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SXM Airport Departure MESS


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That helps, I take it there will be some changes but as it stands now:

1)  No early checks, can't check in any earlier than 3 hours before your flight; no point arriving early and if you do you'll be waiting outside.

2)  When you land in SXM, grab the forms you need

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My wife and I paid $96 for the 3 hour bus tour around St. Maarten just to kill 3 + hours since our flight was after 4.15pm.  We've been to St. Maarten many times and didn't need a tour.  Bus was supposed to leave ship around 9am.  It left at 9:30 and dropped us off at the airport at 11:00 sharp.  Great!!!!!!

(5 hours to kill)  It started to get very hot standing in the mile long line after about thirty minutes and nobody seemed to know what was going on.  A couple people came back to their place in line after talking with airport agents and said we just have to wait outside.  I told my wife to stay in line and I went up to talk with an agent.  This idiot told me I could go in at 3pm.  I said my flight is at 4:15 and I'll miss the plane.  I completely lost it and demanded to see her boss.  I won't go into detail what I said and threatened, but did say that my wife has a medical condition (lie) and I also have a medical condition (90 degree heat and humidity makes me thirsty)

The supervisor told me to get my wife, bags, and cool off inside.  I said thank you and entered the pearly gates.  It only took us about 20 minutes in line to get to the front counter to check in and get our boarding tickets.  WE didn't know about the form that should have been filled out, but it took a minute to complete.  Now, it looked like they were having problems with the boarding tickets.  After waiting another 5 minutes and 3 AA agents working on our tickets (I started feeling like a drug criminal) they said the flight was delayed an hour.  OK, no problem, at least I'm in a cool place now.

I will say that the three working on the tickets were very nice and no issues with them.  

We NEVER CHECK OUR BAGS, BUT HERE'S A WARNING TO THOSE WHO ARE OVER 35, DON'T LIFT WEIGHTS, AND NOT IN GOOD PHYSICAL SHAPE.  YOU HAVE TO CARRY YOUR LUGGAGE OFF THE PLANE YOURSELF DOWN ALL THE STEPS THAT ARE SMALL AND NARROW WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN ST.MAARTEN.  WE EACH HAD OUR LUGGAGE AND CARRY ON.  WERE BOTH LUCKY THAT WE MADE IT DOWN THOSE STEPS.  

WE CHECKED OUR BAGS GOING HOME ($30 A BAG) WASN'T GOING TO ATTEMPT TO LUG THOSE BAGS UP THE STEPS.  

OK----back to the check in----once we got through security there were plenty of seats available and the place was a madhouse.  I swear, if there is a major outbreak of Covid again, it probably came from the waiting area of the airport.  It was a zoo inside.  Social distance was about an inch from the person in front of you waiting to board planes.  

WE only had 5 hours to kill and looked around for food.  They must have really good burgers since the burger joint changs $17 for any burger on the menu.

My wife just got herself worked up from this whole disaster, and her stomach was messed yesterday and today.  She said that she will never fly to St. Maarten again----It just wasn't worth it.

 

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5 minutes ago, garyg2000 said:

My wife and I paid $96 for the 3 hour bus tour around St. Maarten just to kill 3 + hours since our flight was after 4.15pm.  We've been to St. Maarten many times and didn't need a tour.  Bus was supposed to leave ship around 9am.  It left at 9:30 and dropped us off at the airport at 11:00 sharp.  Great!!!!!!

(5 hours to kill)  It started to get very hot standing in the mile long line after about thirty minutes and nobody seemed to know what was going on.  A couple people came back to their place in line after talking with airport agents and said we just have to wait outside.  I told my wife to stay in line and I went up to talk with an agent.  This idiot told me I could go in at 3pm.  I said my flight is at 4:15 and I'll miss the plane.  I completely lost it and demanded to see her boss.  I won't go into detail what I said and threatened, but did say that my wife has a medical condition (lie) and I also have a medical condition (90 degree heat and humidity makes me thirsty)

The supervisor told me to get my wife, bags, and cool off inside.  I said thank you and entered the pearly gates.  It only took us about 20 minutes in line to get to the front counter to check in and get our boarding tickets.  WE didn't know about the form that should have been filled out, but it took a minute to complete.  Now, it looked like they were having problems with the boarding tickets.  After waiting another 5 minutes and 3 AA agents working on our tickets (I started feeling like a drug criminal) they said the flight was delayed an hour.  OK, no problem, at least I'm in a cool place now.

