Your private flight to the Abaco Islands is booked, you just got your hotel room confirmation, and you’re a week out from a trip that you’ve been dreaming about for months! And then you think “What do I pack?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on everything you’ll need on your flight to the Abacos.
Start with your luggage. You might want to pack on the lighter side so it’s easier for you to island hop. A duffle bag or something without those obnoxious wheels would be ideal.
One of the most important things you can bring with you is sunscreen. You’ll want your sunscreen to be water and sweat resistant. We recommend bringing SPF 30 or higher for your body and 55 or higher for your face. Sunscreen can protect your skin but clog your pores so stick with brands like Neutrogena that are always gentle on your skin.
Stop by an ATM before you head to the airport. Most places in the Abacos only accept cash and it’s better to be prepared than hope that wherever you go will accept your credit card. For transportation purposes, it will be much easier to have cash for any taxi ride as well. Don’t worry about exchanging your US dollar for the Bahamian dollar because the exchange rate is the same.
Now for the fun part. You’ll definitely want to pack a bathing suit that will give you tan lines to be proud of. Since most of your time exploring will be spent in the water, finding a bathing suit made of neoprene would be best because it will dry quickly and stay in place. For dudes, treat yourself to something short and bright! Skies out, thighs out, right?
For an extra measure of sun protection with a fashion forward twist, bring a floppy hat for when you’re relaxing on the beach. It wouldn’t hurt to get one with a message like this to truly reflect how relaxed you’d like to be.
Make sure to pack a light jacket for the evening or days that might be a bit overcast. That constant ocean breeze that can be so pleasant on a hot day can actually get quite chilly at night.
There are plenty of beautiful reefs to snorkel and dive at so you should definitely consider bringing a waterproof camera. There are many waterproof cases for smartphones on the market, but if you don’t want to risk it you can buy a disposable film camera or something more rugged like a GoPro.
Bringing a pair of polarized sunglasses will make your sightseeing even more enjoyable. Not only are they great protection for your eyes but they get rid of the glare on water so you’ll be able to see right through to the ocean floor. This will be especially useful when you’re flying to the islands because as you descend and get closer to the ocean you might be able to spot turtles or dolphins before you even land!
Since you’ll be exploring the islands during most of your days, you probably won’t have too much downtime in your room. Between taking photos of everything on your smartphone and tweeting about how cool this place is, your battery is bound to run dry. This is when a portable charger will come in handy. Just remember to charge it before!
Finally, you’ll need one big beach bag for your daily travels. Something sturdy but that can also be folded tightly into your luggage, like a canvas bag. Canvas bags are easy to wash and come in tons of different shapes and sizes.
Of course you’ll need to bring your appetite and sense of adventure, but as far as tangible items, this list is a good place to start!
While planning your trip to the Abacos, you might find yourself unable to decide which island destination you want to check out first. The adventure begins with your 90-minute scheduled island flight over clear blue water and miles of sandy white beaches, but the opportunities are endless once you arrive. Whether you’re cruising around on a fishing boat or taking relaxation into your own hands by renting a yacht to go island hopping, the Abacos has an opportunity for everyone to get their feet wet.
The Abacos has miles of peaceful beaches that keep people going back year after year, but also offer thrill seekers a unique experience, that isn’t for the weak of heart. At Dive Abaco you can find scuba and snorkel trips for all levels and even shark observation dives! This isn’t your typical cage dive that you might’ve seen on TV. On shark observation dives, you will be chartered to known shark spotting areas and coached through your dive by the experts. Dive Abaco also offers underwater photography so you can document your bravest moment.
If hanging out on a beach is more your speed, then you definitely need to visit Tahiti Beach at the tip of Elbow Cay. You are guaranteed to find a spot to call your own at this secluded beach that’s only accessible by foot or boat. It’s the perfect place to lie down and just listen to the palm fronds swaying in the breeze. Tahiti Beach is great for beachcombing, and visitors can find a wide variety of beautiful sea shells. You might even see a few starfish or one of five different kinds of turtles that are native to the islands.
The fishing scene is huge in the Abacos and ranges from no-skills-required fishing off the dock to deep sea excursions. Fishing charters are available right out of Treasure Cay, Marsh Harbour, and Green Turtle Cay. These areas are home to blue marlin, bonefish, snapper, grouper, sailfish, tuna, mahi-mahi, and the list could go on! And if you’re really serious about fishing, the Abacos also has multiple fishing tournaments throughout the year.
The Air Unlimited team is always ready to offer advice or recommendations for your next scheduled island flight to the Abacos. Conveniently book your flight online at flyairunlimited.com or give us a call with your travel questions at 407-585-4300.
It’s the middle of the night, and Charles “Chick” Gregg’s phone is ringing. A fatal car accident took place earlier in the evening, and the driver (an organ donor) has a kidney that matches that of a patient in Tampa.
Chick, co-founder and principal of Air Unlimited, immediately begins making arrangements to find a pair of pilots that can fly the organ and medical team between hospitals. Sometimes our team will just be transporting the organ itself – usually packed in a cooler with ice. Other times, we’re flying a team of doctors to harvest an organ at another hospital and bring it back home for transplant.
Bit different than a private flight to the Bahamas, huh? This isn’t a standalone situation – organ transportation is part of the job description for many of our pilots. In fact, it’s a branch of our business that we are looking forward to continuing to grow.
Why is that?
Because it saves lives. More than 118,000 Americans are currently awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant, including 5,500 Floridians. Unfortunately, every 10 minutes, another person is added to the waiting list, and 21 people die every day while waiting for their turn. So, when a match is made, we know that every second counts.
Even though we’ll never meet these patients, we’re honored to have a part in saving a life, and want you to do the same! Just 54 percent of Americans are organ donors. To encourage more Floridians to sign up, Air Unlimited teamed up with Florida Hospital Transplant Institute to create a public service announcement about the little-known organ transportation process and the vital role that it plays in transplants.
