Romantic getaways leaving from Stewart Airport

Author: James Meyers
Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011

The snowstorms that have battered much of the Hudson Valley in recent weeks are a harsh reminder of how long and laborious winter can be in this region. Shoveling out from the mountains of snow, can easily make one dream of white sand beaches. Scraping  ice crystals off of a car windshield may stoke fantasies of snorkeling in the crystal clear seas of the Mexican Riviera. Fantasizing about tropical exoduses from the Hudson Valley’s sometimes cruel winter, is not only natural, but can also be a coping strategy to persevere through the sunless season of cold.

Fly away

Stewart International Airport (SWF), just south of Newburgh, offers a variety of vacation options for many budgets and interests. Whether simply dreaming of a destination or actively planning an escape to balmier climates, Stewart affords the Valley’s denizens a multitude of potential diversions.

Apple Vacations

Apple Vacations, which has been named the “Best Tour Operator to Mexico” by Travel Weekly, offers high end, all- inclusive packages, departing weekly from Stewart direct to Cancun, Mexico.  The Apple Vacations Cancun program operates from February 12 through April 23. It features direct Saturday morning departure flights, and afternoon returns the following week. “We are very excited about our new non-stop flights to Cancun,” says Timothy Mullen, Executive Vice President of Apple Vacations. “This is a great alternative for residents of the Tri-State Region who prefer the convenience of plentiful, inexpensive airport parking, hassle-free check-in and security, and the fast and easy baggage claim that Stewart provides.”

Go Mexico

The all-inclusive packages offer nonstop airfare, hotels, transfers, as well as all food and drink.  Special package deals include the recently refurbished resort, Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun, which received the prestigious AAA Four-Diamond Award. The cost is $999.99 per person for seven nights, down from the original price of $1739.99. For families, the ideal resort is the Dreams Puerto Adventuras with a Deluxe Garden View Room. A seven night stay now costs $1199.99 per person (originally $2679.99). It includes $200 in Resort Coupons for spa services and other hotel activities. For couples seeking an adventurous escape, Ali Gerakis, Senior Marketing Manager of Apple Vacations, suggests the Secret Square Deal. In this package, travelers leave the planning to Apple. They find out which Secrets Resort they will be staying in. Their visit includes all the amenities of the other packages. The cost of this package is $1399.99.

JetBlue Getaways

JetBlue Airlines provides direct flights to eight warm weather destinations. Among the flights offered outside the United States are excursions to Nassau, Bahamas, and the capital cities of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. If you are craving the warmth, but prefer to remain within the domestic U.S., JetBlue also flies directly to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida, as well as Austin, Texas.

The packages in the JetBlue Getaways vacation program are based on round trip airfare. They usually consist of airfare, a 2 or 3 night hotel stay or car rental.

The Getaways to Florida start at $299 per person from Stewart to Orlando. Roundtrip from Stewart to Fort Lauderdale starts at $385 per person.

A Cancun Getaway vacation starts at $529 per person from Stewart. Meanwhile, packages to San Juan, Puerto Rico start at $589.

Delta Airlines and US Airways

Delta Airlines flies from Stewart nonstop to its hub in Atlanta with connections to over fifteen Caribbean destinations, dozens of cities in Florida, and several Mexican destinations as well. Many of the flights to such romantic getaways as Bermuda are direct, after a connection in Atlanta, and require minimal transfer time. US Airways offers direct flights to its hub in Philadelphia with transfers to several Caribbean destinations.

Winter weather is a wearying aspect of life in the Hudson Valley. For some, a romantic excursion to tropical or sun blessed outposts may be impractical. Perhaps they’re worth dreaming about. Sometimes, dreams are what allow one to make it through the dark night of winter until the delicious dawn of spring arrives.

Security at Stewart Airport

Travelers have found themselves trading convenience for security, since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In particular, the use of controversial full-body scanners and the implementation of pat down procedures have received plenty of media coverage. Despite last month's USA Today/Gallup poll showing that 78 percent of air travelers support the use of full-body scans, the media has been rife with stories of serious dissension over these policies. You may remember the man who was thrown out of San Diego Airport last November for telling Travel Security Administration agents (TSA), “If you touch my junk, I’m going to have you arrested.” Only days later, a woman went through screening at Los Angeles’s LAX airport wearing only a bikini. Fortunately, those of us who fly from Stewart Airport are not likely to encounter any similar security issues.

Flying from Stewart

Stewart Airport has as rigid and diligent security as any international airport in the country, according to Port Authority Spokesperson, Jen Friedberg. She points out, it’s a unique airport.  “The beauty of Stewart is, it’s in a different airspace,” Friedberg says.  Isolated from the New York City hubs, it also shares a military airfield with the Air National Guard, and is therefore considered a singularly secure airport.

Ann Davis, a spokesperson with the TSA confirms that Stewart does not have body scanners. “The TSA has not put out a body scanner deployment list for 2011 yet,” she says. “There’s no way to tell if Stewart Airport will be on that list.” Asked if Stewart might be ruled out because of its size, Davis says that’s not necessarily the case. She cited Harrisburg International Airport in Harrisburg, PA as an example of a small airport where body scanners are already in use. According to published reports, the TSA is expected to distribute 1,000 body scanners to airports over a two year period. For more information about TSA regulations, check out the TSA website.

James Meyers has written extensively about travel. His favorite trips include multiple visits to Ireland, as well as the Mexican Riviera and Puerto Rico.


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