PDA

View Full Version : seeking opinions on ways to get to Bonaire



lorimich
07-23-2012, 09:43 AM
Hi everyone,

I'm plotting out our first trip to Bonaire for march 2013. So far, traveling to Bon seems to be very limited, expensive and a pain. We're in CT, and about 2 hrs from EWR. I'm curious about anyone's experiences - direct flights (wow, not the same price as flying to Aruba) ,flying to Aurba & then to Bon or any other ideas you may have.
thanks in advance for your helpful ideas,
Lori

michaeto
07-23-2012, 11:09 AM
For my money Delta is the best. You arrive early afternoon so you can get your check dive in or stock thr fridge Saturday afternoon. You leave late afternoon so you can dive Friday morning, snorkel Friday afternoon, and check out the sights on Saturday morning. It is more expensive but you get more time on island which is the reason you go in the first place.

wwguy
07-23-2012, 11:24 AM
Looks like the United direct out of EWR is going for around $900 (at least on March 15th anyway.) Personally the redeye flights leave me groggy for a day. I also prefer full size jets (for luggage) and the most direct route whenever possible. Lately I've been a big fan of the Delta flights out of Atlanta.

Depending on which weekend in March, I see Delta fares out of EWR starting at $600 and out of BDL (Hartford) starting at $650. But a Saturday morning EWR or BDL departure only leaves you an hour to make the connection in ATL, which I think is too tight. For the same airfare price you can leave EWR or BDL on Friday afternoon and stay overnight in ATL on the way down. On the way home you'd have 2 hours 20 minutes to clear customs in ATL and catch the flight to BDL, arriving at BDL around midnight.

Just some ideas...

trish
07-23-2012, 12:47 PM
We have always taken the United red eye which was a blessing compared to the flight out of PR on American (I think?)! This year we're going to try Delta out of Atlanta. Prices out of Detroit are way high for Dec so far :eek:. Never tried any of the island hopping flights, but my husband has & he said it just added more stress & confusion to the trip & wasn't worth the savings in his opinion.

gbf
07-23-2012, 03:54 PM
The atl-bon flight is the way to go, if you can stand the $$ (or have FF miles). You just have to plan to start your vacation a day early.

We go to Atlanta on Friday, ride the train downtown and meet some resident-friends for a pub-crawl in 5 points. Then a leisurely breakfast on Saturday AM, and off to Bon at a civilized hour.

We don't sweat the return - we really don't care if we miss our connection in ATL on the way back - get home Sunday instead of Saturday. But I'm not missing it on the way down!!

Trish, your husband is a wise man.

tursiops
07-23-2012, 04:37 PM
I don't go to Bonaire to save money. If I wanted to save money I'd go to Cozumel or Cayman. Delta is my preference to Bonaire....reliable, low stress, great schedule. I stopped the shop-for-off-brand-airlines-and-take-a-risk-on-connections-and-spend-twice-as-long-to-get-there-and save-$1.98 a long time ago. With age comes wisdom.....

petri hausmann
07-23-2012, 04:52 PM
have you checked out DAE???? fly 7 days a week miami/curacao and have added a second flight on 3 days. All flights connect to Bonaire. luggage allowance is generous, a hot meal and open bar .. in the old ALM style. there are introductory fares. this is a very popular route with the locals and is consistently given good reviews.

fraserfraser
07-23-2012, 04:55 PM
Lori,
Never did the delta trip it could be the way to go. Have done the newark redeye flying from Boston several times (doing it again this friday). it may get listed for $900 but have always gotten it for about $650 from boston and $550 from newark itself so I trust it will go down. Have done AA to Curacao and then a puddle jumper to Bonaire once. it worked but it has some over night complications. I have never done the Delta through Atlanta yet because of the overnight complications for us. But I may do it in the future. For me atleast the redeye has been the winner. if pricing is similar Atlanta and Delta sounds like the clear winner.
unlike many others really liked the boston to puerto rico to bonaire run on american--i for one am sorry to see it go.
Also going this March on the same Redeye from Newark--oh well price was cheaper then. did make the reservation awhile ago but still think it will go down again :-)
bottom line its never been real easy to get to Bonaire.
Just to be clear I don't like the redeye but it has been the most straight forward way for me to get there. its the downside of flying out of Boston!
Boston to Aruba then a puddle jumper to Bonaire may be another alternative but haven't done that yet. Love JetBlue. Guessing you're close to Bradley so your choices may differ. You could also just go to Curacao. Went once and loved it out at Westpunt.

