American Airlines offers the bulk of Caribbean service, much of it through its Caribbean hub in San Juan, Puerto Rico. From San Juan, American Eagle serves many neighboring islands.
Air Jamaica is quickly increasing its Caribbean service with more than 330 flights a week from Atlanta, Baltimore, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York (JFK), Orlando, and Philadelphia to Montego Bay and Kingston. The airline's code share with Delta Air Lines and joint fare agreement with United Airlines extends its access to over 140 cities within the continental U.S. Air Jamaica also serves Barbados, Grand Cayman, Nassau, Bahamas, and St. Lucia through its hub operation in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Service to the Caribbean is also available from the other major carriers. Continental has flights to San Juan as well as to Jamaica, Sint Maarten, Antigua, Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo), and Bermuda. US Airways International has service to Jamaica, Bermuda, Nassau, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Sint Maarten, Cancun, and Grand Cayman, as well as San Juan. Delta serves the Bahamas (both Nassau and Freeport), St. Thomas, St. Croix, Bermuda, Cancun, and also San Juan. Northwest flies to Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Cancun, and San Juan. United offers service to San Juan; TWA serves San Juan and Cancun.
Not all destinations are served year-round by all carriers; some provide service only during the high season. Additionally, regional carriers such as ALM Antillean Airlines, BWIA, and Cayman Airways offer some flights from the United States. Air Negril recently entered into a new agreement with SuperClubs to provide air transfers from Montego Bay to Negril or Ocho Rios in less than half an hour. Tropical Airlines now offers scheduled charter service between Kingston and Montego Bay.
Additional flights and passengers are resulting in improved airport facilities throughout the region. The Bermuda International Airport is undergoing a $22 million renovation to upgrade facilities and add new shopping areas and redeveloped arrival and exit areas. St. Kitts' Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport has undergone a EC$46 million expansion and improvement project. The new terminal will be able to handle up to 400 passengers per hour, double its present capacity. Neighboring Nevis is enlarging Newcastle Airport with a new runway and terminal. St. Croix is constructing the new Alexander Hamilton Airport Passenger Terminal, a $26 million project which will double the existing floor space and include an apron capable of accommodating eight jet aircraft and eight commuter planes. The project is scheduled for completion in 1998.
Aruba's Queen Beatrix International Airport is undergoing a $15 million expansion. Renovation of the terminal building will include a new Customs and Immigration pre-clearance service, scheduled for completion in July 1998. Jamaica's Sangster International Airport has completed a $7 million expansion of its Montego Bay facility.
Meeting participants should be prepared to pay departure tax when leaving many islands. Ranging from $3-$20, this fee is usually payable in US currency. Typically the departure tax cannot be paid by credit card. On Bermuda and some other islands,however, the tax is included in the airfare.