February-July 2011, temporary adjustment to flight schedules will
happen, due to airport construction & closing times on Bonaire. See
this article from the Bonaire Insider for more information:
Keep in mind that CUR can be VERY busy--and, you need to clear
immigration, along with everyone else (maybe all the booths are
staffed to speed you along, maybe not...), baggage claim & customs.
There are 3 x-ray machines for all luggage entering CUR, but only one
line to enter this area. There are signs indicating,Something to
Declare,and Nothing to Declare, but personally, I have not
seen these is use. They do x-ray all incoming bags; but just because
there are 3 machines, it doesn't mean that all will be in use.
Maybe, maybe not.... After this, you must check-in,* clear checkpoint
#1 (show boarding pass & ID), pay transfer tax (show boarding passes),
clear full security (collect tax stub, laptops out, shoes off, all
thru x-ray}, then immigration (boarding pass, ID & exit card, which
you will have received on the plane), then get to your gate. Although
none of this is very far, there still can be many people ahead of you.
Give yourself at least 2 hours, and know the alternate airline's later
flights just in case.
CUR/BON connecting flights are available on these airlines (not
Tiara-they fly only BON/Aruba, not CUR):
Easy Air - contact info: http://fly-ezair.com/
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (011) 599-796-3939 or (011)
599-9-515-3939. Their last flight of the day from CUR to BON is at
5:30pm. Free baggage allowance is 15 kg (33lbs).
Divi Divi - contact info: http://www.flydivi.com/
Their last CUR/BON flight of the day is at 5pm. Free baggage allowance
is 18 kg (40lbs).
Both Easy & Divi are easy to deal with-you make your reservation by
email (or phone), then pay cash at the counter when you get there.
Before you travel, follow-up with another e-mail and provide your
incoming flight info. You cannot book via their website, only by phone
or by email.
Insel Air - http://fly-inselair.com/
They have a daily flight at 5pm, then later ones (but not daily-check
their timetables online) at 7:45 or 9pm. Insel is the only local
airline with a non-stop from MIA to BON (Saturdays). If you fly Insel
from MIA/CUR/BON, and it's same day travel (this same day travel is
being interrupted by the airport construction on Bonaire; normally
it's available), they will check your bags all the way to Bonaire,
and walk you thru the transit area in Curacao (same upon returning
BON/CUR/MIA). Baggage info here:
DAE - http://flydae.com/
DAE has connecting flights at various times, depending on the day of
travel--usually they have 2 or 3 flights from 6pm on. One around
6:15/6:30pm, another around 8:30pm & last around 10/10:30pm. Some days
there are only 2 flights-one around 8:30pm & last at 10:30pm. M-F they
have a 6am BON/CUR, however, now that the morning AA CUR/MIA flight is
at 7:05am, this is a VERY risky connection (I strongly advise against
it, as AA will most likely close their counter before you even land.
Also, the Bonaire airport construction can delay this flight). DAE's
baggage allowance is 20kg (44lbs). More info here:
RE: DEPARTURE/TRANSFER TAXES
The transfer/transit tax in CUR is $2pp. Present your boarding passes
at the window to prove you're in transit. If you cannot prove
you're in transit youwill have to pay the local departure tax which
is $8. When you leave Bonaire, the departure tax is included in your
ticket, except if you're on DAE. For some reason, DAE does not
include the tax,in that case, you pay the local departure tax of $9
at the tax window, not at the counter, then the transfer tax in CUR.
Your departure tax from CUR to the US or Europe, etc. is included in
If your baggage is over the weight limit of the airlines, you will
need to pay. Cost is around $1/kg (1 kg = 2.2 lbs), but this varies
with the airline. You are allowed more than the limit, you just have
On the smaller planes that Easy & Divi use, if there's not enough
room, your bags may be sent on a later flight, even if that means the
next morning. Sometimes they let extra weight go uncharged, but plan
on having small bills available to pay the fees (i.e., don't land with
only $50's & $100's; they take cash only; Divi does accept locally
issued debit cards). With Easy Air and Divi, if you're over, you pay
at the counter when you're checking in, same as you'd pay for your
ticket--at their counter. If you're over with DAE or Insel, you need
to leave the counter & go to their ticketing windows to pay (about
100m away, on the other side of the arrivals hall,this is also where
you'd go if you did not pay for your ticket ahead of time), as they
do not handle cash at their counters. Insel & DAE accept credit cards
at their window.
Re: Carry-onsthe airlines MAY weigh them, or not. When you get to
the plane, you will hand your bag to the baggage guys standing next to
the plane, and they will put it in the cargo space. When you land,
they will take the bag out & hand it back to you. Space in the cabins
is very limited (a purse or laptop case will fit, but not much more);
they will not let you enter the cabin with a carry-on that's too
big, but they will place it in the cargo area.
Baggage handling differs between the airlines. When you fly Easy or
Divi, you check your bags & they will put them in the plane. However,
when you land, you walk your own bags from the plane. Don't get off
the plane and walk away expecting your bags to appear on the baggage
carousel. They do not use baggage handlers when you land-you can
request help upon landing, but don't count on it.
When you fly DAE or Insel, they will send your bags to the baggage
carousel when you land. You'll need to get your own carry-on if they
took if from you when you got on the plane. Something like this can
matter when traveling back thru Curacao: because you have to wait for
your baggage to arrive, it adds extra time to your transit, so plan
All incoming baggage is (supposed to be) x-rayed on Bonaire. There is
only one x-ray machine. Besides your personal items (clothing, dive
gear, cameras, laptops, toiletries-all the âusual suspects), you
are allowed $175 duty free-for example, if you purchased liquor or
cigarettes or other obvious new items not usually used for normal
travel, you may be taxed 8% for purchases over the $175 allowance, so
keep your receipts handy in case youare asked. If they decide to tax
you on something, you will have to pay in cash.
(Message edited by modfreddie on March 31, 2011)