There is good news for Louisiana travelers who love the beach and hate paying for expensive airline tickets. The New Orleans' Louis Armstrong International Airport has revealed that it will soon be offering passengers the opportunity to fly direct from the Big Easy to one of the Caribbean's most popular ports of call.

Caribbean Hammock
Kevin Tavares, ThinkStock

The new service out of New Orleans was announced yesterday by Spirit Airlines. The budget carrier has announced that a direct flight from New Orleans with service to San Juan Puerto Rico will begin on May 9th.

San Juan is a wonderful historic city. There are dozens of historic sites that are within just a few minutes walk of the city's historic old town area. In addition to the history, San Juan offers tourists some great shopping experiences. It's metropolitan enough to have all of the major stores you'd expect to find in a big city, but San Juan also has a lot of local merchants.

Staff Photo
Staff Photo

Many of those merchants offer handmade cultural gifts and souvenirs. They also offer a lot of handmade and homemade snacks and meals. One of the dishes you'll have to try is Mofongo. Think of it as a Caribbean boudin ball but in this case, we aren't afraid to tell you what's in it.

Traditional Mofongo is made with mashed fried green plantains and tiny bits and pieces of what we call "cracklins' and they add some garlic too. You can get that with a variety of sauces as well and the concoction goes very well with either a spicy Puerto Rican beef dish or some fresh seafood. I like my mofongo with shrimp.

How Long is the Flight From New Orleans to San Juan?

According to the Spirit Airlines website, the flight time from point to point is just a little over three hours. If you get a good tailwind behind you, then you might arrive in under three hours but that's approximately the time you'd need to budget.

On the Spirit Airlines site, the prices that we noted for the flights ranged from $144 to over $200. The prices we saw reflected round-trip pricing but we didn't enter specific dates so the price on your adventure might be a little more or a little less.

The San Juan route marks the 5th direct international destination for travelers who choose to fly out of New Orleans. Other non-stop itineraries from the Big Easy include flights to Toronto and Montreal Canada. Air Canada operates those flights. 

Getty Images
Getty Images

There is also a direct flight from MSY, which is the New Orleans airport code, to London in the UK. Those flights are operated four times per week by British Airways. 

There are also non-stop direct flights out of New Orleans to Honduras and Mexico, Cancun in particular. Both of those routes are offered by Spirit Airlines. Spirit's service to Cancun is supposed to begin this month and we should note that several other major carriers that have offered routes to Mexico in the past have not published those routes for this year, so you may have more options if Mexico is your travel destination.

Spirit Airlines' Pilots Reach Contract Agreement, Strike Ends
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

One other thing we should mention. If you've not flown Spirit Airlines before it is a budget airline. The service is polite and professional. The planes are very well maintained and safe. But, you'll not find a lot of amenities on Spirit that you might find on another carrier.

Here's a "biased" look at what flying on budget airlines can be like.

I have flown Spirit and have nothing but good things to say about them. However, I knew what I was getting when I saved a lot of money on an airplane ticket. I just want you to be aware before you book.

And speaking of booking, a cheap flight to San Juan will open up opportunities for those who enjoy cruise ships. The port at San Juan is one of the largest in the world and you can reach a wide variety of destinations when your cruise begins there.

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Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells







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