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Tradewinds #315353
03/11/2024 12:10 PM
03/11/2024 12:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 508
long island, new york
M
macaroni Offline OP
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macaroni  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 508
long island, new york
Has anyone used from San Juan to Virgin Gorda? Was trying to get pricing but it doesn’t go very far in the future?
Still in business?
Besides Cape Air, any other options directly to VG?
Thanks!

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Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315358
03/11/2024 12:57 PM
03/11/2024 12:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Fitzhughlaw Offline
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Fitzhughlaw  Offline
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Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Yes, I did, on February 8th. I was impressed with the lounge in San Juan, but was very unhappy in how a weather issue was handled.

With regard to the latter, upon arrival in San Juan, there was a lot of uncertainty about many flights due to the weather. For the first hour of the layover, there was conflicting information about whether we would go anywhere that day, and where we would land; finally at about 90 minutes before we were scheduled take off we were informed that weather in VG prevented the plane from landing there; I scoffed at that because it was no worse there than in Tortola (more on that later). Anyhow, we were given three choices: (1) an immediate ticket refund; (2) stay overnight in San Juan at our own expense and get on the next flight out on the ensuing day; or (3) go to EIS. We all chose the third option, but were grumbling about it. The best part of the story is that as I'm hiking over to the catch the ferry to VG after clearing customs in Tortola, I run into a pilot from Cape Air that I know pretty well and who was disembarking from the one I was about to board. I asked if he had just landed in VG - and he said "yes, without any issues." I was furious because I thus inferred that the diversion to EIS was not a decision made in good faith, and so when I got a "how did we do" email from Tradewind, I sent a "match to gasoline" response.

I actually got a reply, and the rep set up a call with me. I told her that the weather story struck me as implausible, given that Cape Air could land its Vietnam War era planes there but she reminded me that Tradewind's planes were newer and thus might not have the same handling characteristics on a muddy runway (which I confirmed as indeed the case on VG's dirt patch). She acknowledged that the choices we were given were less than the company could have done, and the "squeaky wheel getting the grease" part of the story is that I received a 25% credit toward my next flight - and I will indeed give them another shot. Why?

Aside from making it right via the 25% credit, the mere fact that the company's rep reached out to me after getting my blistering email was heartening; she was unfailingly polite, and not at all disingenuous when explaining the predicament at VG's Taddy Bay. Again, the Tradewind's aircraft is much nicer than the Cape Air equipment, and thus it's plausible that conditions that it needed for landing were more stringent than for Cape Air's prehistoric fleet.

Also, reverting back to the experience in San Juan, before we were given the three choices I recited in the first paragraph, there was much confusion and uncertainty about whether we would go at all, and if so, where we would land. However, the gate agents were marvelous in helping us as best they could, and twice I called the usually-dreaded "customer service number," and to my astonishment, my call actually got answered - by a live person! She was also very polite and took my number at one point, and then called me back to advise that indeed, if I wanted to travel that day, my only choice was EIS.

Finally, the airline's lounge at San Juan is just great. After disembarking from your incoming flight, even if you need to grab a checked bag off of the belt, there's no need to go through the absolutely ghastly security cattle drive, because Tradewinds has its own little gate and screening protocol! Yes, one takes an elevator from the main floor to an upstairs lounge reserved just for Tradewinds' passengers, which has very nice seating and free snacks (including sandwiches) and drinks (including wine, but no hard liquor). When ready for departure, one exits the lounge and on that same floor, passes through Tradewind's own security scanner and agent (who examines the contents of your carry-on luggage). Then an elevator takes you down to the tarmac, where a nice air-conditioned bus shuttles you to the plane.

So all in all, I grade the company a B or B+ given the circumstances. I'd have given them another try even absent the 25% credit, because just avoiding the San Juan security screening and having a nice quiet area to sit and relax makes it worth it to me - but more than that is the attention to customer service that militates in favor of trying them again. So that's my report, but as they say, your mileage may vary...

Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315366
03/11/2024 02:57 PM
03/11/2024 02:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,127
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Posts: 7,127
GA/NC
The PC12 and C402 should have similar dirt runway capability. It’s a judgement call however when muddy. CapeAir can’t operate the PC12 because they operate under the stricter part 121 rules for Air Carriers that require twin engines. It’s a bad rule from 60 years ago that should be amended. I would take the PC12 over the old Cessna’s on any flight anywhere as a safer option. Its turboprop motor is bullet proof compared to the piston engines in the Cessna. The loss of a motor in the 402 often leads to a bad outcome and you have two that could fail.
CapeAir does have a C402 replacement aircraft ordered and they are getting deliveries but they are several years behind on the original delivery dates. They have now received 30 of the new Tecnam P2012’s and have 66 more on firm order. They currently operate 63 C402’s.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 03/11/2024 03:01 PM.
Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315373
03/11/2024 04:41 PM
03/11/2024 04:41 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,697
Memphis, BVI, CT
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RatmansWife Offline
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On a semi-related note: today is Monday and we saw three American flights take off this afternoon. I haven't checked to see if there will be one more. Saturday there were four or five Miami flights.

