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New nonstop flights from Los Angeles to the Cayman Islands for $399

July 27, 2022
4 min read
Catamaran in Cayman Islands
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Cayman Airways just announced new nonstop flight service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands beginning Nov. 5.

"It has been a long-time goal to connect the Cayman Islands with our friends on the West Coast," said Kenneth Bryan, the Cayman Islands minister of tourism.

To promote the new route, Cayman Airways is offering an introductory sale on round-trip flights in basic economy beginning at $399 — including airport taxes and fees. The sale runs through Aug. 8 with a limited number of tickets available.

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This non-stop service is notable because flights without connections from the West Coast to the Caribbean are few and far between. Several carriers fly from LAX to Cancun on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, and two airlines – United and Alaska – fly from LAX to Belize, which also sits on the Caribbean coast. But no other carriers currently offer nonstop service between L.A. and any Caribbean islands.

This Cayman Airways flight is scheduled to take just six hours from LAX to GCM (and six hours, 15 minutes on the return leg). That means you can catch the 8 a.m. flight and arrive at 5 p.m. in the Cayman Islands, all times local, just in time for a sunset with a cocktail. You can even get in the island spirit early, as the airline is offering free rum punch drinks on the flights.

"This service significantly reduces travel time from western U.S. cities and allows travelers to spend less time in transit and more time making memories in Cayman," said Fabian Whorms, CEO of Cayman Airways.

The schedules of major U.S. airline flights from LAX to GCM require a minimum of almost nine hours of travel time, with average travel times running 11 to 13 hours, with connections going through places like Miami, Houston, Charlotte or other hub airports.

The airline and the Cayman Islands business community hope the nonstop LAX flights will increase transfer traffic from Asia transiting in Los Angeles.

Given the ongoing airline challenges with flight delays and cancellations and lost luggage, a nonstop flight means fewer chances for lost bags, missed connections or other issues for those eager to get from Los Angeles to the Cayman Islands.

New Cayman Islands route details

Cayman Airways' LAX-GCM service will operate weekly, flying on Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Flights will depart LAX on Sundays and return from GCM on Saturdays. The service is planned to operate throughout the year.

(Screenshot from caymanairways.com)

TPG looked at Cayman Airways' website to check on current pricing and availability. A sample November 2022 itinerary booking Economy Low class showed tickets priced just below $399, as advertised. The website noted ticket quantity is already becoming very limited for the flights selected.

Baggage charges are not listed for this flight before payment information is entered (an annoyance) but are priced at $20-$25 per checked bag for existing flights, according to the Cayman Airways website.

Business-class tickets on the same November itinerary are currently priced at about $1,100 each way. Business-class tickets give passengers priority check-in, access to affiliate club lounges and the ability to check up to three bags free at up to 55 pounds each — plus a carry-on bag.

Business-class passengers also receive a complimentary meal on board, as well as alcoholic beverages "in the comfort of a private Business Class cabin with plush leather seats and extensive leg and elbow room," according to the press release.

Mileage and credit card programs

Cayman Airways is not a partner with any other major airline mileage program, instead operating its own Sir Turtle Rewards system.

The good news is that a single round-trip flight from LAX to GCM may earn you enough miles for a free trip on one of the carrier’s very short inter-island routes to two islands neighboring Grand Cayman (although specific mileage numbers have not been posted yet for the LAX flights).

Other airports with Cayman Airways service where you could try adding some miles include New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Denver International Airport (DEN), Miami International Airport (MIA) and Tampa International Airport (TPA).

The airline's exclusive credit card partner is the Butterfield Bank Visa Platinum card.

Related: Cruise ships return to the Cayman Islands

Featured image by Getty Images/EyeEm
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases