Gustaf III Airport




Our last day in St. Barth’s. We lounged around the villa pool until noon and then drove to Nikki Beach, next door to Eden Rock, for lunch. We had just ordered when the couple from Beaune entered the restaurant. “We meet again,” they said. We continued our conversation about the Burgundy wine region as though it had never ended when we parted company at Bonito the night before

We bid the Beaune couple goodbye and left the restaurant. Pleasantly full on sushi, sashimi, and dessert, we made a final sweep of the shops and went back to our villa to pack for the flights home. We hope the island will bounce back from hurricane damage soon, and we would gladly vacation in St. Barth’s again.

For the plane ride from St. Barth’s to St. Maarten, we had booked a charter flight on St. Barth Commuter. At the airport in St. Jean, a representative from Welcome Car Rental greeted us and wheeled our roller bags to the charter desk. Our pilot introduced himself, and soon we were soaring out of Gustaf III Airport on our way to Princess Juliana International.

I asked our pilot how long he had been flying. Needless to say, the airport on St. Barth’s requires special training for landings and takeoffs. He answered, “Six months.” Six months? He went on to specify six months with St. Barth Commuter. Prior to that, he flew as a bush pilot in the Congo. That impressed me and I relaxed, even though he put the plane on autopilot and checked the Garmin on his dashboard. Really? You need GPS for a ten-minute flight? He overshot the runway and immediately explained that he had to line up the aircraft for the right approach; landing at Princess Juliana International takes as much skill as landing on St. Barth’s.

We arrived early in St. Maarten, only to be notified that our plane needed a part from Puerto Rico and the aircraft was en route. The forty-five-minute delay passed quickly and we boarded, but once we arrived in Miami we had to practically run to our gate. Customs had cost us precious time, but we made it, and three and half hours later, we touched down at DFW right on schedule. Interested in seeing what landing in St. Barth’s is like? Check out this YouTube video by pilotdynan: 

November 29, 2018: Love Your Photoblog. Great Travel Blog.

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