By becoming an organ donor, you can single-handedly save and heal more than 75 lives. To learn more about the process or to sign up to be a donor, visit www.donatelife.net.
There’s no more romantic spot than the Abaco Islands to tie the knot. Known as the “hidden gem” of the Bahamas, this stretch of secluded beaches and gorgeous sunsets provides a dream destination wedding setting for any bride and groom.
Before you book your private plane and head to Marsh Harbor or Treasure Cay to scout out potential venues, we’ve shared some of our favorite spots that we’ve seen our guests say their vows at.
Treasure Cay Beach Marina & Golf Resort
For a picturesque beach wedding that your loved ones will remember, book your wedding at Treasure Cay Beach Marina & Golf Resort. Whether you are envisioning an oceanfront ceremony or a cocktail reception by the pool, their wedding team works closely with couples to help them plan their dream wedding.
Golfing, boating, diving, tennis and fishing are just some of the recreational activities available at this tranquil resort. Friends and family who flew in (hopefully on a private plane via Air Unlimited?) will love spending time on the sand or exploring the island on a Bahamas Adventure Tour, then escaping to the Tipsy Seagull for dancing and live music once the sun goes down.
Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbor Marina
Situated amongst 40 tropical acres of breathtaking beach shores, Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina offers a lush setting for intimate vow renewals and lavish bashes alike. Their award-winning culinary team can dream up a menu to suit any food tastes, whether you’re planning a farewell brunch for immediate family or a five-course plated dinner during the reception.
Couples will have a difficult time choosing which venue they want to tie the knot at. Eloping couples will love a quiet ceremony at the gazebo that is set against magnificent views of the Sea of Abaco. For larger weddings, the resort offers outdoor ceremony options on the beach or The Great Lawn, with tenting available in case of rain.
The resort also partners with Aisle Society to curate every destination wedding experience with hand-picked décor and fun group activities such as a private island bar crawl or fishing charter.
Bahama Beach Club
The best thing about hosting your wedding at Bahama Beach Club is that this resort only performs one exclusive Bahamas wedding ceremony per day. Whether you have two guests or 200, this policy helps guarantee that you will feel like royalty on your special day.
Everything a couple could possibly need for their special day can be found at Bahama Beach Club. Their team is available to arrange for a round of golf for the groomsmen, a scuba diving tour for traveling family, or a beach bonfire to help couples greet everyone before the rehearsal dinner begins.
With an all-star culinary team, the resort also offers complete food and beverage services for couples. Options range from plated dinners on their beachfront pavilion to passed hors d’oeuvres on the pool deck.
Looking for recommendations on wedding venues to check out in the Abacos, or need to charter a private plane to fly your wedding party down? We would be glad to help! Give us a call at (407) 585-4300 to discuss your options.
With its calm waters, warm breezes and stunning panoramic views, the Abacos are an ideal location for the perfect family vacation. Whether you are craving cowabunga-style water sports or have your sights set on a uniquely serene experience with your loved ones, the Abaco Islands offer activities that quench the thirst of each and every guest.
If you’re taking one of Air Unlimited’s daily private flights to Marsh Harbor or Treasure Cay, you’ll be elated with the wide range of family-friendly activities that are available. Here are a few of our favorites:
Rent a Boat and Enjoy Some Island Hopping
A unique group of islands and cays that forms a 120-mile-long chain, the Abacos stretch over 650 square miles. With bay-scalloped coastlines, dream-worthy coves and picture perfect harbors, it’s no surprise that island hopping by boat is one of our favorite family activities in the area. If you’ve already enjoyed a private flight to the location, we suggest continuing the private vacation by renting a boat that will broaden your Abacos horizons.
Each island and cay has something different to offer, and traveling by boat is the best way to explore nature with your family in an exciting way. This fun mode of transportation allows you to discover new locations like Tahiti Beach on Elbow Cay, which is known to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Many boaters anchor for the day around the shallow waters and sand bars near Tahiti Beach while enjoying snorkeling in the calm waters.
There are a number of gorgeous beaches and sand bars to dock your rented boat at for the day, or you can enjoy the wind in your hair just riding around the islands if that’s more your style. Renting a boat gives you and your family the freedom to explore the area on your own schedule.
Pigs, Rays and Sharks OH MY!
Private flights to the Abacos are always met with incredibly unique experiences that families rarely have the chance to experience elsewhere. There are very few tropical locations throughout the world that offer the opportunity to swim with friendly pigs on an otherwise uninhabited island. That is exactly the experience you will find while visiting No Name Cay, just south of Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos. You’ll find a friendly group of pigs that just want a little bit of love and affection – perfect for the kids! No Name Cay is a favorite spot for picnicking and adventuring with your new found piglet pals.
A short ride from Green Turtle Cay brings you to the gorgeous Manjack Cay, a completely unspoiled beach that is a stellar location for swimming and shelling with the kids. Additionally, there is a small cove right off the cay that is home to a group of extremely friendly stingrays and harmless sharks. Give the family the opportunity to explore nature right in its natural habitat, as you enjoy a rare experience with these majestic ocean creatures.
The beauty and intrigue of the Abaco’s natural surroundings stretches well beyond the beach. While there are a number of private areas inhabited by private residents across the island chain, visitors will still find a plethora of gorgeous nature trails, mysterious blue holes and a wide range of plant and bird species ready to be explored around the coast and the inland areas.
Whether you chose to travel by golf cart, bicycle or on foot, the whole family will enjoy discovering secret trails and blue holes, which are water-filled caves and cavities filled with fascinating fish and curious creatures. Families are welcome to explore these areas even further by kayak or canoe.
Pack a picnic basket, grab your loved ones and enjoy some family time in paradise!
Air Unlimited offers daily, affordable scheduled service flights to the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas. If you’re looking for additional recommendations on local restaurants to try, our team would be more than glad to help you put your itinerary together. Give us a call at (407) 585-4300.
