|By DIANE AND BEA (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #181) on Tuesday, June 12, 2007 - 6:52 pm:|
Took the AJ flight from Ohare to Bonaire. Just knew it that we would have problems from the start. In the past we used AJ and swore that we would never use them again, and we thought that we would give them another try. MISTAKE !!!!! Got to Ohare for the 6:40 am flight. First of all AJ fanned out to Ryan International. This plane must of sat in the garage for 17 years. Old, and dirty. The plane needed repair and we sat at Ohare till 8:45 am till the fixed the plane. Got to Jamacia 45 minutes late ( the pilot must of really cruised up there to make uptime ). When we arrived in Jamacia we were greeted by an AJ rep. We were told that they do not hold planes any later than 15 minutes. We all know that the airlines do and here we go with the adventure. We were told that we would be spending the night in Montego bay at the Holiday Inn. We had the fortunate pleasure of staying there 2 years ago on our way home, but this was on the way there. They hearded us like cattle to the pre-arranged buses and took us to the hotel . 48 of us. Gave us the all inclusive. I told the rep that my holiday was to be spent in Bonaire not in Jamacia. Didn't even faze the rep. Took us to the dirty and un-organized hotel. Went to the beach bar for a burger. There was trays of tomatoes, lettuce and onions out there. Oh did I mention the flies that were swarmed and sitting on the food. Gross ! Picked us up at the hotel at 10:00am ( Sun ) for a 12:30 flight. Couldn't wait to get out of there and to the lovely island of Bonaire. FINALLY arrived in Bonaire on Sunday at 4:00pm. Wasted a whole day of our holiday in Jamacia. Ok , that is getting there . Coming home 6-9-07 , we had a 3:10 pm flight. We sat on the runway in Bonaire for 1 hour, plane running , waiting and waiting... For what ? People started asking what are we waiting for?? We first were told that they had to manually load the luggage, then we were told that the captains log book needed to be finished. Finally left at 5:00pm, after sitting there. Got to Jamacia at 6:30pm.... They actually held the plane for us to go home.. MMMHmmm 3 1/2 late , but they held the plane...
|By Johnny"Billy Bo Smack"Anderson (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1389) on Tuesday, June 12, 2007 - 8:23 pm:|
|By Carole B. (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #5979) on Tuesday, June 12, 2007 - 8:42 pm:|
Diane, sorry to hear about your AJ troubles...we now use Continental non stop into Bonaire out of Newark/EWR. Can you hook up with a flight to Newark or to Houston to grab the Continental flights? We left early, arrived early and coming home it was flawless, as well. Would recommend CON into Bonaire to anyone who can hook up with their flights into Bonaire. cb
|By Ron Gould (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #927) on Tuesday, June 12, 2007 - 10:50 pm:|
I am Pro AJ, but sorry to hear that 1 day of a 7 day holiday was lost due to AJ's flights. Just remember this. If a plane dosen't leave the ground on time that means something is not right about that aircraft! I for one would rather stay on the ground then be in the air in a unsafe craft. It can happen to evry airline (as it does all the time). What will help is to go for 2 weeks rather then 1 week...
|By Vince DePietro (Bellevue Condos # 9) (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #953) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 6:17 am:|
Diane..We were treated so shabbily by AJ a couple of years ago that we swore we'd never ever fly them again. We never have.
|By Ted Halkyard (BonaireTalker - Post #18) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 7:33 am:|
It's obvious that our opinions are formed by our experience - we fly AJ from Atlanta and have done so a number of times. Their operations have beeen flawless, their service has been wonderful and their first class fares (in May) incredibly low. But, do we worry a bit each time? You bet!
|By Carlea & Geoff (BonaireTalker - Post #93) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 8:31 am:|
Diane, I'm so sorry to hear your experience - my heart goes out to you.
|By Sue from NJ (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #620) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 8:56 am:|
Diane - sorry to hear of your problems. Our horrible AJ experience was Feb 2005 & we swore never again.
|By Jim McPeak (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #824) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 9:33 am:|
AJ = Aggravating Jack Asses. Unfortunately, this airline used to be one of the premiere airlines to fly. Many administrative changes happened through the years, with the government, etc. It has not been good. Unfortunately, they do so much business with Kingston and Montego as hubs, people still fly them.
|By Mike Cole (BonaireTalker - Post #63) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 1:22 pm:|
I was on the same flight as Diane from Bonaire but going to Atlanta and we were only 2hrs. late getting to Atlanta. There was computer problems in Bonaire and then a storm prevented us from landing in MBJ. Then there was a delay leaving MBJ while they ran our check bags through security then loaded them. I for one was very pleased that they held three planes in MBJ for passengers coming from Bonaire, so I guess they are not all bad. Some of these problems were not the fault of the airline.
