Not happy with airfare to Sister Islands

| 07/09/2018 | 4 Comments

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

I have a question on airfare cost to the Sister Islands. Recently, Cayman Airways (CAL) increased the return airfare from Grand Cayman to Cayman Brac by approximately US$12 if you’re travelling directly between CB/GCM. However, if your flight happens to stop in Little Cayman (you’re not getting off, just passing through to GCM or CB), the fare increases by an additional US$12-US$15. This is highway robbery…why? 

Also, prior to this increase, the luggage allowance was two bags, approximately 50-55lbs each, now the combined luggage is only 50lbs. Is this right?


Auntie’s answer: I took your question to Fabian Whorms, CAL president and CEO, who offered a very detailed explanation regarding your concerns. I have also written a previous column on the cost of airfare to the Sister Islands which may be of interest (see Querying cost of flight to Little Cayman).

First of all, about the airfare. Noting that, as you said, non-stop flights between Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman are priced lower than flights with a connecting stop in Little Cayman (whether or not the passengers get off), Mr Whorms explained, “When combined, these two flight legs incur greater operational costs than a non-stop flight and passengers using this travel route (rather than a non-stop flight) will incur an extra charge for the inter-Sister Island hop.”

As for the baggage allowance, there are a few different scenarios. He said that limits for domestic travel, which have not changed recently, are two free checked bags with a maximum combined weight of 55lbs on Cayman Airways Express. The two planes operated by this carrier – the Saab 340B+ and De Haviland Twin Otter – have limited baggage capacity per passenger when compared to the B737 jets. “These restrictions have therefore been necessary since the introduction of the turbo props,” Mr Whorms said, adding that in comparison, most airlines operating these types of planes limit their checked bag allowance to one bag, which doesn’t exceed 40lbs.

However, passengers travelling to and from the Brac on CAL’s Boeing 737 service are allowed two free checked bags, each with a weight not more than 55lbs. Mr Whorms added that this fee structure “has also been long standing and has not changed recently”.

He also wanted to point out that when a Cayman Airways Express flight connects inbound or outbound to an international CAL flight, the higher baggage weight allowance of the international flight is applied to the domestic portion, regardless of the type of aircraft.

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Moaners in the Lesser Caymans again. No xurprise there. Welfare junkies.

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  2. Infrequent flyer says:

    Why do Cayman Airways charge their customers so much? BECAUSE THEY CAN!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The weight restriction on baggage to the Brac and Little is harsh… There’s literally nothing to buy on those islands!

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