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In this March 2010 issue:

1. INTRO: You Are A Very Important Person
2. SPECIALS: Overnight-In-St. Maarten Specials
3. ARTICLE: St. Barths Bucket Races Rapportage
4. SPONSOR MESSAGE: CheapoAir
5. NEWS ITEM: St. Barth Film Festival Features Haiti
6. TRAVEL TIP: How To Get The Airlines To Treat You Like A VIP
7. AGENDA: St. Barths Film Festival 2010
8. ADVERTISEMENT: StMaartenGiftBaskets.com
9. CUSTOMER SERVICE: How To Book With AirStMaarten

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INTRO: You Are A Very Important Person
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Dear friends and clients,

Everyone loves to be treated like a Very Important Person, a VIP. You shouldn't be any different. Especially if you are traveling to St. Barths. To get the maximum out of your St. Barths trip, you will want the airline you are flying with to treat you like a VIP. Read this month's travel tip on how to get the airlines to treat you like a VIP.

Whether you are transiting through St. Maarten, San Juan or Antigua, you will want to do this as smoothly and as hassle-free as possible so that you will feel more energized and revitalized when you arrive for your vacation stay in St. Barths.

The best way to avoid the hassles commonly found with scheduled air travel, control your own travel schedules and be certain that your luggage will arrive when you do is to fly private. You will be relieved to know that this will guarantee comfortable seating, ample storage room and good healthy meals.

So the alternative to getting VIP treatment from the commercial airlines is to fly by private jet. In St. Maarten, San Juan or Antigua, you can overcome the hassles of transiting through these hubs by booking a private charter or a shared charter and adding VIP Services to your booking. Private charter flights may cost a bit more, but they do provide greater control, convenience and efficiency.

The cost of a private charter or a shared charter depends on several factors, including the type of aircraft, duration of the flight, destination, airports used and the number of passengers to be transported. But the main consideration when comparing the cost of a commercial flight versus a chartered aircraft is the time saved and convenience gained.

If your itinerary does not allow you to arrive in St. Barths the same day, you can consider overnighting in St. Maarten. We will offer you complimentary VIP Transfer Service if you book any of the below listed accommodation alternatives through us. So consider AirSXM the next time you book your trip to St. Barths and give us the chance to make you feel like a very important person. 

In the meantime, please review our newsletter below. 

Happy Readings!

Terrance Rey

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2. SPECIALS: Overnight-In-St. Maarten Specials
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We have several options for overnighting in St. Maarten:

Villa - see http://www.stmaarten-villas.com
Apartment - see http://www.sxmapt.com
Guesthouse - see http://www.theparadiseinn.net

Book any of these accommodations to overnight in St. Maarten and receive complimentary VIP Transfer Service or a Free Rental Car from http://www.stmaartencars.net.

Email us via sales@airsxm.com for more information.

St. Maarten Villas at www.StMaarten-Villas.com

Villa Gracia is a graciously designed luxury villa in Pelican Key, St. Maarten, overlooking the Simpson Bay Beach consisting of a master bedroom with jacuzzi, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, fully-loaded kitchen, spacious living room area, dining room, fully-equipped washroom and wide patio. Available for immediate rent as a villa rental by owner. Visit http://www.stmaarten-villas.com for more information.

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3. ARTICLE: St. Barths Bucket Races Rapportage
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Our friend and St. Barths lover, Jeff McGrew, who is also a villa owner in St. Barths, made a great photo rapportage of the St. Barths Bucket Race held March 25th through 28th, 2010. Jeff can be seeing here below with another St. Barths lover and long time visitor, Dennis Carlton, owner of villa Case et Cuisine and The Normandie Hotel, which he runs together with his affable wife, Wendy.

Dennis Carlton & Jeff McGrew during the SBH Bucket Race March 2010

St. Barths Bucket Races 2010

St. Barths Bucket Races March 2010

In response to Jeff's rapportage, Dennis Carlton (aka CEC1) wrote:

"As an inveterate writer of trip reports and photo-chronicler of everything St. Barths, I have to express great admiration for your report. Apart from the fact that you beautifully memorialized our long-to-be-remembered celebration of Wendy's birthday (a milestone year) and the intoxicating pleasure found by all in one another's company during a wonderful day together, your post brought to life on a "big screen" the thrill, known to most people reading here, of a week of food, drink, camaraderie, friendship, beauty, tranquility, energy, and so many other sensory stimulations found in visits to SBH. Though it dates me to say so, Bob Hope's signature line comes to mind: 'Thanks for the Memory!'"

To read and see more of Jeff's trip report and photo rapportage of the March 2010 St. Barths Bucket Races, click here>>>

St. Barths Bucket Races 2010 viewed from Villa Flamands Blue

 The view of the St. Barths Bucket Races from Villa Flamands Blue, a wonderful villa in a great location available for rent by owner, Jeff McGrew, on the idyllic French Caribbean island of St. Barths. Spectacular views overlooking Flamands Beach to neighboring islands with restaurants, grocery stores and bakery nearby. Visit http://www.stbartsvilla.com for more information.

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4. SPONSOR MESSAGE: CheapoAir
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Cheap Air Flightbanner

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5. NEWS ITEM: St. Barth Film Festival Features Haiti
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St. Barths Film Festival 2010

The St. Barth Festival of Caribbean Cinema (Cinéma Caraïbe) celebrates its 15th season April 24-30, 2010 on the island of St. Barthélemy in the French West Indies. This fourteenth edition of the festival once again offers the population of St. Barthélemy the chance to discover films and filmmakers of the Caribbean basin, as well as thought-provoking international films. Festival guests include filmmakers, producers and cinematographers, and scholars, as well as cinema professionals from around the world who have a strong interest in Caribbean film and culture.

