Ridiculous San Juan Layover - JetBlue

Old Jan 30, 06, 3:16 pm
  #1  
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Ridiculous San Juan Layover - JetBlue

My wife and I are headed down to St. John for a well-deserved 5 day mini-vacation away from our lovely (but sometimes mentally/physically taxing) 2 year old twins.

To maximize our beach/relaxation time and minimize our travel time, I noticed that JetBlue had a very inexpensive red-eye flight ($59 each way) from NY to San Juan that leaves at 10:30pm and arrives in San Juan at 3:15am! The earliest flight out of San Juan to St. Thomas (no airport in St. John) is 6:45am on Carribbean Sun Airlines (who??) or at 8:30am on AA/American Eagle.

Does SJU allow people to sleep in the airport at this hour? (i.e. is the airport still "open" Is it really smart/safe to do so?? I see there is a BEst Western at the airport but cant see spending $160 for a few hours of sleep in bed. Suggestions??

Secondly....would you go with no name Carribean Sun Airlines at 6:45am or American Eagle and sleep in the airport until 8:15am? (I could go with Cape Air at 7:15am but my wife would never step foot on a Cessna!)

Any thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Eric
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Old Jan 30, 06, 3:36 pm
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Well, I've stayed at the Best Western and it is a dump. Although, I've never been in the SJU airport at that hour, I believe it should be safe.
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Old Jan 31, 06, 9:12 am
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I haven't been to SJU often, but I have been there in the early morning, before 6:00 am. It was surprisingly busy with pax for early morning flights. You should be safe, but uncomfortable. The first shops and restaurants I noticed opened at 6:00 am.

Stretch out on the carpet for a couple hours, if you dare. Have a leisurely cup of coffee and a pastry at 6:00 and take the 8:30 AA flight.
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Old Feb 1, 06, 7:30 am
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I have been at SJU in the middle of the night on more than one occasion. Not much open, but a lot of people wandering around. 3 hr layover will not kill you. Had many 8+ hour layovers.

What's wrong with Caribbean Sun? There are a lot of small airlines flying around down there. some have been there a very long time.

I have flown on Caribbean Star AL(I do not know why 2 airlines owned by the same guy) a couple of times. One time, the pilot came out to move some people from the back of the plane to the front. It was the president of the company. his picture was in the little magazine in the seat pocket.

They fly dash 8's which are very nice short hop airplanes.
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Old Feb 1, 06, 7:54 am
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SJU airport isn't bad...you can stay there...but no airport is really pleasant to sleep in. I'd probably actually choose Caribbean Sun before Eagle!!
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Old Feb 1, 06, 7:59 am
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We were in the exact same position a few weeks ago. (We took the JetBlue redeye to San Juan (arriving at 3:15 am) and then the first AA flight (8:30 am) to St. Thomas.

(Yes, the airport was open. There are flights at all crazy hours of the day).

Neither of the conventional options looked appealing:
1) paying $160 for 5 hours at a dump hotel
2) crashing at the airport

(By the way, when I was at the San Juan airport, I went over to the hotel to see if they would give a pro-rated rate for a just a few hours, and they were not flexible at all. They were also sold out).

So, we took an alternate route....it sounds crazy, but we rented a car. It was cheaper (only about $25), and we had privacy. Basically, we wound up driving around a little bit, and then sleeping in the car for a few hours.
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Old Feb 1, 06, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Mr. S
So, we took an alternate route....it sounds crazy, but we rented a car. It was cheaper (only about $25), and we had privacy. Basically, we wound up driving around a little bit, and then sleeping in the car for a few hours.
I'll presume you know San Juan better than I do. Where did you park? I suppose a lot at one of the bigger hotels/resorts would have some oversight. But, then you would look suspicious yourself sleeping in a car.
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Old Feb 1, 06, 1:44 pm
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You could try a side street or a hotel parking lot.

I didn't say renting a car was a perfect solution to the problem. We preferred it to staying in the airport (uncomfortable and no privacy) and compared to the airport hotel (too expensive).
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Old Feb 2, 06, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Mr. S
So, we took an alternate route....it sounds crazy, but we rented a car. It was cheaper (only about $25), and we had privacy. Basically, we wound up driving around a little bit, and then sleeping in the car for a few hours.
Excellent idea!
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Old Feb 2, 06, 6:52 pm
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I've found that sleeping at SJU could be more comfortable than doing so at LHR, as a comparison... but then again, what airport is "comfortable" to sleep in??

Do have a sleeping bag if you plan on hitting that carpet.
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Old Feb 9, 06, 12:29 pm
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I think i may have a solution....

The President's Club (Continental) is open at 3:30am and people on ebay sell "guest" passes for about $15-20. I checked with CA and they have told me that you DON'T have to be flying with them to use the guest passes. (I will bring my email from them just in case). So I think I may go that route and sleep in a nice leather chair in a more quiet, safe, and relaxing atmosphere rather than in the main terminal.

Thoughts?
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Old Feb 10, 06, 9:28 am
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Caribbean Sun/Star is a good airline. A little quirky but hey you are in the islands.

I have slept on the floor on San Juan two years ago. Arrived on a late CO flight and then was on the early Eagle flight to STT and cabed over to Red Hook for a ferry ride to STJ. I very much enjoyed it.

I would not rent a car and sleep in it in SJU. I am in SJU everu other month for biz and it is not safe especially to sleep in a car. Two years ago I saw what happened after a car jacking, a dead guy on the street. The airport is safer as their are police there on patrol and there will be at least 20 other people with you in line at the AA counter doing the same as you.

In STJ do not forget to go cross island to eat at Skinny Legs and let your hair down.
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Old Feb 11, 06, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by lbrlwyr
The President's Club (Continental) is open at 3:30am and people on ebay sell "guest" passes for about $15-20. I checked with CA and they have told me that you DON'T have to be flying with them to use the guest passes. (I will bring my email from them just in case). So I think I may go that route and sleep in a nice leather chair in a more quiet, safe, and relaxing atmosphere rather than in the main terminal.

Thoughts?
Good plan! I know the DL CRC didn't open until 6:00 AM. IIRC, there is concourse-specific security? Not sure if that will cause trouble if your flights are in another concourse.
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Old Feb 20, 06, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by lbrlwyr
To maximize our beach/relaxation time and minimize our travel time, I noticed that JetBlue had a very inexpensive red-eye flight ($59 each way) from NY to San Juan that leaves at 10:30pm and arrives in San Juan at 3:15am!
This is probably why the fare is so cheap. This is one of the drawbacks to many Jet Blue flights, their schedules are laughable.

Originally Posted by lbrlwyr
....would you go with no name Carribean Sun Airlines at 6:45am
Definitely go with this option. I have flown Carribean Sun several times on this route and it is a great option. No need to waste time waiting for the eagle flight.
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Old Apr 12, 06, 6:13 pm
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Another question on SJU:

I have a flight out of SJU leaving at 7:30 AM on a Wednesday. The resort (Wyndham) is an hour from the airport. Now I notice that our corporate travel service recommends that we get to SJU 3 hours before a flight.

It appears from the earlier posts that the airport will be open and operating. My question- do I really need to get there at 4:30 AM? I'm taking CO, if that makes a difference.
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