I will say that the three working on the tickets were very nice and no issues with them.  

We NEVER CHECK OUR BAGS, BUT HERE'S A WARNING TO THOSE WHO ARE OVER 35, DON'T LIFT WEIGHTS, AND NOT IN GOOD PHYSICAL SHAPE.  YOU HAVE TO CARRY YOUR LUGGAGE OFF THE PLANE YOURSELF DOWN ALL THE STEPS THAT ARE SMALL AND NARROW WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN ST.MAARTEN.  WE EACH HAD OUR LUGGAGE AND CARRY ON.  WERE BOTH LUCKY THAT WE MADE IT DOWN THOSE STEPS.  

WE CHECKED OUR BAGS GOING HOME ($30 A BAG) WASN'T GOING TO ATTEMPT TO LUG THOSE BAGS UP THE STEPS.  

OK----back to the check in----once we got through security there were plenty of seats available and the place was a madhouse.  I swear, if there is a major outbreak of Covid again, it probably came from the waiting area of the airport.  It was a zoo inside.  Social distance was about an inch from the person in front of you waiting to board planes.  

WE only had 5 hours to kill and looked around for food.  They must have really good burgers since the burger joint changs $17 for any burger on the menu.

My wife just got herself worked up from this whole disaster, and her stomach was messed yesterday and today.  She said that she will never fly to St. Maarten again----It just wasn't worth it.

 

This was one of the very first post Covid cruises, correct?

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27 minutes ago, garyg2000 said:

My wife and I paid $96 for the 3 hour bus tour around St. Maarten just to kill 3 + hours since our flight was after 4.15pm.  We've been to St. Maarten many times and didn't need a tour.  Bus was supposed to leave ship around 9am.  It left at 9:30 and dropped us off at the airport at 11:00 sharp.  Great!!!!!!

(5 hours to kill)  It started to get very hot standing in the mile long line after about thirty minutes and nobody seemed to know what was going on.  A couple people came back to their place in line after talking with airport agents and said we just have to wait outside.  I told my wife to stay in line and I went up to talk with an agent.  This idiot told me I could go in at 3pm.  I said my flight is at 4:15 and I'll miss the plane.  I completely lost it and demanded to see her boss.  I won't go into detail what I said and threatened, but did say that my wife has a medical condition (lie) and I also have a medical condition (90 degree heat and humidity makes me thirsty)

The supervisor told me to get my wife, bags, and cool off inside.  I said thank you and entered the pearly gates.  It only took us about 20 minutes in line to get to the front counter to check in and get our boarding tickets.  WE didn't know about the form that should have been filled out, but it took a minute to complete.  Now, it looked like they were having problems with the boarding tickets.  After waiting another 5 minutes and 3 AA agents working on our tickets (I started feeling like a drug criminal) they said the flight was delayed an hour.  OK, no problem, at least I'm in a cool place now.

I will say that the three working on the tickets were very nice and no issues with them.  

We NEVER CHECK OUR BAGS, BUT HERE'S A WARNING TO THOSE WHO ARE OVER 35, DON'T LIFT WEIGHTS, AND NOT IN GOOD PHYSICAL SHAPE.  YOU HAVE TO CARRY YOUR LUGGAGE OFF THE PLANE YOURSELF DOWN ALL THE STEPS THAT ARE SMALL AND NARROW WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN ST.MAARTEN.  WE EACH HAD OUR LUGGAGE AND CARRY ON.  WERE BOTH LUCKY THAT WE MADE IT DOWN THOSE STEPS.  

