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Thread: Direct to Bonaire versus via Curacao

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020

    Question Direct to Bonaire versus via Curacao

    We have booked October 17-24 (Saturday to Saturday) at Buddy Dive and are stoked!

    Now I need to book the flights from Philadelphia area.

    Flying to Curacao and using Winair for the Curacao-Bonaire hop saves is about $600 total (family of 3). We seem to have plenty of time for the transfer from AA to/from Winair (4+ hours in Curaco for both legs). My question is the reliability of Winair (experience with the carribean local airlines is that they are full of surprises). A couple questions:

    • What is the experience with American to Bonaire? I've heard some stories, but that's selection bias since you generally don't hear stories about all the times it worked fine.
    • How much time do you need for the transfer from major airline to/from Winair on Curacao?
    • Does Winair stay on schedule? How likely are they to cancel flights?
    • We'd have 8 hours between flights in Curacao on the return leg. Is it practical to get a cab into town to explore for a few hours between flights? Is it worth the effort?
    • Anything else we should be aware of?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. #2
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    May 2011


    I have no experience with Winair.
    I have traveled with dividivi air often and found them very reliable.

  3. #3
    agd is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    Aug 2016


    Nothing against Winair, but both EZAir and DiviDivi have many more daily flights to better match your AA arrival time and avoid waiting so long to connect. Probably cheaper, too.

    Do allow at least 2 hours to connect. If tickets are purchased as separate itineraries, you will not be protected for misconnections.

    American, Delta, United? Somebody has a story about each, but their levels of service are plus or minus all the same. Your experience depends on who you come face to face with and a spectrum of external factors more than the company itself. Air travel is annoying no matter who you choose.

    If if you have 8 hours, a drive sure beats waiting at an airport. We were forced into that situation a few trips back and found a car rental cheaper and more flexible than getting cabs for exploring both Willemstad and other parts of Curacao. A place to keep your luggage, too, since you cannot check it or leave it 8 hours ahead.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012


    I would take a chance on the connection through CUR and a chance to save $600 vs. connecting through MIA with AA. IMHO MIA is a zoo.

    With 8hrs in CUR I would definitely find something to do other than spending it in the airport. The question may be what do with your check in luggage during the 8 hrs. Not sure I would want to leave it in a car while out on a beach or exploring the town.

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