The main gateway into the Turks and Caicos Islands is Providenciales International Airport (PLS), though the JAGS McCartney International Airport (GDT) on Grand Turk and the runway on South Caicos can also handle larger jets. For private planes, Provo Air Center is a full-service FBO (fixed base operator) offering refueling, maintenance, and short-term storage, as well as on-site customs and immigration clearance, a lounge, and concierge services. Even if you are going on to other islands in the chain, you’ll have to stop on Provo first, then take another flight onward.
All scheduled international flights to Turks and Caicos Islands arrive in Providenciales International Airport (PLS), so this is where you’ll go through immigration and customs. Make sure you have all of your paperwork completely filled out, as immigration lines can be slow; in fact, on a busy day you will wait 30 to 40 minutes from the time you disembark to the time you pass through customs.
For those wishing a little less stress while traveling, Provo’s airport offers the VIP Flyers Club. For a fee, you get speedy check-in, priority through security, and a tranquil waiting room with TV, Wi-Fi, and snacks. It's much nicer than contending with the crowds. The cost is $200 for the first family member and $75 for each additional person; children under two are free. If you wish to simply use the lounge, there is a $50 fee per person, but availability depends on the number of expedited travelers.
JAGS McCartney International Airport, Grand Turk. JAGS McCartney can handle aircraft up to the size of Boeing 757 and Airbus A321 jets. It's a full-service airport with a restaurant that's open when public flights are due in and go out. Grand Turk. 649/946–2659.
Pine Cay Airport. This is a very small airport with access via golf cart–style ground transportation. There's no terminal—just a little pergola-shaded pad—the paved runway is 2,500 feet, and there are no airport landing or parking fees. You must clear customs on Providenciales, and landing on Pine Cay is by permission only; contact the Meridian Club. Pine Cay. 649/941–7011.
Providenciales International Airport. This is a full-service airport. It offers a little restaurant open whenever there is an outgoing flight, as well as duty-free shopping and comfortable seating in the departures lounge. There are also two private FBOs (fixed base operators) on-site to provide services to those arriving by private plane or jet. You may enjoy expedited services and a private executive lounge through the VIP Flyers Club accessed through the main terminal. Airport Rd., Airport, Providenciales. 649/946–4420.
Salt Cay Airport. This is just a cute little airport where you have to get there only 15 minutes ahead of flight time. You will surely see your plane coming in from Grand Turk or Provo and know that you should already be there. Note that the Airport Café is open when a flight is expected in or heading out. Salt Cay. 649/241–7412.
South Caicos Airport. The country's first airport is very small, with minimal services. There's no air-conditioning and no food service, but water is available. South Caicos. 649/946–4999.
Turks & Caicos Islands Airport Authority. The TCIAA website has a schedule of all flights coming into and out of the islands, along with real-time arrival information. The site is also provides helpful information for private flights, offering weather, wind, and runway information. Providenciales International Airport (PLS), Airport Rd., Airport, Providenciales, TKCA 1ZZ. 649/946-4420; www.tciairports.com.
VIP Flyers Club. The VIP Flyers Club, conveniently located within Provo's International Airport terminal, offers expedited services and an executive lounge at an additional cost to the traveler looking for a sanctuary away from the hustle of the main terminal activities. Providenciales International Airport, Airport Rd., Airport, Providenciales. 649/946–4000; 866/587–6168; www.vipflyersclub.com.
If you’re staying at a hotel or resort on Provo, there will be a representative just outside the arrivals door to greet you; you’ll then be put into a taxi for your transfer. A few hotels are allowed to offer their own personalized shuttle service, but most are required to use the regular service; Amanyara and Parrot Cay, because of their locations away from the main hub, offer such a service. Even if you have not made prior arrangements, there are plenty of taxis around to meet each flight. To the main area of Grace Bay Road, expect to pay around $33 per couple one way. You can also have a car rental waiting at the airport; almost all of the rental car companies offer this service. If someone is picking you up, they may wait for you in the nearby small parking lot that charges $1 an hour.
