AirStMaarten - Monthly Newsletter - September 2009

The AirStMaarten Newsletter is professional with a personal touch, informative and to the point with news, opinions, background information, articles and promotions.

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In this September 2009 issue:

1. INTRO: Prepare For The Season
2. SPECIALS: Shared Charters for November 2009
3. ARTICLE: What To Do If Caught In A Hurricane In The Caribbean
5. NEWS ITEM: Jimmy Buffett To Play For Le Select's 60th Birthday Bash
6. TRAVEL TIP: How To Reduce Travel-Related Stress
7. AGENDA: St. Maarten/St. Martin Classic Yacht Regatta 2010
9. CUSTOMER SERVICE: How To Book With AirStMaarten

INTRO: Prepare For The Season

Dear friends and clients,

Last month, as I was writing up this newsletter a tropical storm carrying the name Erika was heading our way. So I decided to send out a quick email to everyone instead. The local island government issued a warning this past week that eventhough we have a very uneventul hurricane season thus far, the season is not yet over. So we should remain vigilant.

Hence this month's article what to do if you were caught in a hurricane while on vacation in the Caribbean. Eventhough it is the truly adventurous and diehard St. Barths lovers who would brave the risk of inclement weather at this time of the year to visit St. Barths, we are seeing significant bookings for October.

Nonetheless, the warning of the local authorities to remain vigilant is reason enough to remain prepared for the season. Expect the worst and hope for the best. So it is with all other things in life. Plan and prepare. Hence my advice to plan and prepare for your next St. Barths trip as early as possible.

Air Caraibes has ceased operation on the St. Maarten - St. Barths route since Monday, August 31st. The last time I posted news about Air Caraibes stopping flights due to financial problems my news and my credibility was cast in doubt because no one else could confirm the news until much much later when it finally became quite obvious.

But trust me, if I can book my clients on Air Caraibes, I would gladly do so. However, if they are not bookable, then I have no other option than to offer clients flights on Winair or St. Barth Commuter or on our own Shared Charters or Budget Flights.

So if I tell you Air Caraibes ceased operation on the SXM-SBH-SXM routes and there doesn't seem to be any likely possibility of a resumption of the operation on the short term, then it is for real. I wouldn't spread false information about something like that. I have no reason to do so.

However, I think this time that the airline company may definitely stop all operations on this route permanently. The forecasts aren't optimistic and therefore only logical that at least one player may cease operations permanently indeed. Winair is not going to stop, eventhough they have downsized their fleet, their pilot crews and reduced their flight schedule for the low season.

St. Barth Commuter have enough reasons to continue. So I think Air Caraibes may now call it quits for good this time around. Therefore, I expect the upcoming high season to be a very busy one. For now we have one less operator on the SXM-SBH market and the existing operators Winair and St.
Barth Commuter have less aircrafts available (WM) and less flights scheduled (SBC).

We will be scheduling more shared charters and budget flights to offset the limited availabilities and take up the slack in the schedules. Hence my travel tip this month - especially for the November Madness - is about how to reduce travel related stress.

Last month I suggested traveling light with a carry-on for November and to have at least two nights clothes and supplies packed in your carry-on. Traveling with carry-ons is a lifesaver, especially when a flight arrives late into St. Maarten. Sometimes we have loads of passengers to transport within a short time frame of maybe two hours and more than likely not all bags are going to arrive, especially if the inbound flight is a jumbo jet out of a busy hub in the USA. This is more likely to be the case in the busy season, hence the expected madness and related travel stress in November.

If your large A340 or B757 is coming into St. Maarten late, chances of your bags making it off that aircraft and onto the smaller aircrafts in time to go to St. Barths are very slim. With our VIP Transfer Services, we will take care of your luggage for you in case of late arrivals or missed connections or left behind luggage.

Note: During the busy high/winter season sunset in St. Barths is at 5:35pm. During the low/summer season sunset is at 6:50pm. So honestly, don't expect any flights into St. Barths after sunset, no matter how good you may know the President of St. Barths :-) St. Barths by Sea is the next best option for you.

Finally as a reminder, there are two good reasons why you should book early this year and lock in your reservations for a commercial flight, a shared charter or a private charter. Especially in the high season this winter. One is St. Barth
Commuter's limited schedule and the other reason is Winair's limited fleet of

See last month's issue for more information about this.

Happy Readings!

Terrance Rey

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2. SPECIALS: Shared Charters for November 2009

Check out the shared charter schedule for November 2009:

Shared Charter aircraftWe are now taking reservations. So book now before the November Madness begins. Trust me, you don't want to be taking the Great Bay Ferry Express to St. Barths if you want to enjoy Jimmy Buffett in concert on the Quai du Général de Gaulle in Gustavia. Visit today for more info.

3. ARTICLE: What To Do If Caught In A Hurricane In The Caribbean

The Hurricane Katrina tragedy will forever serve as a reminder what the destructive power of nature can be like. It is presently still officially hurricane season, so tropical storms and hurricanes are and should be still on the mind of everyone who plans to visit the Caribbean.

I am happy to report that thus far we have had a pretty uneventful hurricane season. I sincerely hope it stays that way. We have been known to be hit by a couple of surprise hurricanes late in the season. But it is still important to understand the dynamics behind a tropical storm developing and growing into a full blown hurricane of categorical proportions.

