While cruise ships bring millions of tourists to the Caribbean each year, most travelers arrive at their favorite Caribbean island via air. Major international and regional airlines provide direct flights to the Caribbean from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Europe and even Asia.
Also, if you are traveling from island to island within the Caribbean, with a few exceptions you'll find that air travel is your fastest and most convenient option, and there are dozens of smaller airlines offering inter-island flights across the region.
For more info on who flies where, when they fly, and what you're going to need to fly to your final destination, check out our list below, including U.S. to Caribbean travel, U.K. and international travel, inter-island travel, and more. Read along and you'll be one step closer to going wheels up en route to your Caribbean getaway!
Here's a list of the top airlines offering regularly scheduled service from the U.S. and Canada to the Caribbean. The listings are based on the breadth of service, not the quality of the airline. Destinations listed include those with direct service, service by subsidiary airlines (Delta Connection, American Eagle, etc.), and codeshare flights through partner airlines.
Other smaller U.S. and Canadian airlines also provide air service to the Caribbean.
The Caribbean remains one of the most popular holiday destinations for residents of the U.K. and Ireland, notably the islands that are (or formerly were) part of the Commonwealth. Here is information on the airlines that offer flights between Great Britain, Ireland, and the islands of the Caribbean.
The big airlines cover the popular destinations in the Caribbean -- Puerto Rico, Nassau, etc. -- but regional airlines bring less-traveled islands within reach. My list of top regional airlines includes those that fly primarily within island groups (Bahamas, Caymans, Grenadines) as well as those that use San Juan as a hub; some fly to Florida, too! Only airlines with scheduled service are included, not charter-only companies.
More Regional Caribbean Airlines
Information on the smaller regional airlines providing inter-island flights in the Caribbean.
Charter airlines play a key role in Caribbean travel, filling gaps in local air service (particularly to smaller islands) as well as delivering tourists to out-of-the-way destinations and resorts. Charter prices can be competitive with scheduled airline service in the Caribbean, especially for groups. When booking a trip to smaller islands in the Caribbean, be sure to inquire about the airline services to and from that island and your inter-island travel options (sometimes, for example, there may be a cheaper boat or cruise option).
Bahamas Charter Airlines
Located as close as 50 miles from the coast of Florida, and with 23 inhabited islands, the Bahamas has more charter airlines than any other Caribbean nation. Bahamas charters offer inter-island service as well as flights to and from the U.S.
As with all international travel, there are certain documents, forms, etc. that must be filled out or accounted for before you take off on your island vacation. Here's a list of document requirements throughout the Caribbean so you can be prepared to take off.