WE CHECKED OUR BAGS GOING HOME ($30 A BAG) WASN'T GOING TO ATTEMPT TO LUG THOSE BAGS UP THE STEPS.  

OK----back to the check in----once we got through security there were plenty of seats available and the place was a madhouse.  I swear, if there is a major outbreak of Covid again, it probably came from the waiting area of the airport.  It was a zoo inside.  Social distance was about an inch from the person in front of you waiting to board planes.  

WE only had 5 hours to kill and looked around for food.  They must have really good burgers since the burger joint changs $17 for any burger on the menu.

My wife just got herself worked up from this whole disaster, and her stomach was messed yesterday and today.  She said that she will never fly to St. Maarten again----It just wasn't worth it.

 

So you lied about a medical condition so you could jump the line while others waited outside?

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I debarked the Millennium yesterday and flew out from SXM as well but my experience wasn’t that bad. When we arrived at the airport around 9:45 for a 1:00pm flight, we waited outside for about 20 minutes, but it was shaded right in front of the airport where they had us wait. Once in the airport, we got right in line for JetBlue to JFK and waited about 15 minutes until we were completely checked in. Had no idea about the form we had to complete but it appears no one else did either as JetBlue agents were going person to person in line and having everyone complete them. Once in the “terminal,” there was plenty of seating at 10:30 and I was able to get a drink. The bar did offer 2 different sandwiches (I didn’t have any food). They called our flight around 12:25 and we were priority boarding so got right in line and outside and onto the plane, which left on time. I guess it depends where your flight was heading and what time but overall, it was a semi chaotic experience but not the worst in my mind. The main thing I was irritated by was there was no TSA pre-check line, so I had to dig my laptop out of the bottom of my carryon and take my shoes off (which are extremely minor annoyances in my mind). 

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22 minutes ago, taxiang said:

So you lied about a medical condition so you could jump the line while others waited outside?

He also “threatened” her, his word, not mine.  Wow!! 

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1 minute ago, LGW59 said:

He also “threatened” her, his word, not mine.  Wow!! 

Imagine cruising on the first sailing after a pandemic shuts down an entire industry and then having no problem telling people you have no problem lying about a medical condition. 

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2 minutes ago, taxiang said:

Imagine cruising on the first sailing after a pandemic shuts down an entire industry and then having no problem telling people you have no problem lying about a medical condition. 

I had to re-read his entire post, my head is still spinning!

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7 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

I had to re-read his entire post, my head is still spinning!

This is an good example of why there will be people who fake vaccination cards.  I understand the outgoing flight process was not pleasant but lying to skip ahead is terrible.  Had similar unpleasant experiences out of other airports like Punta Cana.

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2 hours ago, garyg2000 said:

My wife and I paid $96 for the 3 hour bus tour around St. Maarten just to kill 3 + hours since our flight was after 4.15pm.  We've been to St. Maarten many times and didn't need a tour.  Bus was supposed to leave ship around 9am.  It left at 9:30 and dropped us off at the airport at 11:00 sharp.  Great!!!!!!

(5 hours to kill)  It started to get very hot standing in the mile long line after about thirty minutes and nobody seemed to know what was going on.  A couple people came back to their place in line after talking with airport agents and said we just have to wait outside.  I told my wife to stay in line and I went up to talk with an agent.  This idiot told me I could go in at 3pm.  I said my flight is at 4:15 and I'll miss the plane.  I completely lost it and demanded to see her boss.  I won't go into detail what I said and threatened, but did say that my wife has a medical condition (lie) and I also have a medical condition (90 degree heat and humidity makes me thirsty)

The supervisor told me to get my wife, bags, and cool off inside.  I said thank you and entered the pearly gates.  It only took us about 20 minutes in line to get to the front counter to check in and get our boarding tickets.  WE didn't know about the form that should have been filled out, but it took a minute to complete.  Now, it looked like they were having problems with the boarding tickets.  After waiting another 5 minutes and 3 AA agents working on our tickets (I started feeling like a drug criminal) they said the flight was delayed an hour.  OK, no problem, at least I'm in a cool place now.

