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Thread: Getting to Bon by RUTH at KFC

  1. #1
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    Default Getting to Bon by RUTH at KFC

    As of April 2012:
    Getting from Curacao to Bonaire is not difficult, and costs about $50-$70 one-way. However, keep in mind that CUR can be VERY busy (think KLM 747’s)--and, you need to clear immigration, along with everyone else (maybe all the booths are staffed to speed you along, maybe not...), get your bags at baggage claim & clear customs. There are 2 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 usually do x-ray all incoming bags; but just because there are 2 machines, it doesn’t mean that both will be in use. After this, you must check-in at your next airline’s counter-exit the arrivals hall and walk about 300’ (100m) to the left (unless you’re on Insel’s MIA/CUR/BON flight-they’ll walk you thru transit inside the hall), clear checkpoint #1 (show boarding pass & ID), go up the escalator, 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):

    Divi Divi - contact info: http://www.flydivi.com/
    email: reservations@flydivi.com.
    Their last CUR/BON flight of the day is at 5pm. *Free baggage allowance is 18 kg (40lbs; 2 Ang/Kg after that-about $0.60/lb), and they take cash, local debit cards, Visa & MC. You can pay at the counter when you arrive, or you can pay with your CC over the phone, or they’ll fax you a CC authorization form & you’ll fax it back to them. At this time, they are unable to take CC payments via the website. I have been told by Divi that some evening flights are planned, but no definite date yet. I will post this info as soon as I hear.
    Easy Air - contact info: http://fly-ezair.com/
    email: flyezair@gmail.com 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. Easy Air takes only cash. They do not fly on Saturdays; this is the only airline not to fly 7 days/week. *Free baggage allowance is 15 kg (33lbs), $2/kg, about $1/lb after that.
    Don’t freak out about not being able to pay online, or having more baggage weight than they state. Both Easy & Divi are easy to deal with-you make your reservation by email (or phone), then pay at the counter when you get there (or beforehand with Divi as explained above). Before you travel, follow-up with another e-mail and provide your incoming flight info.

    Insel Air - http://fly-inselair.com/
    Insel has a CUR/BON flight at 5:50pm Mon-Fri, 8:15pm on Saturdays & 7:30pm on Sundays; (check their timetables online). Insel is the only “local” airline with a non-stop from MIA to BON (Saturdays). If you fly Insel the other days to Bonaire via Curacao, MIA/CUR/BON, and it’s the same day travel, they will check your bags all the way to Bonaire, walk you thru the transit area in Curacao where you’ll pay the $2 transit fee & go thru a mini-security (x-ray). *Baggage info here: http://fly-inselair.com/flight-info/baggage-information. The same routine goes for the reverse route-BON/CUR/MIA-your bags are checked in Bonaire thru to MIA; Insel will walk you thru the CUR transit area (no need to clear immigration, pick up your own bags, re-check, etc.). Because you are on Insel the entire way, the seemingly short connection time in CUR is ok. I am assuming it is the same for the Charlotte flights, though I have no personal experience with this.

    DAE – http://flydae.com/ is currently (as of 4/2012) showing an 8pm CUR/BON, however, their schedule has been changing a lot lately. Note, Bonaire is listed under “Caribbean Netherlands” in their drop-down menu. *DAE’s baggage allowance is 20kg (44lbs). More info here: http://flydae.com/baggage-allowance
    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 you’ll have to pay the local departure tax which is $8 (CUR/BON). When you leave Bonaire, the departure tax is included in your ticket. Your departure tax from CUR to the US or Europe, etc. is included in that ticket.
    *RE: BAGGAGE
    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 to pay by weight, not by piece.
    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; Divi does accept credit cards and 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-weight with DAE or Insel, you need to leave the counter & go to their ticketing windows to pay (about 400’/120m 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 Visa/MC credit cards at their window.
    Re: Carry-ons—the 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 accordingly.
    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 “usual suspects”), you are allowed $400 duty free-for example, if you’re bringing in expensive meats, items for your residence here, or purchased liquor or cigarettes or other obvious new items not usually used for normal travel, you may be taxed 8%+ for purchases over the allowance (alcohol has different tax rates but I’m not sure exactly what they are, since they’re based on alcoholic content), so keep your receipts handy in case you’re asked. If they decide to tax you on something, you will have to pay in cash.
    It’s also a good idea to have mosquito repellent wipes handy as the buggers can be bad at the airport, and can torture you while you wait in lines.
    Re: food—if you arrive hungry in CUR, and have some time after checking into your BON flight, eat downstairs at Wendy’s or Sbarro’s—the choices once you get upstairs to your gate will make the downstairs choices look gourmet.
    Re: long layover in CUR—there is a “lounge” across from Gate 4 that’s open till 8pm (it will stay open later if a lot of flights are delayed and they have a lot of guests). It’s $20, and reasonably comfortable with some light snacks, beer, wine & soft drinks included.

