Taming the St. Thomas airport

The only thing worse than having to leave St. John after a vacation … is having to navigate the security and Customs lines at the St. Thomas airport.  Lines onto the sidewalk are not uncommon.  Waits of an hour or more … sometimes in hot, hot weather … are not unheard of. Here's how to avoid them. Hire a porter.

On a recent TripAdvisor thread, Mir214 asked "How do they work and how much do they cost?"  The simple answers are … they work fine and the cost is about $10/person.  For that money, you get someone to help you with your bags, puts them on a dolly, and manages to wheedle you through faster than you could yourself.

"Well worth it if the lines are really bad," said Itsconnie on the TA forum. Snorkle2007 said, "The place was packed and we were able to bypass most of the lines except the security line."  StJohnMax said, "I think they charge $3 per bag.  I gladly gave the porter $26 for my two bags.  Saved me an hour." Tnkbstr55 said a porter "took us to the American self-check-in kiosk, checked us in and got baggage tags. We saved an hour of time, at least."

12 thoughts on “Taming the St. Thomas airport”

  1. We print our boarding passes at Connections and pickup customs forms at the Cruz Bay customs office the day before, then do carry-on. We arrive three hours before our flights. No problem.
    But, when we travel with friends who pack heavy, we point them to the porters!

  2. We solved this problem by flying into St. Croix and staying there. Less crowded, locals much more friendly and appreciative of our visits. Beautiiful beaches (of course not as many as STJ). Pick up rental car at the airport via Centerline Car Rental and go enjoy the liming!! Rental cars, accommodations and everything else is nearly half price or better and there is room to breath on the island. Share the Love and forget St. Trauma LOL I know, I know…. This is not News of St. Croix…….. Again,, Share the Love ;))

  3. I agree with you Kevin. We have given up on the St Thomas hassle and excessive cost of St Johns. When they announced moorings for 100 ft yachts on St J’s I knew it was time to go. Much more relaxing on St Croix.

  4. In the land of fun and sun, money usually talks. Porters need to make a living and this seems to be a positively viewed service for those wishing to partake. That said I hope the porters don’t start with the price gauging that has occurred with the fares for taxis. Yes, I realize that the prices are set but when the driver requires $5 per bag that is price gauging!

  5. Change is inevitable. We used to make an annual trip to villas on St. John. Unfortunately, the island is no longer what it once was. We have moved on. Just bought a home on Vieques, off the coast of Puerto Rico. No traffic lights, no fast food restaurants – what St. John was like 30 years ago. The Pink House – you can find it on VRBO.

  6. We used to visit STJ on a regular basis, but have also found it too developed and expensive. We’ve moved on to Eleuthera-one of the out islands in the Bahamas. Very little development, beautiful and empty beaches, and the clearest water I have ever seen.

  7. Wow, your like a bunch of ex girlfriends who just arent quite over it. You say you have moved on from St John but still, you sit here, read the blog AND take the time to comment. Sounds like you haven’t really given up. Tom, glad you think Vieques is great and feel that this St John blog is the place to advertise your cheesy pastel vacation rental. Hope your guests enjoy NOT being in the Virgin Islands national park and like getting solicited on the beach. Just FYI St John still has no Fast food or traffic lights, and its just expensive enough to keep out the complaining crowd.

Leave a Comment