|By Keith Menzel (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #1) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 12:25 pm:|
I want to take my family of 4 to Bonaire at the end of July, and am trying to decide which flights to take. My wife will not be happy on very small planes (DiviDivi). None of us are fond of getting into hotels near midnight, nor leaving hotels before 6 AM. Time spent in line for customs, check-in, etc. will drive the decision. So, when and where would we go through customs if traveling from the U.S. mainland (Washington Dulles, IAD), through San Juan (SJU), to Bonaire (BON)? How about the same question in the reverse direction: IAD through SJU to IAD? How much time must we allow for customs, airport check-in etc. at these airports, for the trip down and back? Would the answers be any different if we went through Curacao and Miami (IAD, MIA, CUR, BON)? Thanks!
|By Jerry (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #5084) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 1:25 pm:|
Welcome to BT Keith, get to Mia, then to Cur, drug your wife, then off to Bon on Divi. Easy, short lines, get into Bon for a late lunch and dive before dark.
|By Ayorkiemom (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #302) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 1:36 pm:|
LOL...Drug your wife LOL. My husband would agree on that one I TOTALLY avoid Miami but that's me personally; goes way back to the ALM days and ALL LUGGAGE MISSING as they did lose one bag going to BON and one back coming home....idiots! Lost and never seen again!!
|By Michael Stanfield (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #122) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 2:28 pm:|
|By Keith Menzel (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #2) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 2:45 pm:|
Kobi / Ayorkiemom,
|By Jerry (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #5089) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 3:03 pm:|
Keith 45 min is not enough time. Anything goes wrong, you spend the night!
|By Tribs, AKA Jah-neen (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #4221) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 3:16 pm:|
Also...Isn't Air Jamaica still only one flight per week? Aren't you stuck longer than one night if you miss your flight?
|By Keith Menzel (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #3) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 4:23 pm:|
Yes, Air Jamaica flys only on Saturdays (at least this Summer). Major U.S. carriers would put us on another carrier if they felt a failed connection was their fault. Not sure of AJ. If ANY customs or security checks were involved in MBJ, I would expect to be told the failed connection was my fault for poor schedule planning, and I would be on my own. On the other hand, maybe AJ knows that the connection schedule is valid because passengers do not go through any security or customs check (??).
|By Jan Klos - ( Hamlet Bonaire #10) (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #481) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 4:49 pm:|
|By Michael Stanfield (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #123) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 5:50 pm:|
|By Susan Taft (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #728) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 6:23 pm:|
When you leave IAD you will not go through Customs/Immigration and Security in San Juan unless you decide to leave the terminal due to a long layover. In that case you will need only to go through security to get to your gate for the flight from San Juan to Bonaire. Once in Bonaire you will clear Immigration and Customs as folks have said above. You should be at your hotel within an hour of landing. When leaving you do need to get to the airport early (not much chance of staying at your hotel til after 6am with the early departure)and then will clear US Customs/Immigration in San Juan. It is a very long walk from where the bus from the plane drops you off. You will go through Immigration, collect your luggage, go through Customs and then drop your luggage with the screeners followed by going through Security again. We never worry about the length of time for this because to get back to the northeast we have a very long layover in San Juan.
|By Keith Menzel (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #4) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 6:46 pm:|
|By Ayorkiemom (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #306) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 6:54 pm:|
Keith...you have some good options pointed out by others. We have flown AJ for many years now with only one overnighter in MOBay. The 45 minutes is no biggy as they hold the plane if one is late. This has always been our experience. We were there in mid April and plane was late leaving BWI and the connection in MoBay was still there upon arrival. Didn't come in too late but plane was held as 100+ people were going on to Bonaire
|By Ayorkiemom (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #307) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 7:01 pm:|
OOps forgot to mention this and maybe it's already mentioned above? You won't do custom's in MoBay since you're just making connections on to Bonaire. Security sometimes will catch you at the gate to check your carryon again but rarely are we singled out. Just look like you have no contraband The times noted for once you arrive in Bonaire are accurate; about an hour after you land you'll be on your way to your resort
|By Ron Gould (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #891) on Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 7:23 pm:|
AJ is the way! Our 18th trip with them starts May 12th for two weeks. They hold the plane to Bonaire if yours is late and you get on Island around 3ish... Safe travels to all... Ron
|By Andy & Dave Bartlett (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #782) on Monday, May 7, 2007 - 1:02 am:|
We flew AJ until they stopped the Houston,TX route and had no problems. We now fly Continental non-stop out of Houston. The only problem we ever had was our first trip to Bonaire and that was with the now defunct ALM due to a loooong layover in Miami. Just treat the trip as an adventure and everything will be great. ....Andy
|By pat murphy (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1194) on Monday, May 7, 2007 - 2:27 pm:|
miami airport is ok if you don't have to clear customs there. we've been thru mia on our last few trips and i like it much better than jfk. sju is a good place to clear customs...just a long walk from the arrival gate. after past experiences with customs in miami i think i'd rather go thru almost any other airport than to put up with the hassle of mia customs.
|By James Epley (BonaireTalker - Post #96) on Monday, May 7, 2007 - 8:06 pm:|
Avoid MIA at all costs on your way back. Passport Control and Customs will take a min of 90 minutes with 2 hrs being the norm. Then you are dumped out into the main concourse and have to go through a very, very crowded security line again. I have missed connecting flights 2x even with a 2-1/2 hr layover each time.
|By Brigitte Kley - Coco Palm Garden (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #624) on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 - 7:38 am:|
I have taken Miami coming from Curacao 4 times in the last 8 months - with a foreign passport.... the max time at immigration was 10 minutes and for the luggage/custom 15 minutes...
|By Tribs, AKA Jah-neen (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #4224) on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 - 8:34 am:|
Thanks for posting that Brigitte. I thought I was the odd ball. I have never had issues in Miami. I usually zip through there. I did get "stuck" is SJU. I think it took about an hour 15 to clear everything. I don't recall for certain because we had a 4 hour layover so I wasn't too concerned, just annoyed. If you can find Mercy Baron's trip report from Dec/Jan, she also got stuck in SJU's luggage/customs as well and missed her flight because of it.
|By Brigitte Kley - Coco Palm Garden (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #625) on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 - 9:32 am:|
Same for us in SJ - we took that 3 or 4 times and each time it takes us at least 1 hours to get our suitcases, give them to the security again and than go through security ! Horrible ! Sooo much faster in Miami, also when we have to take our luggage because we continue for Tampa ... Only the connection to Tampa is better via SJ, so I guess we give it a try again in October ....
|By Keith Menzel (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #5) on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 - 5:40 pm:|
Thank you all so much for this info. I will continue to check for new posts, but did not want to wait before thanking.
|By Ayorkiemom (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #331) on Wednesday, May 9, 2007 - 10:41 am:|
Keith check with Caradonna Dive Adventures. www.caradonna.com is their wesbite addy. Just check with them to be nosey about pricing on air and a hotel options. We have traveled with them for 14 years and never been steered wrong.
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