How to Reach Saba by Airplane

Catching a plane is a fast and easy way to set off for your island getaway

Photo credit: © leesean
 

Air travel is the easiest way to reach the secluded Dutch island of Saba. This tiny island has one small airport called Juancho Yrausquin Airport. Travelers will more than likely have to catch a connecting flight to Saba from another island in the Caribbean, such as St. Maarten, which is about 15 minutes away by plane.

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is the only place on the island where planes can land. The airport can accommodate only smaller aircrafts on its airstrip, which is the shortest in the world at just 1,312 feet. The airport is located in Flat Point, so named because it is one of the only level areas on Saba. Airplane passengers should brace themselves for a thrilling descent, which may feel like an amusement park ride. Travelers should not be too worried about the safety of their plane trip, because the STOL planes are designed especially for landing on short runways, and the pilots know what they're doing. But as always, keep your seat belt fastened until the plane has come to a complete stop.

Flights to Saba

When making arrangements with the airline, most vacationers are looking to get the best air fare deals possible. There are a few tips that can help travelers get the best prices. You can sometimes save money on air fares by booking a round trip ticket, since round trip reservations are generally cheaper than one way flights. The days that you travel can also play an important factor in the cost of your airplane ticket. You will find that it is usually much cheaper to fly during non-peak travel times. So staying over the weekend and catching a weekday flight can save you some money on your vacation to Saba.

For the most part, there are no direct flights to Saba. Because Saba's Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is so small, you may have to carry your luggage from the landing site to the airport terminal. If you are unable to do so, call ahead to make the necessary arrangements. Vacationers can contact the Saba airport at 599-416- 2255 on the island.

Check below for airline service from other airports in the Caribbean. Even if there are no flights directly from your local airport, making a connection through another Caribbean airport could be a fine option.

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport Caribbean Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
The Valley, Anguilla AXA Winair
the BVI, British Virgin Islands EIS Winair

The following table indicates how to reach one of the regional air charter services.

Charter Operators
Name Phone Location Island
Epelem Flying Services (721) 544-5240 Princess Juliana International Airport - 1.0 mi. (1.7 km) West-Northwest of Simpson Bay the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
Fly BVI Pickup Service from SXM (284) 495-1747 Princess Juliana International Airport - 1.0 mi. (1.7 km) West-Northwest of Simpson Bay the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
Fly Montserrat (664) 491-3434 John A. Osbourne Airport - Montserrat Montserrat
Melmik Aviation (721) 547-0725 Princess Juliana International Airport - 1.0 mi. (1.7 km) West-Northwest of Simpson Bay the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
Menzies Avation Group (721) 545-2570 Princess Juliana International Airport - 1.0 mi. (1.7 km) West-Northwest of Simpson Bay the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
Shoreline Aviation at North Sound (340) 642-3000 5.9 mi. (9.6 km) Northeast of Spanish Town Virgin Gorda
St. Barth Commuter (590) 590 27 54 54 Gustaf III Airport - St. Barthelemy St. Barthelemy

You should be familiar with the airline that you choose. If you're uncertain about the reputation of a particular airline you can contact the United State's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which ranks airlines based on safety, service, and performance. The FAA can be reached at 800 Independence Ave., SW; Washington D.C., 20591. If you have specific concerns about a carrier, you can contact the following branches of the FAA:

RegulatorTelephone Number
Air Travel Service Problems 202-366-2220
Aviation Safety Hotline 800-255-1111
Aviation Consumer Protection Division 202-366-2220
Questions about FAA-monitored consumer issues 800-322-7873
Transportation Security and Baggage Screeners Concerns 866-289-9673

Airline Security and Luggage

In light of recent terrorist attacks, airports have extended many security measures. For example, travelers' luggage may be subject to more than one security screening, especially in U.S. airports.

  • Vacationers can make their airport experience a lot smoother by following these travel tips:
  • Call ahead to make sure that your flight is on schedule.
  • Keep your government issued ID where you can easily access it at any time. You will be asked to present your ID when going through security check points.
  • Only ticketed passengers will be allowed to go to the security gate, so have your ticket or email confirmation pages handy.
  • Metal objects will set off airport metal detectors, so travelers should avoid wearing items like steel toed boots, heavy jewelry, or large belt buckles.
  • If you have any metal surgical implants, be sure to carry a doctor's note with you to avoid getting stuck in lengthy security measures.

Regulations concerning carry-on luggage have also become stricter in recent years, so airplane passengers should be familiar with what items are prohibited on the plane. Travelers should avoid packing scissors, razors, and other sharp objects in their luggage. If you have any questions about what items cannot be brought aboard the plane you can contact the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at 866-289-9673 for a complete list of the regulated items.

Airplane passenger are allowed to bring one carry-on item and one personal item aboard the plane. A laptop case (with a laptop inside) or a purse count as personal items. If you're traveling with food items, it may be easier to carry them on the plane, since some foods may set off bomb detection devices used on checked baggage. Also, travelers should avoid bringing wrapped presents to the airport, because they may have to be unwrapped - and could be damaged - during inspection.

If you remember to follow basic safety guidelines and airport rules, you should have no problem easily reaching your relaxing Saba retreat by air.

 

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