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Getting to Bonaire: ALM Stability
Bonaire Talk: Getting to Bonaire: Archives: Archives 1999-2005: Archives - 1999-06-02 to 2001-12-31: ALM Stability
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Anonymous on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 7:32 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

How badly will the slowdown in travel hurt ALM? We had reservations on Aruba Air last October the week they went belly up and we went to Cayman instead. We are scheduled to fly to Bonaire on the 27th of Oct. and then to Aruba on the 1st of November on ALM. Will we make it this year?

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jennifer Gray on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 12:25 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Wish I had checked this site a few weeks ago before I made reservations on ALM for our trip in January. Yikes! Anyone have any more information on ALM???

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve and Sandy Oliver on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 8:16 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

You are wise to be concerned. ALM is reckelessly canceling flights, without attempting to contact passengers. Our flight brom BON to CUR on 9/29/01 was canceled, and they made no attempt to notify us, even though we had re-confirmed at their Bonaire office 2 days prior. Because we had proof that we had reconfirmed, they put us on a later flight, and put us up at the Plaza (a real dumpy room) in Willemstad for the night. Another passenger who was booked on ALM to Miami was told she was out of luck, because she hadn't reconfirmed. (They claim they would have told her she was booked on the earlier flight). She ended up shelling out $400 to fly home on Air Jamaica.

Beware, and have a backup plan. Stay in contact with ALM, and don't expect them to notify you of changes.

Steve

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hazel Scharosch on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 10:27 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

This is really sad. Are they using the recent attack on America to justify shoddy service? I realize that the travel industry, and small airlines in particular are facing financial crisis, but treating paying customers in this way will simply speed up the process of bankruptcy. Unfortunately, this is probably just one of many similar stories.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 2Nancys on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 10:46 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

We were originally scheduled to fly American from Miami to Cur and then ALM to Bon. However, after the Sept. 11th events we rescheduled so that we could fly American all the way through SJU. Now, I'm soooooo glad we made that change.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Richter - NetTech on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 10:58 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Hazel,

ALM uses whatever excuses it can to justify their service (or lack thereof). The real problems they are facing are financial (they have been in the red for years - not sure if they've ever been profitable), and as a result of recent political games, the situation has worsened to the point that lessors owning two of the DASH-8 planes (the ones used between Curacao and Bonaire) seized them back.

I did read in the paper yesterday that ALM and American are talking once again about a wet lease (see other topic about this somewhere around here). I'll believe it when I see it happen, though.

Bonaire itself is fervent in its attempts to eliminate its dependence on ALM, and with any luck, American will be offering inter-island flights before the end of the year.

Jake

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Deborah Campbell on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 11:43 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Indeed, American must be expecting to offer inter-island flights next year. Looking at a possible Bonaire trip for Spring of 2002, I found AA flights to Bonaire routed through Aruba (specfically, AA Flight 5613 from AUA to BON, arriving at 4:40pm.) Haven't booked anything, and don't know whether this is "for real" or not... we've had good experiences with Air Jamaica to BON so far, and are using them on our next trip, in December. But more alternatives to ALM would surely be welcome.

Deborah

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By michael gaynor on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 12:57 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

The Aruba connection was to have begun on Oct 1 but it appears that it will commence Oct 15. When it happpens, I will be the first to jump and cheer. The next step is Curacao/Bonaire. Lastly, Caracas/Bonaire (as long as the madman Chavez behaves himself)

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jason on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 4:27 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Gee I only hope American Airlines is still around. Business discussions have been centering around a significant possibility tha AA will file for bankrupcy. Yes I have been a defender of ALM, in the past and the future.. The problems they face, due to their size, is harder then a lot of others. They lost two airplanes, USAIR is losing 125.. They canceled some flights.. The airport serving me has been closed since 9/11...and the reopening schedule is unsure.. and the great savior , AA won't even talk to be about option with in the same fare structure. SWISSAIR ceased operations today. The only reason the major US airlines are still in business this week is because of the $12 BILLION bail out they got from the US Government. Hey all airlines are a pain, lie and iffy at best.. welcome to the new world, which isn't all that much different, In general I would rather see local people, even Curcaco, get money for my travel then an an off island coporation. Yes I would love to see more options.. I can remember when I could get connections from Aruba so I had two routes to Bonaire depending on was canceling their flights for that date.. I hope, with a little luck, AA can at least match the service provided in the past by Air Aruba..and Jake at least ALM looks for excuses.. in my extensive experience AA dosn't even bother to try..

