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Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries #184647
02/19/2019 09:46 AM
02/19/2019 09:46 AM
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FrozMargNoSalt Offline OP
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I'm in the final stages of trying to get our 3 family, group of 12 to the BVI's this summer. For those of you familiar with the San Juan Airport...what are your thoughts re: timing?

Southwest has a flight that leaves Ft. Lauderdale at 7:00am and arrives at SJU at 9:40am. The Inter-Caribbean flight to EIS leaves at 11:00am.
1) Is that feasible if we don't check bags from Ft. Lauderdale? (I can already see the look on my wife's face!!)
2) Is it feasible if we do check bags and have to get back to Inter-Carribean (I'm thinking no! But, my recollection of the airport layout is hazy at best.)

We love arriving in BVI's by Noon on our first day of vacation! There is another option out of Ft. Lauderdale at 5:20am on Jet Blue, arriving in San Juan around 8:00am, but good Lordie, that's an early start!

Your wisdom is welcome! Thank you. Cheers...

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Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: FrozMargNoSalt] #184654
02/19/2019 10:27 AM
02/19/2019 10:27 AM
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Memphis, BVI, CT
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RatmansWife Online content
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You will always be better off with all your flights on one ticket. So Jet Blue with a connecting Cape Air flight has advantages. Or American out of Miami.

We’re on the plane about to take off for San Juan, so I will have latest information in a few hours. I’m expecting midweek will not be bad, because so much depends on when you are traveling, among other factors.

I would not be comfortable with checked bags and 80 minutes connection time on two different tickets.

Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: RatmansWife] #184720
02/19/2019 04:36 PM
02/19/2019 04:36 PM
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FrozMargNoSalt Offline OP
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RatmansWIfe: Yeah, I hear you re: the "one ticket" deal, but saving $150-175/ticket for a family of 4, that's a LOT of painkillers. :-) Jet Blue or Southwest are the only affordable ways to reliably and somewhat affordably (is that a word?!) get there from South Florida. American wants $1825 for 1-ticket from MIA to EIS. CRAZY! Safe travels. Let me know your timing thoughts on getting from Jet Blue to InterCaribbean in SJU. Thanks again. Have an amazing trip!

Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: FrozMargNoSalt] #184722
02/19/2019 04:44 PM
02/19/2019 04:44 PM
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Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
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Originally Posted by FrozMargNoSalt
Let me know your timing thoughts on getting from Jet Blue to InterCaribbean in SJU. Thanks again. Have an amazing trip!


It's about a 15 minute walk, max. Just head up B concourse towards Margaritaville, turn right and walk thru the Duty Free shopping area, and follow the signs to D concourse. Don't be upset if you get to the InterCaribbean counter and nobody is there. They will show up about 20-30 minutes before flight time.

Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: FrozMargNoSalt] #184725
02/19/2019 04:51 PM
02/19/2019 04:51 PM
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Any delay and that 1hr and 20 min gap could be gone and you’ll be drinking diluted Painkillers at SJU airport
For me I’d take the 5:20am Flt to SJU and not rush or worry about making your connecting Flt to EIS.

Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: FrozMargNoSalt] #184739
02/19/2019 07:42 PM
02/19/2019 07:42 PM
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Ontario, Canada
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Purchase the full flex fare on IC and offload the risk of a missed connection.


Warren
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Lagoon 450, (part of the TMM fleet).
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Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: FrozMargNoSalt] #184741
02/19/2019 07:53 PM
02/19/2019 07:53 PM
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What day of the week will you be flying through? I was talking to the ticketing agent’s on a recent trip and they said that Saturdays are crazy because of cruise passengers. I agree that checking bags would probably be too much because you would have to go downstairs to claim the bags and then go back through ticketing and security. Is it an option to fly down the day before and spend the night at a hotel in San Juan?

Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: steve74] #184744
02/19/2019 08:09 PM
02/19/2019 08:09 PM
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Memphis, BVI, CT
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Have you read InterCaribbean’s baggage policy? It looks like they have a 10lb. limit on carry-ons, so you most likely will need to check bags. They also say their lowest fares don’t include free checked bags. We have found Seaborne’s baggage policies suit us better.

And, yes, weekends at SJU can be crazy, not only because of cruise ships, but also Puerto Rican’s who travel home. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are your best bet.

Which search engines are you using for fares, when are you searching and have you cleared your cookies? I have the best luck using ITA Matrix early on Tuesday morning. Maybe you need to get creative and fly Spirit to STT and charter a plane from there.

Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: FrozMargNoSalt] #184746
02/19/2019 08:16 PM
02/19/2019 08:16 PM
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stlmco Offline
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We’ve done exactly that, flying SW from Orlando to San Juan and then catching an InterCaribbean flight with a short layover. No issue if you carry on only. When you get off the SW flight walk over to the IC gate and wait for the agent to arrive. Don’t panick if no one is there... the earliest they get to the gate is 1 hr before the flight departs, and often later. Once they arrive at the gate the ticket counter closes, which is why you will not make it if you check bags and therefore have to recheck them in San Juan. We saw this happen to someone on our last trip (end of January) and part of their group had to catch a later IC flight.

Save the money and go for it. Worse thing that happens is you have to catch a later flight, but it has never happen to us.

Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: FrozMargNoSalt] #184751
02/19/2019 09:02 PM
02/19/2019 09:02 PM
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South Florida
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Thank you for all the help and suggestions! Love this forum and all the amazingly helpful people that allow it to thrive!!

Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: RatmansWife] #184760
02/19/2019 09:56 PM
02/19/2019 09:56 PM
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Tampa Bay, Florida
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Originally Posted by RatmansWife
Have you read InterCaribbean’s baggage policy? It looks like they have a 10lb. limit on carry-ons, so you most likely will need to check bags. They also say their lowest fares don’t include free checked bags. We have found Seaborne’s baggage policies suit us better.



Ok now you have my attention. My group are all flying Intercaribbean from San Juan to Tortola in May and I have not seen anything stating there’s a checked bag fee unless it’s either overweight or an additional bag. Just went back on the IC website to check and this still seems to be the case. There are no stated fees for first checked bags, only weight limits are noted (44-50lbs). There doesn’t appear to be any language under their various fares (Flex, Best, Saver) that suggests a baggage fee, rather, it only provides a link to their baggage policy web page (http://intercaribbean.com/information/baggage-essentials/baggage-allowance/). Ratman, I’m wondering if you might tell me where you’ve seen the info you claim so I may verify? If you’re correct I’m gonna have a few folks in my group a little irritated at me!

Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: SonOfTheSea] #184774
02/20/2019 03:46 AM
02/20/2019 03:46 AM
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Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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Originally Posted by SonOfTheSea
Originally Posted by RatmansWife
Have you read InterCaribbean’s baggage policy? It looks like they have a 10lb. limit on carry-ons, so you most likely will need to check bags. They also say their lowest fares don’t include free checked bags. We have found Seaborne’s baggage policies suit us better.



Ok now you have my attention. My group are all flying Intercaribbean from San Juan to Tortola in May and I have not seen anything stating there’s a checked bag fee unless it’s either overweight or an additional bag. Just went back on the IC website to check and this still seems to be the case. There are no stated fees for first checked bags, only weight limits are noted (44-50lbs). There doesn’t appear to be any language under their various fares (Flex, Best, Saver) that suggests a baggage fee, rather, it only provides a link to their baggage policy web page (http://intercaribbean.com/information/baggage-essentials/baggage-allowance/). Ratman, I’m wondering if you might tell me where you’ve seen the info you claim so I may verify? If you’re correct I’m gonna have a few folks in my group a little irritated at me!


I just took a carry on that weighed 32 lbs on IC with no issues this past Saturday.

Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: FrozMargNoSalt] #184786
02/20/2019 07:06 AM
02/20/2019 07:06 AM
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Memphis, BVI, CT
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Cabin Baggage
Each fare paying passenger is entitled to carry on board (unless directed such be stowed in the aircraft hold) one piece not exceeding depth 9 inches, height 14 inches and length 16 inches and not exceeding a total weight of 10 pounds.



Free Checked Baggage Allowance
Free checked luggage is determined by the fare class or fare family you purchase. Lowest fares may not include a free checked bag. Check your fare purchase to determine if the fare you paid for includes a free checked bag.

Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: FrozMargNoSalt] #184790
02/20/2019 08:21 AM
02/20/2019 08:21 AM
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Dana Point
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We have been visiting and sailing the BVI for 35 years.

That includes several groups of people from the sailing club, as i was group leader for our flotilla sailing the BVI. for two weeks each time. The largest group was was 12 boats. Other trips were less, and also other sailings vacation in the BVI with other couples. As well as just Erica and I.

