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Getting to Bonaire: Bonairexcel: Bonaire to Aruba change
Bonaire Talk: Getting to Bonaire: Archives: Archives 1999-2005: Archives - 2004-02-01 to 2004-08-15: Bonairexcel: Bonaire to Aruba change
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken & Lisa (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #161) on Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - 11:31 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

They have changed the 11:30 departure from Bonaire to a 12:55pm departure. Lisa went home early and it made for a very tight connection in Aruba...

My usair flight is at 4pm, so I'm going to stay with the 'new' 12:55 departure. If your flight is any earlier you'll probably want to opt for the 7am Bonaire-Aruba.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kelly Jo Lott (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1187) on Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - 12:13 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Ken, good information as I am making that connection in July.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #537) on Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - 5:25 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

It looks like BE is still going out of their way to make it difficult for US travellers to use their airline...sure wish somebody would wake up in that organization...they could be sitting on a goldmine but they continue to cut off their potential customers trying to connect thru Aruba...who wants to sit in Aruba for 6 hrs waiting to connect on the Continental/Delta/American flights at 3:00 pm...its bad enough for the 5 hr layover going from Aruba to Bon

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Linda Richter - NetTech (Moderator - Post #1839) on Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - 6:18 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

That is so bizarre on the flight changes. I picked up Kelly's ticket on Friday and they were issued with the 11:30am departure time. Didn't Lisa just leave this past weekend?

I'll see what I can find out about the departure time here and get your ticket updated if I need to before I send them up.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #538) on Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - 8:29 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

hmmmm, is this a new busness venture for Linda

the biggest problem for US travelers (other than schedule) is getting their ticket in Aruba. If I knew somebody who would purchase the ticket in Bonaire and mail the ticket to me, it would solve a lot of problems...its a shame that BE can't figure this out

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Linda Richter - NetTech (Moderator - Post #1841) on Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - 9:23 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

:-) No new business. Just making sure my doggie, kitty, doggie, and parrot sitter makes it to the island in a more restful state of mind.

I don't understand it either. How can you run an airline and not be able to get tickets via a TA or even another airline? It seems like such a basic necessity for doing business. And with E-ticketing shouldn't this be relatively painless?

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glen Reem (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1751) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 6:36 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Of course, all this comment assumes that BE is doing this deliberately, that they are not trying to do things in ways that are easier for US travellers.

Considering the problems we know they have fought through (with the Central Government) to be flying at all, maybe we should cut them a little slack until someone on island finds out why these things are the way they are.

'Do unto others....'

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #539) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 7:12 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Glen,

I think the burden is on BE to explain why they do these things. I'd love to hear their story. Changing the flight time from Bon to AUA will virtually "kill" any chance of building a profitable route for US travellers. Their current summer schedule forces US travellers to layover in Aruba for 5 hours (easily solved by bumping their afternoon departure time back 1 hour). I doubt if they are doing it deliberately ...the word ineptness comes to mind. They have been operating nearly a year and people in the US still cannot buy tickets. BE won't even accept payment over the phone and mail the tickets. I've made three trips to Bon thru AUA...each time hoping they will figure things out...my next trip will be on AA...the hassle factor is substantilly less

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chet Wood (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #489) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 7:30 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Gregg,
Remember to keep in mind that AE is talking about eliminating ALL of their flights between Bonaire and San Juan.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Cousino (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #537) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 7:38 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Chet,
I hope it is only talk as one of my dive buddies and I have tickets for AE San Juan - Bonaire and return flights in October.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #540) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 7:47 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Chet,

I just booked my Sept flights yesterday...If AE cancels their flights, I'll fall back to plan B.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glen Reem (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1752) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 7:56 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

It would be informative to know what percentage of BEs customers are connecting from the States. Important to us but we just may be in the position of a Doberman's docked tail trying to wag the dog.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ann Phelan (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1404) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 7:58 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

I booked tickets to AUA on BE a month ago for last weekend's trip for Soul Beach. I was quoted 201,00 but later learned it was 301,00 (which I think is ABSURD)..then we had booked a 6 PM outbound and an 8 PM return.

The weekend before I decided to get the tickets. Lo and behold the 6 PM and 8 PM were cancelled. We were put on the 11:30 so Maggie missed school and we missed work. The 8 PM on Sun. was cancelled so we were put on the 3:30. We lost most of Sunday as a result and also did not go out until 12:55 (they did call us that day with the time change).

I think the airline is great..I work closely with one of the admin. execs there and she is WONDERFUL. The staff however, provided different and inconsisent info. One told us to check in at 10:30 and wait til 12:55 in case the plane left early..I doubted this so called my contact and she told me to check in at 12:25..so..

Have faith..let's support this airline.

As for AE, I would not book past Sept. since their future is up in the air. Ughh...

Just my humble opinion for what it's worth..

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #541) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 8:33 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Glen,

I doubt if the percentage is high now since they've done so well to discourage traffic. However, if they did even a little bit of marketing...... I've checked, the eastern two thirds of the US can get to Aruba by mid afternoon via AA,Cont,USAir,DL...only a few locations (the gateways) can catch the AJ flights to arrive in Bon in the same day...BE could promote their service in conjunction with the major airlines to get people to Bonaire by mid afternoon...if the service were reliable, more folks from the US would take this route (FF miles, bonus tickets etc can be used to get to Aruba). US carriers fly to Aruba every day.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kelly Jo Lott (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1194) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 8:45 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

I will not panic. I will not panic.

I will be in Aruba.... not Bonaire, but hey it's not Newark, Ohio!

Linda, thank you so much for doing that for me.. you will have a very well rested and happy sitter, I promise. :-)

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brian (bcj.) (BonaireTalker - Post #67) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 10:13 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Just curious if anyone has asked BE about their future, about their alleged lack of service, etc. Silly as it seems (and as obvious as it may seem to some) they may not even realize the negative publicity that is being generated.

And I'm not talking about the ticket counter clerks, I'm talking about dialing the executive offices and/or requesting an official press release.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken & Lisa (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #162) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 11:41 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Linda: Lisa got her ticket changed on Thursday to leave Friday, and it had the 11:30 departure time on it. We got to the airport at 10:00 and they said that flight has been changed to 12:55. I asked if it just changed since she just had the 11:30 ticket issued the day before and they said no...it was changed weeks ago. Luckily her flight from aruba was late arriving or she wouldn't have made it.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Marcus L. Barnes (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #104) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 12:46 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Just talked to an American Airlines agent reference American Eagle cancelling all their flights between San Juan and Bonaire. She did some kind of computer search and came up with nothing on this. I did a "Market Change" search on AA.com and once again came up with nothing. Just wondering where this info is coming from as we have AE flights booked for October. Appreciate the input.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glen Reem (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1753) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 1:06 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Gregg,

Have you politely addressed your concerns to BE? Better chance of effect there. Might even get answers with a copy on BT-- they have posted here in the past.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Liz Ginocchio (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #228) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 5:18 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Marcus,

The Bonaire Reporter had a small article in the paper about AE possibly pulling out. Apparently they want the island (either govt' or private, I don't think it matters to them) to pay a "surcharge of 1.000,00 Nafl a day to the airline. Apparently the cost to Bonaire from San Juan is much less then AE charges to go to other Caribbean destinations. The article also stated that it takes 2 hours to get to Bonaire and on average an hour to other Caribbean destinations. It is a matter of $$. The article says that someone better do something as AE brings in an average of 25-30 people each flight. Wondering if BE would be willing to apply for permits to fly to San Juan and take over there flights or if the island government (highly unlikely) will pay or if the resorts will ante up and pay, then raise prices to clientele. Tourism WILL suffer if this happens, in my opinion any way.

Liz

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Marcus L. Barnes (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #105) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 8:17 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for the info Liz. I would tend to agree with you that tourism to Bonaire would suffer in this case. I know it would make travel to Bonaire more difficult for us, but I'm sure my wife and I will find a way with or without American Airlines. By the way, good luck with the inn!!

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glen Reem (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1755) on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 9:17 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

I think the same article added words about the cost of overnight stays for the crew because of arrival one day and departure the next. Late and early, respectively, really don't impact the o'night necessity or cost, I suspect.

Unfortunately, airlines are not charities. :)

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Richter (Moderator - Post #4910) on Friday, June 4, 2004 - 2:26 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

I asked the manager of BonairExel for information about this scheduling issue for Aruba, and here's what he sent back to me (posted with his permission):

Dear Jake,

Thanks for the comments and the opportunity to set things straight.

Yes, we currently have a schedule problem, due to limited availability of both aircraft. This has resulted in some ad-hoc adjustments to some departure times, including the 11:30 to AUA. This departure has been set at 12:45, which we know might cause some stress for passengers that need to connect at AUA. However, we make it an issue to assist passengers to the maximum in making their connection. This means we will take action towards the carrier at AUA and inform them about late arrival of their connection passengers. If possible, we will arrange pre-check-in for them at the AUA check-in counters and we will even meet & greet passengers upon arrival and assist them to the check-in of either CO, DL, US, AA or UA.

Again, we realise that this is a small setback in our services, but we focus on the solution, rather than on the problem!

For your information, the 9H2972 to Aruba will depart at 12:45 on Saturday 12 and 13 June. I hope these two dates will be the last for now on which we have to improvise, but I cannot give you a guarantee.

I hope this information suits you and gives you a bit of an insight.

Best regards

Arian van der Werff
Deputy General Manager
Dutch Eagle Express N.V. / BonairExel
Jake

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #542) on Friday, June 4, 2004 - 6:02 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Jake,

tks for taking this issue up with BE...it would have been simple for Mr van der Werff to publish their problems and explain their situation...Did he offer any comment as to what the problems were? They've had the two planes since they started.
However, although I appreciate the effort that BE will make to ensure that the connections are made, I hope their effort includes working with customs and immigration to expedite people with connections thru this painful redundant process.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Richter (Moderator - Post #4914) on Friday, June 4, 2004 - 6:15 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Gregg,

I agree that it would be great to have a BonairExel representative here on BonaireTalk, responding to concerns and providing real time on-line customer service.

All I got from Arian on this topic is what I posted above - I have no other information.

However, one point I don't get - you state that you "hope their effort includes working with customs and immigration to expedite people with connections thru this painful redundant process".

How is going through U.S. immigration and U.S. customs a painful redundant process? You can't get into the U.S. if you don't do this, and when flying through Aruba, that's where it's done. Can't get out of that - better to do it in Aruba than in the U.S., I think.

Or are you referring to going through Aruban Customs and Immigration (which I agree is an annoyance, and should be bypassed by transit passengers)?

Jake

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Josie (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #925) on Friday, June 4, 2004 - 6:51 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Please, please don't let AE cancel their flights from SJ to BON -- there's NO other way we can get to Bonaire in one day. RATS...

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #543) on Friday, June 4, 2004 - 7:34 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Jake,

I was referring to the Arubian customs and immigration. It is redundant in the sense that the BE flight is arriving from Bon...the solution is obviously the need for a transient terminal or holding area...I'm sure Aruba never expected themselves to be a transient airport. If the BE flight arrives at the time the US carriers arrive with hundreds of passengers (they all arrive at the same time), immigration and customs is a nightmare.

I really appreciate your BE contact speaking out. He doesn't have to comment on BT, but he could comment on the local news which ultimately gets to BT. I think the silence or lack of communication is the most frustrating. I appreciate the scheduling issue but I don't think BE appreciates that it only takes a couple of US travellers to miss their international connections before the word gets out and people won't travel that route. BE becomes the looser. I want BE to be a winner. Any traveller arriving on AJ DCA or AE is potential customer of BE.

Keep up the communication with BE...good job

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brian (bcj.) (BonaireTalker - Post #73) on Friday, June 4, 2004 - 7:42 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Gregg:

You have some really great points, especially in regards to only a few bad experiences turning many future travellers away. Why not communicate your concerns directly to BE? It is possible that they are not aware that their fan base is in the dark as to their recent developments.

The recommendation that they communicate with the local press is a good one, and what better way for them to hear it than from their revenue-generators: their customers.

(Message edited by bcj on June 4, 2004)

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Susan Taft (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #364) on Friday, June 4, 2004 - 7:49 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Jake for looking into this and posting the response. We have tickets in hand for the 11:30 flight to AUA in August to make our connection home and I had really decided not to worry about it now as I figured I could look into it once in Bonaire. Of course our connections on USAir and BE have to work to get us there first! This is our first time using a routing other than AA or AJ since the "olden days" when we did AA to Curacao and then ALM to Bonaire. We really are pulling for BE to be successful and are willing to cut them some slack and certainly appreciate the time that you and Mr van de Werff took.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Marcus L. Barnes (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #106) on Saturday, June 5, 2004 - 8:18 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

I recently emailed American Eagle to express my groups disappointment at the possible cancellation of AE Flights between San Juan and Bonaire. I also requested a status on this possibility. If and when they respond, I'll post that response.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #544) on Saturday, June 5, 2004 - 10:31 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Susan

If you are on the USAir flight (to CLT), you should not have any problems connecting from the BE flight.

Brian..I've written BE in the past with suggestions and did not receive a response or acknowledgment...perhaps if more folks sent them letters it would help.

I hope BE is not so naive that they aren't thinking about the marketing issues I've raised. Fortunately, Jake seems to have a contact within their organization and perhaps can convey these issues.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glen Reem (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1756) on Saturday, June 5, 2004 - 5:14 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Gregg,

Aruba has been a 'transient' airport for years with other airline combinations and has not chosen to implement a transit lounge: I had to do the immigration/customs/move my own baggage and recheck it thing between AA and Air Aruba 15 years ago. Obviously a conscious decision on their part.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken & Lisa (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #170) on Monday, June 7, 2004 - 1:22 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

seems that the 11:30 flight that was moved to 12:50 has now been cancelled... at least the flight today and tomorrow.

Make sure to confirm flights the day before... I didn't and will have to force myself to stay overnight in aruba to catch tomorrow's USair flight :-)

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeffrey S. Levine (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #7) on Monday, June 7, 2004 - 11:25 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

When I went to Bonaire & Curacao last month, I purchased and paid for a ticket from American from LAX to Aruba (transit only) and then from Curacao to LAX. I used BonairExel for the other flights. I reserved the BE ticket by e-mail and they told me I could pay for it in Aruba. I totally forgot to ask them for the price. When I got to Aruba and went to BE, the total cost for both flights was $39.00. What a great deal! I hope BE continues to do well because it is super convenient.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By gregg brewer (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #551) on Tuesday, June 8, 2004 - 7:29 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Jeffrey,

you were lucky...they must have made a mistake on your airfare...I thinks it is about $40 one way Bon Cur and about $75 one way Aruba to Bon

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken & Lisa (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #171) on Tuesday, June 8, 2004 - 12:41 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

they took care of me and put me up at a hotel in aruba with dinner/breakfast/lunch included..... so no complaints with them...especially since it was mostly my fault for not confirming the flight the day before.

 


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