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STT airport opening and planning for the future #144534
09/25/2017 01:47 PM
09/25/2017 01:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 176
Virginia suburbs of DC
AquaGirl Offline OP
Traveler
AquaGirl  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 176
Virginia suburbs of DC
I realize that this question/issue is absolutely insignificant compared to what residents are dealing with in the islands. I thought I would ask anyway. (Please don't take offense! We are making contributions to various groups and pursuing other ways to help.)

I am looking for some place online that shows the status and expected opening of the St Thomas airport. Its administered by the VI Port Authority, but the most recent info on their site is from Sept 5. I looked at FAA, TSA and googled the topic, but can't find anything authoritative. I found a statement on VI Yacht Charters site saying its closed until Sept 30.
https://www.virginislandsyachtcharters. ... IL-SEPT-30

The reason I am asking is so we can decide what to do with our AA tickets to STT on Oct 10 and return on Oct 20. The AA Customer Service Rep said STT is currently open for commercial flights. My understanding is that its only open for military & relief efforts, including mercy flights. I would love to get a refund and put the money towards relief efforts, but our tickets are non-refundable.

If the airport is still closed to commercial flights on Oct 10, our flight will be cancelled. I would hope in this case we will get a refund, but the CS Rep seemed unsure and gave me 2 different answers. My guess (based on what I've read) is that the airport may be open to commercial flights by then, but I think it will be unknown for a while.

We have a few options:
- Rebook with no change fee (per AA's current travel notice). We must commence travel by March 31 because that's the end of our ticket validity. Due to various medical and work commitments, we can only travel in Nov or Dec. I have the impression the islands may not even have power by Nov/Dec, nor be ready for visitors.

- Cancel our flights and use the value towards booking flights to a different destination. Still have to travel before Mar 31. Would have to pay change fees and ticket price difference.

In our 30+ years of travelling to the Caribbean in spring and fall, we've never had to cancel a trip, so this is new ground for us. Any input is welcome!

Note - Didn't buy trip insurance, but the insurance I was considering wouldn't help with this situation since the storms are long gone. Would only help if I had bought "cancel for any reason" type.

Thank you!

BVI Sponsors
Re: STT airport opening and planning for the future [Re: AquaGirl] #144535
09/25/2017 01:52 PM
09/25/2017 01:52 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 937
Winston Salem, NC
lonewolf1977 Offline
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lonewolf1977  Offline
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 937
Winston Salem, NC
Even if you didn't buy trip insurance, if you purchased with a credit card it would be worth reaching out to them to check their policy on getting your money back. They may be able to help you tremendously. If you paid with a debit card, you're back to the initial questions.

Re: STT airport opening and planning for the future [Re: AquaGirl] #144536
09/25/2017 01:58 PM
09/25/2017 01:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 70,540
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 70,540
Central Florida!
AquaGirl--there is a HUGE thread on the SXM forum regarding AA. You can check there for ideas, but my first suggestion is that you CALL BACK AGAIN to get a different agent. Most likely you will be able to cancel and just get your money back. If the person on the phone gives you guff, ask to speak to a supervisor.

Here's the thread on the SXM forum AA thread

Last edited by Carol_Hill; 09/25/2017 02:01 PM.

Carol Hill
Re: STT airport opening and planning for the future [Re: lonewolf1977] #144537
09/25/2017 02:05 PM
09/25/2017 02:05 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 258
Tustin CA
d_fish Offline
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d_fish  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 258
Tustin CA
Certainly a predicament with many unknowns.

Have you tried kindly asking AA for a rebooking extension and change fee waived beyond March 31 due to circumstances in Caribbean right now? Including an explanation that it is hard to rebook a vacation because there are so many uncertainties and unknowns right now such as, airport reopening to commercial traffic, ferry operations, power grid restoration, water management etc.

I am assuming you are chartering. Did your charter company cancel the charter?

Re: STT airport opening and planning for the future [Re: d_fish] #144538
09/25/2017 04:29 PM
09/25/2017 04:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 327
Northern IL
bagsarepacked Offline
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bagsarepacked  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 327
Northern IL
Yes call back. I spoke to AA today and was told:
I can rebook and travel up until 9/2018 but I would need to rebook at the time I call.
If I flat out cancel I get a credit and the credit I would have would need to be used by 4/2018.
I should add that my trip is in November so I am waiting another few weeks before doing anything. I would need to act the day before my flight out.

She said when calling to remind the agent that the rebook fee should be waived due to hurricane

Note~ I do have insc but called directly instead. I also used miles for one leg of trip and purchased the return ticket. Same story for both.

