We tell our children fairy tales, like Cinderella and Little Red Riding, and there is always an obstacle in the plot – like Cinderella’s rather desperate need to return home before midnight, and Little Red Riding Hood’s confrontation with a remarkably toothy grandmother.
There is usually a moral involved in fairy tales, too.
And so we’d like to tell you a short fairy tale. The We-Are-So-Busy-and-Tired family decided that they wanted to go a special holiday to a place where they could run on white sand beaches and frolic in blue-green waters. Their friends, the We-Travel-A-Lot family, recommended that they go to the magical Abacos.
And so it was that the We-Are-So-Busy-and-Tired family counted each day on their kitchen calendar until it was finally time to go to The Abacos. They wheeled their carefully packed bags to the airport, and their mom carried their passports and their one-way tickets – to the Bahamas.
But when the immigration official looked at the We-Are-So-Busy-and-Tired family’s tickets, she shook her head: “You need to show the Bahaman officials your return ticket when you enter their country. You have only one-way tickets.”
The We-Are-So-Busy-and-Tired family had decided to buy their return ticket from the Bahamas, so that they could choose which day was best to leave, but now they had to hurriedly buy their return tickets at the airport.
The good news is that the We-Are-So-Busy-and-Tired family were able to catch a later flight and run and play in the sand and the sun. (The end.)
At Air Unlimited, we like happy endings. We also want you to be able to “Fly. Enjoy. Return.” and so we present the entry requirements, for American citizens, going to The Abacos.
Do I need a passport to enter The Abacos?
Yes, if you fly into The Bahamas, you are required to present an American passport to Bahaman officials.
You may have read the last sentence and thought something like this: But I did not need a passport when I travelled to The Abacos by cruise ship last May.
And, you would be correct. If you travel into The Bahamas by boat or by land, you can use any document that is compliant with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, as linked to above, dictates that the following forms of identification be acceptable:
- Valid U.S. passport
- Valid passport card
- Enhanced driver’s license
- A NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST trusted traveler program card
- A U.S. military identification card, if you are travelling under official government orders
- A U.S. merchant mariner document, if you are travelling on official maritime business
- A Form I-872 American Indian card, or enhanced tribal card
At Air Unlimited, we recommend that you use an American passport to travel to The Abacos, and other locations in the Bahamas. Why?
Should your cruise ship have an unhappy incident, say, a severe outbreak of influenza, it might be possible for you to leave the infected ship and fly home to America, but you would need your passport to re-enter America.
Similarly, if you are piloting your own boat, but are called back to America for an unforeseen emergency, you would need your passport to board a flight.
So, if you are flying into The Abacos, you require an American passport. Simple.
If you are entering The Abacos by boat (or somehow over land) you can use one the I.D.s permitted by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, however, you should use the one I.D. that can gain you re-entry by flight into America, your passport.
One last thing …
If you are travelling with your child, who under the age of 18, and the other parent is not present, you should carry a letter of permission from that parent, simply stating that they are aware that their child is travelling with you.
Similarly, if you are travelling with any child who is under 18, you should have written permission from their parents.
Enjoy The Abacos.
Fly. Enjoy. Return.
At Air Unlimited, we do not believe that your holiday begins when you kick your sandals off and slowly push your feet into silky white sand, while awaiting the key lime martini you just ordered – we believe it begins the moment you enter our aircraft. Let us explain why.
We don’t do discomfort
Statista, a prolific gatherer of statistics, tells us that 77% of people who fly on airplanes feel uncomfortable in their seats, and are unable to stretch their legs because of a lack of space.
Even if you have a relatively short flight, we believe that you should not be physically confined for its duration, moving like a contortionist to avoid touching the stranger sitting inches from you.
At Air Unlimited, our aircraft, the Cessna 421, the Citation Mustang and the King Air 200, feature seats that wrap you in comfort as you sink into that good book, lose yourself in the view or catch up on your favourite podcast.
We don’t charge baggage fees
Our friends at Statista also tell us that 70% of human beings that fly on airplanes do not like paying baggage fees. And at Air Unlimited, we are totally with these 7 out of 10 fliers: We will not charge your bags, the inanimate containers for your belongings, a fee for accompanying you on your flight.
We are reliable, like your aunt who shows up to christmas dinner with a pineapple-glazed ham
About 67 percent of human beings who fly regularly worry that a cancellation or delay will affect their plans, and statistics lend credence to this anxiety: Flight Stats shows that on that day this sentence is being typed, on December 15, 2016, in America, 132 flights have been cancelled and 1,390 delayed – and it is not even lunch time on the east coast.
Sure, flights are cancelled and delayed for understandable reasons, but if you fly with Air Unlimited, you know that we are reliable. We take the drama out of flying.
you can charter an air unlimited flight to most destinations in eastern and central America, as well as in the caribbean
To charter an aircraft was once thought to be the purview of the super wealthy, of young pop stars, real estate moguls or reclusive software developers, but it is now a much more common way to travel.
IBIS World reports that there are currently about 21, 177 charter airlines on the planet, and that trends show that more of us will fly with charter airlines in the next five years. At Air Unlimited, we invite you to give us a call; we’ll tell you exactly what is involved to charter one of our planes to a destination of your choice.
Air Unlimited has distinguished itself among charter companies in florida, and america
As a customer, you know when you are being truly cared for, when you feel appreciated and relaxed, and Air Unlimited has its priorities straight, as this reviewer from Trip Advisor puts it:
This small, personable airline serving the Bahamas and the southeast provided a fantastic experience. The location was very accessible; the pilots are very friendly and professional. We flew round trip to Treasure Cay in the Bahamas and will definitely fly with Air Unlimited again.
Close your eyes. Imagine that you are sitting in a small seat in an airplane, with your legs bent up so that you are pushing into the seat in front you, when a cheerful but robotic voice flows from an unseen person, announcing that it will be at least 30 minutes before take-off – this after a three-hour wait for a security check.
We feel your pain. At Air Unlimited, we have a motto: Fly. Enjoy. Return. It really is that simple.
Flying private is not reserved for the rich and famous anymore. Thanks to a new concept in air travel, a seat on a private jet compared to a trip in coach could actually save you money.
My seat belt clicked effortlessly into its slot, and I could clearly hear the pilots’ conversation through my headset.
“Ready for take off,” said Mark Neubauer, pilot and cofounder of Air Unlimited.
I took a deep breath, and our Beechcraft King Air 200 headed for the sky.
There wasn’t unlimited Dom Perignon, but this level of luxury was a new high for me.
This was my first trip on a private plane. We just took it for a quick flight, but it was long enough to realize what I’ve been missing all my life.
“The flight is smooth,” said Charles “Chick” Gregg, pilot and cofounder of Air Unlimited.
Air Unlimited out of the Sanford International Airport is one of the first of its kind in air travel.
“Passengers buy individual seats. That’s how it’s so affordable,” said Neubauer.
The website, www.flyairunlimited.com, is similar to most commercial airlines.
“You get a ticket right online,” Neubauer said.
Unlike other air services, Air Unlimited flies its scheduled flights even if just one seat is booked.
The company owns several other aircrafts for different passenger needs including two Cessna 421s and a Citation Mustang.
The company only flies to two destinations currently — two airports in the Bahamas and two in Key West.
Tickets to Key West run about $199 per way. That includes 40 pounds of luggage, valet parking at the airport and light refreshments.
Other major airlines can run up to $500 for a round-trip ticket for the same flight and that’s without parking.
Oh, and the leg room would be comfortable for LeBron James.
Gregg and Neubauer say they are looking to add more locations as they grow their following.
Another big difference between flying private versus going through a major airport is the time between arrival and take off.
“You could be in the air in 20 to 30 minutes,” said Gregg.
Most major airports suggest you arrive two hours before any domestic flight and three hours before any flight heading out of the country.
Once you’re the air you can choose to wear a headset to hear the pilots communicate with each other, which adds another element to the experience.
“You get to know the pilots,” Gregg said.
If the idea of sharing your plane with “others” makes you cringe, you can charter a plane for you and your homies.
Quoted charters are based on an hourly rate, and flight availability differs depending on the season.
Other similar services, like JetSuite, set passengers up on private jet flights with empty seats at a lower cost.
Another new concept that could be a cheaper way to fly private if you fly often is a membership plan.
Air Unlimited is having a flash sale on Dec. 19. They’re offering guests $100 off of a round-trip flight from Orlando-Sanford International to the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas.
Tickets will be good for 6 months from the date of purchase.
Visit Air Unlimited for more information.
View the video here: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/kayla-obrien/92145967-132.html
Written by: Kayla O’Brien – Contact Reporter for the Orlando Sentinel
Wild boar roam the pine forests of Abacos, and the rare Abacos parrot can be found there too, sometimes nesting in limestone caves, far below it all. And in the green-blue waters that surround these cays really big fish move quietly under the surface, like Blue Marlins, White Marlins, Sailfish and Wahoo.
You can remember reading about the Blue Marlin as a child, how it can weigh up 2000 pounds and travel up to 60 mph, and, man, do you want to feel its force at the end of your line. Or it could be the feisty Wahoo or the majestic Broadbill Swordfish that has found its ways into your dreams.
