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VIP service at the airports

Bethlehem...
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VIP service at the airports

My wife and I will be visiting St. Barth's for the first time in January. I have our flights booked; direct from Newark to SXM, then Winair (booked separately) to SBH about 2 hours and 20 minutes later. On the way back, we have more time between flights, about 3 hours.

My question - is the transfer at SXM a hassle? I saw VIP services offered by a few firms, namely Premium IV and Winair. We will have one checked bag. I'm trying to gauge whether or not the VIP service is worthwhile to take the guesswork out, even if it's a sort of "insurance." Any comments on the complexity and pitfalls of the transfer? Has anyone used a VIP service for the transfer?

Thanks!

New York City, New...
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1. Re: VIP service at the airports

Here are the two VIP services.

I have used both. It does help a lot and 'hands free' and since it is your first trip-I would go for it (if price is not a factor). As you get used to the transfer-you might choose not to do it. We now only do it over New Year's Eve holiday but not our low season trip (we go twice a year).

St. Barth’s Service www.stbarthservices.com 011 590 590 27 5626

Premium IV www.premiumiv.com

Enjoy!

Pittsburgh...
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2. Re: VIP service at the airports

We have also used a service via AirSXM a while back when we had more than average luggage, bad weather (worried about delays) and a short layover in SJU. Since you are flying direct and have plenty of time I don't feel its necessary. If you decide to do it yourself post back and someone here (including me) can "walk" you through the transfer. It is much simpler than back in the old days, since the new airport. Everything is pretty well signed.

As Ackbyrd says, if price is not a factor, by all means go for it.

Note you can always do it one way, if you are more concerned about the way down. You have plenty of time on the return.

Mequon, Wisconsin
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3. Re: VIP service at the airports

With three hours, you have plenty of time to do it by yourself. If you use a service (or not), it's possible that you will get on an earlier flight.

We've used Premium before and been very happy.

NY
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4. Re: VIP service at the airports

When you get out of the plane, you will have to do the following:

- go through Saint Maarten immigration line

- get your checked bags from the conveyor belt

- walk to counter and check-in on Winair, get your boarding card

- walk to and go through airport security

- walk to your gate

the advantage of vip services is that (with most inbound airlines) they get your luggage for you and also your boarding card, so you avoid the immigration, check-in and security lines. You just go through a shorter "transit" line. (with a few airlines the vip services don't have an agreement to get to luggage and boarding passes. In that case, they just make you jump to the front of the various lines which is still very helpful).

For connections of one hour or less, the services is essential. With the time you have, you will be fine.

Another way to emulate the same service is to only carry hand luggage. You are then allowed to use the transit line and don't have to go through immigration, baggage reclaim and security.

Finally vip services are sometimes helpful in getting you on an earlier, tighter flight, because they "know" the staff at the winair counter and they have the ability to call them to let them know you are on the way. If you are lucky, this may add an hour or so to your time in Saint Barth.

Again, not essential, but nice if you can afford it.

NY
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5. Re: VIP service at the airports

Oh yes, and they do help you carry your bags...

New York City, New...
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6. Re: VIP service at the airports

Also, if your lugguage is delayed either on sxm or sbh, they will collect it and bring it to your villa, so you do not spend your time hanging around the airport.

I love that they come by the villa on departure day and pick up lugguage and tickets/documents and check us in, then we just show up 15 minutes before departure and collect our documents go through security-easy as pie! Save us 45 minutes-1 hour at the beach right before leaving.

For me-it is the not waiting around part that makes it worth it. We do checked over NYE and use it, but do carry-on on our Low Season trip and do not.

Pittsburgh...
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7. Re: VIP service at the airports

Note on mmmmpppp's directions the first stop at the In Transit desk is skipped. This is before the immigration lines. Checking in there insures that your inter-island carrier knows you have arrived. You can get your boarding pass here.

After checking in, follow the directions above.

ottawa
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8. Re: VIP service at the airports

Unless you are moving there " for the rest of your lives", it should be very easy to do carry on,and save a huge hassle

We stay 10 weeks at a time,and never put a bag under

9. Re: VIP service at the airports

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