Choosing Flights Times
Understanding these few timetables for arrival and departure day will help you select flight times to make your time on island truly... "island time."
Once you are on the ground and have collected your luggage, it takes 45-50 minutes to get to the ferry terminal at Red Hook. The ferries depart (STT) Red Hook for (STJ) Cruz Bay every hour on the hour all day. For example, If you land at 1:20pm, by the time you disembark the plane and collect your luggage you will probably not have time to make the 2:00 boat, but you will have plenty of time to make the 3:00 boat. The passenger ferry takes about 15 minutes. In this scenario, taking the 3pm ferry will have you on STJ, with luggage, around 3:20-3:30. Plan on 20-30 minutes to complete rental car transactions after that. This is ideal for meeting to your greeter between 4 and 5pm depending on your villa location. For most villas, check-in time is 4pm.
ARRIVAL TIME TIP: aim to arrive as early as possible -- anytime before 2:45pm is ideal so that you may catch the 4pm boat.
Heading back to the airport on the day of your departure, it will take about an hour from the time your ferry leaves Cruz Bay until the taxi on STT drops you at the airport. So if your flight departs at 3:00 and American Airlines requires passengers be at the airport three hours before departure, you will need to be at the airport by 12:00, you will want to be on the 11:00 ferry. That works perfectly with dropping your car off by 10:00. This is an example of a civilized departure day.
If you need to select an earlier flight, consider this scenario: Drop car at 6:00am, take the 7am passenger ferry from Cruz, arrive at airport via taxi at 8am, this will allow for a 3 hour flight check-in for 11am departure flight.
DEPARTURE TIME TIP: Anything after noon is civilized. 11am flight is good. 10am flight is doable. 9am flight is rough. 8am flight is borderline and may not happen. 7am flight you will have a private water taxi or stay on STT for your last night.