best way to fly
I have another question...... Since everyone recommended that we don't buy sight unseen, I am now looking for airfare..... I am coming to the conclusion that it is much cheaper to fly into san juan and then take alternative transpiration to STX. How do the people that live there fly back and forth to the states? VIA SAN JUAN? Now here's another question...... In order for us to fly into San Juan, do we have to have passports. WE are working on that issue, because I know that we will want them when come down there to stay......
"Rarely" is the word for cheap flights to STX. Once in a great while AA.com has a semi bargain. Most all flights go thru San Juan. Only big airlines that are regular are AA and Delta IMHO. From San Juan you can also fly Cape Air which has small planes. None are cheap. You "might" get a good deal to St. Thomas (Spirit Air) but the flight from there to St. Croix is expensive. Good Luck.
It is rarely cheaper to go through sju. I wish it was but even if you take the seaplane to get it a little cheaper you have to add in the taxi's fares and the hassle and it never has turned out to be a bargain, but maybe that is just my luck. Sign up for American frequent flyer miles, get the credit card if you can to get more miles, and sign up for their netsaver fares email. American airlines owns the carribbean. We pay everything on our AA credit card to get the miles to get off the rock for rockfever and to see family. You just have to search all the flights for the best deals.
If your dates are flexible, try Travelocity. After you put in your destinations mark the "flexible dates". It's amazing the price difference for flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday vs. a weekend when travel is busier. We flew round trip from O'hare to STT for $243 per person in March. Another favorite of mine is Travelzoo, Every Wednesday they post their top 20 pics of all of the travel industries. Flights, hotels, packages, car rentals, cruises.....everything!
For flights from Miami, we have found that flying A.A., non-stop is great. The flight leaves at around noon and gets into STX a couple hours later. A.A. has offered $178.00 round trip, plus taxes for different windows from Miami to St. Croix. We are going to STX for June and our family from the Midwest is joining us. They found that it was cheaper to get a flight to Miami from Omaha, and then non-stop to St. Croix, then it was to fly from Omaha to St. Croix which routed them through San Juan.
Flying through San Juan is risky if the volcano on Montserrat is active- we got stuck on San Juan for 24 hours, and I know of other people who have been stuck for days. That really cuts into time spent on STX.
We were also able to find last minute package deals before we got a place in STX, the flight and hotel were approx. $675., for 7 days at the Buccaneer and the flight alone was $700.00. Keep on checking.
Regarding the passport question, this is from the American Airlines site:
"Please note the following:
* All nationals, including U.S. citizens, are now required to hold a valid passport to enter the United States by air. This also applies when coming from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda. The new passport requirement means that all travelers, including U.S. citizens, who are departing the U.S. and intend to re-enter the United States are required to hold a valid passport upon departure from the U.S.
This initiative does not affect travel between the United States and its territories. U.S. citizens traveling between the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa will continue to be able to use established forms of identification to board flights and for entry. "
The Department of Homeland Security is actually the official place to look for this kind of info, but there is tons of text to wade through on that site.
from the FAQ on http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/pr_1164210249468.shtm
"Will travelers from U.S. territories need to present a passport to enter the United States?
No. These territories are a part of the United States. U.S. citizens returning directly from a U.S. territory are not considered to have left the U.S. territory and do not need to present a passport. U.S. territories include the following: Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands."
Regarding American Airlines, I would second the concept of getting your frequently flyer miles all under AA, and get the AA credit card to rack up the miles as fast as possible, using it to pay for the airline ticket, groceries, regular bills, dr. bills, everything, then pay the balance off every month. That's what I do. If using American, SJU is the caribbean hub, and if you search on their website, they (supposedly) guarantee the lowest fare online. You can use the flexible days option in their search. However, I still check out some of the other popular fare search sites, just for a sanity check, or if you want to switch airlines at SJU.
Not sure exactly what your point was Betwixt but your last part was correct you do not need a passport for the any us territory. The airline csr's will try to convince you that you do need a passport if they are not properly trained or were asleep during that part of the class. The reason they will be so adamant is because the govt will levy HUGE fines on the airlines if they let someone in illegally. I just had this problem coming back from Miami, and the csr refused to believe us, we had to get her supervisor. So in the long run it may be easier to travel with your passport to bypass these people. Traveling can be stressful enough, but I worry more about losing my passport.
I have checked on airfare and we can fly round trip for 213.00 pp into San juan from cleveland. So I then checked on a flight from san juan to stx. The fare was outrageous. $233.00 pp round trip. Isn't there another way from San Juan that would be cheaper. To fly directly into STX is around $900.00-1200.00. Can one of you really nice people with a boat come and pick us up? HA HA HA candy
There is the seaplane, cape air and a few other small airlines you can try, but usually not always, its not any cheaper or not enought to go through all the hassle. Be careful with sju it is often a black hole. What I mean by this is luggage is frenquently lost there and the last flights of the day have been known to be canceled. Also leave enough time between departing your plane and getting another one there. Thirty minutes between planes is often cutting it extremely close even though it is a small airport they like to leave you sitting on the plane a long time while they find a parking space or while you wait for the bus that shuttles you between the plane and the airport. I would give yourself an hour to be safe.
Candy, it's tough to find a good fare - but what dates are you checking on? Usually you can find a better deal with either a 14 or 21 day advance booking.....but you have to be right on the nose to get the best price.
Also try www.bestfares.com Look on the left side at the Snooze You Lose deals - pick your city. Sometimes you can get a cheap rate to STT and then take the seaplane or Cape Air from there. But if all you're going to pay total is 446.00 per person, it's a deal and you might want to just take it. I'd be thrilled to get that price.
The seaplane leaves from old San Juan by the cruise ship docks.
Only two flights a day from San Juan to STX and they all go via St Thomas. Fare isn't any cheaper than Cape and they are really tight with their luggage allowance.
Expect to pay $20 for a taxi and hope they aren't on strike. Missed a flight once because the cabs were on strike and they threatened to kill you if you crossed the picket line.
We've tried both AA and Delta. If you're looking to avoid San Juan, American has a direct flight from Miami which is more expensive than going thru SJU. Delta has one from Atlanta for about twice the amount and our experience has been that we missed our connection and arrived in St. Coix at 10:30 pm instead of 3 pm. So, we found a no win for us........
By the way, just booked our flight for the fall, Delta was twice + the price. Makes you wonder!
We use AA from Az to Dallas to SJ, then A Eagle ( part of AA ) from SJ to STX. Don't have to take luggage to different carriers once the trip starts. The only problem is this Nov they say that we will have to overnite in SJ. We have done it before when we had plane trouble and bad weather, but this year there will be no later flight.
Just your information. American Eagle in SJU is not part of American Airlines. It is owned by a local family in PR. At one time American owned an interest in them but they sold out. American and American Eagle of course coperate,but American has no control over American Eagle so American Eagle can pretty much do what they please which is not give a damn about customer service.
As an example if an American flight is late getting into SJU, American Eagle never seems to hold a flight waitiing for on going passengers. That is why you never want to be in the position of having a tight connection in SJU that depends on making the last Eagle flight of the evening.
travel on Wednesdays... (but check the price on the other days too, sometimes there is the exception)
becareful of the 6 and 12 hour layovers in Puerto Rico...
there are flights from Cleveland to STX for under $480 right now traveling next month, staying min two weeks.
After you find flights you like.. double check that airlines website to see if you can beat the price by going through them... sometimes you can with Delta... etc..
Hope this helps.