Last edited by bagsarepacked; 09/25/2017 04:30 PM.
Re: STT airport opening and planning for the future [Re: bagsarepacked] #144539
09/25/2017 04:47 PM
09/25/2017 04:47 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 589
Georgia & South Carolina
D
Deepcut Offline
Traveler
Deepcut  Offline
Traveler
D
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 589
Georgia & South Carolina
I had DELTA flights to STT from ATL on October 6. I called Delta(Customer support) this past Sunday and asked if I could cancel these (nonrefundable) tickets and get a CREDIT for later travel to STT. Delta was kind enough to give FULL credit for flights to future Delta travel booked within the next year. No change fees.

I realize this is "above and beyond" what the ticket contract was for, but I applaud Delta for this response. Hopefully, American Airlines and others will do likewise.


Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (Lagoon 42)
Re: STT airport opening and planning for the future [Re: bagsarepacked] #144540
09/25/2017 04:52 PM
09/25/2017 04:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,955
Charlotte, NC
N
NCSailor Offline
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NCSailor  Offline
Traveler
N
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,955
Charlotte, NC
According to Governor Mapp STT is going to open sometime this week with limited commercial flights. I'm not sure what that will mean for STT but for SJU it was 10 flights per day yesterday increased to 20 today. There has been mayhem at SJU with people desperately trying to get out. I wouldn't count on STT returning to normal by 10/10. There isn't going to be enough demand to warrant regular flight schedules.

http://viconsortium.com/featured/mapp-an...thomas-airport/

Re: STT airport opening and planning for the future [Re: AquaGirl] #144541
09/25/2017 08:37 PM
09/25/2017 08:37 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 303
Rockford, Michigan
aarpskier Online content
Traveler
aarpskier  Online Content
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Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 303
Rockford, Michigan
Quote
AquaGirl said:
Note - Didn't buy trip insurance, but the insurance I was considering wouldn't help with this situation since the storms are long gone. Would only help if I had bought "cancel for any reason" type.


Not necessarily. Most travel insurance contains language to the effect that if the "tour operator" (in this case the charter company) cannot provide the "tour" for which you purchased the airline tickets (specific boat or alternative for planned itinerary), coverage is triggered. Many charter companies have announced that they will not be back in business until December.

Re: STT airport opening and planning for the future [Re: aarpskier] #144542
09/25/2017 10:53 PM
09/25/2017 10:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 176
Virginia suburbs of DC
AquaGirl Offline OP
Traveler
AquaGirl  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 176
Virginia suburbs of DC
Thank SO MUCH to everyone for the super helpful info.

Carol's pointer to the AA thread on SXM forum has some great ideas. It was the longest thread I've ever seen! I am encouraged to see that some AA customers got refunds, even though the tickets were non-refundable. People had many different situations/dates, and different experiences with AA CSRs. Many people were told the same thing as we were.

I've only called 3 times so far and will continue to call. I am always very polite and nice to the people on the phone.

We purchased the tickets on our Citicards Advantage MC. Thanks for the idea about calling them. I read that one person called them and was able to get a refund. I will try that too.

We were booked at Peter Island Resort. We are landlubbers, not boaters smile
Peter Island emailed us several days after Irma to cancel our reservation and say they were going to refund us the entire amount.

Glad you pointed out that trip insurance could potentially cover this situation. For our next trip, I will carefully read through all the language.

Re: STT airport opening as of Thursday [Re: AquaGirl] #144543
09/26/2017 12:35 PM
09/26/2017 12:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 11,542
Eric_Hill Offline

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Eric_Hill  Offline

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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 11,542
Commercial flights to STT will resume on Thursday according to multiple reports release today.


Eric Hill
TTOL Sponsors
Re: STT airport opening as of Thursday [Re: Eric_Hill] #144544
09/26/2017 02:55 PM
09/26/2017 02:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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sail2wind  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
however, my friends on the island say there is no ice, limited electricity, limited connectivity, no postal service to get supplies, sorry to say not much of a vacation yet.

Re: STT airport opening as of Thursday [Re: sail2wind] #144545
09/26/2017 02:58 PM
09/26/2017 02:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 70,540
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 70,540
Central Florida!
I would say anyone going right now is not a tourist but someone who owns property on island, going to see how their property is.


Carol Hill
Re: STT airport opening as of Thursday [Re: Eric_Hill] #144546
09/26/2017 07:18 PM
09/26/2017 07:18 PM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 199
Va Beach
Kmon Offline
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Kmon  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 199
Va Beach
Quote
Eric_Hill said:
Commercial flights to STT will resume on Thursday according to multiple reports release today.


Here's one of them:

http://viconsortium.com/featured/flights-commence-in-st-thomas-as-territorys-recovery-takes-hold/


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