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Beware American Airlines to Nevis

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Nov 17th, 2008, 04:01 AM
  #1
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Beware American Airlines to Nevis

Just got back from Nevis -- had a wonderful time and will provide a proper report in due time.

However, wanted to post to warn anyone thinking they are flying American Airlines directly to Nevis. Even though AA claims to have at least one flight a day (if not more) from SJU to NEV, they are NOT LANDING AT NEV. Instead, they are cancelling every SJU-NEV flight, or re-routing it (the nomenclature used, and the explanation for it, varies with each agent) to St. Kitts. Once you arrive to St. Kitts, you need to taxi to the ferry dock, and then take the ferry to Nevis -- most of which is paid for by AA. This is not a huge deal -- they get you there -- but it takes much longer and will consume extra hours of your vacation time. The lack of certainty is the most annoying, and you end up giving up your entire day to travel (we'd been scheduled on a 4:27 p.m. flight from NEV-SJU on our return, and with the airport just 5 minutes from our hotel, we needn't have left until 2; instead, our day ended after breakfast).

The worst thing is that they are cancelling the flights on a day-by-day basis, so if you've already made your arrangements to fly SJU-NEV, they will not allow you to proactively change your arrangements (so as to have more certainty) without charging you change fees. On our last day, we got a call cancelling our NEV-SJU flight, but they "kindly" offered to re-accomodate us on the NEV-SJU flight the next day (which we knew would not fly); we insisted on St. Kitts.

If AA attempts to re-accomodate you, do not accept any alternative other than a flight through St. Kitts.

Speculation for these actions is rife, but my suspicion is that it will continue until the Four Seasons -- which is closed at least through December due to Hurricane Omar damage -- reopens.
Callaloo is offline  
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Mar 18th, 2009, 12:27 PM
  #2
 
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American Airlines offers non stop direct flights from N.y. to St. Kitts on Sunday's and Wednesday's. I don't believe the airport in Nevis could accomodate large planes.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 01:24 PM
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American Eagle announced quite some time ago that they would be ceaseing flights in/out of Nevis effective the first week in April. In recent weeks many of the AE flights between NEV and SJU had fewer than 10 passengers and in those instances the NEV passengers were put on the plane to/from SKB. This is not surprising since the number of tourist visiting the island has dropped dramatically since the closure of the Four Seasons. American Eagle, like it's parent company American Airlines is losing money and they simply cannot afford to continue to fly near "empty" planes.

American Eagle is not the only airline that has cancelled flights to NEV or SKB. Winair announced last week it will no longer fly into SKB or NEV and Liat announced it is cutting back on the number and frequency of flights to both islands.

Up until about 5 or 6 years ago it was often difficult to get to Nevis - it often required 2 or 3 connecting flights and sometimes overnight layovers. It seems those days are returning for the foreseeable future.

Anyone travelling to NEV from the US in the near term would be wise to book their flights via SKB rather than attempt to fly directly into NEV. You can fly non-stop to SKB from the US on AA out of MIA (daily) or JFK (Sundays and Wednesdays), on USAIR from Charlotte (daily) and on Delta from Atlanta. The other alternative is to fly from SXM or ANU via Liat to eithe SKB or NEV.

FYI - The Four Seasons Resort accounted for more than half the hotel rooms on the island. Since the Four Seasons shut it doors its closure the number of tourists visiting the island has been drastically reduced.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 01:34 PM
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RoamsAround, at least AA is now being honest about the routing. For my trip last year (which was when I initially posted), they kept the flight on the schedule and then cancelled it every day, while telling passengers that the flight would be resumed the next day.

At least passengers now know that they can't get to NEV directly, and have to route through SKB. That's fine with me, since I can plan around it. Can't plan around half-truths.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 04:54 PM
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Sigh. It just keeps getting harder and harder to get to these lovely islands. I know they are worth getting to, but it rules out "quick" long weekend trips.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 05:01 PM
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Oh my. I didn't realize The Four Seasons Nevis closed! Was it due to the hurricane? Do you know if they're planning on reopening? That was one place on my eventual "to see" list.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 05:56 PM
  #7
KVR
 
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We've had a couples issues with AA. We tried to go to Curacao back in Nov. 07. Finally got the 30,000 points p/p needed for a free flight, called to make the reservation and was told that it was now 60,000 points p/p and so sorry all you points expire in December.

Flew AA last April to Cancun. Flight was delayed 2 hours in Dallas due to mechinal difficulities. On the way back, our flight was canceled completely due to mechinal difficulities and we were put on Continental instead. We ended up with a 4 hour layover in Houston trying to get home. It was annoying.

I try to avoid AA if at all possible, but it seems they have the monopoly over most of the Caribbean Islands especially the smaller ones that are hard to get to. We want to go to Barbados, and will have to fly AA to get there. I also hate having to go through Miami to get anywhere with them.

Lately, they have had a bad habit of canceling flights or changing flight times without prior notication to the consumer who already booked their flight. We are finally getting to Curacao in May on Continental and Insel Air. Anything to avoid AA.
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Mar 19th, 2009, 04:22 AM
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Yup, the Four Seasons is closed due to damage from Hurricane Omar. The official re-opening date is November 1, 2009, but we all know about Island Time, don't we?
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Mar 19th, 2009, 03:40 PM
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Oh that is too bad about the Four Seasons.
We enjoyed our villa stay on Nevis a couple of years ago, but we did learn what the resort meant to Nevisians. Best wishes to them in these difficult times.
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