|By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #339) on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 12:11 pm:|
I arrived Friday evening in Bonaire after flying to Aruba on Delta and then connecting with Bonaire Exel. I am sorry to report that BE has a lot of work to do...reminded me of the ALM days. I had reservations but had to stop at the ticket counter in Aruba to get the ticket. I waited outside for about 15 minutes while I watched thru the glass about 6 people standing around laughing eating etc. Finally, somebody decided to wait on me. The delta flight arrived at 2:00 but BE would not start check in until 5:30 so had to drag the luggage around with me. At 5:30 I went to the terminal for check in. The overhead screen said the Bonaire check in was at counter No. 11. I waited in line behind other folks until 6:00 and an agent never showed up. I grabbed a different agent to ask if the BE agent would show up and he said BE was checking in at counter No. 4....went to counter 4 and waited 20 minutes while the agent processed the one person ahead of me. When the agent got my ticket, I got the ol "deer in the headlights" blank look and was asked "where did you get this ticket". I informed her the ticket was issued by the BE ticket counter. She had to call the supervisor. The supervisor straightened things out quickly and then advised that my baggage was over weight...Be alerted that BE strictly abides by a 20 kg limit and charges outrageous fees for over weight. After complaining to the supervisor that nobody from the US could travel with dive gear and meet the 20 kg limit...the supervisor then allowed me 10 more kgs...it still cost $60 more for my luggage. It took the agent about 20 minutes to process the exess baggage fee on my credit card. Apparently, she had to go to the outside ticket counter to take a CC. After she got back, the supervisor then informed me that I had to pay the $20 airport tax...At that point I was pretty angry and just gave them the $20....then I asked the Supervisor why transit passengers had to pay the tax. He gave me my money back because transit people do not pay the tax. I raced to the gate in time for the boarding (barely)...after taking our tickets and preparing to enter the bus, the agent then informed us that the pilot decided to get fuel...took over 30 minutes...we finally boarded the bus for the 100 yd trip to the plane. After boarding, they buttoned up the plane and we prepared for the trip (no a.c. turned on) ...waited about 10 minutes with the engines starting before the pilot advised that he was waiting for his clearance...there were no other planes...this was beginning to remind me of the work slow downs in Curacao. We finally got the clearance and departed. The pilot turned on the a.c. about half way to Bonaire...we arrived in Bonaire 1 1/2 hours later than scheduled. They even managed to break a bottle of rum that I had just bought in the duty free shop and put in my carry on suitcase...that was the worse part
|By Ann Phelan (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1236) on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 12:23 pm:|
YIKES..well, Gregg, as frustrating as that scenario is, it can happen with ANY AIRLINE..and still it appears the AUA BE staff have a lot to learn.
|By C Poteet (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #137) on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 4:19 pm:|
|By Lydia S. Segal (BonaireTalker - Post #53) on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 9:00 pm:|
|By Carole Baker (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #2619) on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 10:21 pm:|
Gregg, sorry to hear about your flying fiasco, but glad to see that you are back on Bonaire again to enjoy yourself for the next 2.5 weeks. You lucky dog, you! Say hi to the gang at the Divi for us....keep me posted as to any new structures or activities or KLM crewmembers since last June....are the chicki huts still on the beach? Are the crewmembers and small infants still utilizing them? Have fun and savor those Miller Lights....Carole and Joe
|By Phil Denton (BonaireTalker - Post #50) on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 5:19 am:|
I went from Bonaire to Aruba and back the same day Friday the 5 and had a wonderful experience. On time no problems--Aruba's airport is confusing; but that is another issue Phil
|By Ann Phelan (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1237) on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 7:03 am:|
Hey Charles, whatcha mean??
|By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #340) on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 12:08 pm:|
In spite of my venting above, I still support the concept of BE providing service to Bonaire. I think my expectations were that due to the association with KLM, the operations would be run much more smoothly. I am a seasoned traveller and realize these problems can happen on almost any flights...however the nature of these problems on my first BE flight reminded me of ALM...We are all hoping that BE does not become an ALM. For now I accept that BE is having start-up pains. However I still want to alert the other BT'ers that they should refuse to pay the Aruba exit tax $20. Also that BE is strict about luggage weight (I've never had this problem before on previous trips) I will return to Aruba in two weeks from Bonaire and will report on that service out of Bonaire.
|By Vicki Murt (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #28) on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 5:40 pm:|
Hope the BE flights from Curacao to Bonaire and from Bonaire to Aruba are a lot smoother! I will be visiting the islands for two weeks in October. Great air fare rates into Curacao and out of Aruba on AA - from Kansas City. Fare was $300 less than RT flight to Bonaire on AA. Corinne at SunRentals is setting up my BE flights - just waiting for confirmation number. Sounds like the weight is for one bag @ 44 lbs. Does this limit include your carry-on items (purse or small bag)? I have a two hour lay-over in Curacao. Hopefully enough time to go through customs and catch the plane. Does anyone know which counter BE uses in Curacao? I have been there once before, but used the AA counter. Thanks for any info.
|By Bob Darby (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #1) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 4:50 pm:|
I also need to fly round trip Aruba to Bonaire in November-I understand I have two choices DCA through Curacao or Bonaire Excel and how would I get in contact with them. Sounds like the options are poor. Any recommendations.
|By Anne Olkowski (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #2) on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 3:52 pm:|
Add me to list of people tring to plan a trip to Bonaire but deadending in Aruba. I finally got Delta tickets for the 5 of us (using FF points!). I will arrive in Aruba on a Tuesday at 2pm.
|By Linda Richter - NetTech (Moderator - Post #1483) on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 4:00 pm:|
Phil listed this email address in another conversation: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org as a contact that helped him book flights.
|By Linda Richter - NetTech (Moderator - Post #1484) on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 4:04 pm:|
BE is currently working on ticketing agreements with several US airlines but I haven't heard anything yet.
|By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #342) on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 5:36 pm:|
Since my initial debacle on BE, I think it is only fair to provide an update. One of my friends took the same flight from Aruba to Bonaire on Tues 16th and her trip was perfect (except for the $5 charge for being over 20 kg). She returned to Aruba this past Wednesday. Her flights were all on time with no problems. Also, another friend arrived on Sat 20th from Cur (Delta to Cur). She took the BE flight at 3:30...she had no problems and was not charged for overweight (by about 20 kgs)...go figure. Her flight arrived in 15 minutes. I return on the 29th on BE to Aruba and hope that the pattern continues. Based on these experiences I feel a lot better about BE. I'll withhold final judgement until after my return.
|By Rebecca Miyuki-Whitehead Starkweather (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #4) on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 2:02 pm:|
|By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #344) on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 12:01 pm:|
|By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #345) on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 3:16 pm:|
Final Judgement: As promised above, I withheld final judgement on BE until my return home.
|By C Poteet (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #146) on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 6:45 pm:|
|By Chet Wood (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #405) on Wednesday, October 1, 2003 - 7:03 am:|
|By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #347) on Wednesday, October 1, 2003 - 10:27 am:|
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