We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

TR - Bunsen is Back - 2017

Southwick...
Level Contributor
353 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
TR - Bunsen is Back - 2017

Trip Report in process.................

Watch this space!.........Soon Come!

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,254 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: TR - Bunsen is Back - 2017

:)

Anticipation is part of the pleasure!

Southwick...
Level Contributor
353 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: TR - Bunsen is Back - 2017

Here are my observations and ramblings for our 17th visit to Anguilla. 5/3/17 - 5/12/17

Forth ........

Our route this year was BDL-PHL-SXM on American (thank goodness we don't travel with a stroller!). This necessitated getting out of bed at the ungodly hour of 3:45 for a 6:00 am flight. The upside of this is that there is no traffic to the airport. A few months ago, we applied for and received TSA Pre-Check clearance. So did many others in our area as the Pre-Check line was initially as long as the regular one. An additional agent was added and the pace improved. As usual, we saw someone we knew in the airport.

American's boarding system is a bit puzzling. For the BDL-PHL flight, we were in Row 9 and Boarding Group 6. For the PHL-SXM leg, we were in Row 23 and Boarding Group 6. I thought that having 5 groups ahead of us would mean that the seats and storage would be filling up. This was not the case. Some groups had no people in them! It seems that instead of calling for families, military, premium, and all the other special designations, these people are assigned group #'s. Anyway, there were few bodies and stuff on board when we got there.

BDL-PHL arrived 15 minutes early. We got some extra steps in when our gate was changed. Boarding for SXM started on time, but then we saw un-boarding. Not a good sign. A maintenance issue (circuit breaker) caused a 45 minute delay. Airlines pad their flight times so heavily that we arrived at SXM at the originally scheduled time (1:30).

The line for immigration stretched back as far as the info desks. I walked up to see if the Transfer line was open, but it was not. (Self-serve kiosks are being set up in that area, but were not yet open.) However, another shorter line was being ignored by most. We jumped in this line (next to the Residents line), and when all residents were processed, folks from our line could see that agent. We were through quickly, got right into a taxi, and somehow caught the 2:15 ferry. Unbelievably fast.

Filling out the form at Blowing Point is a real slow down. Why not have forms on the ferry? By the time our forms were complete, there was no line. After a smile and "Welcome Back" at customs, we were out the door. The car was waiting and we made the short hop over to the Anguilla Great House. We arrived at 3:00, which means an 11 hour door-to-door trip.

Northeast U.S.
Level Contributor
352 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: TR - Bunsen is Back - 2017

Agreed about those AXA immigration forms! When we arrived there were none in the little wooden holder in the back, so we had to wait in line, get to the window, THEN get a form, then step aside, fill them out, and get back in line.

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
7,411 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: TR - Bunsen is Back - 2017

What? These form things never happened to us. The plane gave us forms to fill out. What am I missing?

Southwick...
Level Contributor
353 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: TR - Bunsen is Back - 2017

Perhaps you got forms flying into AXA? No forms for ferry passengers until arrival at the terminal.

Southwick...
Level Contributor
353 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: TR - Bunsen is Back - 2017

& Back

It's tough to leave on a perfect day after a rainy day. We decided to take the AAS flight back to reduce the potential hassles at SXM. Arrived at AXA about 40 minutes before our noon flight. Check-in, departure tax, and security were quick. Upon entering the waiting room, we were assaulted by the TV showing the US news that we had successfully avoided for 10 days. Fortunately, our flight boarded and left 10 minutes early. We were the only travelers at the small security station at SXM, passed right through and elevated up to our gate.

The SXM-PHL flight boarded early, but that advantage was squandered waiting for 2 stragglers. You know the type. "We didn't hear the announcement at the bar." The flight was just about 4 hours and we landed at 6:30. It was a long walk through the "mall" (who does all this shopping at an airport?) from gate A11 to C25. It's cold in Philly and cold in the terminal. Time for long sleeves!

PHL-BDL was a little late leaving, but only a 40 minute hop. Retrieving our car and driving home was a breeze and we brought another 11 hour travel day to a close.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,254 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: TR - Bunsen is Back - 2017

11 hours - quite a trek. At least you are travelling in the knowledge you know you will love your destination.

Several years ago I needed to fill out 4 forms but took 8. Filled out 4 and handed them over and stashed the other 4 in my travel wallet. Now I fill them out in advance and top up each time so I am never delayed filling them in on arrival. Once they changed the form design but the immigration official didn't mind or didn't notice and passed us through!!

Looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip!

Mystic, CT
Destination Expert
for Anguilla, The Valley
Level Contributor
3,239 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: TR - Bunsen is Back - 2017

Welcome home to frigid New England. When you connected back through SXM, were you carryon only? I did that last time, but this next trip will be with a checked bag. Looking forward to hearing more details of your trip.

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
7,411 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: TR - Bunsen is Back - 2017

Bunsy: You said:"Perhaps you got forms flying into AXA? No forms for ferry passengers until arrival at the terminal."

I think the problem here may be the word "ferry". Perhaps you are referring to the public ferry in Marigot because the shuttle ferries from the airport to AXA offer you the forms while you are waiting for your boat to leave.

Northeast U.S.
Level Contributor
352 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: TR - Bunsen is Back - 2017

I am hoping for the "middle" of the trip report soon! We have the arrival and departure, now we need the good stuff!!