Now, the BVI trips varied as to flight plans. Actually over time, this was from two different departure points, Not east coast, but LAX.....( los angeles ), and also LIH ( kauai Island ) . Then MIA or DFW and on to SJU. to EIS .

Never had a problem. Also, we had pre-i cruise/ travel meetings/ chats with the people, We discussed, how to pack and what to bring. ONE ONLY AIR LINE SIZED CARRY ON, period. what islands to visit, sailing and watch standing, the boat systems,
snorkeling, safety tips and travel arrangements. Air, land, and sea. Also, how we handle transfers from Orange County to LAX . And back home. We discussed Air Travel, lead times, and RON.ing, at hotels the first and last nights of our two week sailing sailing vacations. We were all prepared for all aspects from travel to on board the vessel sailing the BVI. People had to take care of their own travel arrangements .

The last several years, just Erica and I, we flew LAX to MIA , and then SJU, and then Cape Air to EIS . We had some lead time between flights , just in case of any delays. Never had a problem in all those many years..
.
As to SJU... we kept it simple and Remained Over Night at the on site Airport Hotel....it was declining rapidly, SJU was under construction, and Cape Air prices rose to about $ 1400.00 R/T for a 45 minute flight. we really enjoyed flying Cape Air,
I have been flying professionally for close to 40 years, Erica is also a Private Pilot. We like general aviation aircraft. I would sit up in the right seat in the cockpit, Erica in the cabin seat, taking photos and enjoying flying over the islands.

But, with the dismal SJU hotel, the construction in the Terminal, and the huge price of Cape Air, and the reported problems with the other inter island air lines to EIS ( Beef Island ), this next trip we are making a change.

LAX, MIA, STT ( St Thomas ), RON at neat hotel, and then first ferry ( $ 40.00 give or take ) early the next morning to Road Harbor, Tortola. We also have a hotel for the first night, before boarding our Jeanneau 36 i.

We have plenty of wiggle room, so no having to rush about or worry about travel dead lines, missed flights, or late for our early boarding at Conch Charters ..

We fly American Airlines, travel with one carry on, and narry a problem in 16 previous BVI sailing vacations.

All we can do is to share how we handled flying with large groups, and also with just another couple , and now, just the two of us. Perhaps you can apply some of those ideas to take some of the stress off your shoulders.
Prior Proper Planning for us was very important . Worked out well for our situations. And, at times, we were crossing the Pacific Ocean from Kauai, Hawaii, to LAX, then across the U.S Continent, to MIA, and then to SJU, and the the V.I.

Thankfully, now it is leaving from LAX..... Yet, we still plan so that our airline flights will be easy as possible . And, new to us, going in to St. Thomas ( by- passing SJU) , staying the night, at St Thomas, and up early for the 08:00 am ferry to Road Town.

The good thing about that ferry, is saving about $ 1400 in yankee green, that we can apply to our dinner and partying ashore.

Just FYI, There are lots of different ideas on travel plans, that are quite different and work just fine for others headed to the BVI.

Travel can be a bit of a hassel, to get to the BVI, but once we are there, all that is totally forgotten .....the party light is illuminated.

Have a super BVI vacation.




Last edited by captdennyj; 02/20/2019 08:25 AM.
Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: FrozMargNoSalt] #184821
02/20/2019 11:08 AM
02/20/2019 11:08 AM
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Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
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If you use carry-on and go directly to the gate in terminal D, InterCaribbean does not weigh the bags. I've flown with them at least 20 times in the last year and never had an issue with the weight of my gate checked bag or carry-on.

Air Sunshine is a whole different story though. The weight usually costs me an extra $50 and I have pretty small bags when I travel.

Last edited by JasonHelmbrecht; 02/20/2019 11:09 AM.
Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: FrozMargNoSalt] #184831
02/20/2019 12:59 PM
02/20/2019 12:59 PM
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FrozMargNoSalt Offline OP
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Thank you all. And captdennyj, your thorough response was spot on...thank you for taking the time to share it! Get that party light illuminated!

Re: Ft. Laud > SJU > EIS, Timing worries [Re: FrozMargNoSalt] #184948
02/21/2019 02:07 PM
02/21/2019 02:07 PM
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Frozen maggie,

Aye, lad, we will be splicing the main brace and hoisting a glass to you and your excited group.

By the by, Erica's fave drink here at home, is margarita on the rocks , tall, with salt.

We will be sailing the BVI last two weeks of may, and certainly will toast to you all.


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