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Situated five miles from St John’s, VC Bird International Airport is the gateway to the stunning islands of Antigua and Barbuda. Local buses do not stop at the airport though taxis regularly service the facility. Still, the most popular way to access the city as well as the rest of Antigua Island is with car hire in Antigua Airport, with St John’s just over a four-mile drive to the west.
Who to Book With
Car rental firms present at the airport include international suppliers such as Dollar, Hertz and Thrifty, and Antiguan suppliers Jonas Rent a Car and Carters Rent a Car. Counters for these suppliers can be found in the terminal, but vehicles are collected in the car park in front of the terminal building.
Need to Know Essentials
At vehicle collection, drivers need to show the following documents:
- Both parts of their UK licence
- The credit card that was used to book the vehicle
- Passport to prove ID
- Verification of booking
It is important to follow parking restrictions in Antigua and Barbuda to avoid getting a fine. Sings indicate where parking is prohibited though it is illegal to park in spots that cause danger to others or where you would hold up traffic. Petrol pumps are serviced by attendants and accept cash as payment. Credit cards are sometimes accepted but usually incur a surcharge. It is compulsory to have a local driving permit to drive here, which can be purchased for around £12 from most car hire agents.
Self-drive is the most convenient way for arriving passenger to access the capital, as well as the rest of the island, from the airport. Taxis will take you to your destination just as quickly but can be expensive. Having your own vehicle allows you to explore the island at your own pace.
Taxis at the airport are regulated by the government. There is a taxi desk outside of Arrivals that displays pre-set fares, while taxis depart from the curb in front.
Antigua Airport to St John’s city centre is around £7
Antigua Airport to Deepwater Harbour is around £8
Antigua Airport to Dickenson Bay is around £10
Antigua Airport to Half Moon Bay is around £20
Buses in Antigua are predominately minivans that terminate at St John’s West Bus Station or East Bus Station. Lawrence of Antigua private bus services are also commonplace. There are no direct bus services from the airport to the city though passengers can take a taxi and then board a bus to another part of the island or to the harbour to catch a ferry to Barbuda. Bus fares are typically between £1 and £3, and services operate from early in the morning to 19:00.
Named after the country’s first prime minister, the single terminal airport serves the entire country and handles aircraft arriving from North American, European and Caribbean destinations. Leeward Islands Air Transport is the airport’s main tenant.
There is one car park located in front of the passenger terminal building that is accessible on foot. Both short-term and long-term parking is available here.
Wireless internet can be accessed free of charge in the airside area of the terminal as well as in the VIP lounge.
There is an information desk on the ground level of the terminal, before security.
Switch Board: +1 268 462 0358
Assistance is provided at the airport for passengers with reduced mobility. Those needing assistance should go to the information desk or to their airline check-in counter. Restrooms are wheelchair-friendly, and ramps and lifts provide accessibility for disabled persons.
Restaurants and Bars
There is one restaurant in the terminal that prepares meals as well as snacks, and take-away is available. There is also a bar on site.
Money and ATMs
There are four ATMs in the passenger terminal. One Antigua Commercial Bank branch that offers currency exchange services as well as other banking services is available on site, while a separate currency exchange kiosk is also housed in the terminal.
Duty-free jewellery, gifts, perfume, tobacco and alcohol can be purchased at the duty-free store in the Departures lounge. Pharmaceuticals can be purchased at the chemist, while post services are available at the airport’s post office. Other shops in the terminal sell souvenirs, gifts, newspapers, magazines, books and travel accessories.