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Leaving paradise can be painful. You’ve been sitting on the beach for days, soaking in the sun and slurping a few too many daiquiris or pina coladas. Then your phone buzzes: It’s time to check in for that flight home.
Thankfully, vacationers waiting to fly out of Turks and Caicos can get in one last bit of fun at the airport via its awesome observation deck — with (bonus!) a bar.
On the second floor of Providenciales International Airport is one of the best observation platforms I’ve ever visited.
The Marco Polo Club in Venice, for one, has a great outdoor patio (too bad they allow smoking) but it lacks any real vibe or excitement. (Side note: The lounge is a great Priority Pass option.) Delta SkyClub at JFK’s Terminal 4 is a regular stop for me; it has a really nice outdoor deck with some pretty good views of Runway 22L and Runway 22R. But it’s also often closed given the New York winters, rainy springs or other reasons. (Want more? Here is TPG’s list of great places for plane spotting.)
But here’s why I love the viewing area at Turks and Caicos:
The terminal’s first floor is hot, dark and has extremely limited food, drink and shopping choices. Upstairs isn’t much better. Then, you step outside to a deck open to everyone. The views are great, you can soak up a last bit of tropical sun and there is a bar. (Yes, that was the second time I’ve mentioned the bar.)
The drinks are tropical, even if the names aren’t quite appropriate in 2019 (or really 20 years ago). Have a drink, watch planes land. Grab another and watch planes take off. Not bad, right? Just don’t miss your flight.
There are signs over the deck saying that photos are prohibited, but everybody had their phones out.
During my visit, there were lots of Boeing 737s, Airbus A320s and a few regional jets coming and going.
When it finally is time to board your flight home, you will also be rewarded with one final AvGeek adventure. Because there are no jet bridges at the airport and some of the remote stands for the planes are a long walk from the terminal, you will get plenty of up-close views of those planes you just saw land.
Featured image by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy
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