Flying on a commercial airline can be unpredictable. Operational issues beyond your control can result in flights being delayed or canceled, often throwing a major wrench in travel plans. We’ve also never heard someone reminisce about all of the fun that they had arriving at the airport three hours before their flight to allow enough time to make it through the lines at security.
Sometimes, it makes more sense to hire a private charter for your upcoming trip. Here are three reasons why.
Fly On Your Own Schedule
Have an important business meeting on Thursday at 1 p.m. but the only available flights will have you landing in the airport at noon? Or do you have a connecting flight that was canceled, and now you’re trying to figure out how to coordinate the last leg of your vacation?
Hiring a private charter allows passengers to set their own pace, helping executives balance a packed schedule of cross-country obligations and ensure that bridal parties get to their destination wedding on schedule. Instead of planning your schedule around a commercial flight, on-demand charter service allows you to control your itinerary.
Enjoy Your Privacy
Anyone who has flown commercially is familiar with the passenger behind you that won’t stop kicking your seat, or the guest who keeps judgmentally eyeing your crying toddler. Scheduling a private charter will ensure that your party is the only one on the aircraft, marrying the control and seclusion of a road trip with the efficiency of a flight. This is ideal for families with small children that don’t want to worry about other passengers, or for teams that want to practice their pitch before the out-of-state presentation they’re flying to.
Simpler Security Measures
The general rule of thumb when flying is to arrive at the airport at least two hours ahead of time for domestic flights, and three for international flights. However, this can often be a no-win situation for passengers. If you arrive at the airport during its high-traffic times, you could be waiting in line to get through security for a few hours. However, if you arrive during a slow period, you will likely find yourself waiting at the terminal for an hour before your flight.
When you use on-demand charter service to fly to your destination, you are able to bypass the dreaded lines at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This means less time spent waiting in line or trying to find ways to entertain yourself while waiting for your flight to begin boarding. At Air Unlimited, passengers are normally in their seats and ready to go within an hour of arriving at the hangar.
Interested in learning more about hiring a private charter for your next business trip or vacation? Air Unlimited specializes in on-demand charter service and is excited to help you plan your upcoming trip. Learn more about the process and how to book your stress-free flight by calling (407) 585-4300 to speak with a member of our team!
After taking a flight to Marsh Harbor, you will find freshly caught local seafood paired with stunning ocean views and friendly service. Whether you’re looking for a casual spot to grab burgers after an afternoon of snorkeling or an exquisitely prepared lobster dinner, there are plenty of options to satisfy your vacation cravings.
If you’re taking one of Air Unlimited’s affordable scheduled service flights to Marsh Harbor, you won’t be disappointed with the local fare that the island’s top chefs are serving up. Here are three of our favorite spots to dine at.
Does your flight to Marsh Harbor land in the morning? Located inside Abaco Beach Resort on Bay Street, Angler’s is known for their spot-on breakfast choices. Indulge in the Lobster Eggs Benedict, featuring fresh Bahamian spiny lobster, or order a stack of Banana and Peanut Butter Pancakes with a side of crisp apple smoked bacon. For a traditional Bahamian breakfast, try the Stew Fish or Chicken Souse with a side of Johnny Cakes and grits.
Headed by the award-winning Caribbean cuisine expert Chef Charles Smith, their exceptional menu of island fare offers entrees such as Bahamian Cracked Conch for dinner and an Island Quesadilla stuffed with chicken, lobster or shrimp for lunch. The resort offers marina access, making Angler’s an ideal place for boaters to dock and grab a quick bite for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Located on the water, Snappas Grill & Chill is a laidback local watering hole with a friendly staff where visitors can grab a quick lunch after an afternoon of shopping or boating. Boaters frequently tie up at the marina before enjoying an appetizer and a cold local beer or fruity frozen drink.
Easy yet delicious menu fare to enjoy while overlooking the marina includes Blackened Fish Sandwiches, Black Angus Burgers or Grilled Chicken Caesar Salads. There’s also a stage where patrons can enjoy live music once the sun goes down.
Looking for a late night bite? Snappas switches over their menu from 9:30 until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Choose from options like mozzarella sticks, chicken wings, conch fritters, burgers and hotdogs.
Any patron will tell you that Curly Tails Restaurant & Bar’s Conch Fritters are the best on the island. Caught fresh daily, we’d tell you to split an order with your table, but you might not want to share once you try your first bite.
Located at The Conch Inn Hotel & Marina, their menu touts fresh local seafood with Asian and Mediterranean influences. If you’re heading there for dinner, we recommend starting with the Coconut Cilantro Steamed Mussels, which are steamed in island coconut broth with local spices. For an entrée, try the Sweet Plantain Crusted Grouper Fillet served with a tropical papaya salsa.
After your meal, grab a drink on the rooftop bar and relax while listening to live Bahamian music and puffing on a Cuban cigar. You won’t be disappointed – this spot offers unparalleled harbor views and is also the perfect way to take in a gorgeous Marsh Harbor sunset.
Air Unlimited offers affordable scheduled service flights to the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas. If you’re looking for additional recommendations on local restaurants to try, our team would be more than glad to help you put your itinerary together. Give us a call at (407) 585-4300.
Imagine the scene: champagne pouring into glasses, a beautiful wedding dress safely hung in the corner, and your loved ones around you, helping you prepare for your special day.
You’re on the way to your destination wedding, only you’re not on a commercial airline. Unless, of course, you are fine quietly toasting your bridesmaids or groomsmen from three aisles down while the passenger next to you is munching on peanuts.
Hiring a private charter for your wedding party is equally as wallet-friendly as it is efficient, stress-relieving and – let’s face it – a bit special. Here are four reasons why.
Affordable Luxury Experience
If you’re a wedding party of eight in Orlando booking seats on a commercial four-day flight to Charleston, you can also be looking at major savings when it comes to the difference between individual plane tickets or chartering a private plane.
