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First time to Virgin Gorda, need flight help?

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Alabama
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25 posts
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First time to Virgin Gorda, need flight help?

I have been browsing the sight, and have some questions regarding my first trip to Virgin Gorda. My family of five is traveling in June, Saturday to Saturday.

Any Ferry is out of the question, as my wife and daughter both have issues there. We are flying into San Juan, most likely on USAir to Arrive at 1:30pm. It appears that Seabourne doesn't have a later flight, and Air Sunshine has a 2:30 and 5:00. They say we won't make the 2:30. Problem is we really don't want to wait until 5:00. That just seems like a late start to the day.

I've been looking at charters since there is 5 of us. Air America and Virgin Gorda Air Charters (Caribbean Charters, Inc.) have the best rate. Price of the charter on the way down and schedule on the way back is not really that significant different.

What do you experienced travelers recommend? 1. Wait on the 5:00 Air Sunshine 2. Take one of the Charters on the way down, and if so, any recs on the above two?? or 3. I've even contemplated trying to fly into San Juan late Friday night, then take an early schedule flight over to Virgin Gorda. Just not sure I want to throw in an extra travel day, even if it means arriving early. Also, never been to San Juan, so would need a rec on a hotel close to airport..

Thanks in advance for the info...

NY,NY
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205 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: First time to Virgin Gorda, need flight help?

If you're willing to pay the extra money, private charter is very much the way to go. They will fly for you and you only. Assuming you're not many hours late coming into San Juan they will be waiting for you to whisk you off on a PRIVATE flight. Granted it's not cheap but they work to your schedule. The problem with flying into Virgin Gorda is that you have to arrive before dark which is probably around 6:30-7. If you arrive at 1:30 in San Juan and go private charter they will be happy to take you as soon as you walk off the plane and get your luggage. The same coming back: As long as you get to the VG airport within 15 minutes of when you've scheduled, off you go. No getting bumped, no waiting and you get on your vacation earlier and get to leave it later. Plus, let's be honest, it's kinda cool.

I've used Island Birds and have never had a problem. If I have a group of five or more I would always use them, just two of you?, well it's too much money then unless you're loaded.

Another option is to fly into St. Thomas. Might be more expensive depending on where you're coming from but the private charter from St. Thomas for five will probably be about a thousand dollars less.

Wantagh, New York
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1,953 posts
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2. Re: First time to Virgin Gorda, need flight help?

I have taken a really late flight into San Juan....so as not to use another vacation day from work and then stay over at the airport hotel and take the first flight out the next morning...but that added night might bring the cost up so that a charter is not out of line (I have no idea how much a charter is)...the other thing to look at is Cape Air to Tortola and then a short ferry ride to VG..15 minutes....check the connection times for that.

Charlottesville...
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2,029 posts
113 reviews
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3. Re: First time to Virgin Gorda, need flight help?

We've also taken a late afternoon/evening flight to SJU and stayed overnight at the airport hotel. We were in the BVI by 10 the next morning and really enjoyed having essentially another day in the islands. We haven't had any experiences with the 2 charters you mention, but we've flown 3 or 4 of the other charter airlines, and that is a very convenient way to get to VG from SJU. We've also used Air Sunshine several times and haven't had any problems. The charters are particularly helpful on your return flight to SJU then home. Often, the captain, or a representative of the airline, helps with our luggage and escorts us all the way to security.

Note: We've stayed 3 times in the SJU airport hotel and had positive experiences all 3 times. The staff were friendly and helpful, the late night food in the Bistro was good and the complimentary breakfast was adequate - cereals, fruit, yogurt, coffee, hard boiled eggs, etc. It is a bit of a walk, but porters are available to assist you with getting your luggage to the hotel when you arrive in SJU, and with getting you to your gate the next morning. The hotel bellhops can only escort you part of the way, and then they will transfer you to a porter. FWIW, the hotel has gotten a fair # of poor reviews recently, and I don't know if that is due to new management, or with unrealistic expectations on the part of the travelers. Perhaps someone who has stayed there in the past few months can chime in.

Have a great trip, alashas http://www.youtube.com/user/honeymoon2

Hartford...
12 posts
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4. Re: First time to Virgin Gorda, need flight help?

VI Airlink is very good as well

3B
Surrey
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50 posts
54 reviews
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5. Re: First time to Virgin Gorda, need flight help?

http://www.seaborneairlines.com/ also fly direct in from SJU, they started not long after we returned from visiting our daughter, The Ferry from Tortola to VG is approx. 30 mins. Ferry from Beef about 15 mins I don't do boats and I was fine.

California
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5,928 posts
47 reviews
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6. Re: First time to Virgin Gorda, need flight help?

Why are you guys against the ferry? We just arrived here the other day by ferry and its no big deal plus the sea's are generally pretty calm around here. If they have a problem with the ferry just wait until they see the airport here! As for Virgin Gorda, it's a beautiful place and there are NO crowds what so ever. Nothing like the USVI.

7. Re: First time to Virgin Gorda, need flight help?

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