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STT airport closure & planning ahead

Travel discussion for St. John

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STT airport closure & planning ahead

Postby AquaGirl » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:36 pm

I realize that this question/issue is absolutely insignificant compared to what residents are dealing with in the islands. I thought I would ask anyway. (Please don't take offense! We are making contributions to VIstrong and pursuing other ways to help.)

I am looking for some place online that shows the status and expected opening of the St Thomas airport. Its administered by the VI Port Authority, but the most recent info on their site is from Sept 5. I looked at FAA, TSA and googled the topic, but can't find anything authoritative. I found a statement on VI Yacht Charters site saying its closed until Sept 30.
https://www.virginislandsyachtcharters. ... IL-SEPT-30

The reason I am asking is so we can decide what to do with our AA tickets to STT on Oct 10 and return on Oct 20. The AA Customer Service Rep said STT is currently open for commercial flights. My understanding is that its only open for military & relief efforts, including mercy flights. I would love to get a refund and put the money towards relief efforts, but our tickets are non-refundable.

If the airport is still closed to commercial flights on Oct 10, our flight will be cancelled. I would hope in this case we will get a refund, but the CS Rep seemed unsure and gave me 2 different answers. My guess (based on what I've read) is that the airport may be open to commercial flights by then, but I think it will be unknown for a while.

We have a few options:
- Rebook with no change fee (per AA's current travel notice). We must commence travel by March 31 because that's the end of our ticket validity. Due to various medical and work commitments, we can only travel in Nov or Dec. I have the impression the islands may not even have power by Nov/Dec, nor be ready for visitors.

- Cancel our flights and use the value towards booking flights to a different destination. Still have to travel before Mar 31. Would have to pay change fees and ticket price difference.

In our 30+ years of travelling to the Caribbean in spring and fall, we've never had to cancel a trip, so this is new ground for us. Any input is welcome!

Note - Didn't buy trip insurance, but the insurance I was considering wouldn't help with this situation since the storms are long gone. Would only help if I had bought "cancel for any reason" type.

Thank you!
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Re: STT airport closure & planning ahead

Postby RickG » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:24 pm

Official news at: http://www.usviupdate.com/

If you dig into the press releases, the airport is expected to open middle of the week; take that with a grain of salt. Cape Air has run a few flights.

FYI, curfew is still in effect 6PM-9AM.

Good luck.

Regards, Rick
Sailing the Virgins when De Life is repaired - bent, not broken!
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Re: STT airport closure & planning ahead

Postby Suziekue » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:12 am

I've seen mixed information about STT, the other day on FB it showed Red Hook with places open saying they are ready for visitors. I also saw the Gov. was going to meet with business leaders about bringing in cruise ships back in the next thirty days. American changed our flights with no fees between Irma & Maria just a change in fare to STX but now after Maria we are not sure how STX will be in November. I understand your dilemma as we're giving to St. John Rescue & have adopted families on STT so far waiting for STJ to start but unsure what to do about our trip. I hope to hear something from STX soon but they haven't been able to communicate yet.
Soarin' with the eagles all week long, and this is all that we've learned about living - VACATION!

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Re: STT airport closure & planning ahead

Postby Chardonnay » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:36 am

I've been watching the governor's updates (painfully). VI Consortium doing a good job of broadcasting http://viconsortium.com/
Airport opening Thursday...sometimes the words "limited commercial flights" are used. We plan to be on island Thursday if Delta - ATL is one of the chosen flights!
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Re: STT airport closure & planning ahead

Postby RickG » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:54 am

I spoke with Capt. Jay on St. Thomas this morning. He is hearing Thursday for St. Thomas airport as well. Chardonnay mentioned viconsortium.com; it has been a good news outlet since the VI government can't seem to keep with their news releases.

Cheers, RickG
Sailing the Virgins when De Life is repaired - bent, not broken!
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Re: STT airport closure & planning ahead

Postby shoemak38 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:42 pm

RickG
How did your's and Jay's boat make out?
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Re: STT airport closure & planning ahead

Postby RickG » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:50 pm

shoemak38 wrote:RickG
How did your's and Jay's boat make out?


Bent, but not broken. He's working on getting a crane in to right the boats and remove busted rigging. Many boats, including ours, had holes punched in their sides by the jack stands. De Life will be back, but it will be a while. The Dude abides.

Cheers, RickG
Sailing the Virgins when De Life is repaired - bent, not broken!
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