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Belize is extremely easy to reach by plane, making flying the most popular way to reach this Central American country. International flights to Belize depart from several U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Miami, and Los Angeles. Small planes also depart from Guatemala.
Generally, booking a round trip ticket is less expensive than one-way tickets. It's often best to book your ticket in advance, although at times, last minute bargains can be found if your travel plans are flexible. Flying during off-peak times, flights departing mid-week or in the fall, spring, and summer months are often cheaper than flights on the weekends or in the winter months. A Saturday stay-over or departure from an alternate airport can sometimes also decrease the price of your ticket. Specially priced plane tickets are typically nonrefundable and fees for altering the date or time of your travel may also be imposed.
The Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, located ten miles from Belize City, services flights which originate in the U.S., Central American and the Caribbean. The facilities at the airport include a restaurant/bar, duty-free shops and a bank. In 2011, the airport launched an initiative to both entertain and educate travelers on Belizean culture. Called the Belizean Beats, this group of musicians performs at the airport each Wednesday and Thursday. Now, flying into Belize can be one of the experiences travelers most look forward to, rather than dread. The telephone number of the airport is 501-225-2045.
Alternative methods of transportation are available to take you to your final destination. An airport-bus runs to the city center which takes about thirty minutes, but is not always reliable. Taxis are available at the main terminal of the airport. Because they are not metered, you should negotiate your price before hiring a cab. Internationally recognized car rental agencies are located at the airport. Click here for information about rental cars.
Once you're in Belize, you can cross the country - or even into other countries - by means of local airlines. To get to Belize, though, you'll want to rely on one of the following airline companies, all of which have regularly scheduled flights to the Caribbean:
501-223-2522 (in Belize)
501-227-8309 (in Belize)
|Delta Air Lines||800-221-1212
501-225-3429 (in Belize)
|Grupo TACA||501-227-7363 (in Belize)
501-225-3589 (in Belize)
The following local airlines travel around Belize, the Caribbean and Guatemala:
|Maya Island Air||800-225-6732
If you're unfamiliar with an airline's reputation, consult the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA ranks carriers based on safety, service, and performance. Contact the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave., SW; Washington D.C., 20591 or online at www.faa.gov. You can also phone the FAA regarding specific issues:
|Air Travel Service Problems||202-366-2220|
|Aviation Safety Hotline||800-255-1111|
|Aviation Consumer Protection Division||202-366-2220|
|Questions about FAA-monitored consumer issues||866-835-5322|
|Transportation Security and Baggage Screeners Concerns||866-289-9673|
Non-Belizean citizens and nationals leaving the country must pay a $35(USD) departure fee. A passenger service fee, as well as fees for airport development, conservation and security may also be imposed. These charges may be included in your plane fare, so check ahead to ensure that your departure is not delayed. Non-U.S. travelers are especially encouraged to check so they have the appropriate currency available.
Security measures for passengers and regular baggage screenings are in place. Many airports conduct random passenger inspections in which security personnel perform a complete search of people and all of their belongings. Plan on arriving at the airport at least two hours in advance so that you have ample time to pass through all of the security clearance points.
To reduce waiting time and ensure that you reach your gate in a timely manner, consider the following:
Before leaving for the airport, call the airline to confirm your flight's departure time. Confirm your ticket and that your passport is current.
Do not wear metal objects such as steel-toed boots, heavy jewelry, or bulky belt buckles since these items could set off the checkpoint detectors.
If you have any metal surgical implants, bring a note from your doctor to avoid a long meeting with an airport official.
Your passport, which is is required for security clearance will need to be produced, as well as your boarding pass. Children are also required to have a valid passport.
Remember that you will only be allowed to pass through security with a ticket for travel. An official confirmation page for an e-ticket will suffice. Non-ticketed persons can only pass through if accompanying a child or an elderly or disabled person. It is best to check with the airline for any other required documentation.
Airports and airlines have regulations for carry-on luggage. Certain items, such as metal scissors and razors, are not permitted on flights. For a complete list of regulated items, visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website at www.tsa.gov/public/index.jsp or call 1-866-289-9673 in the U.S. Some other general rules are as follows:
The carry-on limit per passenger is one carry-on bag plus one private item such as a briefcase, laptop case, or purse. Liquids, aerosols and gel toiletries are only allowed in 3.4 bottled containers (or less) and must be placed in a clear plastic zip type bag for x-ray examination.
Your shoes and other outerwear (jackets, sweaters, coats) must be removed and place in the bin provided by the airport for security clearance.
If you plan to bring food or beverages with you on board, you must purchase them after you have cleared security.
Do not take any wrapped presents with you. If the package sets off a detector, security officials will be forced to unwrap, and may damage, the present. Consider sending the gift ahead of time to your destination.
Travelers will find that flying is of the most convenient ways to reach Belize. With consistent schedules and plenty of flight options, it's easy to see why this is the most popular way to arrive.
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