Airlines, a company that has been gouging prices for years, mostly on the back of very poor folks. Look at the difference in price between the DR and Haiti.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 22, 2007 7:47 PM

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