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Thread: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

  1. #1

    United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Hello! Heading back next to continue a tradition since 1992!! With this, we were able to book United and Winair on one ticket. We plan on checking our bags straight through to the island (we have a 3 year old).

    Has anyone done this? Will it work?

    Also, what is the best way to get the Winair ticket so we can go straight through in-transit if we do not have to get our checked bags.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,740

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Quote Originally Posted by jvelardo77 View Post
    Hello! Heading back next to continue a tradition since 1992!! With this, we were able to book United and Winair on one ticket. We plan on checking our bags straight through to the island (we have a 3 year old).

    Has anyone done this? Will it work?

    Also, what is the best way to get the Winair ticket so we can go straight through in-transit if we do not have to get our checked bags.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Unless Winair walks you straight thru you still have to go thru security and the immigration line. No more in transit.


    Andy

  3. #3
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,187

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Only with carry on only can you walk straight thru in SXM from your arrival gate to your SBH bound gate. Since you have all flights on one ticket and it is United, you can check all the way thru to your final destination on the return. You must collect your bags to clear customs and place back on the belt just outside customs.
    A tip- we have often found it less expensive to purchase our SXM- SBH- SXM separate from our United, American or other airline flights. We now however fly thru SJU so don’t know the comparisons now.

  4. #4
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,740

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Quote Originally Posted by stbartshopper View Post
    Only with carry on only can you walk straight thru in SXM from your arrival gate to your SBH bound gate. Since you have all flights on one ticket and it is United, you can check all the way thru to your final destination on the return. You must collect your bags to clear customs and place back on the belt just outside customs.
    A tip- we have often found it less expensive to purchase our SXM- SBH- SXM separate from our United, American or other airline flights. We now however fly thru SJU so don’t know the comparisons now.
    Excuse me Bill I just did this last week. You fly thru SJU so how do you know? I had carryon only and had to go thru security and immigration even after St Bart Commuter met me. Concierge services were walking people to the front of the line if you want to go that route.


    Andy

  5. #5
    Jeanette is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2005 Cambridge, MA Posts: 7,476

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Andy, after you arrived in SXM, were you able to bypass the longer Immigration lines to the right and go up the stairs to the left? If so, it's still significantly shorter. I've done this the last two years flying St. Barth Commuter and they were waiting for us at the bottom of the steps. It took us less than 30 minutes going through Security using the "left stairs route." We went to the right once on our way home and Security/Immigration took at least 90 minutes.

    We're flying Winair next week with carry-on only and if we have to go through the full Immigration and Security lines to the right, we're in trouble.

    Jvelardo77 - my daughter is flying from EWR on United and checking a bag to SBH. I gave her instructions to go to the stairs to the left with her Winair boarding pass.
    Liberté, Égalité, Sororité

  6. #6
    dadto6 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2013 Northern Virginia Posts: 2,084

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Andy has it correct. Hell, he is there. Exactly what we did with carry on last month with 11-people in our group.

  7. #7
    Jeanette is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2005 Cambridge, MA Posts: 7,476

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Quote Originally Posted by stbartshopper View Post
    Only with carry on only can you walk straight thru in SXM from your arrival gate to your SBH bound gate. Since you have all flights on one ticket and it is United, you can check all the way thru to your final destination on the return. You must collect your bags to clear customs and place back on the belt just outside customs.
    A tip- we have often found it less expensive to purchase our SXM- SBH- SXM separate from our United, American or other airline flights. We now however fly thru SJU so don’t know the comparisons now.
    Hopper, I corrected this information when you posted it a few weeks ago. While United lets you check your bags through to SBH, you can't (and could never) walk "straight through in SXM." You always had to go through In Transit security in SXM and post-Irma there is an extra stop for passport control. The trick is to stay to the left if you only have carry on. The lines to the right are hell.

    Also, it always pays to check flight prices. It was cheaper for me to buy our United tickets with Winair bundled in, than if I bought them separately.
    Liberté, Égalité, Sororité

  8. #8
    Rosemary is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2010 New England Posts: 4,354

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Andy, what a nice new picture!

  9. #9
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,740

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosemary View Post
    Andy, what a nice new picture!
    Thanks Rosemary.
    Jeanette- SBC directed me to the left for security but the immigration line is all the same. It took me close to a hour to go thru. I asked the SBC gate agent where is intransit and he said no more since Irma. I hired PIV for my kids but not me going. Coming back we are all using PIV.


    Andy

  10. #10
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,187

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    We did private charter booked thru Isle De France our first two years and at least then our memory is we literally walked from plane to plane as was our baggage. Thank you for the correction Jeanette again and Andy. We realized the prices we paid were ridiculous and never have done that again.

  11. #11
    Jeanette is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2005 Cambridge, MA Posts: 7,476

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Thanks, Andy. I am glad I asked. We have a 1 hour 13 minute connection time next week. My next email will be to Premium IV.
    Liberté, Égalité, Sororité

  12. #12
    debd is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2005 CT Posts: 998

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanette View Post
    Thanks, Andy. I am glad I asked. We have a 1 hour 13 minute connection time next week. My next email will be to Premium IV.
    Jeanette, that was not our experience. We had no problems using the transit desk (over the last few weeks). On the way, once entering the door, we stayed to the left, up the stairs, past the SBC rep, to the SBC transit desk (with our Delta boarding passes), were given our SBC boarding passes (after they physically weighed us - we each stood on the scale!!), then went through the one person customs desk, through a separate, short, security line (on the left), then to a multiple station immigration line that moved quickly - done in less than 15 minutes. We were then put on an SBC flight an hour and a half earlier than expected.