The savings don’t stop at the price per flight. When chartering an aircraft with Air Unlimited, you won’t be paying for baggage fees, since they’re waived at up to 40 pounds per passenger. Parking is also complimentary, meaning you will have your own vehicle ready and waiting for you once you arrive back home.
Fly Into Vacation Mode Early
Nothing can put a damper on nuptial excitement quite like long security lines, lengthy layovers, or canceled flights. Chartering a private plane means that the celebrations can begin the minute you arrive at the hangar.
Large parties are accustomed to arriving hours early to the airport in order to make it through TSA with enough time to board their flight. When flying privately, you’re bypassing the commercial airport, and therefore don’t need to go through security. Chartering the plane also means that there’s no risk of layovers or flight cancellations due to overbooking or scheduling errors.
Once you’re on board, you can easily set the atmosphere for the remainder of your trip. Ditch the earbuds and sing along to your favorite 90s music; sip champagne and enjoy chocolate-covered strawberries; stream a classic movie and snack on buttery popcorn; the choice is yours.
Maybe you’ve had your eye on grandma’s vintage wedding gown since you were four, or you spent an entire afternoon exploring boutiques with friends and family. Either way, your dress is likely valuable cargo to you, and hiring a private charter is the perfect way to keep it safe.
When you fly commercially, you’re advised to never check in your dress: there’s a risk that it could get damaged or lost while on the journey to your Caribbean wedding. You’re able to claim it as a carry-on, but this can be cumbersome: some airplanes don’t have coat closets, and your dress can wrinkle if stored in an overhead bin.
When you charter a private plane, you have peace of mind knowing that your dress is being safely handled. You’ll be able to carry it onto the aircraft and hang it safely nearby.
Remember that champagne that we were talking about? When you fly privately, you can create a fully customized experience while heading to your wedding destination. Air Unlimited will work with you to make your wedding memorable from the moment the wheels leave the runway.
Ask anyone familiar with the Caribbean, and they’ll refer to take a flight to the Abaco Islands, as it is the hidden gem of the Bahamas. With its own calm sea and collection of islands and cays, the Abacos is a welcome break from the expected hustle and bustle of popular islands such as Nassau.
Touted as a top boating and sailing destination with a selection of renowned resorts, restaurants and bars, here are four tips to make sure that you get the most out of your trip to this stretch of islands.
Ferries Will Take You to Neighboring Islands
You’re not limited to just Marsh Harbour or Treasure Cay when you visit the Abacos. Take advantage of their excellent ferry system or charter a boat to explore neighboring islands.
If you’re staying in Marsh Harbour, head over to Elbow Cay and Hope Town for a morning of snorkeling, followed by an afternoon of shopping. Make time to visit Green Turtle Cay if you’re staying in Treasure Cay – grab lunch at Green Turtle Club Resort & Marina, and be sure to sign a dollar bill to hang on their infamous wall.
Carry Cash with You
Many restaurants, shops and other vendors on the islands do not accept credit cards, so make sure to bring plenty of cash with you on your trip. Skip the ATM fees by withdrawing cash before you step onto the plane.
Locals Travel by Golf Cart
You’ll find that most residents and visitors don’t use cars, and instead rely on eco-friendly methods of transportation to run errands. Consider using bicycles or renting a golf cart during your stay to explore the island. The fresh air on the Abacos is unmatched, so you should enjoy it!
It’s Less Tourist Dense than Other Islands
If you have been wanting to add a Bahamas stamp to your passport but are deterred by the crowds that frequent popular spots like Grand Bahama Island, then you made the right choice by visiting The Abacos. This 120-mile-long chain of islands has long attracted visitors for its laid back vibe and less populated beaches. It’s not uncommon to have the entire shore to yourself for an afternoon, making this a particularly perfect destination for honeymoons.
Air Unlimited offers affordable private flights to Marsh Harbour International Airport and Treasure Cay International Airport, providing instant access to the Abaco Islands. Give us a call if you’re looking for recommendations on lesser-known things to do during your trip.
Marsh Harbour is the third largest city in the Bahamas and it has only stoplight: It is the perfect place to perch in The Abacos, with restaurants and hotels sprinkled close to the marina, along with shops selling food, alcohol and other necessities.
Imagine that you awake early in the morning in your Marsh Harbour hotel and you are anticipating a day trip. It could be one of these marvelous excursions:
1. The Hope Town Day Trip
Have an early breakfast – maybe at Ju’novia’s, where the pancakes are fluffy and the pig feet souse an acquired taste – because you are to have a day that requires a robust energy.
Hop on the 20-minute ferry to Hope Town on Elbow Cay, an extraordinarily pretty 5-mile island where you’ll see a collection of tiny cottages, painted white or pastel, with gorgeous small gardens – and a kind of peace will wash over you.
Why not rent a golf cart and explore the area, lingering at spaces that intrigue you? Then it’s lunch, perhaps at Cap’n Jack’s or Harbour’s Edge, before heading out the reefs for some memorable snorkling, to float above lively schools of colorful fish as they pass under you.
After snorkeling, you might want to chill out on one of the magnificent local beaches before… well, you might be up for kayaking or perhaps it will be time to head back to Marsh Harbour for dinner at Wally’s.
2. The Great Guana Cay Day Trip
Cay hopping is easily done from Marsh Harbour where you’ll find cruises to all other cays, and Great Guana Cay is a fabulous place to spend the day – and perhaps you should make it a Sunday, as that is when Nipper’s Beach Bar and Grill roasts a pig, and it is a feast. (And a party.)
If you have children with you, you might float about the pool and then have some lunch – the kid’s menu offers chicken fingers, but know that there is also sesame-seared ahi, cracked conch and homemade key lime pie.
However, If you are adults in the mood to party, this is your spot: The music will spill into you until you start dance, as will the strong drinks that just might make you smack your lips. Dance, dance, dance.
