CARIBBEAN AIRLINES' AIR PASSES

Last updated: 2004-11-14

BWIA Air Pass

Port of Spain-based BWIA West Indies Airways (BW) offers an air pass for travel to its 12 Caribbean and South American airports, namely Antigua (ANU); Barbados (BGI); Georgetown (GEO), Guyana; Grenada (GND); Kingston (KIN), Jamaica; Port of Spain (POS) and Tobago (TAB), Trinidad & Tobago; Hewanorra (UVF) and George F L Charles (SLU), St Lucia; St Vincent (SVD); Sint Maarten (SXM) and Caracas (CCS).

Services between these destinations do not necessarily operate daily.

This pass can only be used if the international flights are on BW.

Caribbean Traveller (Economy: US$399, First: US$599)

You can travel to any of the above destinations in any 30-day period (except 19DEC-06JAN). A stopover, defined as a stay of 24 hours or more, cannot be made more than once at any destination. The itinerary must be booked in advance, so no open returns, and no backtracking is allowed (although the same destination can be used more than once for connecting flights only). There are no child discounts. Once travel has started, no discounts, refunds or exchange of unused coupons are permitted.

A change of booking, including routing, is permitted at a cost of US$20. Bookings are made in K class (economy) and in F class (first).

LIAT Air Passes

Antigua-based LIAT (LI) offers three passes (see below for details). The common rules for all passes are as follows.

LIAT bookings in the UK can be made with Caribjet, its main agent.

Explorer (US$300/£207)

You can have a maximum of three stopovers in 21 days, returning to the originating destination to connect with the international flight. A stopover cannot be made more than once at any destination. Bookings are made in B class (or Y if B is full).

This pass is only valid for bookings which can be ticketed on a four-stage ticket comprising four flight coupons. So, a valid routing would be Barbados-St Vincent-Grenada-Port of Spain-Barbados. However, as each flight number booked requires a different coupon, a journey from Barbados to St Kitts - which requires a change of aircraft at Antigua and two flight coupons (for Barbados-Antigua and Antigua-St Kitts) - means that half the coupons of the four-stage ticket would be used.

Any journey which goes over a four-stage ticket has to be booked and ticketed separately, eg another pass, a one-way.

Caribbean Super Explorer (US$575/£340)

You get unlimited travel on all of LI's destinations for 30 days. Bookings are made in B class or K if B is full.

Airpass (US$98 per sector)

European travellers, who must purchase this airpass in conjunction with their international ticket to the Caribbean, can get 3-6 stopovers at a cost of US$98 per sector. The airpass is valid for 21 days. Bookings are made in B class.

Destinations

LI's 23 airports are as follows. All destinations are served by same-plane flights from Antigua, Barbados and St Lucia.

Lesser Antilles

Anguilla* (AXA); Antigua* (ANU); Barbados (BGI); Bequia (BQU); Canouan Island+ (CIW); Carriacou+ (CRU); Dominica Cane Field* (DCF) and Melville Hall (DOM); Fort-de-France* (FDF), Martinique; Grenada (GND); Pointe-à-Pitre* (PTP), Guadeloupe; Mustique+ (MQS); Nevis* (NEV); Port of Spain (POS), Trinidad; St Croix (STX); St Kitts* (SKB); George F L Charles* (SLU), St Lucia; St Thomas (STT); St Vincent (SVD); Sint Maarten* (SXM); Tobago (TAB); Tortolla - Beef Island (EIS), BVI; Union Island+ (UNI)

Not valid for any LI Pass:

Greater Antilles

San Juan (SJU), Puerto Rico

South America

Georgetown (GEO), Guyana

American Eagle Caribbean Explorer

American Airlines and American Eagle have been offering since November 1999 the Caribbean Explorer fares which allow travellers from the United States, Canada and Mexico who fly to the American/American Eagle hub in San Juan (SJU) to then explore 23 other Caribbean destinations. Most destinations can only be reached via SJU and require an aircraft change there. Fares are based on the number of Caribbean stopovers out of San Juan, as well as the distance of travel in the Caribbean. Here are some other rules that apply to Caribbean Explorer fares:

Air Jamaica Caribbean Hopper Program

Air Jamaica, along with its subsidiary Air Jamaica Express, launched their Caribbean Hopper Program in April 2001 which enables a US-originating passenger to visit three or more islands for US$399 for Economy class and US$699 for First class for travel within their Caribbean and Central American network:

Tickets to travel within the Caribbean must be purchased in conjunction with tickets for travel originating from one of Air Jamaica's United States gateways. The main fare rules are:

Aeropostal (VH) Caribbean Pass

Aeropostal offers its Caribbean Pass, mainly from Caracas, to all its Caribbean destinations plus Florida and some South American destinations.

Caribbean Star (8B) Starpass

The Starpass from Caribbean Star, launched in November 2004, allows passengers to make up to four flights for a total of US$299 (£162). The pass can be used on any of the airline's 80 daily flights to 13 destinations in the Lesser Antilles and Guyana, including Antigua, Barbados, St Lucia, Grenada and Tobago (all served by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways, the first three to be also served by bmi). The pass must be bought outside the Caribbean in conjunction with an international return ticket, and will initially be available through travel agents. The pass has no restrictions on travel date, can be used with any number of stopovers and can be used to return to its initial start point or as part of an "open jaw" (different points of entry and departure) ticket.

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Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Roger Chung-Wee
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