Weather disturbances develop off the coast of West Africa and travel over the Atlantic Ocean into the Caribbean. These weather disturbances are fueled by hot ocean water and can turn into powerful cyclones. Hurricanes look very impressive on satellite images, but their actual size is somewhat more compact with only a width of about 50 to 80 miles wide that has the power for true destruction. On a geographical scale this is a relatively small area.

What to do if caught in a hurricane in the Caribbean?

In case of a major hurricane and a direct hit to the island you are staying on, the resort you are staying at should advise you about safety procedure. All resorts can handle the high winds, but you might be inconvenienced by spotty power services, no water pressure and cut-off communications.

All major resorts have full generator back-up. Some even their own water plants. Will your life be in danger? Not if the past hurricanes hitting the island are an indication. Only a fool will explore the beach in the middle of a blow or roam the streets. Once you stay indoors and let it "blow over", you will be okay. Just don't be on a boat. Its no fun to support a boat's effort to survive a storm.

Hurricanes of categories 1 and 2 should not do more than ruffle the region's feathers a little. Category 3 is more serious and if you experience it on island, you might have several days of bad weather and a lot of beach erosion. The damage of categories 4 and 5 can't be predicted anymore, but I believe St. Maarten and St. Barths will survive much better than most regions in the US.

Public assistance: the performance of the French and Dutch government to the Hurricane Luis disaster 14 years ago was spectacular. The wind had stopped blowing only for a few short hours, the dazed population hadn't even crawled out of their shattered homes yet, but there was a steady stream of huge military cargo planes landing at Princess Juliana Airport.

The island was secured, food distributed, even small amounts of gasoline handed out and especially on the French side services were restored rapidly. There was never fear of running out of water or food.

Bottom line: In case of a storm, play it safe and listen to resort management. But there is no reason to avoid our beautiful Caribbean islands during hurricane season. The slight risk of having bad weather is certainly set off by the much, much lower prices during this part of the year.


Cheap Air Flightbanner

5. NEWS ITEM: Jimmy Buffett To Play For Le Select's 60th Birthday Bash

Jimmy Buffett in St. Barths for Le Select 60th Anniversary


Friday, November 6, 2009

11am to 1pm: Gunslingers Steel Band
11am to 12pm: Complementary appetizers and happy hour
5pm: Chorale du bon Coeur, choir performance
6pm: Speech by Marius STAKELBOROUGH, followed by a cocktail reception
8pm: “Math’s Connection” and “The Tremendous Johnsons”

Saturday, November 7, 2009

11am to 1pm: Gunslingers Steel Band
11am to 12pm: Complementary appetizers and happy hour
6pm: Gunslingers Steel Band (Quai du Général de Gaulle)
8pm: Jimmy Buffet in concert (Quai du Général de Gaulle)
10pm: New Generation, live music at Le Select

Sunday, November 8, 2009

11am - 1pm: Gunslingers in concert
11am -12am: Complementary appetizers and happy hour
4pm: Film Screening: “The Friends Of Marius” + DVD Sweden, St Barth
at the Capitainerie (upstairs at Port Office)
For the benefit of the Marius Stakelborough Foundation
6pm -7pm: Gunslingers concert
8pm: Fireworks, closing party with dancing and live musical performance by the local band “Les Romantiques” at the Select

Monday, November 9, 2009

11am to 1pm and 4pm to 6pm
Marius invites one and all to discover the Back Street Gallery
in Rue Père Dugon, Gustavia

Here is a photo of the Jimmy Buffett concert I attended in Anguilla back in March 2007 on the 24th to get you in the mood already:

Jimmy Buffett in Anguilla on March 24, 2007

See more of my pics here:

6. TRAVEL TIP: How To Reduce Travel-Related Stress

Here are several stress-reducing tactics to use when going on vacation:

  • make a checklist of things to cover before you leave;
  • study your destination and create an itinerary;
  • look for ways to make your trip enjoyable;
  • plan for surprises;
  • create a lists of tasks and responsibilities;
  • read available overseas travel tips;
  • read about food, customs and time zones;
  • wrap things up at the office;
  • know what to do if your wallet is stolen;
  • learn how to pack like a pro;
  • know what to include in a basic travel kit;
  • decide on carry-on versus checked bags;
  • decide what items of belongings go where;
  • learn travel do's and don'ts;
  • know what duty-free purchases you can make;
  • know what to wear;
  • acquaint yourself with airport connection times;
  • know the ground transportation times at your destination;
  • make sure you know how to get around at your destination;
  • make sure to leave your home secure and well looked after;
  • make sure you can stay in touch with the home front;
  • think about the use of cell phones;
  • use the internet if necessary;
  • know the phone numbers where you can be reached; and
  • my personal favorite: use a roller case.

7. AGENDA: St. Maarten/St. Martin Classic Yacht Regatta 2010

Participate in the fifth St. Maarten / St. Martin Classic Yacht Regatta scheduled for January 21st through the 24th, 2010 in St. Maarten. Read more about this exciting sailing event on their website at:


Since clients often ask me to recommend restaurants or my favorite places to eat, I registered the domain names and with the intention to publish restaurant reviews and photo's whenever I visit St. Barths (for business or pleasure) and I dine at any of St. Barths' great restaurants.

Here is a low-powered-pleasure-before-business meeting in St. Barths with yours truly and StBartsTalk's Gregb and bro.

 Lunch scene in St. Barths with Gregb and bro

Where was this photo taken? Email me to find out.
Visit to also find out how to get to St. Barths.

9. CUSTOMER SERVICE: How To Book With AirStMaarten

Booking Procedure & Reservation Information

Submit a reservation request online at 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
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