3. The Abaco National Park Day Trip
As National Parks go, The Abaco National Park is young, just 23 years old, were it a human being, it would just be leaving college. At 20,500 acres, it is a significant park, and it just might protect the endangered – and exquisite – Abacos parrot.
A dirt road, or trail, which is 15 miles long and takes about 1.5 hours to drive, cuts through the park: The tourist office offers walking or driving tours, which allow you to learn about the ecosystem and which animals are likely strolling about in the forest. If you would like to see the Abaco parrot, your best chance to get up very early and join a eager group of birdwatchers who want to do the same thing.
4. The Man-O-War Cay Day Trip
There is no alcohol served or sold on this cay, so if you are in the mood to linger over some Chablis at lunch, head elsewhere. But if you are in the mood to spend some time with hardworking folks who build boats, this is your cay of the day.
There is a harbour road, naturally, and at its north end you’ll find a unique shop known as The Sail Shop and officially named The Albury’s Canvas Shop – everyone who visits Man-O-War visits this shop, so why not check it out: You’ll probably buy a cool bag or hat made out of canvas that is usually used to make sails.
Also, don’t miss Joe’s Studio, where you’ll find arty jewelry made out of local sea glass and fabulous miniatures of the boats that float all around The Abacos. And there’s a heritage museum because learning is fun.
5. The Elbow Cay Day Trip
Rent a cottage on a cay, Elbow Cay is a great place to do this, and really chill. Bring along a book that you have yet to begin, pour yourself, and your partner or comrades, some chilled wine, head out to your private patio and read. Then have a nap. Maybe you’ll feel like floating around in the ocean before dinner. Maybe not.
Or you can rent a golf cart and lazily explore your environment, or walk on a long beach that takes your breath away or celebrate your inner child by renting paddleboats. It’s all good.
Scuba diving is like opening a door to a new world; when you are finally out of the pool and floating over a reef bursting with colour and a fantastically odd-looking fish nonchalantly swims within inches of your mask, a new kind of exhilaration will flow through your veins.
And The Abacos are a divine spot to take the plunge for the first time:
I want to dive so badly, but I want to be safe
The Abacos have highly professional dive masters with extensive experience in teaching beginners how to be safe while exploring the ocean with an oxygen tank strapped their backs. And they’ve got your back. To learn about what to expect during your certification, read the great guide put out by The Adventure Junkies.
I am so excited and a little bit terrified
Anticipating your first dive is truly exciting, and it should be; you are about to enter a new world. But it can also be a tad terrifying, with what-if-I-panic-when-I-see-a-huge-fish-swimming-toward-me thoughts punctuating your glee.
Many of the diving spots in The Abacos are 60 feet deep – or less. President George Washington’s head, on Mount Rushmore, is 60 feet tall: It is a reasonable depth for your first dive. And if you choose The Pelican Cays National Park for your first dive, you will be in about 25 feet of water, with prehistoric-looking sea turtles and magnificent eagle rays.
I didn’t really see anything cool
These are words that you will not be uttering after your first diving experience in The Abacos. Green Turtle Cay is home to a thrilling variety of fish like rainbow parrotfish, the common yellowtail snapper and chilled-out stingrays.
The islands proximity to the North Atlantic ocean has meant that the tides have formed lots of caves and holes in reefs that you can swim through, which will leave you in awe of their ethereal beauty.
That was so amazing. I want to go again. And again. And …
The likelihood that you will finish your first dive with a joyous desire to go again is extremely high, and The Abacos offer diverse diving for beginners so that you can go again. And again. From Walker’s Cay, with its alluring caverns, to Green Turtle Cay with its incredible fish life, to the resting place of the American Civil War gunship, the San Jacinto.
But what if I am not certified?
You might be the kind of person who stands enthralled in the aquarium section of your local pet store, losing yourself in the ballet of tropical fish, but you aren’t a great swimmer. (And this is an understatement.) Be prepared: You will have to swim, using any stroke, for 200 metres and also be able to tread water or float for 10 minutes. If you doubt your ability to these two things, head to your local pool for some individual swimming lessons before you land in The Abacos. Again, you can download a terrific scuba primer from The Adventure Junkies.
And on a more serious note
You obviously need a health insurance policy so that you can travel worry-free beyond the boundaries of your home country. If you are headed to The Abacos, or any place where you will be trekking, diving or motorcycling, read the fine print as some insurance companies will not cover any injuries that occur while you are engaging in what they have determined to be a “dangerous activity.”
Brendals Dive Center
Froggies Out Island Adventures
“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.” F. Scott Fitzgerald was on to something when he wrote these words in 1925. While those of us with bank accounts of ordinary sizes are drawn to the Abaco for its sparkling white sand beaches, its chilled-out vibe, the far-out snorkeling and its bluer-than-blue waters, the uber rich and famous have their own reasons for hanging out in these glorious cays:
The seduction of seclusion
“I have a place that I go to in The Bahamas. It’s the only place that guarantees total anonymity and freedom.” Johnny Depp. To be famous, Johnny-Depp famous, is to be recogized wherever you go. It is to walk down a street in Happy Adventure, Newfoundland, with its population of 219 human beings, and be recognized.
But Johnny Depp purchased a small cay in Abaco that he can call his own; where he can treat into freedom. And Mr. Depp is not alone. The Abacos are not Nassau: They offer seclusion for the rich and famous, whether in the gated community of The Abacos Club where the uber-rich play or in stand-alone homes that serve as the ultimate private resorts.
And you don’t have to own your cay to find seclusion
You can awake to the rhythmic sound of waves rolling to shore in a king-sized bed of divine comfort, and then have your personal chef bring you breakfast on a private balcony overlooking the blue sea and a secluded beach for 2,799 USD per night, in Winding Bay – and its all just 19 minutes from the Marsh Island airport.
