Ahh, air travel! Even just being in the airport is an experience in itself. You get to spend some time in a large, open space, with plenty of places to eat, drink and even shop! Then, once you're on the plane, you have countless, movies and podcasts to pass the time. You even get a free meal, snacks, and drinks!
Flying is also the fastest way to get places. For example, a flight to Florida would take three hours instead of three days by car! However, when it comes to flying, safety is a top priority. There's nothing less comforting than knowing that, out of 100 flights, an airline has had fifty crashes or severe casualties.
We're by no means suggesting that you forfeit flying! Just doing a little research beforehand can help a lot. If you've got the Caribbean in your itinerary for your next holiday, then here are some of the safest Caribbean airlines.
Air Caraibes: 7 Safety Stars
According to AirlineRatings.com, Air Caraibes has a seven-star ranking which is the highest-ranking that they offer. This ranking is determined through a few factors: endorsement by the European Union and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, whether it has had any fatalities and whether it meets certain international safety standards. I think it's safe to say that, with seven stars, it's a pretty trustworthy airline.
This airline service mainly the French Caribbean, which includes Martinique, St Barts, and Guadeloupe. The average age of their planes is eight years, so you can be confident that you're not flying in rickety planes that are on their last leg!
They regularly make trips from Paris to the island in larger Airbus A350 planes and, for more local flights, they have smaller ATR turboprop planes. No matter your destination, this airline knows its numbers and has something for everyone.
Cayman Airwaves: Peace Of Mind And A Full Stomach
Cayman Airways has also gotten a perfect score in safety categories, so it's already a top pick in our book! It services all three Cayman islands and goes to Havana, Cuba, and Kingston, Jamaica. So, if you have the itch to island-hop, it is completely within the realm of possibility. And, as an added bonus, on longer flights, passengers are given a free meal and complimentary drinks!
For shorter routes between the islands, they use Twin Otter jets or Saab 240 turboprop jets, which can seat between 333 and 36 passengers. However, for longer routes to New York, Miami or Tampa Bay, they use Boeing 737 jets. Although these jets are older (around 20 years), they are still completely safe to use. The only downfall is that the decor in the cabins might be a little behind!
Cape Air: The Best Water Landings
This airline joins the previous two at the top of the safety scoreboards. It is based in Barnstable, Massachusetts, and began by making the rounds of popular U.S. destination spots, such as Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Since its expansion into the Caribbean, it frequently services St. Thomas, St. Croix and Vieques.
For most of the shorter, inter-island flights, Cape Air uses small Cessna 402 planes that hold under 10 people. However, it has been slowly integrating new Cessna Caravan EX seaplanes. Although they are only available for the moment for private charters, it's comforting to know that these planes are ready for any type of landing.
In addition, JetBlue passengers can enjoy straight flights from the U.S to the smaller islands that the airline services in just one reservation!
LIAT: The Best Island Hopping
LIAT (Leeward Islands Air Transport) has been operating since the mid-1970s and has maintained a great safety score over the years. It's the only one of the four to not have a perfect score for the simple reason that it only meets 5 out of the 8 international safety requirements.
However, all of the airline's planes are less than 6 years old, which is already a step in the right direction. It also offers flights to almost every island in the Caribbean, including St. Kitts, St. Maarten and Barbados. If you have a complicated combination of inter-island transfers, there's a strong chance that LIAT has it.
This airline's one downfall is that there have been a few complaints about the service, as well as late flights and lost luggage. You can't win them all, right?