Since the question on flying out of Belize International Airport versus Municipal Airport keeps coming up in emails and on blog comments from my readers, I decided to update the above-linked guest post on the subject. It was written back in April 2012 by Jenny, one of my longtime tacogirl readers and a frequent family traveler to Belize.
Two Airport Options Explained
When flying to San Pedro and other Belize destinations, you have two options with Tropic Air: Fly directly from Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) (in Ladyville) to San Pedro Airport (SPR) or take a 30 minute taxi to the Municipal Airstrip (TZA) in Belize city and fly to San Pedro from there. Both have their own advantages, and the getting the best airfare may be one of them.
The main advantage of flying directly from BZE is time. Once you’re admitted through Immigration, pick up your luggage and get cleared through customs, you go directly to the Tropic Air counter and then to the departure area to fly over to San Pedro. Depending on your arrival time and the length of the line ahead of you, you could be in San Pedro within 45 – 60 minutes. The price to fly one way from BZE – SPR or SPR – BZE is $179.50 adult fare and $171.50 for children between 2 and 12. If you know your departure date and you choose this route, it is $42.00 cheaper to buy a round trip than two one ways for adults and $40.00 for children
The advantage of flying from Municipal is cost savings. At $109.00 for a one-way adult and $78.10 for a child, there can be a definite saving over flying from Philip Goldson Airport, especially if you are with a group or have kids who qualify for the child rate. Even when you consider the $50.00 BZD taxi ride each way, the savings for a family of 5 (2 adults and 3 “qualifying” children) is $698.00. Note that the round-trip adult ticket from TZA is significantly less than buying 2 one ways for adults and slightly less for children. Please note all prices are in Belize Dollars.
On rare occasions, flights going to San Pedro leave Municipal and do a “milk run” to International first to pick up additional passengers or vice versa. This means you might see the same people get on, that were on your flight into the country…. watch for their look of confusion. 🙂 This is also an exception to the “time advantage” of flying from BZE.
Choose Municipal if you are a group of 3 or more flying to San Pedro or have checked on the departures to other destinations upon your arrival at BZE. Dangriga, Placencia, and Punta Gorda also fly from Municipal, and the difference in fares are about the same as for San Pedro but they fly much less frequently. Basically, if you are 2 people or less it makes more sense to fly out of international after arrival.
- What to do if your incoming flight is delayed?
If your incoming international flight is delayed, it may mean that you are in for a wait at whichever airport you chose to travel from.
Do not worry, chances are you are not the only one who is on delay. Major Airlines do a great job of communicating with local Belize Airlines. If you are on delay and have a Wifi device, while there is no guarantee, you could send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and see if you can get yourself placed on a list. It is important to note Tropic Air will fly all of the passengers to the rest of the country before sending the planes to the island because San Pedro is the only airstrip with lights the so after dark flights (past 6:00 PM) are done safely.
- Duty-Free Belize
Duty-free shopping is available for arriving passengers – not just departing. Some folks like to stock up on wine or liquor before leaving for San Pedro or where ever their final destination. Make sure you bring something to pack your bottles in and leave room in your check baggage because they will not be allowed in your carry-on (or purse) on the Tropic Air flight. Duty-free limits: 3 cartons of cigarettes, 6 bottles of perfume, 6 boxes of Cigars, 6 bottles of liquor or wine. Cigars and cigarettes can be carried on but can’t be used on the flight.
Planning to fly out of Municipal Airport? Learn more about what your Belize City taxi will be like on this Belize Travel Forum post.
Click through to an informative read on one of the busier days for flying on Tropic Air from Belize City to San Pedro. and Flight Timing from Belize International Airport to San Pedro Airport.
Go to my Code For a Cause page for information on booking Tropic Air flights. Be sure use the flight coupon code – horizon on all Tropic Air flights. Book your flight with tacogirl and instantly donate to worthy charity. You will see how flying with a purpose, will help make a difference in the community you are visiting.
Tropic Air Press Release
Being a very community-minded organization, it was no surprise that Danriga Belize Red Cross was the first group to the first beneficiary. The San Pedro Branch has had the opportunity to compete against them twice at volunteer day and they earned a big win for their hard work and team spirit on one of the field activity days.
Tropic Air, The Airline of Belize, has announced the first month’s results of its 2016 nationwide #TropicGivesBack charitable fundraising campaign. For every ticket bought at the month’s selected station, $1 will be donated to an organization chosen by our staff stationed in that community. January was the chosen month for Dangriga, with Caye Caulker for February, and Belmopan for March.
As part of the airline’s largest charitable fundraiser of the year, Tropic Air business partners, staff and Customers joined efforts and raised $500 for the Dangriga Red Cross. A check was presented to the organization on Thursday, February 4th.
“Every year, our staff and customers, come together to raise much needed funds for a variety of charities with the joint goal of making a lasting impact,” said John Greif III, Tropic Air’s president. “We also encourage our customers to join in giving to the causes that they are passionate about”, he went on to say. “Through the #TropicGivesBack Donation program, we are honored and privileged to support the work of the Dangriga Red Cross, and we couldn’t think of a better way to contribute to their efforts in the community,” said Steve Schulte, Tropic Air CEO. “We thank our Employees for giving their time to volunteer around Belize, and we thank our Customers for the wonderful response to this program, which made the donation possible.”
About Tropic Air
Founded in 1979 by John Greif III with just a single airplane and two employees, Tropic has steadily grown to become the largest and most experienced airline in Belize. It now employs over 300 staff, offers over 200 daily scheduled flights to 15 destinations in Belize, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.
Tropic believes in giving back. It supports the development of the communities its serves through health, sports, drug prevention, education and community projects. Tropic also supports the development and growth of the wider tourism industry of Belize through promotional initiatives locally and internationally.
About the Red Cross, Dangriga Belize Branch
The Belize Red Cross Society, with 7 branches countrywide including Dangriga, is one of 189 members of the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies, (IFRC), the world’s largest humanitarian organization. The Red Cross Movement became present in Belize in 1914. This movement became and operated as a branch of the British Red Cross in Belize until 1983 when, through an Act of Incorporation, it became the Belize Red Cross, a National Society in its own right. In 1984 the Belize Red Cross was recognized as a member of the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies. In 1983, Belize Red Cross opened doors in Dangriga Town to serve the Stann Creek District.
Their work focuses in the areas of Community Resilience (disaster management & preparedness, response and recovery); and Disaster Risk Reduction and mitigation; HIV & AIDS prevention through Peer Education (TWC Program); Violence Prevention and Youth development; First Aid & prevention of communicable diseases, Social Assistance (feeding programs, assistance to fire victims, wheelchair distribution) and dissemination of their 7 Fundamental Principles and Humanitarian Values. This work is carried out through recruitment, training and deployment of Volunteers, the greatest assets of the organization.