PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher on Tuesday announced that Spirit Airlines, in its continuing efforts to assist the people of St. Maarten after the hurricanes, will execute a free relief flight from Fort Lauderdale to St. Maarten and back to Fort Lauderdale this Thursday, September 28.
The flight will carry residents of St. Maarten wishing to return to the island and will also transport to St. Maarten relief supplies that have been donated to the people of St. Maarten, and will carry back to the U.S. anyone that is eligible to travel to the US and legally able to enter the US.
Customers wishing to travel on either flight should call Spirit Airlines at 1-888-778-2436 to book. Customers should have their passport information with them to complete the booking. There is no charge for the flight. “Spirit is happy to offer transportation for free,” said Mike Purcho, Spirit Regional Director.
Because of the weight of the relief supplies the number of aircraft seats are limited, especially for the flight from Fort Lauderdale to St. Maarten. Spirit flight NK 8080 will depart Fort Lauderdale at 8.00am on Thursday and will arrive St. Maarten at 11:15am. The return flight NK 8081 will depart St Maarten at 2.15pm and arrive Fort Lauderdale at 6.45 pm.
Head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau Rolando Brison thanked Spirit Airlines for its willingness to assist the residents of St. Maarten and maintain an open dialogue with tourism officials on St. Maarten. “We appreciate the efforts of Mr. Purchon and Spirit Airlines in executing this flight for St. Maarten,” Brison said.
Because of weight and space limitations associated with the relief supplies and to offer space to the maximum number of people, customers are limited to ONE checked bag and ONE carry-on bag on both flights.
Customers will receive a confirmation number over the phone at time of booking and if they provide an e-mail address at time of booking they will receive an e-mail confirmation of their booking. Customers traveling from Fort Lauderdale should check in at 6:00 am at Terminal Four. Customers traveling out of St Maarten should check in at 11:00 am in the check in area at St Maarten.
Only customers who are Dutch citizens and residents of St Maarten may fly from Fort Lauderdale, and only customers legally eligible to enter the US may fly out from St. Maarten. Customers traveling to the US should be US Citizens, permanent residents of the US, or if visitors must have valid travel documents allowing travel to the US, sufficient funds for their stay, and onward tickets to depart the US.