STX Vs The Rest Of The Caribbean
Was reading an article about JetBlue having a special business class offer to various Caribbean destinations from the EastCoast. Nothing for the USVI (I know JetBlue doesn't fly to STX anymore).
JetBlue article here
Last year Norwegian Air was selling flights from New York to the French Caribbean for $49. I see they are still doing this, but for $79.
Norwegian article here
Why is STX not getting any of this action? Why isn't the local government doing deals with the airlines to get flights from all over the East Coast to here?
You are asking questions that only the Director of Tourism & Governor can answer. IMO, you are never going to get low fares from east coast to the USVI.
AA has 2 direct flights per day out of Miami during high season. AA has a direct flight out of Charlotte each Sat to STX. Delta flys flies direct out of Atlanta daily to STX about 5 months a year. . I think that’s pretty good.
JetBlue says they stopped STX flights for lack of passengers, although I don't know anyone who had been on a flight that was not chock full. Can't help but wonder if Southwest will decide to take up the slack. STT does have more flights. I never realized when I came here what a nuisance coming and going would be. If you have the fortune to invest to be allowed to reside on one of the other islands and don't see a problem getting a work visa, it sounds like a great adventure.
The American flights I'm on are always full or near capacity. I imagine if flights aren't full in advance the airlines start pushing tickets to the consolidators at lower prices just like the hotels. And leave a few seats open close to flight date for those needing a last minute ticket to pay through the nose. So the flights may end up being full but not at the ticket prices they'd like to have.
My 2 cents on the shortage of flights into STX. STT is going to see greater airline traffic because of the cruise ships. The passenger churn contributes to the need for airline seats. I fly mostly United so I’ve been finding it easiest to fly through STT from Boston, I then take a puddle jumper to STX.
As for flights being full that do service STX, it’s a load factor thing. The airlines cut flights if load factors don’t stay consistently above a target threshold. So for example, if the airline can’t fill the planes seats a steady 75% of the time with paying passengers, then they can’t make money, so the flights disappear. The current shortage of resort rooms isn’t helping either.
STT is going to see greater airline traffic because of the cruise ships.
Why would this be? Cruises aren't originating or ending at STT as far as I know.
STT is more of a vacation destination than STX, under normal situation STT would have more hotel room inventory than STX, and flights into STT also serve STJ and in some cases BVI and as you noted even STX. I'd expect those as the main reasons for more travelers to STT and therefore more flight demand. Travel agent promotion may be a factor as well.
I’ve met numerous folks who have both joined or exited cruises at STT, which is why I offered this explanation. I have also met a number of people who are essentially using STT airport as a hub to other locations in the Caribbean. I guess that’s really my point, the populations of STT and STX are roughly similar yet the passenger air traffic at STX is much higher. There can be only two basic reasons, STT is a hub and/or STT has a much more developed tourism industry. In my case I’ve flown into and out of STT at least a dozen times but never spent one night on the island.
Typo above, I ment to say passenger air traffic out of STT is much greater than STX.
Right now Delta is flying on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. another issue for STX is waiting area space. All airlines want to leave around the same time to connect with their respective hubs for connections. There is a limit on how many passengers that can be in the waiting area due to fire codes. That's just part of the issue.
As far as Jet Blue exiting STX, even though the flight were at capacity or close to it, it is extremely difficult to make money on a short hop with a jet. By the time you pay crews, landing fee's etc its break even at best. I do think a Jet blue or Delta JFK flight would be a success. It looks like Spirit will be doing six days a week soon.
Seaborne/Silver has added flights so seat capacity to SJU has not diminished, but burning question is can they stay on schedule or close to it.
another issue for STX is waiting area space. All airlines want to leave around the same time to connect with their respective hubs for connections. There is a limit on how many passengers that can be in the waiting area due to fire codes. That's just part of the issue.
True dat. Dat waiting area is always packed when I'm there. Mapp had a grand plan to get federal matching funds for expanding the airport terminal, or something like that. Even putting in Jetways.