|By Debbie Babcock (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #5432) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 3:12 pm:|
Diane, sorry to hear about AJ and the delays. I had good and some really bad experiences with AJ, don't fly them anymore. I use American and now Continental. I am so happy Continental started a non stop out of Newark! Still, in the winter, I will rely on American as Continental still only flies once a week at this point. All others, will take Continental on.
|By Sue from NJ (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #621) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 3:56 pm:|
Our first trip to Bonaire started with AJ problems. Was booked from Newark. Around 9pm on Friday (had 8am Saturday flight) I checked flighttracker and was seeing some weird stuff on the inbound flight, I called AJ to check. After 10-15 minutes on hold was cheerfully told my flight was operating 3 hours late the next day. When I asked if they were going to hold my connecting flight, I was told NO (after holding...), but they would put me on the flight the next day. I politely told them that they didn't fly to BON on Sundays...hold again...they would fly us into Aruba and get us to BON...by now I'm almost in tears and it's nearly 10pm and I'm still not packed...I then took a deep breath and asked if we could fly out of JFK the next day...hold..."NO, flight is full"...then, another breath - Philadelphia?...hold..."YES"...OK, but can you change my return to Philly, so I won't leave a car in Philly (we only live 15 minutes from Newark airpot)...hold..."NO"...I said make the change to leave from Philly and hung up.
|By Ted Halkyard (BonaireTalker - Post #19) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 3:58 pm:|
Hey,are we talking nightmares getting to Bonaire? Anybody remember ALM? The good news - they flew non-stop ATL to BON and a direct flight back to ATL with a stop in Curacao. The bad news - it hardly ever worked. The worst one? We boarded in BON, when we arrived in CUR, we were asked to gather our carry ons and get off the plane. We did as told and watched as a new plane load boarded and took off! There we were having no idea what was happening until the whole bunch of us were herded to a counter with 2 folks working to re-book 150 of us. I stood in line for 6, count 'em, 6 hours (that's not approximately, or almost, or exaggerated - it was 6 hours by the clock. When I got to the counter, I was told that my 1st class ticket rated priority treatment - spend the night in CUR and get home via Caracas the next day. Priority treatment??
|By Ron Gould (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #928) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 4:05 pm:|
Been using AJ for Ten years now and will use them till they go out of business! They have the best Island times of all the carriers...
|By Dave Goodwin (BonaireTalker - Post #93) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 4:37 pm:|
I'm with Ron. We have used AJ for 12 trips. We have been delayed a time or two on the way home, but never any serious issues. They did "misplace" one of our bags once on the way home, but they drove it to my house two days later. And that was the bag I had all the Brights packed in - but thank goodness none of them broke!!
|By Carlea & Geoff (BonaireTalker - Post #96) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 4:59 pm:|
Sue, your experience sounds a lot like our flight down two years ago from Baltimore (although the PITA that that was paled in comparison to the ride home). The thing that burns me about Air Jamaica is that, from what I can tell by our experience and others on this board, AJ knows the night before that their flights will be delayed and the folks heading to Bonaire will get stuck. And yet there is no heads up phone call from their Customer Service folks and there is no contingency plan that makes good sense. In the days leading up to our trip the last time, we were hearing about these horror stories from folks flying AJ and we just kept our fingers crossed that it wouldn't happen to us (didn't work). I can't believe I'm still hearing these stories two years later.
|By Ann Phelan - www.bonairecaribbean.com (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #2752) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 5:24 pm:|
I need to jump in...honestly I miss Air Jamaica. Yes, I had my share of flightmares and layovers at that crummy Holiday Inn courtesy of Air Jamaica but from Boston it was 10 hours door to door and when it was good, man it was great.
|By Ayorkiemom in Virginia (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #441) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 6:28 pm:|
LOL.....OH ALM! UGH...that was a flightmare as Ann would say! All Luggage Missing is what they were good at; thank GOD they're gone.
|By Carole B. (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #5983) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 6:46 pm:|
Ann...I think you miss the Ting, the most! LOL. (only joking). cb
|By Debbie Babcock (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #5434) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 8:16 pm:|
If AJ ever increases it's flights to Bon and improve their aircraft dependability, of which I have doubts on their maintenance from other articles, not here on BT, I want to make that clear, then I would love to fly with them again, but it still is only once a week, and Continental has a much better track record than AJ so far... American, yes, they have their problems too, but at least they fly more than once a week, have I lost luggage, sure on all of them at one point of time or other.. Just my 2 cents. AJ does have the best air times and was the best in the past, pricing too. I certainly don't want any airline to go under, hoping that in the future, they can get back to what they once were. For now, I may pay more $$ to get to Bon, but at least I "think" my chances of arriving there on time or very close to it are better. Didn't mean to ruffle any feathers.
