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Thread: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

  1. #1
    gouverneur is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Oct 2021 Posts: 2

    Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Hi everyone, were planning a return trip to SBH in December, from New York. Usually I prefer flying through St. Martin over San Juan because Id rather spend 10 minutes on a small plane than 1 hour. Given COVID requirements is one route better than the other? Im fearful that flying through St. Martin means additional requirements and entering another country for no reason. Has travel through there has been going smoothly? This is my first trip since the pandemic and I dont want to make a mistake.

  2. #2

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    When we traveled to St. Barth in July, we went through St. Maarten and transited with St. Barth Commuter. They met us at the gate after we de-boarded and directed us to a separate line that appeared to be for those like us who were taking a flight to SBH. It all went very smooth. The only additional item required when going through SXM would be the EHAS form that has to be submitted and approved even if you are just transiting. Because of cancelled flights, we had to submit twice, and the first time it took 12 hours to get a reply because if the time difference and the time of day initially submitted. The next time it took 2 hours for one approval, and 4 for the other. Waiting for the EHAS approval was slightly stressful, as we could not board our flight from LAX without that documentation.

  3. #3
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,580

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by trnorman View Post
    When we traveled to St. Barth in July, we went through St. Maarten and transited with St. Barth Commuter. They met us at the gate after we de-boarded and directed us to a separate line that appeared to be for those like us who were taking a flight to SBH. It all went very smooth. The only additional item required when going through SXM would be the EHAS form that has to be submitted and approved even if you are just transiting. Because of cancelled flights, we had to submit twice, and the first time it took 12 hours to get a reply because if the time difference and the time of day initially submitted. The next time it took 2 hours for one approval, and 4 for the other. Waiting for the EHAS approval was slightly stressful, as we could not board our flight from LAX without that documentation.

    i.e. SJU
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  4. #4
    cassidain is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Ailleurs Posts: 7,938

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    have I seen reference to a TA VIP service ?
    Fils du Sud - Roi des Fils Verrouills

    If I can't wear my Havaianas, I ain't goin'...MHA

  5. #5
    cec1 is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 7,203

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by cassidain View Post
    have I seen reference to a TA VIP service ?
    Tradewind’s VIP service at SJU is very helpful, especially when there’s a close connection.

  6. #6
    Eve is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2008 Boston Posts: 8,473

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Doing it Saturday. See my thread. Giving a detailed walkthrough

  7. #7
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,580

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by cec1 View Post
    Tradewind’s VIP service at SJU is very helpful, especially when there’s a close connection.

    Inbound to SJU only. They meet you at your arrival gate, get your bag check claims, reclaim the bags and send you a photo of your bags when they check them into the Tradewind flight.

    You wait in the lounge

    On the inbound to SJU the pilots normally walk the same route and assist with the inspections and checkin. No payment required for this!
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  8. #8
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,580

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    If you need wheelchair assistance, talk to Andy.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  9. #9
    Eve is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2008 Boston Posts: 8,473

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Prices are around $899 one way. Not practical for everyone. Worth in on the way out to avoid customs in JFK or any big airport.

  10. #10

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by JEK View Post
    i.e. SJU
    If the budget will allow, unfortunately, the extra $ to fly Tradewinds from SJU was not in the budget for us.

  11. #11
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,580

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by trnorman View Post
    If the budget will allow, unfortunately, the extra $ to fly Tradewinds from SJU was not in the budget for us.
    Depends where you are coming from (stops from home) and your carrier. I know Kevin and Phil have found it can work.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  12. #12

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eve View Post
    Prices are around $899 one way. Not practical for everyone. Worth in on the way out to avoid customs in JFK or any big airport.
    Customs in MIA with Global Entry took all of 10 minutes. Definitely worth the expense for five years.

  13. #13

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by JEK View Post
    Depends where you are coming from (stops from home) and your carrier. I know Kevin and Phil have found it can work.
    True. For us, coming from LAX, I booked our July 2022 trip on AA in Business/First for $1060.00 RT via SXM. Flying to SJU from LAX has similar fares for Business/First, however, Tradewinds is currently $976.00 RT from SJU to SBH for our dates. Compare that to approximately $200 RT from SXM to SBH on SBC.

  14. #14
    marybeth is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,617

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    For us its the simple fact that SJU is still a 2 leg flight for us. If we had a direct to SJU then Tradewinds is a no-brainer.

    And while I am sure it is lovely and very convenient, I never felt SXM was that bad, especially after the airport remodel. Post Irma has been another story but for now we are going via SXM. I'd rather spend the extra $$ for a new more nights on the island than getting there.

    As always, your $$$ to decide how to spend.

  15. #15
    andynap is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 45,187

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by marybeth View Post
    For us its the simple fact that SJU is still a 2 leg flight for us. If we had a direct to SJU then Tradewinds is a no-brainer.

