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Need help with airline mishap - St. Martin to St. Barths

Need help with airline mishap - St. Martin to St. Barths

Jun 27th, 2007, 05:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 32
Need help with airline mishap - St. Martin to St. Barths

So out of worry that I could miss my connecting flight in St. Martin to St. Barths (for a host of reasons out of my control), I decided to spend the day in St. Martin before departing to St. Barths on Day 2 via Air Caraibes. I will end up staying in St. Barths for two nights before flying back to St. Martin (PJIA).

Here is my problem. I would like to now change my itinerary so that I extend my stay in St. Barths an extra day on the front end or the back end. Air Caraibes is not allowing me to change my itinerary at all, not even for a penalty fee. I either fly my original itinerary or I eat the ticket. For my fiance and I that's about $300 down the drain.

Right now, I am leaning towards using the first leg of the Air Caraibes ticket to get to St. Barths, before taking a one-way St. Barths Commuter flight back after our third day on the island.

That said, it looks like I'll spend my first day on St. Martin. If I rent a car, can I feasibly (on a Friday) drive all the way across the island to Orient Beach or should I avoid the bad traffic and stay put in Marigot and stay near the airport area? Ugh, at this point I feel like I am wasting that first day on St. Martin because I only have 24 hours. Not enough time to relax or see anything meaningful.
uahoops is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 05:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 32
Sorry I should clarify my itinerary for you folks trying to help:

"Existing Itinerary"
Day 1 - Arrive St. Martin
Day 2 - Scheduled to depart for St. Barths
Day 3 - St. Barths
Day 4 - Back in St. Martin
Day 5 thru 7 - Anguilla
Day 7 - depart St. Martin back to US

"Kind of better itinerary"
Day 1 - St. Martin
Day 2 thru 4 - St. Barths
Day 5 - Fly back to St. Martin, ferry straight to Anguilla
Day 6 thru 7 - Anguilla

"My preferred itinerary"...although I have to buy a whole new set of round trip tickets.
Day 1 - Arrive St. Martin, head straight to St. Barths
Day 2 thru 3 - St. Barths
Day 4 - St. Martin
Day 5 thru 7 - Anguilla

Taking into account the logistics of shuttling back and forth between the airport (PJIA) and ferry area in St. Martin, which itinerary makes the most sense?
uahoops is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,104
Since I'm the one who convinced you not to stay on St. Maarten, I'll try to help you out of this. Your trip won't be ruined by one night on St. Maarten. I'd suggest you stay close to the airport and would suggest the Horny Toad in Simpson Bay if you don't mind no pool (check, they might have a minimum-stay requirement). There are decent restaurants in the Simpson Bay area. Even with traffic, St. Maarten isn't that big. You can easily get to Orient in 30 minutes or less from the airport (it's not exactly all the way across the island), so don't stress. Find a hotel you like and enjoy. Spend the extra day in Anguilla; you certainly won't be disappointed by more time there.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 261
Another suggestion is to stay at Mary's Boon resort right at the airport. It's a great little place with rooms on the beach of Simpson Bay.
Pappy is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,705
Keep your existing itinary-it's fine. You have time to spend the day at Orient Beach-which is fun, and still shop at either Marigot, Phillipsburg, or Maho area close to the airport. (not all 3-but have time for 1-it's actually great shopping)

I wouldn't stress having to spend the day in St. Martin-it's actually a really fun island. At Orient Beach, have lunch at Kon Tiki, great people watching too.

You can also hang out at Bamboo Bernies, in Maho area close to the airport-fun place. There is a beach bar there (Sunset Bar) really fun with bands at dusk, and watching the airplanes land over the beach.

I personally would try to spend the most time in Anguilla-the beaches are divine!

St. Barth is active and chic, very upscale, but the beaches are best in Anguilla.

All 3 islands are fairly small and easy to navigate, so just keep your original schedule (I wouldn't loose airline tickets over it! ;-) )

You'll have a great trip with 3 different islands from each other.

AND you will put on weight-the 3 islands have some of the best restaurants in the world.
blamona is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 686
other places to stay near the airport are Royal Turtle , or Turquoise Shell Inn.

spend the day at Orient beach or Pinel. have a wonderful meal before you leave.you will have a nice day!
Barbara1 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 315
You could consider taking the ferry from SBH to St. Martin. Also, St. Barts Commuter is a lot less expensive than Air Caraibes or Winair. Looks like the one way from SBH to SXM is 60 Euros per person. Their website is www.stbarthcommuter.com.
jlillberto is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 12:58 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 32
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'll keep my itinerary and treat the middle day as a "flex" day in which to either stay an extra day on St. Barts (miss our scheduled flight and take the ferry back) or else head back to St. Martin as schedule and immediately catch a ferry to Anguilla.

Jillberto, I did check out St. Barth Commuter but their round-trip fares were actually more expensive for 2 passenger than the promotion that Air Caraibes was offering and is still offering on some flights. However, in retrospect, I would have paid the additional money for St. Barth Commuter because they do allow you to cancel your reservation for a refund presumably. Air Caraibes as I mentioned doesn't even allow you to change your reservation for a penalty fee.
uahoops is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 01:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 32
Doug and others...

I just thought of a concern that may make me want to reconsider spending a day in St. Martin before flying to St. Barts.

I read there can be long delays at SXM airport upon arrival and check-in. Is this due to the Immigration checkpoint? If I made a direct transfer after arrival to St. Barths, then I would only need to stand in line once correct?

The thought of having to go back to the airport the next day 2 hours ahead of departure does not sound appealing to me.
uahoops is offline  

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