There are places of exhilarating natural beauty on our planet that require you to rough it a little when it comes to accommodations: Not The Abacos, where it is not necessary to live in a style you don’t want to get accustomed to: posh villas await those who desire them, and when the rich and famous are off playing in another part of the world, their homes are offered to, well, other rich and famous people.
And you can arrive by sea, on a yacht that dwarfs regular yachts
Should you possess a yacht that is the size of a small cay, perhaps with a winding staircase, a movie theatre and a bowling alley, you will find a welcoming berth in The Abacos. Why? Because these cays have been catering to tourists and boating residents for a long time, and being a collection of islands, the people of The Abacos expect you to arrive by boat, if you have one, and they don’t mind if it is of an extraordinary size.
The vibe is chill in The Abacos
The Abacos is a place for laidback relaxation, for everyone. The rich and famous can stroll along a beach at sunset before heading for dinner in a local restaurant just like everyone else; there are no small crowds of the curious in their wake, snapping photos and calling for autographs – though it is fun to have your head turned now and then by a celebrity sighting.
But in the end, it is not possible to point to one feature of The Abacos that attract the rich and famous among us; it is a combination of alluring factors. The government is stable and friendly, there is a reliable communications grid, there is the possibility of privacy and the warmth of the local people – and there is a beauty in The Abacos that draws you in, that inhabits your dreams after you leave, eventually assuring your return.
Did you know that ice diving is a thing? That brave, adventurous human beings plunge into –the 2°C/28°F waters of Baffin Island in Canada, and float in front of other-worldly icebergs? Or head to the Magdalen Islands of that same country in late February, to watch baby seals swim for the first time?
You are probably thinking that while these ice divers see some unforgettable things –you’d rather dive in waters without icebergs, even in waters that are pleasingly warm. You don’t want to know if it is possible to dive in The Abacos in February, but if you will want to.
Well, it is never too cold to dive in The Abacos. Here’s why:
When it gets cold, it’s not that cold
January is historically the coldest month of the year in The Abacos – But the diving is cool, as in groovy, not as in shivering. Seatemperature.org is a reliable online source for water temperatures in oceans and seas on our planet, so let’s look at the water temperatures for January for The Abacos:
As you can see, the average temperature in Abacos water in 23.3 °C or 73.9°F: At Scuba Diving, they officially recommend a 5 mm to 3 mm full suit for diving in water that is 22.2°C or 72.0°F, and that, folks is the coldest it gets. For the average temperature of 73.9°F, the same magazine recommends a 3 mm to full suit to a 2 mm shorty. Have a look at the chart below, which we created from data found at Seatemperature.org, with January dates running across the bottom and temperatures on the vertical left side, and you’ll see that there are no significant dips in temperatures in January, the water temperature is predicable.
The sun shines a lot
Historically speaking, and yes, we are including very recent history; the sun shines about 340 days a year in The Abacos. The sun heats up the shallow waters of the Abacos Sea, which sits between Great Abaco and Little Abaco and the remainder of the Out Islands. If you want to dive in the Abacos Sea in, say, March, you will be embraced by waters averaging temperatures of 27.4 °C or 81.3 °F.
The tropical climate does its part
Tropical climates are not into drama, the trees don’t shed leaves in fall and shiver in the winds that will soon cover them in the whitest of white snow: A tropical climate is all about being predictable, about it being sunny and warm when you wake up on Monday morning, and low and behold, when you walk out your front door on Tuesday, it is more of the same. Divers like predictable weather, and they love The Abacos.
But you know what you like
Diving in The Abacos, at any time of the year, is comfortable: The climate is tropical, the sun is usually shining and the dives shallow. But you might be a diver who digs the absence of a wet suit, or perhaps you are willing to squeeze into one that is 1 mm but no thicker. And so you show in The Abacos in June. Or July.
But know that if you feel secure in your ability to handle the relatively warm winter water in The Abacos, that you will be diving in some of the clearest water you’ve ever been in – yes, it has been compared to gin. And January and February are perfect months to swim with the sharks.
Dive Time Abacos
My Out Islands
Travel, at its best, offers us an environment that wildly contrasts with the physical spaces we usually move in; spaces like our homes, where we find comfort, and crowded streets, where we get jostled around, and offices, where everything can feel just a little sterile. Shrugging off the clothes of earth-walking and slipping on the equipment of underwater breathing can be outrageously liberating.
And The Abacos offer us exceptional diving spaces, some of the best in the world, with shallow waters, fish of extraordinary colors and flourishing reefs – and, amazingly, it is all only about 180 miles, or 290 kilometers, east of south Florida.
We have selected three tried-and-true underwater adventures in The Abacos that will bring you bliss.
The First is all about caves
Diving in a cave is an almost magical experience: It is dramatic, to slowly enter an underwater cavern, where light dances and retreats, the water temperature cools and the art of nature, in its wild formations, surrounds you. You will be struck by the absence of gorgeous colorful fish and awed by calcite crystals, speleothems and halocine.
You might be thinking that diving in caverns that lie underwater is an activity best left to subscribers of Scuba Diving magazine with hundreds of dives under their belts but a novice can dive into an underwater cave – after some required training – and with a certified diver at their side.
The National Association for Cave Diving offer a course titled The Cavern Diver, which is the introductory course to the world of cave diving. You can use the Professional Association of Diving Instructor’s (PADI) tool to locate a dive shop close to you or to your resort.
A helpful note: You should book ahead, as far ahead as possible, if you wish to dive the caves of The Abacos, as only one or two divers can accompany a team leader, and the entire process takes longer than slipping into the open ocean from a boat.
Learn to dive in caves in The Abacos: Bahamas Underground
Get inspired by the experts: Read about diving the blue holes of Abaco
Watch a specular short video of a Bahamas Underground cave dive
The Second is all about Fowl Cays National Park
In 2009, the Bahaman government created Fowl Cays National Park – it is 1920 acres– so as to preserve its natural beauty for all to enjoy, and create a space for fish, birds, sponges and other wildlife to flourish, including the endangered staghorn and elkhorn coral.
