Flying from St Marteen to St Barth

Review of maxoulyon about the flight Winair between St Martin (Princess Juliana) and Saint Barthelemy on 23/11/2013 in Economy
maxoulyon WM / WIA SXM / SBH
Note: This review is about an experience that happened more than 3 years ago.

This airline is very well known by those who frequent the Antilles. The flight I took lasted about 20 minutes on board a very small aircraft with only a pilot, co-pilot and about fifteen people able to board.

The connection with the large airlines was made at St Marteen, at the Princess Juliana airport. There was no indication as to whether the baggage was following to St Barth or not, which accounted for a considerable loss of time.

Once the boarding gate had been found, you had to ask the staff (the most unpleasant in the world) if other flights were planned for St Barth, since half the travellers in transit did not have time to take the second flight.

In the end, boarding was quicker by mini-bus that took the passengers to the tarmac. You climbed the little steps to the door, lowered your head and the inside was quite small (to be expected, given the size of the plane).

I would recommend a window seat or one near the left rear door, as there is an extraordinary view not to be missed on any account. No magazines or other distractions either.

Takeoff was rapid and the engine noise, as well as the smell of kerosene, is soon forgotten, so strong is the impression from flying. About 4-5pm, depending on the season, you will enjoy a sunset worthy of the most beautiful postcard.

Nothing out of the normal on board, but as I said, apart from the refreshing little fan that you find at the side of the safety lockers and vomit bags, all the entertainment is outside.

The pilot gabbled something, took control of the throttle and we were off! On takeoff at St Marten, you are treated to the stunning view of the enormous island resort, the mountainous area that comes into view and the blue horizon stretching out of sight.

Inside the aircraft, it was rather warm.
The flight is so short that you hardly have time to see the yachts sailing when the pilot is already commencing the descent.

St Barth airport is reputed to be one of the most dangerous in the world. Two methods of landing are possible, either by the sea or by the hills. For my flight, the pilot had chosen to arrive by sea. Some banking at (almost) 45 degrees between the island’s hills, with villas at a few meters, and the plane dives towards the bay appearing to land on the water, just as the wheels touch the runway. Too fast an arrival to take in the magic moment you had just lived through.

For baptism by air, I think that this was the best flight possible, far from the sterile atmosphere of a huge airbus or Boeing. It stimulates all your senses and you are living through a unique moment, a real part of the trip.

Overall rating
4 / 5
Value (price + quality)
5 / 5
On the ground
Check-in and boarding
1 / 5
Management of luggage
2 / 5
On board
4 / 5
Costumer service
5 / 5
Your opinion of security
5 / 5

Flight pictures

montée a bord de l'appareil. C'est le pilote qui s'occupe de l'accueil des passagers. Sympa :)
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By maxoulyon, about Winair, , close to Lyon, Rhône-Alpes, France
Posted online by Florian de What The Flight, on 30 January 2014
This review has been read 98 times
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This review is also available in French.

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