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Getting to Bonaire: Stuck Inside of San Juan with the Bonaire Blues Again
Bonaire Talk: Getting to Bonaire: Archives: Archives 1999-2005: Archives - 2005-08-10 to 2005-12-13: Stuck Inside of San Juan with the Bonaire Blues Again
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Phillips (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #203) on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 7:25 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

(apologies to Bob Dylan)

Well, we've lost a day of our vacation, and are currently stuck in San Juan after missing the flight to Bonaire due to our flight from Boston being several hours late. This is a good one, though, perhaps the most absurd reason I've ever experienced for airline delay:

The pilot left his wallet on his dresser at home.

Yep, we had to wait in Boston almost two hours for the pilot's wife to drive his wallet from Yarmouth, Maine, to Boston Logan airport. Seems it contained critical papers and their usual backup plan did not work because the FAA's website was down. Additionally, we were stuck in the plane for a half hour or so while a man who had spent the last two hours of the flight on the floor of the plane in respiratory distress was removed by EMT's in San Juan.

So, American put us up in the clean but totally devoid of amenities airport Best Western hotel (no pool, obviously no beach, no restaurants, etc) and has us booked on tonight's flight to Bonaire. Guess we'll do some sightseeing to kill some time. Thanks to previous posts on BT I've got some ideas on where to go.

Losing a day of vacation sucks, it was a pretty stressful travel day, and American's package for putting us here for a day leaves a lot to be desired, but we're doing our best to grin and bear it and remember that in the big scheme of things, this IS the small s***. Hopefully we'll be back on our favorite island tonight and diving tomorrow. American customer service will be receiving a Nasty-Gram from us in the hopes of prying some compensation out of them...but all that in good time.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freddie Hughes (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #6388) on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 7:35 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

We feel your pain Scott!! Make the best of it and be careful. Old San Juan is beautiful. Thanks for the update keep us a up to date as you can..

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By The Tominator (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2308) on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 7:41 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Oh but Scott, don't you know that getting there is half of the adventure? I don't buy that line either my BBQ Brother:-{(}

I hope that you and Gale are able to make the best out of this situation and get on that plane with no issues this evening.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cecil Berry (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #4207) on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 8:22 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

A real pain, Scott. Ditto the advice about old San Juan, rent a car and cruise around. Best of luck tonight for you and Gale.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By DARLENE ELLIS (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1646) on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 10:57 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Scott, I feel so bad for you and Gail but I know you will make the best of it untill you can get to paradise!!! I am flying with American all the way down and I am starting to get the really nervous feelings like I had with flying AJ the last few months! The really bad news is if I am late flying out of Boston, I will miss meeting Cynde, Barbara and Norma who are going to be greeting me at the airport in San Juan as they arrive much earlier in the day for their layover!

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kelly Baum (GDLW) (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #3078) on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 12:43 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Oh no! That's awful... but keep that great attitude! We are connecting through Boston too... I hope he remembers his wallet that day! :-)

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glen Reem (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2161) on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 1:55 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

'...and their usual backup plan did not work...' He does this frequently???!!??? I wonder what else he regularly forgets??? Must have a reliable First Officer! I hope!!! :)

(Message edited by glenr on August 29, 2005)

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Just Babs (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #9467) on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 8:49 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Cynde....geez, glad I made that reservation change after this story....and it looks like we have time for the pilot to forget his wallet, I can do CPR on any of the passengers and...what the heck else???? Glad you know your way around SJ is all I can say.....(hope we'll still have time for lunch) GDLCW :-)

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Just Babs (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #9468) on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 8:50 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Darlene, we'll catch up with you eventually, hopefully as planned! :-)

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cyn (BonaireTalk Deity - Post #14334) on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 10:24 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Babs, glad you changed too! Darlene, we'll keep our fingers crossed for ya!

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Phillips (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #204) on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 - 9:19 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Well, we're back from another great trip; sorry I'm just following up now, but somehow I never even bothered with the Internet while on Bonaire.

If only the flight down to Bonaire on AA/AE had been as smooth and easy as the flight home. Everything was on time yesterday and as pleasant and easy as a travel day can be.

I'll be posting a trip report soon, but just wanted to follow up on my thread here with as much helpful info as possible. If you ever get stuck in San Juan and are put up for the night by American, the airport hotel they are using is pretty new and clean, but does not even have a restaurant. The meal vouchers they gave us (twenty bucks for two for dinner, same for lunch) could only be used in a few places. Originally, we were told that they were only good at the airport Subway, McDonalds and Taco Maker -- not exactly my idea of dinner food. We did find out at the hotel that the voucher was also good at a real restaurant -- a cuban place called Metropole -- and it was pretty decent, but alas a twenty dollar voucher for two for dinner doesn't go very far, plus getting there and back via taxi cost another twenty, so we wound up spending about fifty out of pocket for dinner. Tolerable, but also fairly ridiculous.