Fowl Cays National Park has earned a reputation as a do-not-miss snorkeling and diving spot: You are likely to see blue tangs, lionfish, angel fish, batfish, grouper and snapper. And there are sea turtles slowly swimming around and looking wise.
There is an astounding reef that houses all of these fish, turtles and other sea creatures, and it is made up of strange rock formations, towers that rise up from the ocean floor, entrancing swim-throughs and, yes, caverns and caves. Underwater flowers abound, as do great sponges and corals.
Learn more about Fowl Cays National Park here.
Watch a short video on how Fowl Cays National Park became a park here.
Check out some photos at the Fowl Cays National Park Facebook page here.
The Third is all about a shipwreck
Shipwrecks fascinate us; the idea of a once mighty vessel that smashed through fierce, wild waves sitting on an ocean floor is a dramatic one. And every ship that rests on an ocean floor has its story, as does the U.S.S. Adirondack, which can be found on the reef off of Man-O-War Cay in The Abacos.
The U.S.S. Adirondack was blocking ports used by the Confederates in the American Civil War, and went down in 1862, only six months after being launched. In the 155 years that this wooden ship has lain on the ocean floor, much of it has been eaten or naturally disintegrated. But you will see its cannons and various remnants that were not made of wood – and, importantly, you will sense the ships history – and ours – as you survey the site.
There is a worthy reef that surrounds the shipwreck site, and so you will be treated to sights of its fish, plants and coral.
Read a blog post about diving the U.S.S. Adirondack site.
Read about the U.S.S. Adirondack here.
Read this article about diving the Abacos here.
So, why not immerse yourself in a new world on your next holiday, in a place where the diving experts have your back and the visual joys amaze.
A great hotel can help make your Abacos getaway truly memorable. Sure, you might want to spend a day hiking through the pine barrens of southeast Abacos, on a quest to see the rare – and colourful – Abacos parrot, but this does not mean that you don’t want to be pampered upon your return to your hotel. Or perhaps it is seclusion you seek?
These 10 Abacos hotels make vacationers regularly beam with pleasure, and they are in random order.
- The Treasure Cay Beach, Marina and Golf Resort
The 3.5-mile-long crescent-shaped beach is the pièce de résistance at this resort that vibrates with authentic, laid-back Bahaman hospitality. The 18-hole golf course stands waiting for you on those mornings you want to rise early, as the tennis courts do, and should you have a hankering to swim with a school of blue tang, the resort will set up a diving excursion for you.
- The Abaco Club at Winding Bay
Winding Bay is a place of striking visual beauty, you may spend a surprising amount of time attempting to invent a new word for the colour of the water that rolls on to the white sand beach, while waves splash spectacularly into the craggy shore on the opposite side of the resort. If you are into luxury, when outstanding amenities, accommodations and services meet ethereal nature, consider The Abaco Club.
- Delphi Club
The Delphi Club is a self-described micro hotel and fishing lodge in south Abaco: Its guests experience a relaxed luxury; the food is exquisite, the wine cellar diverse and the forests that surround three sides of the lodge unharmed. When you are not fishing for bonefish, kayaking or photographing wading birds, you might finally read that book – the one that has been sitting unopened on your bedside table for months – on the secluded beach.
- The Lofty Fig
Aside from its winsome name, this resort opens its fun-loving arms to embrace families that include children, offering a small freshwater pool for frolicking, an BBQ for grilling simple dinners, and a big screen TV for when its time to snuggle up as a family and watch a movie at the end of a outdoorsy day.
- Hope Town Harbour Lodge
The Hope Town Harbour Lodge invites you to let your hair down, to make your way into a hammock in the morning with no particular plan for surfacing, to paint in watercolours at the side of artist Malcolm Rae and to fall into bed a wee bit tipsy after a few glasses of top-drawer wine, or local beer. And should you want to lunch in your bathing suit, and why wouldn’t you, this resort is with you.
- Guana Seaside Village
Some of us prefer smallness, it is just in our natures to expand and relax in small resorts while we shrink inwardly as an expansive resort overwhelms us. If you are not into largeness in resorts, try the Guana Seaside Village, an inn with 8 rooms that sits on the edge of the sea. Oh, there is a courtyard bar, a fresh water pool and delicious food to complement the intimate feel of this special place.
- Firefly Sunset Resort
Are you a romantic? Does the idea of sleeping in a bedroom with wooden walls that have been painted a pale yellow, in a bed that is smartly made up with the whitest of white linens, with the sounds of the Sea of Abaco seeping into your dreams, make you sublimely relaxed? If do, this resort, with its attention to visual details and the clever creation of private spaces is for you.
- The Black Fly Lodge
Yes, this is a fishing lodge. But it is a fishing lodge where non-fishing human beings are heartily welcomed, and there is a wonderful reason to choose the Black Fly Lodge for at least part of your Abacos getaway – the food. Imagine gathering around a rustic table in the evening, at around 7:30, and there is a sense of anticipation in the air. You see, the chef at this lodge prepares local food – yes, fish – in ways that have guests booking their next stay as they walk out of the front door.
- The Bahama Beach Club
Ah. You have arrived at The Bahama Beach Club. And the beach looks like an impressionist painting that has somehow come to life – and there is an island beach bar serving Bahama Mamas, and you don’t have to leave the sand to enjoy a fish taco that leaves you wanting more. The Bahama Beach Club is a resort that caters to the part of us that wants to leave reality far behind us for a little while.
- Pelican Beach Villas
Are you a relaxed person? Do you seek a lack of fuss and formality in your accommodations? Well, Pelican Beach Villas sit on a peninsula on Great Abacos Island, and is conveniently close to lots of places that you might want to check out – like the Mermaid Snorkeling Reef or to your new favourite restaurant. Chill out, just as you like.
