03.04.2017

Americans note the rising price of plane tickets

Via Facebook, we asked Americans about the price of plane tickets between the USA and St. Maarten. Around 90 people responded, and all affirmed that they had noticed a visible rise in prices.

Americans love the island of Saint-Martin. Many are loyal to it and return year after year. Many also own time-share apartments. According to some tourism professionals from the Dutch side, however, it seems that there were fewer Americans in December and January. One of the reasons is the rising price of plane tickets.

"We paid $1,100 this year, while normally we would pay $800 or $900," notes Mandi. Kathy, Randy, and Geri also noticed a rise of around $200/250, or even $270 per trip. "We bought our tickets in September to come over Easter, and we paid $800, while until now we used to pay between $560 and $650," Bob adds. Renee, who is planning her trip for this Christmas, has not found tickets for under $600 per person, or $2400 for her family.

"The increases over the past several years were more significant than any that we had noticed before," notes Pamela, who nonetheless has come to Saint-Martin regularly since 2011. Many also adapt to the offers. "I am used to coming twice a year. So I regularly check prices, and I have noticed that they have increased a lot," explains Terri. For Tim and his spouse, they now come during the low season, since they manage to find reasonably-priced tickets between $450 and $650. "We can't come during the high season anymore, in February like we used to," he confides. "I paid $700 to come during the last week in March, which I consider to be very expensive. I wouldn’t have come if I didn’t have a time-share," comments Marybeth. Coming from Pittsburgh, Sharon accepted a price of $800 per person since she knows that she can spend two weeks in her time-share apartment. "Even so, I had to shorten my stay by two days, or else the tickets would have been even more expensive," she laments.

But others hesitate to come. This was the case for Greg, who had to pay $300 extra leaving from Texas this year. "This is the last time we will come if the prices don’t stop increasing," he confides, noting that "for the same price, we could go to Mexico twice."

However, this year, some people have already stopped coming. Carole confesses that four family members who live in Chicago will not be joining them this year because of the price. "It costs them $1000! That’s incredible!" she says in surprise. Jennifer and her family also made that decision. “There are five of us, and the too-high prices are why we aren’t coming this year," she states.

Rusalan has also observed fewer passengers. "We came in January. We had purchased our tickets in October for under $600. Apparently, we were lucky, but the flight was two-thirds empty, while this time last year it was full."

 

Estelle Gasnet

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