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Anybody any experience with Chatering aircraft to Bequia

St Catharines...
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Anybody any experience with Chatering aircraft to Bequia

We are going down to Bequia for a 40th anniversary bash in November. My wife and I know Bequia quite well having visited on a number of Jammer trips in the region.

We are taking two other couples down with us to celebrate our aniversary with us. They are "All Inclusive" types who have agreed to be educated how to travel off the beaten track (probably only this once!).

We will fly direct from Toronto to Barbados and then have the option - LIAT and the ferry or Charter out of Barbados direct. We would love to charter direct in both directions because of the people we are taking as well as the special occasion.

Does anyone have any experience in doing this? It would be our first time trying to charter and would appreciate any comments.

Ian and Lesley

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1. Re: Anybody any experience with Chatering aircraft to Bequia

When I was down there last week I met some people who did this (chartered from BGI to BQU). They said all they did was called SVG to arrange it.

Calgary, Canada
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2. Re: Anybody any experience with Chatering aircraft to Bequia

SVG, Mustique Airways and TIA (all part of the Grenadines Air Alliance I believe) offer charter flights out of Barbados. They have many different styles/size of planes to meet your needs. An Aero Commander holder up to 5 passengers and is very fast. They also have some larger Cessna's if needed. You can also fly 'shared charter' with other people but this sometimes requires later arrivals into and earlier departures out of Bequia with the occasional stop in between. With 4 people I would seriusly look at a private charter to fly on your schedule to Bequia only.

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3. Re: Anybody any experience with Chatering aircraft to Bequia

I'll let you know as that is how I'm doing it next week.

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4. Re: Anybody any experience with Chatering aircraft to Bequia

My wife and I and another couple flew with Mustique Air (pre-merger) and they were very good. We booked a shared charter directly via their website. We had a one hour delay from London to Barbados and were a bit concerned that we would miss our connection. On entering the arrivals lounge at Barbados a Mustique Air rep was holding a name board for us. He helped us with the formalities and even our baggage. When we boarded the small twin prop we discovered that, whilst it was a shared charter, we were the only passengers. That was probably because it was the low season (June), November should be busier.

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5. Re: Anybody any experience with Chatering aircraft to Bequia

I have been chartering with SVG and Mustique Airways a couple of times a year for years.

As other posters have mentioned there are two ways to do this. Both Mustique Airways and SVG Air have 5, 6 and 8 seater airplanes which are for private charter.

Together SVG and M.A. run the Grenadines Air Alliance which flys 19 seat Otters. These are called "shared charters" or "non scheds". Though despite the name the Otters run a scheduled service, with the afternoon flight out of BGI at about 4:30 which is timed to meet most major arrivals from N.A. and the U.K. This flight will wait if a number of passengers are late arriving. However, as Bequia and Mustique (the usual destinations) do not have lights on their air fields, you have to be wheels up in BG! by 5:15 at the very outside.

The pricing structure is per seat, so if you have six people and can fill one of the smaller planes the cost is the same as taking 6 people on the Otter. The advantage of a private charter is that they leave when you are ready and you go direct to your destination. On the "non-sched" you may stop at a couple of other islands first, depending on where the other passengers are going. The advantage of the Otter is that you have a bigger plane with two pilots. The smaller planes usually have only one pilot (often with one of the charter passengers sitting in the right (co-pilot) seat). Once you have decided which method you wish to use simply use either airlines web site. (www.mustique.com and svgair.com)

If you elect the private charter and you are coming from Toronto, you may wish to look at flying to St. Lucia verses BGI (Air Canada does this Sat. Sun and Mon in season). The reason St. Lucia is my first choice is that the flight to and from Toronto is about 40 minutes shorter and the flight from St. Lucia to Bequia is about 15/20 minutes shorter than from BGI and much nicer as the flight is down the windward coast of St. Lucia verses across open water.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance. Can't wait will be back there Tuesday.

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6. Re: Anybody any experience with Chatering aircraft to Bequia

We just got back - we have traveled there before, and had tried three different pathways...first time, we flew to Barbados, then took a scheduled SVG flight to Bequia - that was very nice.

This last time, we were in a group and it ended up being the same price (virtually) for us to charter a plane. We booked the charter with SVG from Barbados to Bequia, and it went off fine..however... I am suspicious that they forgot about us entirely, because there was nobody waiting for us as we deplaned from our Air Canada flight as promised. When we asked them, they had no idea who we were, but thankfully we had printed out our email correspondence about the charter, so we provided them with that info. Luckily, an amazing SVG person (Sandra, I believe) took care of us, and we got our charter within about 2 hours of landing in BGI. It was super!

On the way home, we took the Ferry to St. Vincent (which was really fun, and economical!), then flew LIAT to Barbados. I would strongly recommend you NOT fly LIAT - our flight was 3 hours delayed and we missed our Air Canada flight home! Yikes! This was during the busy time, so we were stuck in Barbados. Luckily, LIAT consistently screws up and we were on the next Air Canada flight home because some other poor travelers lost their seats (likely due to another LIAT delay).

Sorry this was so long - to summarize, if you're coming out of Pearson, it's really a treat to do the charter...if nothing else, stick with SVG.

7. Re: Anybody any experience with Chatering aircraft to Bequia

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