    If you have to overnight in Curacao, on a budget: http://www.apartamentuholanda.com/index.php
    It’s a family run complex, and they will also arrange transportation for a nominal amount to/from the airport (taxis in Curacao are expensive!). Do note that this motel is not near any restaurant; it’s in a residential neighborhood—so plan on eating at the airport.



    Thank you Ruth we appreciate your updates

  2. #2
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    Ruth you are right about gettin to Bon thru Cur, but watch out for arriving to Cur on a Sunday. Sunday we arrived at 3 pm. with no airlines open to catch a flight. We saw plenty of flights leaving but no way to puchase a ticket. We will never fly on Sunday without a pre purchased ticket.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    2

    Unhappy Going back through CUR on the way home from Bonaire

    Does anyone happen to have any advice regarding catching the Saturday, 8:20 a.m. American Airlines Flight in Curacao? We were planning on taking the 7:00 a.m. DAE flight from Bonaire that same morning which only gives us 50 minutes to try to retrieve our bags from the carrousel, check our bags in with AA and make it back through security. We will at least be checking in online to American Airlines the day before so I'm fairly certain that we can physically make it on the plane but I'm almost certain our bags will be on a later flight (which I'm OK with). I just wanted to see if anyone else tried to make this risky connection and had success or not. I wish I had thought this through better before I made the reservations...uggh!

  4. #4
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    One year ago I had to make the same choice and decided not to take the risk and to overnight in Curacao. Just imagine your plane from BON is delayed. That will be your (financial) problem
    Actually, I extended my vacation with a couple of days to be able to stay 3 days on Curacao.
    I'm affraid that for all the security checks, flying into the US, the time will be way too short. I would be comfortable with at least 2 hours
    If you were flying inbound to CUR and had to catch a connecting flight to BON you would have had a chance.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2012
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    Thanks for the info Smits! I decided to take your advice and change our DAE flight to Curacao. I could already tell that I would be way too stressed out about making that AA flight and it would constantly nag at me while we were in Bonaire. Looking forward to seeing Curacao now

  6. #6
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    adding this.. May 3 2014

    Starting August 22, 2014, Delta will offer two weekly non-stop flights from
    Atlanta to Bonaire, departing on Fridays AND Saturdays. Delta's Atlanta
    hub offers numerous connections to or from a variety of U.S. gateways.
    Flight Schedule:
    Delta Flight #663 departs Atlanta (ATL) 9:45am; arrives Bonaire (BON) 1:55pm
    Delta Flight #662 departs Bonaire (BON) 3:59pm; arrives Atlanta (ATL) 7:22pm
    Freddie




    When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.

  7. #7
    wwguy's Avatar
    wwguy is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Options for getting to Bonaire from the USA continue to evolve. I found this in the March 7 edition of The Bonaire Reporter.


  8. #8
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    Lightbulb Latest News from Account Manager at Divi Divi Air

    We have recieved an email with the following information from Account Manager Germaine :-

    I just wanted to share with you that Divi Divi Air has started operating the Twin Otter, adding flights from Curacao to Bonaire, also our new service to and from Aruba. During the weekends we are planning direct flights from Aruba to Bonaire to facilitate the traveling public arriving in Aruba and wanting to go to Bonaire and back. Our schedule is still very flexible, so we can accommodate your groups needs.

    Please Check their Website https://www.flydivi.com/for timing options
    PRA & ET Inc
    Proof Readers Anonymous & Extreme Testers

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