In an interesting conflict of interest, I received an upgrade for which I had mixed feelings of “this is awesome, finally!” and “damnit Delta, why are you trying screw me?!” Delta (generally) has a policy of either upgrading all parties in a reservation or none. For example, if you’re a Gold Medallion traveling with a no-status “civilian,” the weakest link in the reservation will decide your position on the upgrade list. Examples:Diamond + Silver = All considered Silver Silver + no-status = Very last in line Diamond + Gold + Silver = All considered Silver
Easy enough, right? Rule of thumb: Delta uses a “weakest link” scenario when it comes to [...]
We woke up early Sunday to be at the Roraima offices/Residence Inn hotel by 7:15am–the departure point for the tour. Meanwhile, the vans were out collecting our fellow tour-goers from the other Roraima property: Duke Lodge. Transport appeared to be free if you’re staying at one of their properties. To everyone else, including us, you get a giant “screw you” and are told to arrange your own transportation. No big deal, though.
By 8am, all 12 of us were there and we piled onto a bus and started on our 48 min ride to the dock.
Arriving to the dock around 9am, the sun was still rising, the air crisp, fresh and cool with a perfectly still and calm [...]
With 5 minutes left to go on the flight, the pilots had made the descent and we were nearing the Falls. Having done this a time or 2, they came in at a great angle to view the Falls over the left wing then circled to give the right side some love. It’s a pretty awesome vantage point–I mean, I was super tempted to go on the grueling 5-day hike over land but this view really solidified my decision to take the lazy way out.
We circle around and the plane entered the traffic pattern as we set our sites on the runway (which, to my surprise, was paved).
Looks like the 1st flight made it safely:
Our plane was a little dated, but she [...]
Small planes scare many people in the US where we have fairly strict regulation of both aircraft and airspace. It can be assumed that, in non-developed nations, these things fall to the back burner and Guyana is no exception – although it is improving.
Thus, it was important to us to pick a tour operator that had an aircraft that would take us further than the scene of the crash. When researching from afar, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re dealing with, so hopefully our experience can help.
Out of all the flight operators, Air Services Limited has one of the more impressive websites showing off their fleet and large crew, [...]
Here’s something you need to know: the difference between tour agents and tour operators.
Guyana is no stranger to the tourism agency. Although, compared to other countries, it has a long way to go tourism-wise, there are still plenty of Guyanese trying to get a piece of those highly valued $, £, and €. So, to state what shouldn’t need to be said for the sake of being thorough:A tour operator: owns the boats, planes, boats etc. and employs the guides. They have their own offices and market tours themselves. A tour agent: books you on an aforementioned tour and tacks on a hefty commission. In Guyana, it will likely be unclear what you’re booking [...]
We stepped off the plane and into the nice, warm and muggy air that we have come to know and love growing up in the Southeastern US.
Making our way into the terminal, we were greeted by about a 60+ min wait to reach customs & immigration.
Before we left for Guyana, we did some brief research about the safety of the country and learned that they still have major problems with trafficking cocaine (exports, mainly). That said, I love the high security that most countries have (the US included) [...]
En route to Georgetown, Guyana and having just gotten finished with the free transfer from LGA to JFK, we had a lengthy layover in JFK. At the time of our trip, there were extensive renovations underway at the airport.
The flight was set to leave out of JFK’s Terminal 4, the main international terminal. It’s a pretty popular terminal and in fact, it’s the only one at JFK that isn’t operated by a specific airline. They say that, even on your first visit, you’ll feel right at home given that it’s been the setting for many movies: The Terminal, Syriana, Get Him to The Greek etc….
But I digress… point being, it’s a pretty cool terminal. [...]
We took advantage of an awesome secret Delta perk when we took a free “shuttle” between LaGuardia and JFK airports. The shuttle ended up being a voucher with a $73 face value providing Town Car service to JFK!
Update 1/5/14: This still works! We used this last week on our way back from The Maldives. We were provided a free taxi ride from Newark-EWR to LaGuardia-LGA.How It Works:
Delta has 2 hubs in the NYC area: LaGuardia and JFK. It is possible, based on flight schedules, that you’ll have to fly into one and out of the other. In most cases, the transfer is up to you and it’s not an easy one. If, however, you fly into Newark (EWR) or LaGuardia (LGA) and [...]
Translated, Guyana means “The Land of Many Waters” and, of their total area, more than 8% of it is made up of water.
Guyana is about the size of Minnesota, Utah, Idaho or Kansas (I know, all pretty boring-ly shaped states).
Put differently, and more appropriately for my narrow view, it’s the size of North Carolina + South Carolina combined. Or about 1/3 of France:
Its population is only about 750k people (similar to that of North Dakota or Alaska). As such, it has one of the lowest population/mi2 figures in the world (they’re 230th of 242 countries).Economy
Guyana’s economy is driven by rice & sugar [...]
As a frequent reader of flyertalk.com, a mileage run deal caught my eye back in July (thread here) for a (relatively) cheap flight from JFK to Georgetown, Guyana. Flights were over 50% off, down from the $800s to $399. As if I needed an excuse to take an impulsive weekend trip.
The best piece of advice you’ll read when planning for Guyana: “It is a pain in the ass to plan for Guyana.” There isn’t much info online, there are no international hotel chains in the country and few hotels are bookable online. You’ll feel like you’re planning a trip in 1989.
Planning things to do presents an even harder problem: not only do tour companies [...]