Arrived home early on Friday at 1.30 a.m. after a long day, and went straight to bed. Woke up to grey skies and piles of snow, but the temperature was above freezing which was a bonus.
We had breakfast on Thursday at Tortuga as we watched the rain come in; third straight morning in a row it rained on Maho. Checked out of our condo and then had time to kill, so we drove to Baie Nettle and gassed up the car then went to Long Bay Beach. After saying our goodbyes to friends we headed back to Tortuga for lunch, then on to the airport via the car rental place.
Update on passport controls and security screening at SXM. After we checked our bags we got to use the new scanners at the bottom of the escalators (boarding passes), then it was up the escalator to be greeted by a line up. We were asked if we had “chips” in our passports, when we said yes were told to wait here so we shuffled along with everyone else.
Around the corner we got a view of the new scanning machines that are up and operating, but not fully in service yet. There were 2 booths manned by staff, and 6 people at a time were told to go to them. Random passengers were picked from the line to use the new scanning machines. So, I think they are working at setting things up, but aren’t quite there yet.
They now have 2 body scanners, one was working one wasn’t. We were lucky enough to get the working one. So everyone in our line was scanned. There was no walk-through arch. All in all it took 25 minutes to complete the process from scanning our boarding passes to getting through the security check. Not bad.
We were supposed to leave from B1 so at the appropriate time we went downstairs to be met by chaos. The ramp was clear and we thought our arriving plane would park there, no - it parked past the building by 2 other planes. They changed our departure gate to B2 but didn’t change the flight number or destination so confused a lot of people. Instead of letting passengers walk to and from arriving and departing planes, they decided busses should be used which resulted in more confusion. A few people got on the wrong bus. You couldn’t understand half of what was announced overhead - more confusion. When we finally were on board it seemed like forever before they closed the doors and we could leave. The flight back was uneventful
Our connecting flight was at 11.15 p.m. and everything was fine until they asked over the PA system “Is there a doctor or nurse on board, we have a medical emergency?” So, 45 minutes later a passenger was escorted off of the plane under his own steam, and we were ready for the final hop home. In spite of the fact we left late, we got in 15 minutes later than originally scheduled. Still in recovery mode but almost back to normal, will post some pictures when I’m more organized.