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Richter - NetTech on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 4:48 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Wow. Big time bummer about Swissair. Link about their closure is at:

http://srapps.swissair.com/srpress/one.po?idx=83006228

As far as ALM vs. AA - I've had good and bad experiences with each, Jason - no argument there, but as someone living on an island seriously affected by ALM's poor management, warped priority system, and general disregard for Bonaire and its people - EVEN THOUGH AS A NATIONAL AIRLINE one of its top priorities should be serving the nation, namely the Neth. Antilles, Bonaire among its few member states, I believe ALM deserves greater scrutiny and criticism.

If AA screws up on a Bonaire flight, that sucks, but then again AA has commercial objectives and no legal obligations where Bonaire is concerned (at least not anywhere close to the scope of ALM's legal obligation to provide air service for Bonaire). If a commercial entity's (e.g. AA's) customer service screws up enough, it offers an opportunity for competitors to pick up the slack, which in turn provides an incentive for said commercial entity to ensure things don't get too bad (and no matter what problems I've had with AA, they have always ultimately tried to make up for their errors - can't say the same for ALM).

With a national carrier such as ALM, routes are protected (e.g. Curacao to Bonaire and back), and therefore competition is basically non-existent.

So ALM gets to continue practices which many here on Bonaire find extremely objectionable and detrimental, but have no recourse for, since not using ALM has no real impact on the company's bottom line, nor does ALM care about a bottom line...

Jake

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dara Walter on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 5:13 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Well, so far in my daily communication with ALM I am still assured that my flight leaves Sat at 1:40 and proceeds directly to BON......perhaps I shall continue to call daily to verify since it would not be much fun to be stranded in MIA with a cat and bird in tow....my sense of humor might not weather THAT!

Jake, I think I'll be asking to borrow a knife and fork, LOL!! I can bring as many spoons as I can carry :- }

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hazel Scharosch on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 5:59 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Hey, Dara! Does that bird still ask, "Are you a duck??" I am so thrilled for you, and I have your advice tacked up on my bulletin board: "Give yourself permission to do what you want." Best Wishes! We'll look you up when we are on island. Haz

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jason on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 10:41 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Jake,
I understand the point you are making and agree.. here in the US we call it landing slots..example.. Pittsburgh.. with USAIR's Hub system I think there may be a currently a grand total of maybe four airlines flying into that city.. IF USAIR screws up what competition .. you can't get the landing slots.. same at the former airport know as national where it woudl take an act of congress to get a slot... Yes ALM has problems...the point I am trying to make is that EVERYONE IS HAVING PROBLEMS.. but if everyone is driven away from ALM.. the airline will be driven to a death spiral and no one will HAVE to serve Bonaire from the US.. Northwest and American and USAIR , besides laying off twice the number of people that live on Bonaire per airline.. and have left cities they have served for years..
My record number of cancellations USAIR, second place AA, longest delay Northwest second place ALM highest average numeber of delayed flights.. AA followed by USAIR the delta (granted ALM is a close third)..
Again my point is that there are problems with ALM.. and from a residents point of view there are far more severe then from the vacationer..I am trying to provide some balance is examining it from the context of a person who may not travel it as frequently as you do but does it more the most.. and who also by end of year will have helped arranged the travel of about 100 visistors from the US..

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dara Walter on Wednesday, October 3, 2001 - 2:20 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Well, I have had good luck with ALM and believe it will continue......the power of positive thinking! Believing makes it so for me....or so it would seem!

Hey Hazel, I was thinking of you today as I boxed up the remainder of my sparkly gowns and sent them to my "social butterfly" friend, LOL. She's the only one I know (besides me) who would wear sparkles head-to-toe! I thought for a moment of bringing one just to make an appearance on the street cam and give everybody a laugh....somehow the thought of wearing something like that on BON seems WAY funny!

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jason on Wednesday, October 3, 2001 - 11:58 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Dara. My bottom line is the same.. I have had some experiences but through out I have found no match to the sterling personalities and character of the ALM staff and their attention to in-flight service. i will continue to fly ALM and recommend them to my friends along with my favorite caution.. its island time.. :) I

 


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