Who's losing business? Cape Air, Silver, STT?

Re: Tradewinds [Re: GeorgeC1] #315376
03/11/2024 04:51 PM
03/11/2024 04:51 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 107
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betsyg Offline
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We flew on Tradewind Aviation round trip SJU-VIJ, and can't say enough about all aspects of the experiences. The equipment is first class, customer service cordial and helpful, lounge welcoming with lots of food and drink options (including beer, wine, and champagne!), security a breeze, two friendly and efficient pilots- I could go on and on. Happy to answer any questions. Please consider Tradewind Aviation, as they are the best option that we have ever had to get there!!

Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315383
03/11/2024 06:08 PM
03/11/2024 06:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 508
long island, new york
M
macaroni Offline OP
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macaroni  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 508
long island, new york
How far in advance do they have their bookings open? I like booking sooner than later.

Last edited by macaroni; 03/11/2024 06:09 PM.
Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315413
03/12/2024 08:04 AM
03/12/2024 08:04 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 809
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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ndfaninnc  Offline
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Posts: 809
Kannapolis, NC
I reached out to Tradewinds yesterday. The reply was pretty quick. But $10k RT SJU-NGD is pretty expensive for 2 people.


Go Irish!!

Bill
Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315415
03/12/2024 08:07 AM
03/12/2024 08:07 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 107
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betsyg Offline
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betsyg  Offline
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Not sure, I booked about two months in advance.

Re: Tradewinds [Re: ndfaninnc] #315424
03/12/2024 08:43 AM
03/12/2024 08:43 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 107
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betsyg Offline
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betsyg  Offline
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Wow, my Tradewind flights were codeshares with American and significantly less than that. Tradewind codeshares with American, Delta, and JetBlue, so you might try that route.

Re: Tradewinds [Re: ndfaninnc] #315430
03/12/2024 09:41 AM
03/12/2024 09:41 AM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Fitzhughlaw Offline
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Fitzhughlaw  Offline
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Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Tradewind operates regularly-scheduled flights, which is what betsyg and I have been discussing, as opposed to charter flights, which I infer is the quote you got, ndfaninnc. I paid $392 ("all in," including taxes and fees) for my one-way ticket from SJU - VIJ for the February 8th flight that I discussed above. MAF

Re: Tradewinds [Re: Fitzhughlaw] #315433
03/12/2024 10:19 AM
03/12/2024 10:19 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,277
Vero Beach, Fl and South Sound...
tpcook Offline
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tpcook  Offline
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Posts: 4,277
Vero Beach, Fl and South Sound...
Hello:
What is the name of your home on VG? We own a PC12NG . Great aircraft. We just flew it down to the BVI past week loaded with stuff for the Villa. Hopefully we will be able to land at the VG airport in the near future. Details are being worked out. BVI government is very difficult to work with. Our pilot may also work as a backup pilot for Tradewinds.

I can understand why Tradewinds did not want to land on VG with mud. Makes a mess with the plane. BVI government was going to pave the VG airport, but that seems to have fallen thru. The workers were going to stay at my villa while they did the paving job.

Last edited by tpcook; 03/12/2024 10:24 AM.

tpcook
Re: Tradewinds [Re: tpcook] #315437
03/12/2024 10:37 AM
03/12/2024 10:37 AM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Fitzhughlaw Offline
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Fitzhughlaw  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Thorsten, my villa is Sea Fans, at Mahoe Bay (www.seafans.com), about a 4 minute drive to Taddy Bay. I'd likely be willing to cut a deal for the workers to stay at my villa if it would help get Taddy Bay paved (yes, probably an ill-advised idea - but with the right protections and a stay of short duration during a slow time of the year, I'd consider it). MAF

Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315447
03/12/2024 11:21 AM
03/12/2024 11:21 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,127
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Posts: 7,127
GA/NC
One of the things that happens when you try and pave a runway is cost creep. That runway only needs to be 50’ wide. A bid goes out to pave and someone says we should make it to 121 standard for scheduled air service. Before you know it width is doubled, weight capacity tripled, a PAPI is added, runway edge lights, remote Wx ect..
What started a a relatively low cost simple resurface becomes 10 times as expensive and never gets built. This is before we start the discussion of potential kickbacks that get larger as the project grows more complex.

