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View Full Version : Anyone fly the Charlotte-Curacao-Bonaire route?



alwayswet
03-08-2012, 03:57 PM
Is it fairly reliable?

Thoughts, comments and travel tips ie. baggage etc on this airline/route greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

Bill

tschamp
03-19-2012, 07:42 AM
I'm wondering about this as well, but connecting via US Airways in CLT from Boston or Providence. Is it possible to buy one ticket that goes all the way through?

I really don't want to fool with my luggage in CLT both ways and have to go check in the front door again, paying baggage fees separately to each airline, more than likely.
Somehow I thought there were security issues in CUR that caused US Air to suspend inter-line agreement with Insel?
I'll email US Air about this but I'm not optimistic right now...

PeterO
03-19-2012, 09:50 AM
I am not sure about buying one ticket that goes all the way through but you can check your lugagge in Boston all the way through to Bonaire, that is assuming that you are using Insel air from CLT to Cur and on to Bonaire. On my return flight in late January I was also able to check my luggage in Bonaire all the way through to Boston. Even though US Air in Boston provided me with a boarding pass for Insel's CLT to Cur, at boarding in CLT we had to go back to the counter and get another from Insel Air.

One plus thing about these flights is that the International flight governs the luggage policy. Since Insel Air allows the first two lugagge free, I did not pay for any lugagge at anytime.

I read something about Insel's security downgrade but at the time of my travels it only affected the Wed flights. You can always call Insel Air for clarification. I found them easy to speak with.

tschamp
03-19-2012, 10:07 AM
Great, Peter, that's just what I want to do.
I just want to purchase the entire ticket in one transation, otherwise the PVD-CLT leg won't appear to be part of an international flight.
I'll get in touch with both airlines and see what transpires...

tschamp
03-19-2012, 10:50 AM
It looks like cheapoair.com might be one way to book the combined ticket.
Plus I could break the 14-day trip into 10 on Bonaire and 4 on Curacao if I want to.
I'll wait and see what I hear from the airlines first. I do like Insel's baggage policy, so I hope this works out!

PeterO
03-20-2012, 11:07 AM
Tom
I booked everything through VAYAMA. Just showed up at Boston and got my boarding passes all the way to Curacao. Unfortunally at CLT they did not like the boarding pass US air had provided me with to Cur. Took only a few minutes for them to issue new ones. On the way back on Bonaire, I got the boarding passes for all three legs of the trip, including US Air CLT to Boston.
I had no issues at all with this trip, everything went well. Good luck

gman
03-21-2012, 03:12 PM
From what I read about the FAA downgrade of Insel Air and their facilities in Curacao, it also means the interline agreement is also broken between USAirways and Insel Air - at least until they get upgraded again from the FAA. I flew the Insel flights from CLT to BON last Fall -- had no issues but Insel is on "island time" (even in Charlotte). I don't think any flights departed on time, but we did make all our connections. Just be careful and book a long layover if CLT is not your final destination. We were about 2 1/2 hours late arriving in CLT, which meant a lot of folks missed their connection.

Lastly, you really need to confirm your Insel flights over the phone a few days prior to departure. Even though I booked online (as did others in my group), the flight from CUR to BON had changed and they never re-booked me.

tschamp
03-21-2012, 03:17 PM
I was a bit worried for the same reason gman mentions.
But Peter seems to have had no problem.
So I'm ready to book late October via Vayama. We'll allow extra time in CLT in case of problems...

PeterO
03-21-2012, 07:01 PM
Gman. I book my flights a good six months in advance. During that time Vayama informed of some Insel flight changes, especially the short layover Bon - Cur. We called Insel at Curacao and they assured me that it would not be a problem, they knew who was on the Bon - Cur flight and would wait if necessary.

I did keep an eye on my flights, especially towards the end. I was concerned based on Insel's reputation but decided to go with the flow anyway. For me, it all went well. I am glad I did it.

MN Diver
03-23-2012, 11:41 AM
My son & I booked our January flight from Minneapolis to CLT separately from the CLT-CUR-BON flight (which I booked on-line). I made sure we had ample layover time in CLT (2 1/2 hours), but the 2 hour layover I planned on our return was NOT enough. Delays are VERY common with Insel per many I've talked to. Going out of CLT, the plane left over an hour late with no explanation why. When I asked the gate person about our connection in CUR, she said they'll always wait for connecting flights. Coming home, sure enough, the CUR to CLT flight was delayed an hour because they were waiting for a connecting flight f/ So. America. We actually would have had enough time to catch our CLT to MSP Delta flight if the baggage would have made it to the customs area in an ordinary amount of time. We waited 40 minutes for the CLT baggage crew to get bags to carrosel...& our flight was the ONLY one in the area!! Fortunately, Delta booked us on a flight, no charge, 2 hours later, but what a LONG day. But honestly, I would fly this route w/ Insel again. For one thing, CHEAP compared to Continental & especially Delta ($1300 f/ MSP!) & I really like traveling Wednesdays - Flamingo was pretty much vacant both directions...although this mid-week travel may have been a reason for the crazy slow baggage handling in CLT(?). I agree with what others have said - call or email Insel a few weeks before departure to be completely confident all of your flights have you on their passenger lists.

tschamp
03-23-2012, 01:44 PM
OK, good, I just finished booking flights for our next Bonaire trip, 14 nights total spanning Halloween, 10 on BON, 4 on CUR.
Using advice in this thread, I booked via vayama.com for $630 each, from Providence.
I've allowed 4 hours in CLT going and coming, so I'm all comfy with that.
Thanks guys...

alwayswet
03-23-2012, 02:59 PM
that they hold the conection in CUR that makes me feel much better about the 40 min between flights! And as mentioned above its really nice to get extra days due to the savings in airfare..The Insel price afforded us 3 extra days basicly at no additional cost!

Bill