I will say that the three working on the tickets were very nice and no issues with them.  

We NEVER CHECK OUR BAGS, BUT HERE'S A WARNING TO THOSE WHO ARE OVER 35, DON'T LIFT WEIGHTS, AND NOT IN GOOD PHYSICAL SHAPE.  YOU HAVE TO CARRY YOUR LUGGAGE OFF THE PLANE YOURSELF DOWN ALL THE STEPS THAT ARE SMALL AND NARROW WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN ST.MAARTEN.  WE EACH HAD OUR LUGGAGE AND CARRY ON.  WERE BOTH LUCKY THAT WE MADE IT DOWN THOSE STEPS.  

WE CHECKED OUR BAGS GOING HOME ($30 A BAG) WASN'T GOING TO ATTEMPT TO LUG THOSE BAGS UP THE STEPS.  

OK----back to the check in----once we got through security there were plenty of seats available and the place was a madhouse.  I swear, if there is a major outbreak of Covid again, it probably came from the waiting area of the airport.  It was a zoo inside.  Social distance was about an inch from the person in front of you waiting to board planes.  

WE only had 5 hours to kill and looked around for food.  They must have really good burgers since the burger joint changs $17 for any burger on the menu.

My wife just got herself worked up from this whole disaster, and her stomach was messed yesterday and today.  She said that she will never fly to St. Maarten again----It just wasn't worth it.

 

I’m going to say one last comment on this post.  You brag about a fake medical condition, you said “lie”.  You said you “threatened” her and can’t say what else you said!  All because it was too hot in the sun for two apparently healthy people.  Yea perfect reason to threaten a woman.  I’ve been suspended, had posts deleted/removed for far far less than your despicable actions.  SHAME on you is all I can say.

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I. too. wondered what the rest of the people in the hot mile long queue thought when they saw this preferential treatment.  Just not the right thing to do.

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I'm going to reply to the negative comments just once and not continue reading any more of these posts. 

I have no idea how long the people in line had to wait in the heat, what time their flight was taking off, and how many hours they would have to stand outside.  All I know is that my flight was at 4:15 and I wasn't going to stand there for 4+ hours to get in and miss my flight.  If you read my post you would see that the agents were clueless about when to let passengers enter the terminal.  

End of story-----Anyone with a later flight flight would have been standing out in the heat for longer.

 

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16 hours ago, cruisingator2 said:


Agree. I have a feeling that next Saturday we will see similar complaints coming from the Adventure OTS guests in Nassau. One of the main reasons that those cruises did not appeal to us. 

I wasn't interested in any of these cruises for the same reasons although I so want to resume cruising. 

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Oh My, What a mess you all got into! No Thank's I'll pass on cruising from a foreign port like St Martin.It was bad enough trying to get out of San Jaun airport after a cruise from there. I'll stick to US based ports!!!!  JMO

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12 hours ago, taxiang said:

So you lied about a medical condition so you could jump the line while others waited outside?

 

12 hours ago, LGW59 said:

He also “threatened” her, his word, not mine.  Wow!! 

 

12 hours ago, taxiang said:

Imagine cruising on the first sailing after a pandemic shuts down an entire industry and then having no problem telling people you have no problem lying about a medical condition. 

 

12 hours ago, LGW59 said:

I had to re-read his entire post, my head is still spinning!

 

11 hours ago, cscurlock said:

This is an good example of why there will be people who fake vaccination cards.  I understand the outgoing flight process was not pleasant but lying to skip ahead is terrible.  Had similar unpleasant experiences out of other airports like Punta Cana.