Re: Tradewinds [Re: GeorgeC1] #315451
03/12/2024 12:09 PM
03/12/2024 12:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Fitzhughlaw Offline
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Fitzhughlaw  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
GeorgeC1, just love reading your posts because of your breadth of knowledge and yours immediately above struck a chord with me because it's exactly the kind of mischief that will occur if the idiotic and ill-advised plan to extend the Beef Island runway is undertaken. But of course, like the Anegada Solar Farm (remember that?) and BVI Airways, it presents a photo op and a platform for some chest-thumping.

Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315461
03/12/2024 01:24 PM
03/12/2024 01:24 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 17,090
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Online crying
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Manpot  Online Crying
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Posts: 17,090
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
I'd carefully consider having workers stay in my place unless I knew them well. I got talked into letting a visiting bandmember stay in my place for six weeks on the understanding he would do a bunch of odd jobs for his rent.He ddt nothing...paid nothing..and literally trashed the place.The bar owners who had to trust him claimed total innocence when I told them.Be forewarned!

Re: Tradewinds [Re: Manpot] #315484
03/12/2024 05:36 PM
03/12/2024 05:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Fitzhughlaw Offline
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Fitzhughlaw  Offline
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Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Note this part of my post: "but with the right protections... ." Having articulated it, I've clearly contemplated that issue.

Also, my experience is that working people are often far more respectful of other's property than the affluent, and having lived on both sides of that line of demarcation (I got through college and law school working construction, including some high steel, and driving tractor trailers), I feel pretty solid in my assessment. My experience is that the latter group that grew up that way (but never had to work for it) feels especially entitled to treat both other people and their possessions with disdain or contempt.

Finally, you're warning me, even though you rented to a BAND MEMBER? Why didn't you pick someone from a safer demographic, such as a member of the local chapter of the Hell's Angels, or MS13?

Last edited by Fitzhughlaw; 03/12/2024 06:18 PM.
Re: Tradewinds [Re: Fitzhughlaw] #315490
03/12/2024 06:39 PM
03/12/2024 06:39 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,617
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Online content
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RickinAtlanta  Online Content
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Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,617
Woodstock, GA
Oh my you’ve gone against God😂

Re: Tradewinds [Re: RickinAtlanta] #315492
03/12/2024 07:32 PM
03/12/2024 07:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Fitzhughlaw Offline
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Fitzhughlaw  Offline
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Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
That happened a long time ago - I became a lawyer....

Last edited by Fitzhughlaw; 03/12/2024 07:32 PM.
Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315518
03/13/2024 08:22 AM
03/13/2024 08:22 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 809
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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ndfaninnc  Offline
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Posts: 809
Kannapolis, NC
Thanks Fitz & betsyg. Trying the codeshare route to VIJ (CLT-SJU-VIJ) doesn't get me into VIJ before 5:30pm and is $1800 RT main cabin. If I go CLT-MIA-EIS it is $1000 RT main cabin and I get in around 2pm. That route still gives me an opportunity to get to Anegada the same day.

The codeshare to VIJ route had me on Cape Air from SJU. Not Tradewinds. The dates maybe? I am looking at 11/18-28/2024. I can be flexible with the dates.

I also looked at not codesharing. CLT-SJU-VIJ. CLT-SJU (AA) is around $500 RT main cabin but Tradewinds doesn't show any flights in November yet. So I'll check that over the next few months as they apparently don't book that far out.


Go Irish!!

Bill
Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315522
03/13/2024 08:54 AM
03/13/2024 08:54 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,697
Memphis, BVI, CT
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RatmansWife Offline
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RatmansWife  Offline
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Memphis, BVI, CT
How are you getting to Anegada? Have you priced flying to STT and chartering a plane?

Re: Tradewinds [Re: ndfaninnc] #315548
03/13/2024 01:12 PM
03/13/2024 01:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Fitzhughlaw Offline
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Fitzhughlaw  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 141
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
NDFANINNC: "I also looked at not codesharing. CLT-SJU-VIJ. CLT-SJU (AA) is around $500 RT main cabin but Tradewinds doesn't show any flights in November yet. So I'll check that over the next few months as they apparently don't book that far out."

