Paradise In The Caymans

Indigenous Airlines can take you off the beaten track

I love visiting new places. I just hate getting there.

Booking a flight these days often means choosing an airline that rewards you with points or one that offers the cheapest ticket.

Both options impinge on the traveler’s convenience and comfort. Points may not be available given when and where you want to go. Saving money is great, but I’ll guarantee you that five hours in a transient airport will make you wish you’d spent that little extra for a non-stop. Always skip layovers. Life is too short.

How do I keep the traveling blues away? I seek out indigenous airlines. Smaller companies tend to be much more personable and attentive than their bigger, more corporate competitors.

These days I find myself flying Cayman Airways. Other airlines fly the same route but without character. It's an exquisite destination, by the way, particularly this time of year. You arrive at the airport greeted by wild chickens and tree chickens (iguanas), and then inevitably, the sea.

I so appreciate that laid-back island life. It speaks to my inner Jimmy Buffett like no other place on earth. The Caymans are a self-governing British Overseas Territory and combine the pomp and politesse of the Brits with the easy-going, live-and-let-live perspective of the Caribbean.

Only a four-hour flight from New York City, but The Caymans are a world away from the worries and obligations of the concrete jungle. One of the places I always visit is the Cayman Turtle Centre. It’s the largest land-based attraction there – and it’s a blast! You can swim, snorkel, or just hang out with green sea turtles in one of the loveliest lagoons you’ll ever see.

Hanging with sea creatures is one facet of a larger effort to preserve and protect green sea turtles and the Island’s marine ecosystem. Climate change, pollution, and poaching have taken a heavy toll on the Caymans’ turtle population. The centre’s working hard to ensure the turtles’ survival.

I could go on and on about the glories of the Caymans. It’s a little slice of heaven, and the second you step out of the airport, you will agree with me. The wild chickens happily roaming the rental lot speaks volumes, and in my mind, exemplifies Cayman and Cayman Airways; pretending to be all British and buttoned up, but operating island style.

If you take advantage of Cayman Airway’s Sir Turtle Rewards Program and travel as a member of the Sir Turtle Club, you'll be grateful. The perks are extraordinary: bonus miles, priority check-in and boarding, day-of-departure Business Class upgrade, and refuge in their lovely, cheerful club – just to name a few. Three levels of membership are available. You’ll be delighted no matter which level you go with.

There’s so much to see and do on those beautiful islands. And you can be there in four very pleasant hours via Cayman Airways.

See you when the plane starts boarding. Oh – that’s right… Thanks to Priority Boarding, we’re already on board. Next stop: island bliss.

For details and to sign up to become a Sir Turtle Club member

For details and to sign up to become a Sir Turtle Rewards member


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