Being a small island, St. Barths cannot be reached by commercial flights. As a result charter flights are your quickest and most convenient way of reaching your destination, when connected with a commercial flight.
Complete flights to your final destination (the SBH airport of St. Barths) should have one single connection, to one of the bigger islands nearby. Avoid these 7 mistakes when flying to St. Barths from either America or Europe to enjoy a pleasant and uneventful trip.
1. Not checking all of your possible flight options
One mistake many travellers make is not thoroughly checking for all of their possible flight and connection options straight from the beginning.
First of all, you should know your best options for connecting islands.
The main ones are St. Maarten (SXM airport on the Dutch side of the island, and SFG airport on the French side), Antigua (ANU airport), and San Juan in Puerto Rico (SJU or SIG airports). Most flights will connect on one of the three. You can find these main connections, plus more secondary options together with the estimated flight times for each, by clicking here.
Secondly, check with all main commercial flight operators to these connecting islands.
The main operators from Europe are Air France, Alitalia and KLM. The main operators from the US are USAir, Delta, Continental, American Airlines, United Airlines and JetBlue. From South America, the main operators are Copa Airlines and Gol Airlines.
All of them operate direct flights to St. Maarten’s Juliana Airport (SXM), from where the rest of the trip will be a breeze as we’ll personally fly you to St. Barths.
Always check for all of your flight options to save considerable time and, potentially, money on your trip.
2. Taking a tight connection to try and save time
In the case of St. Maarten (the most popular connecting island), a minimum of 90 minutes should be allowed for your connection.
This accounts for time spent re-claiming your baggage and checking in on the second flight. To be completely safe and to make sure you won’t have to rush, you should also allow a margin of error for possible flight delays – as these often happen with commercial flights.
If you can’t find a convenient flight from St. Maarten’s SXM airport (the one on the Dutch side), you should also look for better options from the SFG airport (St. Maarten’s French side).
You won’t have to worry about any of this if you choose our personalized VIP services. Our experts will recommend the right connections for you.
One of our aims with this service is to save you valuable holiday time by moulding our flights to your schedule, and not the other way around. We will also take care of the transfer for you, including baggage re-claim and transfer.
This way, when using our VIP services, you’ll be able to save an average of 2 to 3 hours of vacation time simply by making sure you have the right connecting flight (not too late so you’ll waste time in transit, but not too early where there’s a risk of missing it) and by benefitting from swift aircraft transfer.
3. Not repeatedly checking for connection changes
In relation to the previous mistake many travellers make, it is also important to regularly (bi-weekly) re-check for changes to your flight reservations – especially if you’ve booked your tickets way in advance.
Some airlines will occasionally change their flying schedule, and previous bookings will have to change with it. This may result in your updated connection times to become impractical, the time allowed between flights being less than what would be necessary for a smooth transfer to happen.
You will also not have to worry about any of this when you fly with our VIP services, as our operators will notify you of any changes in a timely manner – only after making sure optimal time is left for your swift and uneventful transfer.
4. Not accounting for extra time spent on connecting island
If you’d like to spend some time on St. Maarten (or another connecting island) before traveling to St. Barths, you should leave plenty of time for this.
Some tourists take our advice and book their connecting flight the next day, which leaves enough time for wandering around the bigger island first before they leave. Another option would be to book your commercial return flight a few days later, and spend the last days of your vacation on the connecting island instead.
Whichever option you decide on, make sure you leave plenty of time. A few hours won’t give you enough of a chance to explore another island – thus our recommendation is you leave yourself at least one day.
5. Handling baggage the wrong way
First of all, you should check your baggage’s weight and size before you leave. This is almost never a problem with our charter flights (which can even accommodate big, heavy gear if you notify us in advance); however it often becomes a concern with commercial flights.
This is mostly because their policies continue to change regarding baggage sizes – see here for an example of a very recent policy change among some of the main St. Maarten flight operators from America.
Secondly, make sure you never leave important items in your baggage without tracking them. It is well known that baggage is often lost in transit, in both commercial flights and with some charter operators too. One solution is to take important items with you on-board.
The best thing to do, however, is tracking your luggage. Our VIP service includes baggage tracking if required, as well as a lost baggage recovery service. This effectively minimizes the possibility of losing important items.
6. Not letting your charter operator know all of your needs
You should always let your charter operator know about the particular needs of your flight, including personalized catering if desired (with menu preferences for vegans, for example), potential disabilities of passengers that may need accommodating for, and other personal needs.
With our charter flights, the sky is the limit when it comes to personalization. From specialized catering and requested drinks on-board (if you’d ever like to open a champagne mid-flight it is definitely possible), all the way to accommodating special occasions (such as birthdays), the level of customization of our flights is truly up to you.
By letting us know your needs in advance, our VIP flight service experts will be able to accommodate accordingly – allowing you to start your vacation before you even land on the island!
7. Picking the wrong charter operator
Many criteria apply to the selection of the right operator, and you should question them thoroughly. You can download our complete guide on flying smart in the Caribbean (including how to pick the right operator) by clicking here – however the essentials are presented below.
First off, credentials are important – notably their operating certificate, safety record, and/or insurance policy. Secondly, you should review the operator’s customer references as well, to get an idea of their service quality.
We are a certified operator of charter flights in the Caribbean, and we always strive to provide the best quality of service to our clients. Our plentiful 5-star reviews from previous customers reflect this, and you can view some of them below.
You can see these reviews in full, as well as a complete list of testimonials from previous clients, on our official testimonials page. We’re looking forward to adding your own review there soon!
Bonus Tip: Don’t Try to Save Money Where You Shouldn’t
While definitely possible, saving money on your charter flight is, in our honest opinion, not worth it. Why risk additional stress, valuable vacation time lost, potentially lost or badly handled baggage, and a bad start to your vacation – all for a few saved dollars?
Depending on your group’s size and needs, you can get our personalized VIP charter flight service starting from just $65 per person (go and return included). For a quick quote specific to your individual flight and needs, please go to this page and our experts will get back to you promptly.
There are a lot of ways to save during your St. Barths vacation; however it will most certainly not be worth doing so with your flight.
Your flight is the beginning and the end of your vacation; the start of unique lifetime memories, and the sweet taste you’re left with at the end. Don’t risk ruining it by trying to save a few dollars.
Traveling to SBH the Right Way
Go to this page right now to get a quick, no-obligation quote that is personalized to your individual flight and needs. For any other questions or queries regarding your Caribbean vacation, please feel free to contact us at any time. Our travel experts will respond promptly, and will be happy to help!