On South Caicos and Grand Turk you should make your transportation arrangements before arrival. On Pine Cay someone will pick you up in a golf cart. On Salt Cay you could walk if need be.
Several major airlines fly nonstop to Providenciales from the United States, although carriers and schedules can vary seasonally. You can fly nonstop from Atlanta (Delta), Dallas (American), Charlotte (USAirways), Miami (American), New York–JFK (Delta and JetBlue), Newark–EWR (United), and Philadelphia (USAirways). Canadian cities can be accessed via WestJet and Air Canada. There's also a flight from London on British Airways via Antigua.
Several other parts of the Caribbean are connected to Turks and Caicos through InterCaribbean Airways. Flights from Nassau can be found on Bahamas Air. Once on Provo, InterCaribbean and Caicos Express Airways fly to North Caicos, South Caicos, Grand Turk, and Salt Cay.
American Airlines. There's an office upstairs in the main terminal of Providenciales (PLS), as well as one downtown in Butterfield Square. You will spot it on your right as you enter the downtown area traveling toward the airport. Providenciales International Airport, Airport Rd., Providenciales, TKCA 1ZZ. 800/433–7300; www.aa.com. Main office on weekends and public holidays, (airport counter is open every day).
Caicos Express Airways. This local airline offers regular service to Grand Turk and Salt Cay within the Turks and Caicos Islands. However, private charter services are necessary to get to North Caicos and South Caicos, as well as international destinations within the Caribbean. Southern Shores Plaza, Leeward Hwy., Downtown, Providenciales. 649/941–5730; caicosexpress.com.
Delta. Delta agents are available at Providenciales (PLS). The desk opens three hours prior to departures. Providenciales International Airport (PLS), Airport Rd., Airport, Providenciales, TKCA 1ZZ. 800/221–1212; www.delta.com. On days when no flights are departing.
InterCaribbean Airways. Previously known as Air Turks & Caicos, this nationally based airline has been in operation since 1991. Their fleet flies domestically and internationally, both scheduled and chartered services. Staff is friendly and courteous. Old Private Airport, Old Airport Rd., Airport, Providenciales, TKCA 1ZZ. 649/946–4181; 649/443–3160; www.intercaribbean.com.
JetBlue. JetBlue offers charter flights connecting Providenciales directly with New York (JFK), Fort Lauderdale, and Boston. Note that certain flights may be seasonal. In addition, JetBlue GETAWAYS partners with several island resorts to create package deals; combinations often provide considerable savings. Providenciales International Airport (PLS), Airport Rd., Airport, Providenciales, TKCA 1ZZ. 800/538–2583; www.jetblue.com.
United Airlines. There are agents at PLS. Providenciales International Airport, Airport Rd., Providenciales. 800/864–8331; www.united.com.
Caicos Express can fly you from Provo to anywhere you need to go in the Turks and Caicos (or the Caribbean, for that matter). Although the airline has some scheduled flights, most of their work consists of charters. Charters can be expensive because you pay per flight, not per passenger. However, if your group is going to a smaller island, or wants to combine your trip with other Caribbean islands, it might be the best way to go.
Caicos Express Airways. Operating scheduled domestic and international services out of Provo, Caicos Express also offers charters as an alternative. Their service is friendly and courteous. Although their main office is on Leeward Highway, their customer service desk in Providenciales International Airport (PLS) is open 365 days a year. Southern Shores, Leeward Hiwy., Downtown, Providenciales, TKCA 1ZZ. 649/941–5730; 305/677–3116; 649/946–8131; 649/946–2178; www.caicosexpressairways.com. Never!.
InterCaribbean Airways. This local airline connects Providenciales with South Caicos and Grand Turk, as well as a number of destinations internationally within the Caribbean region. Airport Rd., Airport, Providenciales. 649/946–4999; intercaribbean.com.