Update: Click here for the most recent article on Anguilla's airport.
Are you a billionaire?
Me neither. Heck, even a few hundred million would do!
It seems that the "rich and famous" have been frequenting the new Anguilla airport, though.
In fact, those may be Michael Dell's and Denzel Washington's private jets in the picture below.
Or perhaps Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston have matching "his and hers"...
Let me explain...
Basically, American Airlines told Anguilla to expand their airport, or to expect the airline to withdraw all flights to the island. They were switching to larger regional jets, and the Anguilla Airport (AXA) runway was too short for them.
Naturally, they pursued plans to elongate the runway. They cleared out houses at either end, moved mountains of dirt to raise and lengthen the runway, did everything AA wanted.
Quite a bit of chaos arose while this was happening during late 2004/early 2005. All traffic that would normally have gone to Anguilla airport was diverted to St. Martin. Visitors then had to boat across to Anguilla.
What a mess. It must have been very discouraging for those who depend on Anguilla tourism, not to mention for the visitors themselves.
After the last bit of white paint was lined down the shiny fresh black asphalt...
... the new Anguilla airport was open for business with American Airlines yet again.
So how did the airline thank Anguilla?
They cut their schedule down from three flights per day to but one flight.
All this time, work and effort for one flight.
That made it impossible for us to fly directly into Anguilla. Instead, we flew to Sint Maarten and then took our "Anguilla taxi boat" directly from Sint Maarten's airport (on the Dutch side of the island) to Anguilla.
The good news? We saved time and got the best anguilla airfare ever. (If you're Brad Pitt, you can probably skip this part!) Here's why...
So our family of four managed to save enough money on the Anguilla airfare by flying to Sint Maarten to more than cover the cost of our "taxi boat" (which was a delightful, relaxing way of settling right into tropical island life).
And we saved several hours too, even compared to when three flights flew into Anguilla daily! (This year, we would have had to stay overnight in Puerto Rico if we wanted to fly directly into Anguilla. No way.)
Not that these people worry about airfares, right?...
We had thought about joining our good pal Robert DeNiro on his private jet, and flying directly to Anguilla. But "Bob" canceled at the last minute. Ha! Ha!
Friends in Anguilla told us that up to 20 private jets were parked in Anguilla airport during holidays! Wow, the jet set love the new Anguilla airport!
Hiring our own private jet, though, was out of the question. And so was flying directly to Anguilla.
So, we turned to "Anguilla's friendly neighbor"... St. Martin.
But anyway, our #1 recommendation for flying to Anguilla?
Fly from your city to London, Paris, New York, or Miami (whichever makes most sense from your point of origin). Then fly to Princess Julianna Airport in Sint Maarten (SXM). From there...
Settle right in and take the Anguilla taxi boat over to Anguilla. You'll arrive faster, richer and more relaxed!
Nothing beats saving time and money and then taking an Anguilla taxi in the middle of a blissful, beautiful Caribbean afternoon. Instead of arriving at night after wasting hours in a crowded airport in Puerto Rico.
I suppose I shouldn't be so bitter with the American Airline situation, after all. In fact, I should be thanking them!
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