It's a tough one, because as much as I think you should seriously consider snagging that deal, and then buy an "a la carte" ticket on either Cape Air to EIS, that RT ticket is now pricing out at ~ $800. While once you get to SJU, you have options, it's definitely more expensive that your CLT-MIA-EIS quote of $1000 RT main cabin. Keep us all posted on how you do and good luck. MAF

Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315572
03/14/2024 08:30 AM
03/14/2024 08:30 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 809
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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ndfaninnc  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 809
Kannapolis, NC
Ratmaswife, last November we took Island Birds from EIS to Anegada. I believe it was around $1,200 RT. I think Cape Air RT SJU-EIS was around $650. Used AA miles for RT CLT-SJU. We opted for that route last year because the cost/miles to go to STT were much higher and we could not get to Anegada the same day via ferries. Who do you recommend for chartering STT-ANG? Any idea of cost?

We live 45 mins from CLT. The route we took last year had us leaving the house at 7am and in our villa by 5pm.

I sure miss the days of VI Airlink. Getting to Anegada was easier and cheaper. Also very much miss going through customs on Anegada. Much more friendlier than customs at EIS.


Go Irish!!

Bill
Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315602
03/14/2024 11:11 AM
03/14/2024 11:11 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,697
Memphis, BVI, CT
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RatmansWife Offline
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Just realized that flying from STT you would have to clear Customs at EIS, so it makes more sense to charter from there than from STT. I guess it wouldn't be a big deal if the STT flights were cheap enough.

We are big on having all flights on one ticket, rather than having to collect and recheck luggage in San Juan. Have you looked at AA through Miami? They're up to four flights/day on some days. Then charter with Island Birds or Fly BVI.

Someone used to recommend Air America - can't recall who it was. Their website says they fly direct from San Juan to Anegada. No idea about pricing.

Last edited by RatmansWife; 03/14/2024 11:16 AM.
Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315606
03/14/2024 12:30 PM
03/14/2024 12:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 809
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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ndfaninnc  Offline
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Posts: 809
Kannapolis, NC
Here's what I have found with help from a friend in TN that goes to Anegada.

CLT-STT using AA to STT and Island Birds to get Anegada RT cost is $4,200
CLT-SJU-EIS using AA to SJU, Cape Air to EIS and Island Birds to Anegada RT cost is $2,950
CLT-MIA-EIS using AA to MIA and codeshare to EIS then Island Birds to Anegada RT cost is $3,200

I have not used Fly BVI yet. I asked them for a quote from SJU, STT and EIS. We'll see what they respond with.


Go Irish!!

Bill
Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315607
03/14/2024 12:39 PM
03/14/2024 12:39 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 809
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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ndfaninnc  Offline
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Posts: 809
Kannapolis, NC
Wow. Fly BVI is quick to respond!

CLT-STT-ANG is $4,000
CLT-SJU-ANG is $5,300
CLT-MIA-EIS-ANG is $3,000

We do not check bags. So the multi leg route won't be a big problem.


Go Irish!!

Bill
Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315610
03/14/2024 01:19 PM
03/14/2024 01:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,697
Memphis, BVI, CT
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RatmansWife Offline
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Memphis, BVI, CT
No longer need to codeshare to EIS: AA flies direct MIA to EIS. Are your prices per person or for two people? Here's my thinking: do AA CLT-MIA-EIS, which may include free bags, depending on status and ticket type. Fill the bags with food. Figure out your weight limit going to Anegada and take stuff up to the limit. Even if you don't need the stuff, your friends there will be thrilled.

We now buy business class tickets from Memphis, through Miami to EIS. Four 70-lb bags are included in the ticket. Trust me it's not clothes, but spare props, chain saws, grinders, Bosch bulldogs, etc! If you bring the items with you, you only pay duty on the item, not shipping.

Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #315622
03/14/2024 04:59 PM
03/14/2024 04:59 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 809
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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ndfaninnc  Offline
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Kannapolis, NC
Yeah, the codeshare comment was my error. The prices I listed are for the two of us. I love the idea of filling up bags with goodies. Great call! I am Platinum Pro with AA. I can’t ever seem to get to Executive. The two of us get 4 checked bags for free. Thanks for that great idea.


Go Irish!!

Bill
Re: Tradewinds [Re: RatmansWife] #315631
03/14/2024 09:05 PM
03/14/2024 09:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,127
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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The AA flights from Miami are actually a code share with American Eagle. They are not operated by American. The operating airline is Envoy Airlines.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 03/14/2024 09:07 PM.
Re: Tradewinds [Re: macaroni] #317142
04/01/2024 02:45 PM
04/01/2024 02:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 986
Northern Virginia
ecm56 Offline
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ecm56  Offline
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Northern Virginia
As you may have seen from various news sources, the BVI government is now permitting international flights (i.e., from SJU or STT) to clear in at NGD so they are no longer required to make the intermediate stop at EIS or VIJ to clear in.


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