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SXM. It's an airport code every avid traveler should know because it's more than just an airport; it's a kickass, bucketlist destination on its own.
SXM is Princess Juliana International Airport on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, aka the one that's split between Dutch (St. Maarten) and French (St. Martin) and aka the one that has what is arguably the best up-close plane spotting in the world. Photos and videos of the extremely low over-beach landings at St. Maarten are almost a YouTube genre in themselves.
While SXM has been a hotspot for plane spotting, island hopping and nude beaching (that last one on the French side!) for decades, it only got a modern terminal back in 2006. Now the airport will update to the tune of $132 million, which is roughly equivalent to half the draft budget of the entire St. Maarten government. So yeah, it's kind of a big deal.
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When we have to fly US Airways we don't exactly jump for joy. After all, we've not had the best of luck getting our luggage back or even convincing friends the airline still exists. There's not a whole lot of options for one-ways from Detroit-Metro to New York-LaGuardia however, and thus we occasionally find ourselves stuck on a layover at Reagan-National Airport.
After yesterday's experience plane spotting from the US Airways club overlooking the C gates though, we must admit that we regret it doesn't more often. Fourcount 'emfour special liveries were on the tarmac. We were like a kid in a candy store (an adult in an airportha).
Above is US Air's retro ode to PSA (Pacific Southwest Airlines) whom they merged with back in 1987. The plane is smiling! Here's the other three we snapped: