Lying off the east coast of Florida, the archipelago of The Bahamas is the easiest and most convenient foreign destination Americans can fly to unless they live close to the Canadian or Mexican borders.
Nassau is the busiest and most popular point of entry (this is where you'll fly if you're staying on Paradise Island). From here, you can make connections to many of the more remote Out Islands. Freeport, on Grand Bahama, also has its own airport, which is served by flights from the U.S. mainland, too.
Flight time to Nassau from Miami is about 35 minutes; from New York, 2 1/2 hours; from Atlanta, 2 hours and 5 minutes; from Philadelphia, 2 hours and 45 minutes; from Charlotte, 2 hours and 10 minutes; from central Florida, 1 hour and 10 minutes; and from Toronto, 3 hours.
Security Measures -- Because of increased security measures, the Transportation Security Administration has made changes to the prohibited items list. All liquids and gels -- including shampoo, toothpaste, perfume, hair gel, suntan lotion, and all other items with similar consistency -- are limited to 3 ounces or less (all packed into a 1-quart bag) in carry-on baggage and the security checkpoint. Pack these items in your checked baggage. Carrying liquids of any sort to the screening checkpoint will cause you delays and will most likely result in the item being confiscated.
With the ever-changing security measures, we recommend that you check the Transportation Security Administration's website, www.tsa.gov, as near to your departure date as possible to make sure that no other restrictions have been imposed.
From the U.S. mainland, about a half-dozen carriers fly nonstop to the country's major point of entry and busiest airline hub, Lynden Pindling International Airport (tel. 242/377-1759 or 377-0209; www.nas.bs). Some also fly to the archipelago's second-most-populous city of Freeport. Only a handful fly directly to any of the Out Islands.
American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com) has several flights per day from Miami to Nassau, as well as four daily flights from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau. In addition, the carrier flies three times daily from Miami to Freeport. It also offers three flights daily from Miami to George Town and one flight daily from Miami to Marsh Harbour.
Delta (tel. 800/221-1212; www.delta.com) has several connections to The Bahamas, with service from Atlanta, Orlando, and New York's LaGuardia.
The national airline of The Bahamas, Bahamasair (tel. 800/222-4262 or 242/377-8451; www.bahamasair.com), flies to The Bahamas from Miami and Fort Lauderdale, landing at either Nassau (with seven nonstop flights daily) or Freeport (with two nonstop flights daily).
US Airways (tel. 800/428-4322; www.usairways.com) offers daily direct flights to Nassau from Philadelphia and Charlotte, North Carolina.
JetBlue (tel. 800/JET-BLUE [538-2583]; www.jetblue.com) has one direct flight daily to Nassau, from JFK in New York.
Other carriers include Continental Airlines (tel. 800/231-0856; www.continental.com), which has greatly expanded its link to The Bahamas through South Florida through its regional affiliate, Gulfstream International. Continental operates flights between Fort Lauderdale and Andros Town on Andros, with four round-trip flights each week. The airline also offers daily service from Fort Lauderdale to both George Town and Governor's Harbour. In addition, it maintains frequent links between Fort Lauderdale, Freeport, Marsh Harbour, North Eleuthera, and Treasure Cay. Win Air (tel. 866/466-0410; www.fly-winair.com) flies from Fort Lauderdale three times a week to Rock Sound and Governor's Harbour, and four times a week to North Eleuthera.
Air Canada (tel. 888/247-2262; www.aircanada.com) is the only carrier offering scheduled service to Nassau from Canada. Direct flights from Toronto and Montreal leave daily; other flights from Toronto and Montreal, as well as other Canadian cities, make connections in the U.S.
British travelers opt for transatlantic passage aboard British Airways (tel. 800/AIR-WAYS [247-9297] in the U.S. or 0844/493-0787 in the U.K.; www.britishairways.com), which offers four weekly direct flights from London to Nassau. The airline also has at least one flight daily to Miami. From here, many connections are available to Nassau and many other points within the archipelago on several carriers.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.