    On the way home, arriving on WinAir, with our Jet Blue boarding passes in hand, we again went to the left up the stairs, past the transit desks to the one person customs desk, through the short security line on the left, quick immigration, and on to the gate (less than 15 minutes).

    (please know though that we had allowed time cushions on both ends, just in case)

  13. #13
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,740

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Quote Originally Posted by debd View Post
    Jeanette, that was not our experience. We had no problems using the transit desk (over the last few weeks). On the way, once entering the door, we stayed to the left, up the stairs, past the SBC rep, to the SBC transit desk (with our Delta boarding passes), were given our SBC boarding passes (after they physically weighed us - we each stood on the scale!!), then went through the one person customs desk, through a separate, short, immigration line (on the left)- done in less than 15 minutes. We were then put on an SBC flight an hour and a half earlier than expected.

    On the way home, arriving on WinAir, with our Jet Blue boarding passes in hand, we again went to the left up the stairs, past the transit desks to the one person customs desk, through the short security line on the left, and on to the gate (less than 15 minutes).

    (please know though that we had time cushions on both ends)
    We must have been in 2 different worlds.


    Andy

  14. #14
    KevinS is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 20,205

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Quote Originally Posted by andynap View Post
    We must have been in 2 different worlds.
    In the SXM airport, I suspect that it is not limited to only 2. We may transit through there in April, so this thread is of interest to us too.

  15. #15
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,740

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinS View Post
    In the SXM airport, I suspect that it is not limited to only 2. We may transit through there in April, so this thread is of interest to us too.
    I got help from SBC for the security part but not the immigration part.


    Andy

  16. #16
    debd is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2005 CT Posts: 998

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Quote Originally Posted by andynap View Post
    We must have been in 2 different worlds.

    We were quick off the Delta flight, on arrival, so maybe, with our carry ons and using the transit desk, we just happened to be lucky (on both ends), and missed out on full plane crowds? I do recall seeing a lot of people, in the other lanes to the right, waiting to get through security, but we zipped right through in what appeared to be a separate in transit security lane.

  17. #17
    debd is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2005 CT Posts: 998

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Quote Originally Posted by debd View Post
    We were quick off the Delta flight, on arrival, so maybe, with our carry ons and using the transit desk, we just happened to be lucky (on both ends), and missed out on full plane crowds? I do recall seeing a lot of people, in the other lanes to the right, waiting to get through security, but we zipped right through in what appeared to be a separate in transit security lane.
    Hubby is sitting here telling me to report that the line to the left, into which we were fed from the transit desk, pushed us to the head of the security line, so when we were then quickly fed into immigration (yes, even with transit), there were only two others in line and four stations. Presumably, it backed up after that?

  18. #18
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,740

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Quote Originally Posted by debd View Post
    Hubby is sitting here telling me to report that the line to the left, into which we were fed from the transit desk, pushed us to the head of the security line, so when we were then quickly fed into immigration (yes, even with transit), there were only two others in line and four stations. Presumably, it backed up after that?
    Yes. I did the same for security to the left but immigration was packed for me. So we had the same line experience except that there was no one in line for immigration for you. That explains the difference. We have a full plane going home so I expect a long line in immigration. I did engage PIV going home.

  19. #19
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 26,129

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Safe travel, uneventful travel, wished for those coming or going this Valentine’s zday.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  20. #20
    Jim A is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2017 NY Posts: 424

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    The staff at SXM are of no help whatsoever as we asked 3 people last time and got 3 different answers.

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but the key to saving time if you are (1) in-transit, (2) have carry-on only and (3) a pre-printed boarding pass seems to be: as soon as you enter the terminal doors go up the stairs on your left instead of through the immigration line on your right. Correct?

    Secondly if you don't meet all 3 of those requirements you need to always go through the immigration line on your left

    Both of the above seem accurate?

  21. #21
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,740

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Just came thru with PIV. If you have your boarding pass you skip the agent,
    . Otherwise immigration 2x and customs.


    Andy

  22. #22

    Re: United-Winair Checked Bags Question

    Ok! First, thank you for all of the responses. Here is our current plan;

    1. Check bags all the way through to SBH as we are on one ticket with United... Check
    2. Get pre-printed WINAIR board pass... OK how do I do this? Just call them? The site? This is my major concern.
    3. Go to stairs on Left and bypass mass crowds.

    Ideally I would love to fly into Puerto Rico but I cannot just the additional cost at this time (launching a new business venture).

    I love the island but I am literally working to be able to afford to fly private and avoid the chaos of SXM. So far I have a ways to go... but it is looking up!

    Overall my son (3 years old in May) is an amazing traveller(5th time to SXM and 3rd time St Baths since he was born) and we check to avoid the impossibility of carry ons at this time.

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