Airport expectations when flying directing to the Out Islands
May 29, 2017
Bypass Nassau and fly directly to the Out Islands
There are many ways to fly to the Out Islands of The Bahamas, but only seven Out Islands have international airports with scheduled flights from the US. When flying direct, don’t let the “international” in the airport's names give you a false sense of size and scale. The international airports in the Out Islands of The Bahamas will not feel like familiar airports to the novice Out Island traveler.
Most of them are no bigger than a four bedroom (one-story) house. The departure areas have limited seating, and even more limited amenities, so don’t come to the airport hungry expecting to enjoy a bite to eat before heading off. Lunch is definitely a beneficial parting activity.
In many of the Out Islands the latest departure time is around 4.30pm. That’s because most of the airports don’t have lights on the runway, an expensive undertaking in a country of 700 islands with 19 airports taking scheduled air service. On many islands, flights only take off when the sun is shining.
Now, that being said, small and limited does not mean these airports are not fully capable. The seven islands with international airports that accept direct flights from the US are fully up to international standards in readily visible and unseen ways. What it does mean is that once you arrive – as if the aerial views were no indication – it will be clear that you are “not in Kansas anymore”.
It will be clear that you are in the Out Islands, which represent the “unspoiled” parts of The Bahamas. In general, these islands are considered remote, unlike the capital Nassau, which regularly receives intercontinental direct flights. These islands don’t entertain cruise ship passengers and are not known as spring break towns. They have light touch development and unspoiled natural beauty.
So when visiting The Bahamas, one way to decide between the 700 possible island options is to opt for one that has direct flights to The Bahamas with scheduled airlines. There are direct flights from the United States to seven Out Islands, including direct flights to Bimini; direct flights to Berry Islands; direct flights to Eleuthera; direct flights to Marsh Harbour, Abaco and Treasure Cay; direct flights to Exuma; direct flights to Cat Island and direct flights to San Salvador.
All of the other major islands are accessible with an easy connection through Nassau.