Inter Island Travel
Does the St. Thomas airport offer any inter island travel? If we wanted to go to St. Lucia or anywhere else in the lower Caribbean, would we have to fly back to Puerto Rico or Miami first or do they offer any direct flights that are somewhat reasonable. Not looking to charter a flight, it seems too expensive, just wondering if their is anyway to island hop while we are in STT.
Look into Liat Airline. Their website is: www.liatairline.com
I have used them to travel from St. Croix to other islands. I believe they also fly out of St. Thomas. I felt they were no more expensive than any other airline and much less hassle. Some flights will be direct and others you will island hop, but eventually get to your destination. Hope this helps.
Go to San Juan and avoid LIAT. LIAT is truly third world in the way it operates. It took eight hours to fly from STX to St Kitts. American Eagle leaves a lot to be desired but there are not words to describe flying on LIAT. LIAT is owned by several Caribbean governments. Enough said.
Molly: Jim Dandy is no fun. LIAT is like the milk run of the Caribbean. You can't go straight to any island, but you can visit a bunch of airports along the way! Sure it takes all day to get there, but you are going on a vacation, right? 😉 I think there are direct LIAT flights to St Maarten and Anguilla. WIth LIAT, all roads lead to Antigua, and eventually most of the eastern Caribbean. No, it isn't efficient, but then, what is in this part of the world!?
LIAT is a great way to get around the islands if you are not in a hurry. One word of warning - be careful if you are on the last flight of the day because it may well get cancelled due to "engine trouble" (which happens whenever the flight is not full enough to be worth it!) I was warned to always be aware of what L.I.A.T. stood for - "leave island any time"!
In Early December 2007. All the Employee's walked off the job, Pilots, stewards, ticket counter and baggage help. They left the passengers stranded. That was L.I.A.T. I would attempt to swim down island before I gave them a nickle of my money! They shouldn't be allowed to land on USVI Airports.
Thanks for the info everyone, sounds like L.A.I.T. has mixed reviews. I'm a somewhat nervous flyer (I was on a very bad flight 10 years ago), so I may pass on that airline if they have a common problem with "engine trouble". Maybe I should be adventurous and see how far I can get on inter island ferries, supplementing it with day charters if needed. It's not any one destination that I am looking at, more of an adventure to check out the rest of the caribbean. I've been to St. Lucia and Antigua and loved them both, but what amazed me is how unique each island is. I'd love to see more on a somewhat modest budget.
They sometimes even leave early. On a flight from St Martin to STX they decided to take off 45 minutes early. No announcement, we had to leave our lunch on the table and run to the gate.
If we hadn't noticed what was going we would have been stuck on St Martin until the next day.
Molly: The inter island ferries go as far as Virgin Gorda from St Thomas. You are going to have to get in a plane if you really want to explore. You can try American Eagle.
Molly: a lot of "newbies' to the Caribbean think the islands are linked by an intricate systems of ferries but this is not really the case. Often times a particular island is only linked to one or two other close by islands. As EastEnder pointed out from St. Thomas you can only get as far as Virgin Gorda. Anything further south is much too far and crosses much too much "open water" to make ferry service practicle. Another example is that from St. Martin the only two islands you can reach by scheduled ferries are St. bath's and Anguilla. Further south there's ferry service between St. Kitts and Nevis. So you see you'll really have to fly between islands and oftentimes you might have to connect through one of the major island :hubs" like San Juan, St. Martin or Antigua.
Molly, they never actually had engine trouble, it was just an excuse to cancel the flight when it wasn't full enough, or the pilot didn't show up etc. I don't think they are less safe than any other form of transport. Back in the early 90's I got a "rover" ticket that was valid for a month of unlimited travel, anywhere LIAT flew. I went as far north as STT and as far south as Guyana (on a plane that looked like something from WWII !), and many islands in between. It wasn't that expensive, and the experience for me was priceless.
Thanks for the information everyone. The "rover" ticket sounds interesting. The offer something like it in Costa Rica, my children took advantage of it and had a terriffic time exploring the country. Sabrina, I understand that they probably didn't have engine trouble because the flight wasn't full, but being the nervous flyer that I am, I can't help but be a little more nervous.
Maybe L.A.I.T. should operate their planes the way they did the last time my dad was in Uganda. The planes only took off when they were full!