|By Chris Seck on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 1:27 pm:|
Trying to plan a trip to Bonaire for late May/early June. I'm from Kansas City, Missouri so I figure I have two options. I can take American to Dallas(or St. Louis) to San Juan to Bonaire in one very long day or I can fly to Atlanta the night before I want to go to Bonaire and catch Air Jamaica to Montego Bay and on to Bonaire. I can't make it to Atlanta or any Air Jamaica gateway early enough to make all the connections in one day. Either way the options don't look very good, but I still need to pick what I want to do. So, are there any concerns I should have for either airline? luggage loss? on schedule? cheaper? overbooking problems? other problems? Any advice or experiences you all could share would be great.
|By Ann Phelan on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 1:32 pm:|
If it were me, I would fly Air Jamaica. You get to BON in time to play a bit in the afternoon. And then on the return you also have all day. On the other hand getting there in one day sounds good too vs the hastle of getting a cab and hotel in ATL.
|By Chris on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 3:06 pm:|
I am from Carthage, Mo! I am going to be in Bonaire, the 15-23 of this month. We are flying out of Tulsa, on Delta, to Atlanta, and then taking out on AJ, the next day. I will post back with my expirences.
|By Dave Goodwin on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 4:19 pm:|
My last two trips to Bonaire have been on Air Jamaica. The one we are planning for in July will also be on AJ. I have had nothing but good experiences flying AJ (but I'm the only person I know who has been traveling by air for 20 years - thousands of miles - and have never had any luggage lost, stolen, or damaged).
|By alan markus on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 5:41 pm:|
We go to Bonaire via AA at least 2-3 times a year. The layover is long in SJ and the arrivals and departure times in Bonaire are horrid. However, we like you would have to lay over (both ways)to try and catch AJ and that adds two days travel plus the costs of hotels and taxis, to the already higher airfare by using multible airlines.
|By Carole Baker on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 7:56 pm:|
We love AJ...take them from Newark into Montego Bay and then MB into Bonaire after the plane change. Nice people on the planes and decent food and beverages..new aircraft and pretty accommodating when flights are delayed. Carole
|By Cynde Lee on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 11:23 pm:|
Chris, haven't flown AA since ST. croix, but I would go AJ. We went from LAX, and as Dave said, you get there early enough to chill the amstel's and have a snorkel, and leave at 4 in the afternoon, can do a morning snorkel the day you leave...and all the divin' in between!
|By Meryl Virga on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 12:03 am:|
Chris we go twice a year and have been using AJ since they started going to Bonaire...they lost my luggage last trip but I have now learned to look at the luggage tags to make sure all say final destination is Bonaire....the service and planes are very nice. We will be there end of May/June this year also...hope to see you there!
|By Alan & Joan Zale on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 8:43 am:|
Another vote for Air Jamaica. Nice flights and service and you get in mid afternoon. We have flown them on our last three trips to Bonaire
|By Clay Lansdown on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 9:23 am:|
Chris... If you intend to use carry-ons, be aware that AJ only allows one carry-on - and a camera bag or large purse does count as a second carry-on. The enforcement of this rule varies from airport to airport and with the agent you happen to get, but you can't count on getting on board with more than one carry-on.
|By Tony Paugoulatos on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 10:02 am:|
Chris..We fly out of KCI also and on our last trip took AA to Dallas then onto San Juan for the 2 hr flight to Bonaire. You can also go through Chicago with about the same amout of travel time. We would love to use Air Jam but from our part of the country and not being a gateway city you would need to overnight somewhere. We just prefer to get down there in one day and wake up the next looking at the water instead of getting on another plane. ALM was a option out of Miami but we didn't want to take a chance with all the changes they're going through. In any case it would still have been a 12-13 hr travel day. From where we live that's just the price you pay to get to Bonaire. Luggage should be no problem but price and availability on AA varies constantly.
|By C Poteet on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 8:51 pm:|
|By Bill Carrier on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 9:54 am:|
AJ is great, I have a question?
|By Tony Paugoulatos on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 3:03 pm:|
Bill...If it were me I'd fly AA. The hour should be enough time. That would leave you with more time to spend on Bonaire.
