by Gerald Singer www.SeeStJohn.com
Many tourists take advantage of the significant savings on alcoholic beverages purchased in the Virgin Islands. But now this perk to St. Thomas travel is being undermined by the airlines and here’s how:
If you are flying back to the United States from the US Virgin Islands, you are allowed to bring 5 bottles (one liter) of liquor duty free or six bottles, if one of them is produced locally in The Virgin islands. It’s quite a saving as tax amounts for a great portion of the price of liquor bought in the United States.
But, consider this: Wines and liquors are liquids and, under new homeland security guidelines, cannot by carried onboard – they must be checked in.
Checked in items, however, now incur a fee, which means that if you had no checked in luggage at all, your package of liquor would be charged $15.
If you do have a bag already checked in, that box of duty free beverages will be charged $25 as your second bag.
If you already have two bags to be checked in, you might want to consider flushing the booze down the toilet or passing it out free to whoever wants it, because as your third bag, it will be charged $100.
And if by some chance you already have five bags checked, there will be $200 charge for you reduced-priced liquor.
High Prices and Cut Backs
In case you haven’t noticed, the price of airline tickets is on the rise. Cheap tickets and special deals are almost a thing of the past. And travel isn’t as much fun as it used to be, to say the least. You need to get to the airport two hours before the flight, be humiliated at security checkpoints, squeeze into smaller seats and pay extra for everything from sandwiches to water.
The high-priced airline seats will also be getting harder to find at all. For example, American Airlines is cutting back Virgin Islands flights.
The twice daily direct flights between Miami and St. Thomas has been cutback to once a day.
The daily direct flight between St. Thomas and JFK in New York is now once a week
American Eagle flights between St. Thomas and San Juan have been cut back from eight a day to three a day and between St. Croix and San Juan the 576 available seats will decrease to only 216.