Increase In Smaller Carriers As American Airlines Cuts Flights To The Caribbean

CapeAir2With American Airlines cutting flights to The Caribbean, yacht charter guests are often having to find alternative carriers. Small companies, such as Cape Air, are becoming popular for short inter-island flights. In a trip to St Thomas and The British Virgin Islands last week, we decided to try them out.

Cape Air uses 9 passenger, Cessna 402s. These are small planes, so anyone particularly afraid of flying, even in the larger jets, might consider staying with the major airlines. Having said that, the pilots are personable and the flight can indeed be a fun experience – a great start to your Caribbean vacation.

When arriving in San Juan, the transfer is not quite as convenient as using the larger airlines, as Cape Air’s desk is hidden away and quite a hike from the AA terminal. The gate number is not marked on the AA monitors, so just ask.

When the plane is full, it often cannot carry all the heavier luggage, so try to travel light. Both Emily (flying the previous day) and myself lost bags, but they were delivered to the boat show the next day at no charge.

CapeAir1Avoid tight connections because, like most Caribbean carriers, things run on island time and flights can be delayed, sometimes through no fault of the airline. Smaller planes are also more effected by weather, which can also cause delays.

Seats are assigned as you board the plane, to distribute the weight evenly. If you are tall, as I am, the best seat is by the door. One lucky passenger gets to sit by the pilot.

The plane often flies lower than a jet so the views are spectacular.

If you need advice on getting to your yacht charter, email or call Ed Hamilton & Co at 800 621 7855. It’s all part of the service when you charter through us.