 

10 hours ago, LGW59 said:

I’m going to say one last comment on this post.  You brag about a fake medical condition, you said “lie”.  You said you “threatened” her and can’t say what else you said!  All because it was too hot in the sun for two apparently healthy people.  Yea perfect reason to threaten a woman.  I’ve been suspended, had posts deleted/removed for far far less than your despicable actions.  SHAME on you is all I can say.

Selfishness is the name of the game in this “me, me, me” society within which we live. It has been growing in strength over the last couple of decades, but has been no more ‘in your face’ since this pandemic began. Pathetic is the word. 

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12 hours ago, taxiang said:

So you lied about a medical condition so you could jump the line while others waited outside?

I didn't need to read any farther after that.  

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The fault in part rests with Celebrity, not just because of the short tour but because they should've known the airport was not equipped for this crowd. They should have gotten the forms right, had people there for crowd control, had a luggage valet program, and provided a safe place for people to wait. The airport doesn't have the resources to get this right, but Celebrity does. 

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Trying now to move my July 3 cruise from summit to edge , celebrity announced that our cruise has moved from millennium to summit a couple of weeks ago but have been unable to update our doc .

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This is not anyone's "Fault".  Travelers often have issues.  If one has issues with waiting in a long hot line (heat is relative; what bothers one, doesn't bother another), noise, smoke, no snacks, etc. then he has to take measures to insure avoidance.  And be prepared with a Plan B.  Relying on the kindness of strangers works sometime but not always.

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Here is a link from the airport talking about the reconstruction / repair from the 2017 Hurricanes  - https://sxmairport.net/reports/PMU Project Milestones.pdf

 

It seems that the airport is still operating at a reduced capacity. I know some people have said Celebrity should have done more at the airport, however, I'm sure they are limited in how much they can do at the airport  as that is where the local authorities take over.

 

Also in looking at the SXM flight schedule it seems like most of the flights are small commuter flights - but then you have 2 Delta flights and 2 American flights all departing in a 30 minute window - so I would expect that volume of passengers to take a while to process if they have limited resources.

 

Just my 2 cents

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20 minutes ago, JFontaine said:

The fault in part rests with Celebrity, not just because of the short tour but because they should've known the airport was not equipped for this crowd. They should have gotten the forms right, had people there for crowd control, had a luggage valet program, and provided a safe place for people to wait. The airport doesn't have the resources to get this right, but Celebrity does. 

Very true. Celebrity does have the resources, but this is kind of indicative of the “we don’t care as much once you’re off the cruise ship” attitude. Will it change?  Who knows. But honestly this kind of thing should have been anticipated with sailings from countries which are not home ports ordinarily. 

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40 minutes ago, George C said:

Trying now to move my July 3 cruise from summit to edge , celebrity announced that our cruise has moved from millennium to summit a couple of weeks ago but have been unable to update our doc .

George, I was thinking about the same thing...let me know what happens please...

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39 minutes ago, happy cruzer said:

This is not anyone's "Fault".  Travelers often have issues.  If one has issues with waiting in a long hot line (heat is relative; what bothers one, doesn't bother another), noise, smoke, no snacks, etc. then he has to take measures to insure avoidance.  And be prepared with a Plan B.  Relying on the kindness of strangers works sometime but not always.

Take a look at how luxury travel operations (cruise lines and tour companies) move passengers through underdeveloped countries at trip end. Not like this.  For the most part these are older travelers and when you are at the airport there is no Plan B.  

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1 hour ago, JFontaine said:

The fault in part rests with Celebrity, not just because of the short tour but because they should've known the airport was not equipped for this crowd. They should have gotten the forms right, had people there for crowd control, had a luggage valet program, and provided a safe place for people to wait. The airport doesn't have the resources to get this right, but Celebrity does. 


 In that situation, grab a taxi from the airport and go somewhere comfortable, until your departure window to check in is near.  I would imagine some travelers with later flights did just that.  
Not Celebrity’s fault for airport constraints.
 

Also think luggage valet from ship to airports will not be offered during early cruising under COVID protocols,    

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