|By Brent Oglesby on Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 4:24 pm:|
My vote goes to Air Jam for the reasons stated previously by others. The single largest factor in my decision to use Air Jam recently was elapsed travel time (i.e. including layovers). Including layovers, 5.5 hours from ATL to BON; 8.0 hours from BON to ATL on Air Jam. I don't know of any other airline that can make that claim.
|By Tony Paugoulatos on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 12:54 pm:|
Yes..but you have to get to and from ATL..
|By DARLENE ELLIS on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 4:31 pm:|
I have flown both AJ and American and have had no problems with either one. I think they are two great airlines. I prefer AJ because of the time schedule. I also like the fact that the Mo Bay airport is smaller than San Juans for the change over.
|By Brent Oglesby on Tuesday, March 26, 2002 - 10:59 pm:|
Tony, good point about the connection to the ATL hub. I tend to forget that not everyone lives near ATL, but that's because all the traffic here leads one to believe that EVERYONE else lives here, too! :-)
|By Jim Stackhouse on Tuesday, March 26, 2002 - 11:48 pm:|
Commonly accepted wisdom in the Southeast is that one will have to go through Atlanta to get into Heaven!
|By Glen Reem on Wednesday, March 27, 2002 - 1:23 am:|
Then who up there sweeps up all the red dirt that must be tracked in???
|By Tony Paugoulatos on Wednesday, March 27, 2002 - 9:51 am:|
Brent..In our case the layovers were less than two hours in each airport on AA. My wish would be for AirJam to leave ATL or Chicago a few hours later so connections could be made to get there from surrounding cities and make the trip to Bonaire in one day..And back of course.
|By Brent Oglesby on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 12:17 am:|
Tony, that isn't a bad idea. If it didn't leave until about 2-3 PM, then I could sleep in and get some pre-trip chores done, too. I think I'll fill out an Air Jam comment card. :-)
|By Josie on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 5:31 pm:|
I think AJ would get a LOT more business if they didn't leave so early from their gateway cities that us in the airline hinterland can't get there in time. We opted for a VERY long day with AA, rather than an overnight in both directions with AJ.
|By Greg Lambert on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 5:42 pm:|
Well, I disagree. If Air Jamaica left their departure cities later, then you would get to Bonaire later. And I like getting their by 3:30. As for more business, I have flown them several times from here in Houston, and the planes have always been full. Maybe adding an additional flight later in the day on the weekends would be feasible. But I personally like their schedule the way it is, and hope it does not change.
|By Carole Baker on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 10:49 pm:|
I, too, love being able to land on Bonaire in the afternoon and either stopping at Michael's house to deliver his goodies and chat or to hit the water and just relax...we can do that at 4:pm but not late at night...at least not going to Michael's house to "chat"! I don't think he would appreciate that very much...hmmm...depends on what "goodies" we have in our hands for him, tho...LOL. Carole
|By gregg brewer on Friday, March 29, 2002 - 8:47 am:|
for those of you who live near an AJ gateway city, I don't blame you for wanting to keep the departure times the same. For those of us who must travel to the gateway city, it would be nice if they set the departure time back 2 hours so we could take advantage of the AJ connection (otherwise we have to overnite in order to catch the flight). A 2 hour delay woul get you into Bonaire 5:30'ish which is plenty of time to get drinks and deliver goodies
|By Tony Paugoulatos on Friday, March 29, 2002 - 10:42 am:|
In most cases a two hour later AJ flight would be all that is needed to make connections from most midwestern airports that are not gateway cities. Maybe AJ might get the word....sorry Greg Lambert...I'd sure like to get there at 3:30pm also..but would love to get there at 5:30pm like we did when ALM flew out of ATL..A second flight would also be OK with me..My bet is if a second flight left out of ORD it would be full..
|By Corney Ann Carter on Monday, April 1, 2002 - 2:43 pm:|
Greg, Air Jamaica makes the round trip to Bonaire in one day. They do not overnight in Bonaire. If they arrived at 5:30 pm, they would not leave Bonaire for the return trip until much later and then it would be impossible to make the same day return trip to the US. I certainly understand the can't get there from here routine. We live about 20 minutes away from a great little airport but have to drive over an hour to Boston so we can get to the islands in one day because nothing connects at the local one.
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