This year we will present a special focus on Haiti, beginning with a Haitian evening featuring a series of documentaries and first hand reporting on the recent earthquake last January 12. We are especially proud to present works from the Ciné Institute de Jacmel presented by students from that school. We conclude our Haitian program with a round table on current issues in Haiti and a special presentation of Moloch Tropical, Raoul Peck’s powerful new film about the decline and final days of a (fictional) Haitian President.

Continuing another tradition, we are working once again with Jean-Marc Césaire, of Ciné Woulé, to bring cinema to the beach. Given our past success with outdoor beach screenings, this year we will be on the sand twice. On Tuesday evening we will show Araya, a classic neo-realist drama from the noted Venezuelan director, Margot Benacerraf. Reprising our success in the past two years, we will hold our closing night screening on the open sands of Flamands beach as well.

The third special feature of this year’s festival is our presentation of selections from the Third Traveling Exhibition of Caribbean Cinema. This year, this exhibition once again comprises an array of extraordinary films from various Caribbean countries and cultures.

Joshua Harrison
Ellen Lampert-Gréaux
http://www.stbarthff.org

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6. TRAVEL TIP: How To Get The Airlines To Treat You Like A VIP
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How To Get Airlines To Treat You Like A VIP

By Charles Brown
 
In recent weeks I have read at least three articles about how poorly the flying public perceives the customer service provided by the airline industry. As a frequent traveler myself, I know how frustrating (and that is an extremely mild word to use here) it is when you are stuck in an airport because a pilot has not arrived on time, or a flight was overbooked or for any other reason.

But before I go any further, I should first put things in perspective. Since September 11, the airline industry has been on the ropes, financially. In the U.S. four of the five major carriers have filed bankruptcy, and not one of them has shown a profit for a single fiscal year. The industry has also reduced its workforce by 200,000 fewer people.

So, as this industry's customers, we cannot realistically expect to receive the same level of service as we received before 9-11.

But, and this is a very important but, there is still no excuse for rude or indifferent behavior. On this level I am happy to report that of the two airlines I have personal experience with, American Airlines and British Airlines, their employees seem to be trying harder to be courteous, helpful and empowered to go the extra mile.

Of course this all boils down to my own personal perception, but I have generally heard more positive feedback from other travelers on these airlines.

Given all the financial problems facing this industry, how can one still get VIP treatment from airlines? Before I answer that question, I first want to say that what I am about to write in this article is not to offer pity for the airline industry or to excuse unexcusable behavior on the part of indifferent employees, but it is to offer advice in the context of the reality of the industrys financial woes.

Lets think about the old expression, the customer is always right. Clearly this is not always the case. Customers often expect and demand much more than they are entitled to. In the real world, no business can really act as if the customer is always right when customers want something for nothing. Can a restaurant give free meals? Can a store give away free merchandise? Of course not, and neither can an airline give free airfare.

But airlines are in the unique position to know which customers to give VIP treatment to: their frequent travelers. If you are a member of an airlines loyalty program AND you truly are a frequent flyer AND if you usually travel on first or business class tickets, your VIP status with that airline will swiftly rise.

Airlines can track the profitability of each and every one of their loyalty program members. Now, what if a customer shows up and asks for special treatment, or expects something extra from the airline? If that person is not a loyalty program member, or is a member but hasnt flown with that airline in over a year, or if that person only flies on deep discount tickets bought through an online consolidator web site, he probably will not get an extra level of VIP treatment. (He should, however, be treated with courtesy, respect and receive the proper value for his travel dollar, but he probably wont get the VIP treatment).

Now suppose a different customer comes up to the ticket counter and travels every month or so on tickets in the mid price range. That person should expect to receive the extra request if the request is reasonable.

What is the lesson to all this? Simple: the airline industry will not be financially able to offer a lot of extra perks to all its customers for a long time to come. But you can upgrade your status with any airline by making it your sole carrier whenever possible. There are many people who are members of five or six loyalty programs and spread their travel among those airlines, usually based on the ticket price available at the time they travel. But if those same people were to concentrate on one airline, they would probably find themselves receiving VIP treatment more often. 

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7. AGENDA: St. Barths Film Festival 2010
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St. Barths Film Festival Poster

St. Barth Film Festival 2010
Cinéma Caraïbe
15th Edition - April 24th to 30th, 2010

http://www.stbarthff.org

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8. ADVERTISEMENT: StMaartenGiftBaskets.com
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St. Maarten Gift Baskets International Delivery

Call us today to order your gifts, giftbaskets and food baskets.
We will deliver your gifts and fruit baskets to hotels, villas,
hospitals, residences, businesses and other islands.
www.stmaartengiftbaskets.com

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9. CUSTOMER SERVICE: How To Book With AirStMaarten
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Booking Procedure & Reservation Information

Submit a reservation request online at www.airsxm.com. Once we receive your request, we will send you a Reservation Offer for your consideration. Once you accept our proposal, we will require payment. You can use our credit card form to send us your credit card information. We accept all major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. You can also pay by bank transfer, check, cash or Paypal. Once payment is received, we will book the commercial flight or private charter and send you a Reservation Confirmation.

If you have requested additional services such as VIP Transfer Services, we will send you a Final Confirmation containing all details of your travel itinerary and services booked. And that's how you book with AirStMaarten.

Other Customer Service Resources:
Our Shared Charters concept explained in full detail
VIP Transfer Services through Princess Juliana Int'l Airport
Island Concierge Services on St. Maarten and St. Barths
Read what our satisfied clients are saying about our service
Ticket Insurance
We also accept payments via Paypal
St. Maarten Villa Rentals
St. Maarten Yachting and Sailing Charters
Sign up for our email newsletter service

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