It`s becoming easier to fly from the United States to the world`s number one warm-weather vacation spot. U.S. air service is rapidly expanding to include additional Caribbean destinations with more non-stop flights available.
“It is extremely clear that life needs the Caribbean as Caribbean vacations
are of increasing demand among American tourists,” said Hugh Riley, the
Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)`s director of marketing for the
“Many airlines have stepped-up to meet the challenge by making it easier
than ever to escape to the Caribbean,” he added.
Air Jamaica: Air Jamaica, winner of the Five Star Diamond Award for the second year in a
row, recently introduced a new kind of first class - Premium First Class. Premium First Class, with its plush seats and gourmet meals served on fine
china, is to First Class as First Class is to Coach. The special treatment
begins hours before the flight, however. When travelers fly Premium First
Class on Air Jamaica, they`ll be able to take advantage of the carrier`s
quiet, comfortable and luxurious Executive lounge. Currently, Premium First
Class is only available on the A-340 service between JFK and Kingston. On Sept. 13, 2002, Air Jamaica, celebrating its three-year anniversary of
service to Bonaire, replaced its Monday service from Montego Bay to Bonaire
with a Friday flight. Service to Bonaire via Air Jamaica will continue to
operate three times weekly. Travelers from any of Air Jamaica`s U.S. gateways will now be able to
connect to daily flights to Barbados at the Montego Bay hub. Recently, Air
Jamaica returned the island of Antigua to its already impressive list of
Caribbean islands. Air Jamaica currently services the following Caribbean destinations: The
Bahamas, Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, Grenada, Havana, Curacao, Bonaire,
The Cayman Islands, and both Montego Bay and Kingston in Jamaica. Vacationers can save money by enrolling in Air Jamaica`s Seventh Heaven Fly
Free Program, which offers a free flight every seventh trip taken on Air
American Airlines: American Airlines has increased its daily non-stop service to Barbados from
Miami International Airport to include two flights per day. The additional
10:50 am flight gets travelers to the island by 2:30 pm. American Airlines
also offers daily non-stop service from JFK Airport in New York to Barbados.
American Eagle: American Eagle now offers daily flights to Bonaire from San Juan, Puerto
Rico. Travelers will be able to connect to these flights from most U.S.
cities via American Airlines.
American Trans Air: In December 2002, American Trans Air will begin service from Chicago`s
Midway Airport to two additional destinations. Service to Montego Bay,
Jamaica, will be offered on Thursdays and Sundays. Wednesday and Saturday
flights will be available to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Continental Airlines: Continental Airlines now offers non-stop Saturday service out of Hopkins
International Airport in Cleveland to Nassau, The Bahamas. Flight 2010
departs Cleveland at 9 am and arrives in The Bahamas at noon. Return
service leaves The Bahamas at 12:50 pm and arrives at Hopkins International
Airport at 4 pm.
Delta Airlines: Delta Airlines recently announced plans to launch new non-stop service
between Cincinnati and The Bahamas. Delta will also introduce new seasonal
air service from Atlanta to St. Maarten, and Providenciales, Turks and
Caicos, and will increase its Atlanta service to Aruba. Additionally, Delta
will introduce new non-stop Aruba service from JFK Airport in New York.
Grand Bahama Vacations: Grand Bahama Vacations service is now available twice weekly from
Birmingham, Alabama, and St. Louis, Missouri to Grand Bahama Island, The
Bahamas. The flights take one hour and 40 minutes and two hours and 30
minutes, respectively, and will use a Laker Airways aircraft.
BWIA: BWIA signed an alliance with LIAT in order to bring more destinations to
each airline. As a result, connections will be smoother and swifter, and
combination flights will be at lower prices. LIAT passengers will now have
the opportunity to earn Bwee miles, a Caribbean frequent flyer incentive
program. Royal Aruban Airlines: Non-stop, island-to-island service is now being offered from Aruba to
Bonaire on Royal Aruban Airlines.
LIAT: LIAT is now offering flights from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Nevis five
times weekly (every day except Monday and Wednesday) aboard a 50-passenger
aircraft. Spirit Airlines: Spirit Airlines recently announced the start of its new Spirit Plus
incentive, an upgrade program designed to provide customers with more
comfortable flights and a higher quality of service, without sacrificing the
low prices that customers associate with Spirit Airlines. Among the
improvements are spacious leather seats, reserved overhead storage and
complimentary cocktails. Spirit air service to San Juan is available from
most major cities through either its Ft. Lauderdale or Orlando gateways.
Jet Blue: Since Jet Blue`s arrival on the scene in 2000, the small airline has set a
new precedent for discount air service. Jet Blue offers more perks than
most other non-discount airlines. Personal flat-screen televisions on the
back of each seat combined with $99 fares between New York and San Juan
provide tremendous value for Caribbean-bound vacations. Sunquest Vacations: Starting in January 2003, Sunquest will begin to offer a charter flight
from Toronto to Curacao. Passengers will have the opportunity to transfer
to a connecting flight to Bonaire.
Northwest Airlines: Northwest Airlines will begin new daily service from Detroit to Nassau, The
Bahamas in December 2002. New Saturday service from Minneapolis to Montego
Bay, Jamaica, begins in January 2003. Starting in February 2003, Northwest
will increase service from Detroit to Montego Bay, Jamaica, to four flights
per week. In February 2003, Northwest Airlines will begin new daily service from its
Memphis hub to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. United Airlines: Starting Dec. 14, 2002, United Airlines will begin weekly Saturday service
to Aruba from Washington Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.
The flight will be available through April 26, 2003.
In addition to the new Washington, D.C. flight, United Airlines will be
extending its Saturday service from Chicago to Aruba. For the winter
season, United Airlines will offer two Saturday flights to Aruba, making it
even more convenient to visit the island this winter.
U.S. Airways is on a fast track to expand and make its presence felt
through the Caribbean. The airline now offers a daily non-stop flight from
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to Bermuda. In November, U.S.
Airways will also begin new non-stop daily service to Nassau, The Bahamas,
from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
For the winter, U.S. Airways will increase its Charlotte, NC, service to
Nassau by adding an additional daily non-stop flight. Another newly offered
flight from Charlotte is a daily non-stop flight to Freeport, Grand Bahama
In November, U.S. Airways will begin service from Charlotte to Belize and
to the Turks and Caicos Islands, both with four flights weekly. U.S.
Airways is also expanding its already huge list of Caribbean destinations to
include Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Providenciales.
Additionally, U.S. Airways is providing new daily non-stop round trip
service from Philadelphia to Barbados. U.S. Airways is the only airline to
offer a direct flight between these two points. U.S. Airways will also
offer four flights from Philadelphia every week, starting in December, to
both Grenada and St. Kitts. Connecting service from St. Kitts to Nevis will
be offered via Nevis Express as per the new GoCaribbean code share
The GoCaribbean code share agreement is a partnership with smaller
intra-Caribbean airlines offering convenient and easily connectable flights
to other area of the Caribbean not previously serviced by U.S. Airways.
Other destinations available through the GoCaribbean code share agreement
are Anguilla, St. Martin, Dominica, St. Lucia, Saba, St. Barthelemy, St.
Eustatius, St. Vincent and Tobago.
By the end of the year, U.S. Airways will service 24 Caribbean destinations
from seven U.S. airports.