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Getting to Bonaire: Adventures returning from Bonaire
Bonaire Talk: Getting to Bonaire: Archives: Archives 1999-2005: Archives - 2005-08-10 to 2005-12-13: Adventures returning from Bonaire
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mel Briscoe (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #8) on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 10:07 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Our group of 16 arrived at Flamingo airport just before 9am Saturday, for our 10am flight on Bonaire Exel to Curacao to catch the 2:59pm AA flight to Miami then on to Washington (DCA). BE told us we had been shifted to the 8am flight, and we had missed it. They stonewalled for a while, then said they'd try and get us on the 10am flight anyway...but of course there were zero seats, so they said they'd put us on their 2pm flight, arriving CUR just in time to miss our AA connection....

I arranged for Divi Divi to provide two charters, actually the same plane taking half our group then deadheading back to take the other half. At the end of the runway the first flight turned around with engine flying that day. Divi then delayed its 11:45am scheduled flight and turned it into our charter, but with only 7 seats because they wanted to give the remaining 2 seats to two folks on the 11:45 who were making the same AA connection we were. I selected 7 of our group of 16 to get home on time, and the rest of us made arrangements to stay another night at Buddy Dive (pain and agony) and catch the AA Sunday morning to San Juan.

From San Juan there were lots of flights to Miami but not to four of our group of (now) 9 went to DCA and the rest of us went to Dulles. We nine got home Sunday night at 9:30pm.

The bad news is the Divi group of 7 got to CUR on time, but the AA flight could not take off for several hours because the head mechanic was on vacation and could not sign off on the flight. AA ended up flying in another mechanic from Aruba (on Divi Divi!) to release the flight to MIA, which got in too late for the connection to DCA, so the lucky group of 7 had to overnight in MIA and got to DCA about 9am Sunday morning.

So our group of 16 ended up on three different routings, and all had to overnight somewhere unexpectedly.

OK, the good news. The 7 who needed to get home for Sunday all made their jobs or whatever. The 9 who stayed another night on Bonaire had a hell of a good time. Bonaire Excel is going to refund the fares (!!!) which almost exactly covers the cost of the Divi 7-person charter and the extra night at Buddy Dive for the 9 people. AA is covering the MIA overnight.

The heroes in all this are:
Mr. J. Willebrorand (sp?) of Divi.
Mr. J. Dudley of AA at Bonaire.
Lisa of Buddy Dive.
And 15 very good dive buddies.

Scott, aren't you sorry now you didn't join us?

- Mel
Splash Dive Center


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Phillips (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #248) on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 12:53 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Hey Mel, how are ya?

Well, as you might have seen here on BT, Gale and I had our own adventure getting stuck in San Juan going down to Bonaire at the end of August. Somehow maybe I DO wish we had joined you guys, since as far as I'm concerned it's better to be delayed coming home than at the start of your vacation!

You guys aren't havin' too much luck with air travel to Bonaire; if my memory serves me correctly, you had a fiasco on Air Jam on one of your recent trips down there -- something about a late night bus trip courtesy of Air Jamaica from Newark to BWI?

Ah well, air travel in general does seem to be even less dependable these days. Some airline employees have told me that this is exacerbated by staffing cutbacks in recent years resulting in less spare pilots, cabin crew, mechanics, etc. Just gotta grin and bear it I guess. Staying another night at Buddy's must've been just tortuous, I'm sure! And I'm glad to hear that Lisa at Buddy's took care of ya; she's an old Bonaire Buddy of ours going back to when she was a divemaster/instructor.

Glad to hear it all worked out moderately well.


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