This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.


Update 7/14/17: Initial reports indicated that the departing plane was operated by American Airlines, however it appears that a Caribbean Airlines 737 was the aircraft involved.

A 57-year-old female tourist from New Zealand was severely injured by the blast of a departing airliner Wednesday evening at St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana Airport (SXM) around 6:00pm, and later died after being admitted to St. Maarten Medical Center. The incident was first reported Wednesday evening by SXM Talks.

Maho Beach is a mecca for plane spotters, due to its proximity to arrivals and departures on Runway 10, its beautiful scenery and the decent variety of airline traffic. Planes fly very low over the beach when landing on this runway, creating incredible wide-angle photo (and video) opportunities.

On Maho Beach, people also practice the dangerous hobby known as “fence surfing,” where people hang on to the perimeter fence of the airport when a plane lines up to depart. As the plane spools up its engines, the powerful and hot thrust blows people over, usually tumbling across the road and onto the beach, along with whatever loose clothing or belongings the people had. The video above is not from Wednesday’s incident, but an example of the danger of fence surfing.

Photo by Richie Diesterheft (Flickr / Labeled for commercial use)
Photo by Richie Diesterheft (Flickr / Labeled for commercial use).

Signs along Maho Beach warn tourists of the potential dangers of jet blasts, yet many people ignore the warnings. It may be only a matter of time before local law enforcement is forced to limit access to individuals who have no need to be around the airport. Hopefully this incident will highlight the dangers of fence surfing, and dissuade others from doing so in the future.

Featured image via AeroIcarus (Flickr / Labeled for commercial use).

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.