The main point of entry for international flights into the Turks and Caicos is Providenciales International Airport (www.provoairport.com); Grand Turk and South Caicos also have international airports. The Provo airport was recently upgraded to handle its growing influx of visitors -- good news for fliers, since a bigger airport means more competition and, hopefully, more competitive rates. Carriers include American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300 in the U.S. and Canada; www.aa.com), Air Canada (tel. 888/247-2262 in the U.S. and Canada; www.aircanada.ca), , Bahamas Air (tel. 800/222-4262; http://up.bahamasair.com), British Airways (tel. 800/247-9297 in the U.S., 0870/850-9850 in the U.K.; www.britishairways.com), Delta (tel. 800/241-4141 in the U.S. and Canada; www.delta.com), JetBlue (tel. 800/538-2583; www.jetblue.com), US Airways (tel. 800/622-1015 in the U.S. and Canada; www.usairways.com), and WestJet (tel. 888/937-8538; www.westjet.com). Air Turks & Caicos (tel. 649/946-4181; www.airturksandcaicos.com) has regular flights between Provo and Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas.
The Provo airport is small, with limited tourist services. A restaurant, Gilley's Cafe (tel. 649/946-4472; open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch), is near the domestic arrivals and departures area -- it has surprisingly good food and a dynamite (good and spicy) conch chowder. The international departure lounge has a few duty-free shops -- including Jai's (tel. 649/941-4324), which sells fine jewelry; Maison Creole (tel. 649/946-4748), which sells charming handcrafted items (most of which are made in Haiti); and Turquoise Duty-Free (tel. 649/946-4536), which sells liquor and Cuban and Dominican cigars -- but the only food source is a snack bar with microwave pizza, chips, gum, and drinks. If you have a long wait ahead of you -- and hungry kids in tow -- consider getting a bite at Gilley's before your flight.
Never on a Sunday (or a Saturday) -- If you can possibly swing it, avoid flying in or out of Provo on Saturday or Sunday during peak season. These are the days when the weekly villa or condo rentals turn over, and the modest-size airport is overrun with travelers arriving and departing -- the result being that the Customs process at arrivals can be agonizingly slow and the departure lines long and full of (understandably) cranky kids.
Traveling on to the Other Islands
If your final destination is any of the other TCI islands, you will be taking either a domestic flight on a small plane from the Provo airport or traveling by boat (generally from Walkin Marina at Heaving Down Rock, in Leeward on Provo's northeast coast, about 20 min. from the airport; to get there you'll need to take a taxi from the airport if your hotel doesn't offer airport transfers).
At press time, the newest interisland charter airline is Caicos Express (tel. 649/244-1407; email@example.com).
Keep in mind that most of these small airlines have weight restrictions, which means you may have to store any heavier luggage in the Provo airport during your trip.