At Air Unlimited, we know a little bit about game fishing off The Abacos. And we like to share.
I was in the right place at the right time
Be good to yourself. If you want to reel in one of the big fish that swim the seas of the Abacos, make sure that you arrive when you have the best chance of doing so. The blue marlin may put in an occasional appearance in February, but he is hanging out quite frequently in May. And the broadbill swordfish vanishes for the winter months. Poof.
Click on this link to find out when you have the best chance of catching the big fish you are after in the Abacos: The Game Fish Chart.
I could not have done it without ————
The Abacos calls fishers from all over this planet, and you will find some highly skilled guides who will stick with you, showing you hot spots, advising you on technique and doing all they can to set you up for a good catch.
We are giving a shout-out to three worthy establishments here, but just as a sampling of what is on offer in The Abacos.
The Blackfly Lodge is a fine lodge where you will feel at home – as the Mahi-Mahi, tuna, wahoo, marlin and sailfish do. And I quote directly from the official Blackfly Lodge website: “Some say it’s the best blue water fishing in the Bahamas right at the doorstep of Blackfly Lodge.” (And the word is that their fried lobster sandwiches are sublime.)
Fishers of bonefish are drawn to The Abaco Lodge like lemmings to a cliff, though they fare much better, languishing in the high comfort of this popular lodge in between bouts of fishing, chilled drink in hand.
It is possible to book experienced captains for one- or two-day trips; they will lead you offshore in your quest for marlin, wahoo, tuna, dorado and sailfish. Booking early is advised.
The prolific travel writers at Frommers give the nod to The Green Turtle Club as having some of the best guides in The Bahamas: “Green Turtle Cay also has some of the best fishing guides in The Bahamas, weather-beaten men who’ve spent a lifetime fishing the surrounding waters.”
Along with the weather-beaten guides, you’ll find the deep-sea fishing to be remarkable here, with the in-season big fish showing up in big numbers.
Now that you’ve read about when the different species of big game fish are in The Abacos, and about some of the excellent resorts that stand ready to support you as you head out on the high seas, you should, perhaps, read gripping book to inspire you as you eagerly await the day your flight leaves for The Bahamas. The Outdoor Life put together this list of books that capture the thrill of the hunt: Top 20 books for hunters and anglers.
The Florida Keys beckon the weary. You know who you are. Life has been frenetic as of late: You are beginning to see dark circles under your eyes in the bathroom mirror in the morning. You need to lie in a beach chair that is unseemly in its level of luxury and absorb the healing rays of the heavenly body we know as the sun.
But you may want to invite some excitement into your excursion to The Keys, to rise up from the sand and see what you can see. We have some ideas for you: 8, to be precise.
- Locally sourced fish tacos
Did anything happen when you read the four words before this sentence? Perhaps you started to wonder what kind of fish would be in these tacos? Or if there would be a homemade salsa of some kind, maybe even one with heat, at the place where these tacos would be eaten? If so, you need to explore The Keys by way of food.
Key West Food Tours are easy to book, there is link under this paragraph, and you will be part of a small group that spends about 3 hours together, wandering from a speakeasy where you might want to partake in a rum-runner cocktail to a family-owned taco joint to … you get the idea. Key lime pie will be involved at some point.
- Kayak where the mangroves live
We know mangroves by their roots, by those tangled, mesmerizing thick roots that, at first, seem out of place above the ground. But these tough trees and shrubs that live along waterways in tropical climes are anything but out of place, they have evolved so that they can survive in unfriendly conditions, even making use of salt water.
Most of us admire the mangroves from a polite distance, but why not settle into a light kayak and get to know these remarkable trees a little better? At The Kayak Shack you can rent a kayak for 2 for half a day and lose yourself in the midst of a mangrove forest. (That’s lose yourself in the best way, in wonder, not so that you can’t fine your way back.)
- Help out a turtle
You might think that a hospital, even one that cares for sea turtles, those captivating creatures that have only a 1 in a thousand chance of surviving into adulthood, is a poor choice for an exciting outing whilst on vacation. But you may be incorrect. The smart people at Berkley tell us that human beings become happy at the thought of doing good, like helping out ailing turtles.
Pushing aside the glow that will emanate from your heart as you exit this fine establishment, you be moved by the beauty of these ancient-seeming beings we share this planet with.
- John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
You have not lived until you’ve come face to face with a statue that stands not on the land but in the sea, with its arms reaching up as if toward the heavens. (This is only a slight overstatement.) An undersea park is a magical idea and the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park has been around since 1963, and has thrilled visitors from all over the planet.
Should you be travelling with children, they will be thrilled at a ride in the glass-bottomed boat aptly named The Spirit of Pennekamp.
