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Air Charter recs #91677
03/26/2016 06:23 PM
03/26/2016 06:23 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Kansas
Chriskal Offline OP
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Chriskal  Offline OP
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Kansas
I looked through a few older posts on the topic, but thought I would confirm what I am thinking.

We're going to private charter the SJU--EIS leg of our trip. Quotes from all the major players I'm aware of (air America, fly bvi, island birds, Caribbean wings) are relatively similar, though not quite identical. I've read good reviews for all of them.

So, all things equal is there any reason other than personal preference to choose one over the other?

Secondly, we're flying into SJU on a Friday and to EIS on Saturday. To hook up with a private charter flight will we still need to mess with the general security fiasco? Other places I've been that can be avoided, not sure about Sju.

Thanks!

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Re: Air Charter recs [Re: Chriskal] #91678
03/26/2016 06:47 PM
03/26/2016 06:47 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 139
West Virgina
jrw Offline
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We have used Fly BVI the last 4 trips. Excellent!
So you are staying in SJU Friday night then to Tortola the next day being Saturday?

Jim W

Re: Air Charter recs [Re: jrw] #91679
03/26/2016 07:02 PM
03/26/2016 07:02 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Kansas
Chriskal Offline OP
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Chriskal  Offline OP
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That's correct. we will be taking a taxi to the airport on Sat vs. trying to connect flights without leaving the airport.

Re: Air Charter recs [Re: Chriskal] #91680
03/26/2016 07:25 PM
03/26/2016 07:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,213
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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We have flown Air America twice and had a very good experience. The security is much faster and easier. You walk through with the pilot. We got a cold Heineken when we boarded. The best part of private charters is the return trip to STT. We had a 4:30 flight and the pilot met us at EIS at 2 and we had plenty of time.

Re: Air Charter recs [Re: sail2wind] #91681
03/26/2016 08:21 PM
03/26/2016 08:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,683
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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Just curious as to what made you decide on a private charter?


Matt
Re: Air Charter recs [Re: maytrix] #91682
03/26/2016 08:47 PM
03/26/2016 08:47 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Kansas
Chriskal Offline OP
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Chriskal  Offline OP
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Well, I usually use delta to STT-ferry to Tortola--water taxi-delta home.

Currently delta's rates to STT from here are outrageous. Almost twice what I have paid in the past.

However, I have a lot of delta points (why they are a preference) but also have a good number of SWA points. My company card is a delta AMX and our personal card, that we use for almost all expenses, is a SWA visa.

So, I am going to fly us (family of 3) to SJU on Friday using pure SWA points. We can use delta points to fly home from STT for virtually free as well. Still have to get from SJU to Tortola on that Saturday though.

I looked at Cape Air and Seaborne, but the flights that don't leave at the crack of dawn are $300/pp one way. $400 more and we can fly private. Simply put, the convenience is worth $400 to me.

Re: Air Charter recs [Re: Chriskal] #91683
03/26/2016 08:53 PM
03/26/2016 08:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,213
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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Matt, I PM'd you. Chriskal, I completely agree, if you can afford it, go for it. No worries about airline departure times, call and arrange your departure.

Re: Air Charter recs [Re: Chriskal] #91684
03/26/2016 09:09 PM
03/26/2016 09:09 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,683
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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Quote
Chriskal said:
I looked at Cape Air and Seaborne, but the flights that don't leave at the crack of dawn are $300/pp one way. $400 more and we can fly private. Simply put, the convenience is worth $400 to me.


Just curious - Commuter book with cape air is good for $360 round trip - works great if you have 10 people since a book is good for 5 round trips. Sounds like in the end its pretty similar anyway.


Matt
Re: Air Charter recs [Re: maytrix] #91685
03/26/2016 10:00 PM
03/26/2016 10:00 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Kansas
Chriskal Offline OP
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Chriskal  Offline OP
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Right, but I'm not going R/t. We're flying home through STT to utilize Delta points for that leg. plus, there are only three of us. A commuter book would be way overkill.

Re: Air Charter recs [Re: Chriskal] #91686
03/27/2016 08:04 AM
03/27/2016 08:04 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,683
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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Yeah, works good for 5 or 10 smile Or if you make frequent enough trips.


Matt
Re: Air Charter recs [Re: maytrix] #91687
03/27/2016 09:11 AM
03/27/2016 09:11 AM
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Cleobeach Offline
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Chriskal - we used Island Birds five times and Air America once (an Isalnd Birds referral between STT and SJU). We were very pleased with both companies, makes for a very easy travel day. Island birds always has a icy cooler of beer and water, heaven! We can fly to SJU for a very good price and tons of availibity, making a charter to STT or VG a reasonable option. It's absolutely worth the convience if fits into your vacay budget.

Re: Air Charter recs [Re: Cleobeach] #91688
03/27/2016 10:38 AM
03/27/2016 10:38 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,213
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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Matt, the reason Cape Air and private charters are so different is you schedule your departure times. You can't miss a connection because you are renting the aircraft.

Re: Air Charter recs [Re: sail2wind] #91689
03/27/2016 11:52 AM
03/27/2016 11:52 AM
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StormJib Offline
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Since American Eagle pulled out of the propeller plane business and the Caribbean. We fly to the closest jetport we can and charter a small plane or two to finish the trip to our island of choice for the trip. The pilot meets you shortly after you get off the plane and either handles or guides everyone from there. Think of the pilots are 100 Taxi Kevin's who know what is going on and have id's the can get them just about everywhere. The only issues we have ever had with 100's of global aircraft charters is the failure of any in the group not be clear what luggage size and weight they are traveling with. The smaller the plane the more specific limits on freight size and weight.

Re: Air Charter recs [Re: Chriskal] #91690
03/29/2016 08:37 PM
03/29/2016 08:37 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Kansas
Chriskal Offline OP
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Chriskal  Offline OP
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Thought I would update for anyone else in similar shoes. I ended up going with Island Birds. The three of us are good to go on the small Piper Aztec. According to the reservation we can bring 75-100lbs of baggage each (not happening)

Booking was dead simple and response times to everything, including my original inquiry were swift. The instructions said to be at the Island Birds lounge on the top floor of the Jet Blue terminal 30 minutes prior to our scheduled departure. I assume the elevator they reference, left of all the check in counters, is prior to any checkpoint/security screening so that should be no problem.

Thanks to all for the input.


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