|By bob (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2095) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 8:28 pm:|
before we stumbled across bonaire we took a trip (st. lucia) using AJ...on the way back there was a flight delay...they re-scheduled the flight and held it while we were outside the terminal, smoking cigs and drinking a pint of something...
|By Susan Taft (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #747) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 8:39 pm:|
As Ann says, it is the luck of the draw with air travel. I have "flightmare" stories not only to/from Bonaire but to/from domestic destinations as well. My "favorite" was when we could not fly home out of LA because forest fires were threatening an FAA station in the mountains of California and it had to be evacuated so there were not air traffic controllers to hand over flights after they left LA. We rented a car, went to the Getty museum, had dinner on Santa Monica pier and took a much later flight --- I did lose a day of work but at least I can say I have been to the Getty Museum. Unfortunately not all delays allow for one to find things to do other than sit in an airport. Every time I book for Bonaire I just keep my fingers and toes crossed that I do not lose precious Bonaire time!
|By Ann Phelan - www.bonairecaribbean.com (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #2753) on Thursday, June 14, 2007 - 5:59 am:|
Carole, DARN RIGHT I miss my Ting, and my canned akee, fever grass tea, Jamaican patties..the bobsled kiosk...
|By James Reilly (BonaireTalker - Post #63) on Thursday, June 14, 2007 - 8:16 am:|
|By Sherry Garay (BonaireTalker - Post #28) on Thursday, June 14, 2007 - 1:08 pm:|
Bob-a portable DVD player is a must for the AJ flight. Instead of the repetitive video tour of Jamaica we were able to watch Braveheart.
|By Vince DePietro (Bellevue Condos # 9) (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #955) on Thursday, June 14, 2007 - 5:17 pm:|
Sherry..Betcha dollars to donuts your note complimenting them has been framed and is in the CEO's office!
|By Andy & Dave Bartlett (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #815) on Sunday, June 17, 2007 - 12:58 am:|
Hey Ted, we remember ALM. It was our first trip to Bonaire, flew from Houston to Miami the ALM to Bonaire. The flight wasn't so bad, it was the 6 hour layover at Miami International. We really enjoyed the AJ flights because we could stay 10-14 days without a problem. But they stopped the Houston flight and we would have to fly to FLA or Jamaica to catch an AJ flight and the is just to much trouble. The Houston/Bonaire Continental flight is working well for us right now and hopefully they will put on another flight during the week so people can do a 10 day trip (would be nice but probably won't happen) so far have not lost luggage on Bonaire trips, only time we had that problem was on TACA coming back to Houston from Roatan, luggage went to Guatemala before going to Houston.
|By Ann Phelan - www.bonairecaribbean.com (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #2773) on Saturday, June 30, 2007 - 6:17 pm:|
JM left today around 6 PM.
|By George Blanchard (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #259) on Sunday, July 1, 2007 - 2:25 pm:|
We have traveled on all airlines going to Bonaire for the past 14 years and have had problems on all flights at one time or another. The most erratic for us was A/A and ALM. However Air Aruba was known for flight cancellations without notice. We flew AJ last year and were very pleased and we plan to use them in January, 2008. Thank goodness it is worth the anxiety.
|By Brian J. Walsh (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #171) on Sunday, July 1, 2007 - 4:49 pm:|
Air Jamaica when it works out is a great schedule for us Phila or BWI folks. Leave 7:30-8:30 into Bonaire at 2:30. Coming back you get to dive until 3 PM the day before your flight. Often the fares were less than $400. Of course on one terrible trip we got to stay at the Holiday Inn going down and another resort coming back. 5/6 trips we connected OK but on one the 8:30 flight would have missed the connection but an agent moved us to an earlier flight and we made it.
|By lisa z (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #148) on Sunday, July 1, 2007 - 9:24 pm:|
In October, we'll fly AJ to Bonaire. This will be our 5th time flying them, and I have to tell you, never a problem. On time, staff wonderful. We had miserable flights on American both to Bonaire and Dominica. For us, AJ has been the best.
|By Steve Butts (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #7) on Wednesday, July 4, 2007 - 4:09 am:|
This was our first AJ flight so take it for what it's worth.
|By Ronald Schmetzer (BonaireTalker - Post #17) on Friday, July 6, 2007 - 10:16 am:|
I was on the return flight on June 23, which was also running late although not nearly as late as the one on the 30th. We arrived in MBJ only 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of our flight to Atlanta.
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