Air Travel

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Air Travel

The main gateway into the Turks and Caicos Islands is Providenciales International Airport, though the Grand Turk International Airport can also handle larger jets. For private planes, Provo Air Center is a full-service FBO (Fixed Base Operator) offering refueling, maintenance, and short-term storage, as well as on-site customs and immigration clearance, a lounge, and concierge services. Even if you are going on to other islands in the chain, you will probably stop in Provo first for customs, then take a domestic flight onward.

Airports

At this writing, all scheduled international flights to Turks and Caicos Islands arrive in Providenciales, aka Provo, so this is where you will go through immigration and customs. Make sure you have all of your paperwork completely filled out, as immigration lines can be slow; in fact, on a busy day you may wait 30 to 40 minutes from the time you disembark to the time you pass through customs. If you are on a private or chartered plane, you can also go through immigration and customs at Grand Turk. Airlines will tell you to arrive at the airport three hours before your return flight; this is a good advice in most cases because security will inspect all your luggage by hand before allowing you to check in. During the week, two hours is probably enough time, but on Saturday or Sunday—especially during peak season—three hours is more appropriate.

For those in a hurry, Provo’s airport offers the VIP Travels Club. For a fee, you get speedy check-in, priority through security, and your own personal waiting room with TV, Wi-Fi, and snacks. It's much nicer than contending with the mobs until the airport expands. The cost is $200 for the first family member, $50 each additional; children under two are free.

Airport Information

Grand Turk International Airport (Grand Turk. 649/946–2233.)

Pine Cay Airport (Pine Cay. no phone.)

Providenciales International Airport (Airport, Providenciales. 649/941–5670.)

Salt Cay Airport (Salt Cay. 649/496–4999.)

South Caicos Airport (South Caicos. 649/946–4999.)

Turks & Caicos Islands Airport Authority. The TCIAA website has a schedule of all flights coming into and out of the islands, along with real-time delay information. www.tciairports.com.

VIP Flyers Club (649/946-4000. www.vipflyersclub.com.)

Airport Transfers

In most cases, if you’re staying at a hotel or resort there will be a representative holding a sign to greet you when you arrive in Provo; you will then be put into a regular taxi to the resort. (Only a few hotels are allowed to offer real shuttle service; most are required by law to use regular taxis.) Because Amanyara and Parrot Cay are away from the main hub, they are allowed to transport you directly. Even if you have not made prior arrangements, there will be plenty of taxis around to meet each flight. To the main area of Grace Bay Road, expect to pay around $23 per couple one-way. You can also have a car rental waiting at the airport; all the rental car companies offer this service. If someone is picking you up, they may wait for you in the nearby small parking lot that charges $1 an hour.

On South Caicos and Grand Turk, you should make prior transportation arrangements. On Pine Cay someone will pick you up in a golf cart. On Salt Cay you could walk if need be.

Flights

Although carriers and schedules can vary seasonally, there are many nonstop and connecting flights to Providenciales. At this writing, the U.S. nonstop carriers include American (DFW and MIA), United (EWR), Delta (ATL), JetBlue (BOS, JFK), and US Airways (BOS, CLT, PHL); there are flights almost every day, but most airlines do not offer daily flights. There are also flights from other parts of the Caribbean on Air Turks & Caicos; this airline also flies to some of the smaller islands in the chain from Provo. There are also flights from Nassau on Bahamas Air.

Airline Contacts

Air Turks & Caicos (649/941–5481. www.airturksandcaicos.com.)

American Airlines (649/946–4948 or 800/433–7300. www.aa.com.)

Bahamas Air (800/222–4262. up.bahamasair.com.)

Delta (800/241–4141. www.delta.com.)

JetBlue (800/538–2583. www.jetblue.com.)

United Airlines (800/864–8331. www.United.com.)

US Airways (800/438-4322. usairways.com.)

Charter Flights

Caicos Express can fly you from Provo to anywhere that you need to go in the Turks and Caicos (or the Caribbean for that matter). Although the airline has some scheduled flights, most of their work consists of charters. Charters can be expensive because you pay per flight, not by the passenger. However, if your group is going to a smaller island, or wants to combine your trip with other Caribbean islands, it might be the best way to go.

Contacts

Caicos Express (649/941-5730. caicosexpressairways.com.)

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