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Return transit time

Caledonia, Canada
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136 posts
5 reviews
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Return transit time

We haven't finalised our return flight yet (maybe because subconsciously we won't *want* to come back) and I'd like to get a sanity check on what I think our travel timetable to STT would be.

We have to vacate our house at Chocolate Hole by 10:00am so, lessee... Leave at 10:00am then return rental car. Then get ferry. Ferry leaves on the hour, so we might be able to get the 11:00am but that might be pushing it.

Say, we get the 12:00 ferry, it's a 20min crossing and maybe another 20 mins or so to the airport. So we can count on getting to the airport by 1:00pm, which will be good for a 2:00pm or soon after flight.

Does that sound realistic, or hopelessly optimistic?

Hillsborough, NC
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1. Re: Return transit time

Hopelessly optimistic...

From your plan, I would think you could make the 11am ferry pretty easy. The drive is 10 minutes or less - drop off the family and luggage at the park in front of the ferry dock - return the car and walk back.

In general though - I would go very conservative on the time estimates. 20 minutes is probably good for travel time on the ferry, but what if the ferry doesn't leave on time. I think it will probably take longer than 20 minutes to get from red hook to the airport by the time you wait for bags to be off loaded, get herded to a taxi, make the drive, off load the taxi, pay and then get in line at checkin.

In addition, checkin for those flights is probably required more than 1 hr in advance.

Here is what I suggest - leave the villa at 9. Drop off the family and bags at JJs Texas Coast, return the car and then walk back for one last breakfast on the island. I recommend the deluxe grill cheese and hash browns. Get on the 10 or 11 ferry an go from there. Tickets for the ferry won't go on sale til 15 minutes before departure anyway. The 11 would probably be ok, but we took the 10 (for a similar departure) just to be safe.

Arlington, VA
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2. Re: Return transit time

Probably a bit optimistic. That's not to say that it couldn't work, but even if you want to spend every last minute on St John (I always want to also), you also don't want to end your vacation with a missed flight, or even just stress as you run from place to place!

Although, I've not had a big problem, there are horror stories of huge lines at the airport, problems, etc. We've found that taking the ferry to Charlotte Amalie at 11:15am is a good bet, and also very popular. You can return your car, stroll down to the dock and buy tickets. Use the 1/2 hour - hour to walk around the shops and get on the ferry. You should get to CA by noon, and then go to the airport. If you there early you can check bags and go back to town (only 10 minutes) to have lunch, walk around, etc. Otherwise, stay in the terminal and get a bite to eat and one last painkiller at the gate!

We just did this a couple weeks ago (so sad!), and those of us on the 11:15 ferry were at the airport, through ticketing, customs, baggage check, etc by about 1:30. Our flight, however, wasn't until 3:30 and we were early enough to walk right up to the ticket counter. Those that had earlier flights had LONG lines to navigate... Hope that helps!

atlanta, ga
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248 posts
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3. Re: Return transit time

Just returned a couple of weeks ago. Had a 4:20 flight and took the 1:15 Charlotte Amalie Ferry. We were at the airport by 2:20. 45 min ferry ride, 15 minute taxi ride, and 5 minutes to gather bags from ferry and load cab. Remember you have to (1) go to ticketing and (2) clear customs!! I think you are cutting it too close to take a 12:00 ferry for a 2:00 flight. Remember that final boarding (with doors locked) is usually 15 minutes before flight departure!!

Wyoming
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281 posts
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4. Re: Return transit time

I agree, we took the 12:00 ferry to make a 4:30 flight. I would just take the Charlotte Amaile ferry, which is closer to the airport. It takes approx. 40-45 minutes, then a 10 minute ride to airport. We left on a Wednesday and the lines were pretty long at the airport. Customs and security took a bit. I would definately take the 11:00 ferry, as they say to be at the airport 2 hours early.

Pia
St John, VI
Destination Expert
for St. John
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4,863 posts
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5. Re: Return transit time

You need to be at the airport 2 hours before departure - no exceptions (usually :) ) Last week all the computers were down and they were having to do all the baggage tags/connection tags etc by hand and this happens more often than one may think. I have also seen them turn people away if they are not at the counter at least 1 1/2 hours before departure (I knew someone who was at the counter 1 hour 20 mins before their flight departed and they flatly refused to process them - just kind of depends on their mood for the day !! We always are on a ferry to STT when taking a trip Stateside 3 hours before departure (ie: if on a 3pm flight always on the 12 noon ferry) better to be safe than sorry when dealing with the staff at the airport.

Caledonia, Canada
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136 posts
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6. Re: Return transit time

OK, the sanity check showed that I'm insane.

Thanks for the guidance, folks.

7. Re: Return transit time

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