- Honey, doesn’t that guy look like Hemingway?
Ernest Hemingway lived through 2 plane crashes, led French militia groups against the Nazis and had a six-toed cat – all this and a writer too. That such a man would inspire a festival named Hemingway Day’s Festivals, that draws his doppelgangers to Sloppy Joe’s Bar to compete for the prize of resembling the great man the most, is unsurprising.
But you can just sit back and watch the fun, and order a daiquiri, just like Hemingway did in this same bar in the ‘30s. (Well, he may have ordered more than one.)
- Haunted Happy Hour Saloon
Excitement comes in many forms, and some of its grislier forms do not appeal to all, but if you are the kind of person who likes to lift up rocks and look under them, if you do not mind knowing that a man was murdered in a rather unkind way in the bar that you are about to enter, well, then, this tour is for you.
There is much more on offer than the macabre, like a haunted B&B and a distillery that is said to have a spooky past. If you want to take a walk on the grim side, head over to Lagerheads Beach Bar and sign up. You must be 21 years ago to hang with these peeps.
- Mallory Square
The sunsets at Mallory Square have melted hearts, inspired poetry as well as the whirr whirr whirr of cameras, but there is more to this place. If you want to be pushed out of yourself just a little bit, spend some time watching the buskers at Mallory Square. You will see talented people do unexpected things in ways that amaze you. You might even see a dog walk a tightrope. (Let’s hope that this is something he loves to do.)
- Art is everything
Well, early morning walks on The Key’s sublime beaches are something too, but to know a place is to know its art, and you can see what the artists of Key West are up to at, well, The Studios at Key West. You might fall in love with a piece and take it away to your home, as a way of reminding you that The Keys are out there somewhere, even when your meeting is running 2 hours long.
At Air Unlimited, we are experts in providing you with a hassle-free, pleasurable flight to your destination, whether you have chartered one of our aircraft or have chosen one of our regular flights to the Bahamas or the Florida Keys. One of the most important things we do is select aircraft that that reflects our commitment to our customers.
Let us introduce you to our fleet.
THE CESSNA 421
The prototype of the Cessna 421 was first flown in October of 1965, the same year that the first TGI Fridays opened, in Manhattan, and when NBC’s Bonanza was the most popular TV show in the land, and it has become one of the most popular aircraft on the planet.
The Cessna 421 travels at 240 miles per hour, which means that it is only 90 minutes from central Florida to the most popular destinations in the Florida Keys or the Bahamas.
Business class seating
The spacious leather seats of this aircraft are comparable to business class seating in a large aircraft, and everyone gets a window.
Noise, or lack thereof
The Cessna 421 is a relatively quiet aircraft, so you can easily converse with your fellow travellers and there is no need to don special headsets (or mime).
THE CITATION MUSTANG
It was on April 26th, 2005, that Cessna issued a press release: The Citation Mustang had made its first flight. 11 years later, the Citation Mustang has earned a reputation as a desirable aircraft with a solid safety record – according to Top Speed, this aircraft has been flown for more than 20 million hours.
Very light class
The Citation Mustang is a very light class (VLC) aircraft with four passenger seats and two seats in the cockpit. You should know that this VLC has the ability to fly over weather at a speed of 380MPH, as a result of Cessna technology and experience in aerodynamics.
Seats that you sink into
The designers of the seats of this aircraft began with a commitment to creating an ergonomically sound seat that holds your body as it should, and then added luxurious leather and a sinking softness. Passengers are granted the convenience of a sound console, a worktable, a storage space and power outlets.
THE KING AIR 200
Flying Magazine reported, in 2008, that over 2000 King Air 200s had been delivered, which meant it was the “most popular turbine-powered business plane of all time.” And when a plane is that popular, it means that a lot of people like a lot of things about it.
You might not want to leave
The King Air 200 is an aircraft designed for passengers to spend quality time with: The cabin is shaped in a square oval that results in roominess, you will not feel confined but relaxed, and, yes, able to easily stretch your limbs.
Sideways, backwards and in a circle
The 10 luxurious seats of the King Air 200 (including crew) move sideways, swivel about and recline, just so that you can always find a position of comfort, whether working, reading or resting.
It’s quieter than I thought it would be
Turboprop aircraft have a reputation for making noise, but the King Air 200 is as quiet as it is possible for a plane traveling at 300MPH and propelled by a turbine engine to be. So, if noise is not your thing, this is the turboprop for you.
Air Unlimited is in the business of building relationships with customers, we want you to want to fly with us. We are proud that our choice of aircraft reflects our commitment to provide each of our customers with a pleasant, highly comfortable, safe experience.