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Maya Kachroo-Levine
January 02, 2019

The weather outside is frightful, and the Caribbean Airlines prices are looking oh-so-delightful. But are they too good to be true? If you’re trying to escape the winter winds, a discounted flight to the tropics seems like the perfect solution. But before you purchase, you want to know what you’re getting into.

Caribbean Airlines is one of the newer airlines on the budget flights scene — it was founded in 2006 in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Originally known for its reasonable one-way tickets, Caribbean Airlines caters to the spontaneous traveler who may want to stay a week longer than planned. While Caribbean Airlines has since expanded its offerings, its reasonable prices still make it an intriguing choice for the traveler looking for some sun on a budget. Caribbean Airlines flies to the Caribbean and South America, including destinations like Antigua, Barbados, the Bahamas, Guadalupe, St. Lucia, Venezuela, and Cuba.

What’s the checked bag situation on Caribbean Airlines?

Great news — you can check your first bag free in economy. And if you are flying business or first class, you can check up to three bags for free. However, if the bags are above 23kg, they will be subject to an overweight checked bag fee of $75. (And the overweight bags can’t exceed 32kg.)

How about carry-on bags?

Every traveler is allowed to bring one carry-on and one personal item on board. The carry-on bag cannot exceed 10kg. If it does, it will have to be checked.

What in-flight amenities does Caribbean Airlines offer?

Caribbean Airlines has upped its game in terms of amenities. There’s now in-flight entertainment on board. According to Sylvia on Airline Ratings, who has tried economy and first class flights with Caribbean Airlines, “The staff is friendly and helpful. The service is good and there is free in flight entertainment. They are on time and the pilots are some of the best I have experienced.” 

Susie on TripAdvisor also raves about the amenities — and her review reminds us they do offer more perks than the average budget airline. “Their hospitality is immaculate. It's the only airline that offers free first baggage, a meal is also included with their service, they also offer free headphones, (and) there is always something to entertain you during your flight which makes it a lot more relaxing,” wrote Susie.

How is cabin cleanliness on Caribbean Airlines?

Overall, some customers were not overly impressed by the cabin’s hygiene. “The airplane smells like urine!!” Irannie D. from Manhattan wrote on Yelp. “The smell is so strong you can smell it BOARDING the plane!! These look like planes they purchased from other airlines once those airlines upgrade. The planes even had those old cigarette trays for when smoking on the plane was ok?!”

On Airline Ratings, Ann also noticed that the cabin was not quite up to par. “Poor service, dirty plane, horrible food, and do not complain because they never acknowledge your emails. I will not be travelling again with this airline and would advise anyone I know not to travel with Caribbean Airlines,” she wrote.

Are their flights to the Caribbean convenient?

So it seems. Caribbean Airlines offers tons of flights in and out of the Caribbean islands, which is perhaps how they’ve grown in popularity so much since 2006. Sanya from New Jersey specifically likes the early morning flights to Jamaica. “I get to Jamaica early and I have an entire day,” she wrote on TripAdvisor. “The flight is hardly ever delayed and even if is, rest assured we are still getting to our destination on time or before the scheduled time. I love the fact that our first bag is also free, which most carriers now charge you (for). Also we still get actual food on board not just pretzels and nuts. You start feeling the island vibe the minute you board.”

Is business class on Caribbean Airlines worth it?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to get a straight answer here. It seems like it’s hit or miss on business class, because some find that Caribbean Airlines goes above and beyond, while other customers are less than impressed.

TresChiqueANU is all about the business class life on Caribbean Airlines. “The service was excellent. The staff paid very close attention to us. They listened to our needs, and catered to them well, making appropriate suggestions. AND, they were VERY pleasant,” they wrote on TripAdvisor.

Christopher S. said the inefficiencies on the ground were made up for by the great in-flight service. “The wait in the check-in line was too long for the class of service purchased. Nevertheless the onboard service somewhat made up for the disappointing ground experience,” he wrote on TripAdvisor.

So, what’s the verdict? Should I buy that cheap Caribbean Airlines ticket?

If you think a warm-weather vacation with a few potential hiccups is better than no vacation at all, you may want to seriously consider buying that ticket. As we’ve seen, plenty of people rave about their experience on Caribbean Airlines. Still, based on the reviews, there’s a chance the meal might be subpar, your flight could be delayed, the cabin might smell a touch funky, or the checked bag line will be too long for your liking. It’s an expectations game, really. If you go in expecting five-star amenities, you may be disappointed. But if you go in knowing that you’re getting a great deal on a trip you might otherwise not get to take, you could end up pleasantly surprised. You could also end up pleasantly sunkissed in the middle of February.

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