Written By: Ishton W. Morton – December 17th, 2016
This week the weather temperature and conditions in Cincinnati, Ohio has been extremely (“KOLD”) cold. At times it has fallen into single digits degrees to the point that I’ve considered making an appointment with Delta Airline to take to St. Croix, U. S. Virgin Islands. If I remember correctly Christmas Eve is the beginning of carnival in St Croix. It’s a time of enjoyment where weather temperature and conditions is always between 78 and 80 degree. Although I have experienced 96.5% of my adult life in Cincinnati, Ohio my bones were shaken from the sheer coldness of these weather conditions.
However, according to conversations with Beverly Nicholson-Doty Commissioner of Tourism for the U. S. Virgin islands; “St. Croix will welcome the return of Delta Air Lines this winter with non-stop air service from Atlanta.”
The last time I traveled on Delta Airline I lived in the community of Judith Fancy in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands and taught drafting/geometry at Arthur A. Richards Junior High School, 2021 Stoney Ground, Frederiksted, US VI. 00840.
Although there are other airlines that frequent the Virgin Island I find Delta to most accommodating.
Seemingly, Delta will only be available for weekly Saturday service from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Henry E. Rohlsen Airport in St. Croix. The service will run from December 20th, 2014 to May 10th, 2015.
Predicated on conversation with the US VI office of Beverly Nicholson-Doty Commissioner of Tourism for the U. S. Virgin islands, Delta will continue weekly services to St. Croix US VI not only on Saturdays but also mid-week on Wednesdays. Actually, this is much better. Seriously, any service to the island by Delta is a good thing. However, at first the weekly Saturday service seems somewhat cumbersome! It did not offer much flexibility to its customers traveling to St. Croix.
The commissioner said; “Our goal is to entice travelers to consider Wednesdays as an attractive option for their flights to and from St Croix.”
Apparently, the special seven-night vacation package offers a $250 air credit for Wednesday departures, with added benefits for travelers, including $250 to $500 in “VI Nice” certificates and resort credits ranging from $50 to $100. It was not clear if these offers were continued. You are advice to inquire of your traveling agent about these air credits and their application(s).
This will open the door to accommodate a wider range of travelers to the island. However, this must not be construed as Delta being the only airline servicing the island. Of course not, there are the American Airlines flights, United Airlines, flights Spirit Airlines flights and jetBlue Airlines flights. My individual first choice seems to be leaning to wards Delta. Delta seems to have a little more leg-room; the seats are not so close to each other and flight attendants are more courteous or friendly. Comfortability is extremely consequential.
Recently, in conversations at my favorite barber shop with a barber a former flight attendant for American Airlines frequently, spent much time in St. Croix as we reminisce, I was reminded of Judith Fancy and the beautiful Caribbean shoreline which is bordered by US National parkland in the Salt River bay. This bay has one of the few year round bioluminescent waters that are magical to behold during darkness. It is among the top ten bioluminescent bays in the entire world.
Nonetheless, The United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism in their announcement said, “Delta Air Lines has strengthened its commitment to the Territory.
Nicholson-Doty continues to say; “We are committed to bolstering service to the entire Territory and these new flights are part and parcel of our strategy,”
Accordingly, the new St. Croix service will operate on MD-88 aircraft with 149 seats, and will be backed by a joint marketing strategy between the airline and the Department of Tourism. Flights are scheduled to be available for purchase from June 21, 2014.
Nicholson-Doty added; “We anticipate promoting this service throughout the Atlanta metro area, and in key feeder markets such as Alabama, Ohio, Minnesota and Tennessee.”
Consequently, this marketing strategy will affect travelers like me. It is highly anticipated that this team can introduce less costly and affordable vacation deals as the reach out to the private sector to develop packages and promotions to spur advance sales.
Ironically, the Department’s marketing quest or strategy to support these flights shall includes the utilization of digital-social media, and television. Additionally, several in-market activities targeting consumers, travel agents and Virgin Islanders will be organized by the Department.
Additionally, Nicholson-Doty gained enormous support from Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) Carlton Dowe welcomed the new service who said; “I would like to thank the Governing Board of the Virgin Islands Port Authority for approving the airline incentive which has been an important element in our negotiations with the airlines.”
Furthermore, in a statement Governor John P. de Jongh Jr. said; “The new service will help boost not only tourism, but also the government’s economic development plans across the Territory. Tourism, small business development and information technology, including broadband, are key pillars of our economy, and we believe that this new air service will advance our efforts in these areas.” This is a good thing for the US VI!
Remarkably, Commissioner Nicolson-Doty efforts shall continue to be ongoing to enhance additional lift to St. Croix.
I was pleasantly move when the Commissioner said; “Come and discover the panoramic hilltops and golden sand beaches of St. Croix. The largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix offers a fabulous array of accommodations to fit every traveler’s needs, from upscale resorts to lovely hotels and charming inns.”
She continued to say; “The island’s two main towns, Christiansted and Frederiksted, offer a glimpse of its incredible history, from regal 18th and 19th-century homes to sugar plantation ruins. In addition to its gorgeous beaches and tropical rain-forest, St. Croix is home to fine dining, a Las Vegas-style casino and world-class recreational activities such as deep-sea fishing, diving, biking, horseback riding and hiking.”
Nicholson-Doty is pushing major campaign to sell the US VI vocation to vacationers in search a fun, fun time in paradise. Nicholson-Doty said; “We are actively working to increase flights into St Croix and strengthen capacity in St. Thomas. There’s a lot of interest and expansion going on with airlines into the Caribbean as a whole. We plan to remain competitive in servicing our key markets and to maximize opportunities to welcome more travelers.”