The other pretty bothersome issue was that apparently, AE does not hold the Bonaire flight at all. We stepped off the plane into the terminal in San Juan at almost exactly 5:50pm, the same time the flight to Bonaire was leaving. The schedule screen said "scheduled 5:50, now 6:12pm" so we ran about ten minutes from gate 14 to gate 1 only to be told the flight was "closed", apparently meaning that the bus to the plane had left. No amount of pleading from us was successful in changing this. I heard from others on island that AE does not hold this flight for connecting passengers like Air Jam used to.

Anyway, we got to Bonaire a day late, had an incredible vacation and easy flight home. I'll be composing my Nasty-Gram request for compensation soon with AA and will let you know how that turns out.

Thanks to all for your kind words.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kelly Baum (GDLW) (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #3116) on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 - 9:35 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Mmmm the Metropole, I've been there with Cynde ! Great food for sure.

Glad your return home was uneventful. Can't wait for the trip report!

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cyn (BonaireTalk Deity - Post #14424) on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 - 10:44 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Yep, that's the Cuban place I took you Kelly! I had gone there a few times. It is in Isla Verde, next to the cockfight arena, next to the Hampton Inn. they have the BEST black beans and rice (as well as other food).

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By The Tominator (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2351) on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 - 10:49 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Scott, I am glad that you and Gale were able to have another incredible Bonaire vacation, despite the travel hassle on the way down.

Looking forward to your trip report.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Debbie Babcock (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2075) on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 - 10:52 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Scott,

It was nice meeting you and your wife, Gail, I think? at Gibi's then again at Bobby Jans. You guys really had some back luck getting to Bonaire, but glad you had a great time once you got there! Our flight home was o.k. too. Amazing how most of all problems are on the way there, not leaving though! LOL Look forward to your report. I have to make one myself when I get around to it too. So much to do, so little time! :-)

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gail Thomas (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #692) on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 - 7:01 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Scott, I can truly sympathize. We were bumped in San Juan because our AE flight was over weight! There were 7 of us out of 14 that were bumped, so at least we all had each other to hang with. Our bags continued on to Bonaire, so on the plus - we didn't have to drag them around - but on the negative - we wore the same clothes 2 days in a row! AA gave us each a little toiletry bag, and between that and the hotel we were OK there.

On a plus side, we were put up at The Convento Hotel in Old San Juan, and it was a fabulous 4 star hotel. On the negative side - our meal vouchers of $20 per couple didn't go far with the $30 and up entrees at the hotel restaurants! But we all decided that we probably would never have planned the side trip, nor stayed at such a unique hotel, and vowed we'd turn it into a positive experience. We visited the fort in the morning, had a lovely relaxed lunch at the tapas bar, and made it back to the airport for our 'garunteed' seats to Bon that afternoon. We did lose a day of diving, which we'd paid for, but gained a unique experience in the meantime. We all vowed we'd write letters for compensation, but I haven't so far..... I guess I do believe that it does just add to the flavor of the trip.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kate Hickson (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #202) on Friday, September 9, 2005 - 8:54 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

WOW!! Gail, I can't believe they put you up at the Convento! What a treat! When AA put me up, it was somewhere in Isla Verde/Condado. At least it was on the water...but it was 2 nights until they could get me to Bonaire...

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gail Thomas (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #695) on Friday, September 9, 2005 - 11:34 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Well, being at the Convento was one of the reasons we decided to make the best of it - whereas we only had the clothes on our backs, the fluffy big robes did come in handy! And Old San Juan was very picturesque, and my husband loves history and old forts, so as things go, it wasn't a bad side trip!

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cyn (BonaireTalk Deity - Post #14455) on Friday, September 9, 2005 - 5:24 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Gail, wow, I can't believe they put you up at El Convento! Did you check out the tomb of Ponce De Leon in the church across the street? The tapas at the restaurant there were the best...and did you notice the bats flying around in the trees at night?

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Sally Belknap (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #410) on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 4:33 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Geez, boys and girls, I'm surprised that you haven't YET figured out that you ALWAYS put a change of underwear, shorts and a t-shirt, plus a bathing suit in your carry on! That way, if you're delayed for ANY reason, you have a fresh change of clothes handy.

Worked for me several years ago when I got stuck overnight in Miami on the way to Grand Cayman.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cyn (BonaireTalk Deity - Post #14528) on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 10:13 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

I think most folks travel with a change of clothes and bathing suit now with the way travel is...I think the complaint was missing flights and being stuck in SJ overnight (or more nights on other islands in some reports):-)

 


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