Enough time for connection at NAS?

Jul 22nd, 2008, 05:27 PM
  #1  
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Enough time for connection at NAS?

Thanks to Fodorites, my quickie trip to the Bahamas is coming together. We're spending one night in Nassau and most of the next day getting my DD on board Semester at Sea, then we're taking an early evening flight to Marsh Harbour. I now need to check if we can get a ferry to Hope Town that same evening, and need to secure accommodations, but one step at a time....

What I need to know right now is, if we take a flight from Marsh Harbour back to NAS arriving 3:30 pm, and we have a flight from NAS back to DC leaving at 4:34, is that enough time to make a connection? I know the Freeport airport is tiny - is the Nassau one also?
StCirq is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 05:56 PM
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First of all- are your flying Bahamasair from MHH to NAS? They are a bit of a nailbiter at times. Secondly, what are you flying from NAS to the states (into Reagan or Dulles?). I am thrilled you are going to go to Hopetown but I am not so positive about the connections- I hope more seasoned travellers will weigh in on this one- by the way, have you tried the TA board or the Abaco one for this advice? If not, do so right now. I am not familiar with the Freeport airport but the Nassau one is not particularly tiny but not large either. It moves on "island time" but when we were through there in April I was rather impressed at the improvements since previous trips. I would check with your US carrier and see what they say about the check in and connections- they would be the most reliable source,absolutely.
Have a wonderful time- have you checked the Hopetown Harbour Lodge? A little farther down the way, the Abaco Inn is lovely also.
ishkribbl is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 10:24 PM
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I would say there is little chance to make the second flight to DC unless you have extremely good luck. Bahamas Air is OFTEN late, because of weather or late planes on one end or another. Also you are going through customs in Nassau which will take some time as well.

If you don't make the flight is there another later in the day or you may have to stay overnight in Nassau.
travelbuff is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 07:01 AM
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Yes, it is a Bahamasair flight that gets me from MHH back to NAS at 3:25, supposedly.

What do you mean by "a bit of a nailbiter"? I'm not the best flyer (though I've survived a LOT of scary flights).

I have a non-refundable flight back to DC from NAS, leaving at 4:34. I believe there are later flights, but whether they'd put me on one if I missed the 4:34 is questionable. My other choice is to leave MHH and fly back to Nassau early in the morning and have quite a few hours before catching my flight home - not happy about that, but perhaps it's the safer option.

I've contacted the Hopetown Harbour Lodge by email to inquire about rooms but haven't heard back from them. Thanks for the tip about the Abaco Inn. I'll look into that as a second option.

Thanks, all!
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Jul 23rd, 2008, 11:06 AM
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Sorry- I meant "nailbiter" in the sense as someone already said that sometimes they are not on time (or they are on their own version of "island time"), not that the flight itself is scary!
I would call the HHL rather than email- you also might want to take a look at the Seaspray Resort's website as well but it and the Abaco Inn are NOT in the Hopetown settlement but a little ways down the island (Elbow Cay)- I do like both of them but thought HHL's proximity to town might be easier on a short trip.
You might post your question on the TA Bahamas board and see if people who frequently fly though Nassau can give you an idea of time to allow for connections. I got some very helpful advice there recently about time to allow changing planes coming through Nassau from Staniel Cay which is what I am trying to plan now.
I hope you get things to work out.
ishkribbl is offline  
Jul 24th, 2008, 03:47 PM
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You will NOT make your connection. Why? Because U.S. Customs & Immigration is in Nassau and not when you land in the USA. You need a MINIMUM of 2 hours. The line is long and slow. We got to the airport 2 hours and 15 minutes before our flight and it took us exactly 2 hours to get to the gate.

We witnessed quite a few people who missed their flight because they didn't allow enough time. The airport employees wouldn't even let them jump the line to make their flight.
caribtraveler is offline  
Jul 24th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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Coming back from Eleuthera through Nassau in April we moved through customs remarkably quickly - in fact we joked through the process how much better it was then coming back through Houston, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, etc. in recent years HOWEVER I would still never book a flight with only an hour connection there because you just never know. I am glad others are giving opinions and advice... I think a lot may depend on days of the week, cruise traffic, etc. but I am not sure.
ishkribbl is offline  
Jul 25th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Well, the consensus here and everywhere else I've checked is that an hour is definitely not enough time, so we will take a morning flight back from Marsh Harbour and figure out how to waste a few hours before our flight back home.

Is there anything near the airport that might be a nice diversion for 3-4 hours, or should we just have a good book?
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Jul 28th, 2008, 10:30 AM
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You can go have a drink and/or eat at the http://www.compasspointhotel.com/
It's near the airport. Last summer, a taxi ride was $13 one way.
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Jul 28th, 2008, 05:58 PM
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Instead of taking an earlier flight, call your carrier from NAS to DC and ask, if you can be put on a later flight if your Bahamas Air flight is late, which quite honestly it probably will be. I GUARANTEE that your carrier has had LOTS AND LOTS of experience dealing with Bahamas Air and LATE, LATE, LATE flights. Generally when a flight is late you are put on the next flight out.
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