    And while I am sure it is lovely and very convenient, I never felt SXM was that bad, especially after the airport remodel. Post Irma has been another story but for now we are going via SXM. I'd rather spend the extra $$ for a new more nights on the island than getting there.

    As always, your $$$ to decide how to spend.


    Andy

  16. #16
    Dennis is online now
    Senior Insider Joined: Apr 2004 Austin, TX Posts: 10,000

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by marybeth View Post
    For us its the simple fact that SJU is still a 2 leg flight for us. If we had a direct to SJU then Tradewinds is a no-brainer.

    And while I am sure it is lovely and very convenient, I never felt SXM was that bad, especially after the airport remodel. Post Irma has been another story but for now we are going via SXM. I'd rather spend the extra $$ for a new more nights on the island than getting there.

    As always, your $$$ to decide how to spend.
    Rule #1

  17. #17
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 28,664

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    "Bring half the clothes, and twice the money"! so sayeth supermarket CEO Stew Leonard.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  18. #18
    markf is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Oct 2021 Connecticut, USA Posts: 14

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    My family and I are going through SXM to SBH via SB Commuter on 11/6. Booked Covid-PCR test at CVS for 11/3. Will have results by 11/5. Fill out EHAS form before you leave here: https://stmaartenehas.com/application-form/ Upload your info (negative test result, vax card, etc, pay the $30/pp). You'll get a QR code or email back from that site. Proceed on your trip. I'm not finding this too difficult, however you never know with SXM. There's not much more to do than follow the process, but SBH is always worth it. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong on any of this.

  19. #19
    Eve is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2008 Boston Posts: 8,473

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by markf View Post
    My family and I are going through SXM to SBH via SB Commuter on 11/6. Booked Covid-PCR test at CVS for 11/3. Will have results by 11/5. Fill out EHAS form before you leave here: https://stmaartenehas.com/application-form/ Upload your info (negative test result, vax card, etc, pay the $30/pp). You'll get a QR code or email back from that site. Proceed on your trip. I'm not finding this too difficult, however you never know with SXM. There's not much more to do than follow the process, but SBH is always worth it. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong on any of this.
    you may consider an antigen at a CVS nearby. Got the results in an hours. PCR are pushing 2-3 days now. Took PCR yesterday and an antigen today at 2 different CVS’s. For the anyigen result in 45 minutes, and got the sxm thing all set within 3 hours of the test for Saturday flight. Still no PCR result, and I would have freaked out and would have been out of luck if I didn’t get it tomorrow am.
    you don’t need to pay $30 if in transit

  20. #20
    Aipotu is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Feb 2008 Connecticut Posts: 378

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by markf View Post
    My family and I are going through SXM to SBH via SB Commuter on 11/6. Booked Covid-PCR test at CVS for 11/3. Will have results by 11/5. Fill out EHAS form before you leave here: https://stmaartenehas.com/application-form/ Upload your info (negative test result, vax card, etc, pay the $30/pp). You'll get a QR code or email back from that site. Proceed on your trip. I'm not finding this too difficult, however you never know with SXM. There's not much more to do than follow the process, but SBH is always worth it. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong on any of this.
    We're arriving same date (and same route) as you. Unless I'm reading things incorrectly, both SXM and SBH are accepting 48HR antigen test results? Hope so as that removes the PCR anxiety over results.

  21. #21
    markf is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Oct 2021 Connecticut, USA Posts: 14

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    So SXM & SBH accept antigen rapid test within 2 days? That's confirmed? If so, I'll do both like you.

  22. #22
    marybeth is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,617

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Yes to the antigen tests for both SXM and SBH.

    This is why I was wondering why everyone is getting PCRs. They are taking so long to come back that their 72 time frame is really not worth it. If you an get an antigen test back in less than a day, it seems to be a better choice.

    Although I am OCD so will probably get both too....

  23. #23
    markf is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Oct 2021 Connecticut, USA Posts: 14

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Thank you. I'm traveling with wife, 19 mo old baby, and my parents. A lot to juggle so if I can keep it as simple as possible, I want to. Less stress the better!

  24. #24
    Aipotu is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Feb 2008 Connecticut Posts: 378

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    Yes, I agree fully -- no need to get both if they both accept antigen. Which, apparently, as of now, they do.

    Quote Originally Posted by marybeth View Post
    Yes to the antigen tests for both SXM and SBH.

    This is why I was wondering why everyone is getting PCRs. They are taking so long to come back that their 72 time frame is really not worth it. If you an get an antigen test back in less than a day, it seems to be a better choice.

    Although I am OCD so will probably get both too....

  25. #25

    Re: Best way to arrive given covid requirements?

    SJU to SBH Tradewind. Definitely less stress but definitely more money. I always went NYC-SXM-SBH but after all this paperwork needed, SJU became my choice. Will be there for Thanksgiving.

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