Off The Beaten Track in The Abacos
Ah, The Abacos. Blue-green waves gently caressing white sands while you lay on a beach chair, then float around in the sea, then lay on a beach chair, and so on, until you feel moved to head to the beach bar for a cold pale ale. Should you wish to spend your entire visit to The Abacos on an outstanding beach in this way, you’ll have a Zen time.
Or you could mix it up, walk off the beaten track and absorb some local culture.
The Abacos are made up of over 150 cays, or sandy low islands that have formed on bases of coral reefs, each with its own character. Naturally, cay hopping has become kind of a thing. Why not rent a boat and spend a day – or two, or three – hopping among the cays? You could sample as many beaches as possible, repeatedly discovering the luxury of privacy. And bring a picnic.
Go Where the Bonefish Are
And where are the bonefish? On The Marls, a flat filled with creeks where the mangrove trees seem to sit above the water – you can easily hire a guide to shepherd you through the white-sand cays and secluded bays, and to show you how to catch your very own bonefish. (You should know that bonefish are so named because, well, they have so many bones – so this is not a fish you will be enjoying grilled with a chilled white pinot noir.)
Follow the Gully Roosters
A reggae-calypso band, the Gully Roosters play on Wednesday nights at the Green Turtle Club on the Green Turtle cay. Sip on a Tipsy Turtle Rum Punch, or two, and dance under the stars, grooving to the sounds that you can hear here. The Roosters, as they are known locally, will leave you feeling like there was a little bit of magic in the night air.
Everyone loves a parade
Junkanoo is not only a fun word to say, but a celebration of colour and music and children and, yes, there is a parade. Nassau may host the most famous of the street carnivals known as Junkanoo, but The Abacos starts the New Year right too, with a smashing parade that winds through the historic streets of New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay. Put on your brightest clothes and join in the fun.
Take in the Island Roots Festival on Green Turtle Cay
On the first weekend in May, Green Turtle Cay celebrates Bahamian culture – and parties outdoors. Children dig this festival, and why wouldn’t they? There is a tug of war championship with lots of grimacing and laughing, a grill out in a local basketball court in the center of New Plymouth – with grilled jerk chicken and mac n’ cheese, and even maypole plaiting.
Buy some local art
The fundraiser Arts for the Parks in held, in late January, at the Abaco Beach Resort Grand Marquee: You will find striking local art for sale – there is usually a silent auction, as well as the offerings of the Bahamian Heritage lecture series. This is a great way to give back to the Bahamas, as the profits go to support The Bahamas Natural Trust, the non-profit organization responsible for the care of the nations important parks, like the 40-acre Lucayan Park, pictured above, which includes one the largest charted underwater cave systems on the planet.
The Abacos are known for sublime beaches, quiet cays and mesmerizing snorkelling but some of your most cherished memories may come from letting your hair down while the reggae vibrates through your feet.
Air Unlimited has had the privilege of flying scuba divers – from novices to advanced – to The Abacos, and we’ve borne witness to the beaming grins they all wear at the end of their scuba diving holiday. If you’d like to grin like that, to discover what lies beneath the surface of the glistening blue-green seas of The Abacos, we’d be thrilled to be part of your adventure.
The Abacos offer outstanding scuba diving only 180 miles (20 kilometers) east of south Florida: Air Unlimited offers regular flights to Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay on Great Abaco Island. The Abacos include the big islands, Great Abaco and Little Abaco, as well as small limestone cays like Walker’s Cay in the north and Spanish Cay and Green Turtle Cay in the south.
It is the striking coral towers, the Bahamas porcupine fish and the parrotfish that will linger longest in your memory after you depart The Abacos, but we know that you want accommodations that perfectly complement your experiences undersea, and you have several desirable options: Here are a sampling of the best:
- At The Abacos Beach Resort, you can awake in a private cottage to the calming sound of blue-green waves rolling toward white sand, and perhaps take in an early morning yoga class. Breakfast could be a healthful egg white omelette or an exquisite lobster eggs Benedict, with a rich coffee or an herbal tea – and when you return after a day of diving, you could treat yourself to an luxurious massage.
- Should you desire the comfort of a private house within a friendly community of mostly renters, Schooner Bay offers lovely homes of various sizes. You can visit the community farm to find local produce or have supplies brought to you, and the stargazing is said to be truly exceptional.
- Firefly Sunset Resort blends the amenities of an elegant resort with the exclusivity of space – its cottages are situated so that the offer privacy and striking ocean views. Oh, and one of the best restaurants in The Abacos is but a few footsteps away.
But it is undersea mysteries that define a scuba holiday. Here are 5 diving experiences that you won’t want to miss:
The Towers : Imagine floating in front of two intricate coral structures that are 60 feet tall, set in about 75 feet of water, when you see an intriguing tunnel that you are drawn to explore when a colourful stingray starts to head your way.
- Do you want to swim among big fish, fish that leave an impression, like the grouper? Head to Grouper Alley , where schools of grouper swim 90 feet below the surface.
- The Cathedral is a special cavern where divers chill out as sunlight flickers on its floors, you will feel as if time has been suspended, and, if the season is right, you will see the famed glass minnows that congregate in windows in the coral.
- Revered sea turtles, looking pre-historically wise, can be easily seen at The Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park, where fishing is controlled and sea life thrives.
- A gunboat from the Civil War – The USS Adirondack – lies in The Abacos waters, just off the north end of the Man-O-War Cay. If the idea of happening upon a cannon lying in a shipwreck appeals to you, this is your dive. History buffs will take special pleasure in exploring this gunboat, which was launched on February 22nd of 1862 and sank on August 23rd of that same year.
At Air Unlimited, our motto reflects our commitment to the simplicity that we bring to air travel: “Fly. Enjoy. Return.” But let us make a change, just this once, “Fly. Dive. Return. “
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