JDButt
07-24-2012, 09:55 AM
Lori
I also live in CT. We have been visiting Bonaire since 2000. We like to fly the American flight to Curacao via Miami. We leave at 6:00 am and arrive in Miami a little after 9:00 am. The flight to Curacao leaves around 11:20 am and arrives around 2:15 pm. We then catch the 5:00 Divi Air to Bonaire. The return flight is Divi Air from Bonaire to Curacao which leaves at 11:45 am. We then catch the American flight to Miami which leaves at 3:20 pm and arrives at 6:30 pm. The final flight is Miami to CT which leaves at 8:55 pm and arrives at 11:55 pm. We have found these flights to be convenient with enough time between flights to allow for problems (although we have never had any) as well as being the best priced that we have found. We have done this route 4 times in the past years and never had any problems. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions you would like to discuss.

tursiops
07-24-2012, 10:29 AM
have you checked out DAE???? fly 7 days a week miami/curacao and have added a second flight on 3 days. All flights connect to Bonaire. luggage allowance is generous, a hot meal and open bar .. in the old ALM style. there are introductory fares. this is a very popular route with the locals and is consistently given good reviews.I stopped flying DAE when they moved a flight leaving BON 2h earlier, and left a message to that effect with the wrong hotel. My group of 14 was rather upset when we got to the airport and our flight was already gone. As the old country boy said, "I may get bitten by a thousand dogs, but I won't get bitten by the same dog twice."

tschamp
07-24-2012, 10:52 AM
have you checked out DAE???? fly 7 days a week miami/curacao and have added a second flight on 3 days. All flights connect to Bonaire. luggage allowance is generous, a hot meal and open bar .. in the old ALM style. there are introductory fares. this is a very popular route with the locals and is consistently given good reviews.

DAE to Miami is a bit new. This may be the first I've heard about it!

fraserfraser
07-24-2012, 11:06 AM
As been mentioned before cheap is not always a good thing. i'd wait on that based on previous reply by Mel. Flew on Spirit Airlines several years ago, changed flight and never told me got lucky and made it. but like Mel once bitten twice shy....or something like that :rolleyes:

wwguy
07-24-2012, 11:59 AM
Lori
I also live in CT. We have been visiting Bonaire since 2000. We like to fly the American flight to Curacao via Miami. We leave at 6:00 am and arrive in Miami a little after 9:00 am. The flight to Curacao leaves around 11:20 am and arrives around 2:15 pm. We then catch the 5:00 Divi Air to Bonaire. The return flight is Divi Air from Bonaire to Curacao which leaves at 11:45 am. We then catch the American flight to Miami which leaves at 3:20 pm and arrives at 6:30 pm. The final flight is Miami to CT which leaves at 8:55 pm and arrives at 11:55 pm. We have found these flights to be convenient with enough time between flights to allow for problems (although we have never had any) as well as being the best priced that we have found. We have done this route 4 times in the past years and never had any problems. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions you would like to discuss.

This is pretty sweet! I just checked out this itinerary and would probably do it if flying out of BDL. The price is competitive (~$700 RT for March 16th to 23rd, including Divi Divi), there's no overnight stay required in either direction, there's no red-eye involved, and there seems to be plenty of time to make all connecting flights.

You could leave your house in CT early Saturday morning and make it to Bonaire in time to catch the sunset! :GAC:

Kimfair
07-25-2012, 08:38 AM
We take Delta to Atlanta the night before, stay in a nearby hotel for one night, and then Atlanta-Bonaire in the morning. The first time we did it straight through, the connection was so tight that we were doing an Amazing Race run to catch the Bonaire flight, too much stress on my 50 year old heart and bones! Much easier to fly down the night beofre for us.

Philip Gelber
07-26-2012, 02:13 PM
We travel from Long Island New York and have been going to Bonaire since 1988. I think we've tried all the routes described above. Each has their compromises and it depends on your personal preferences.

1. We don't like to take three flights (the NY-Miami-Curacao-Bonaire route)as it's exhausting and you lose the last dive day as you need to leave early in the morning to get to CUR to make the connection to Miami, therefore the last dive day is sacrificed.

2. Flights through Aruba that go through Curacao have the same issue. The non-stops AUA to BON are a possibility but with little backup if they don't go.

3. The nonstops from Newark get you in at an ungodly hour (5am) and you sleep all night (if you can) in a 18 inch pitch seat.

4. Our choice for the last 5 years has been the weekly flight from ATL to BON on Delta, with the proviso that we fly down to ATL the night before (many many flights from LGA to ATL...almost hourly) so that bullet proofs that leg. We stay at the Marriott which is on the new monorail from baggage claim at ATL. It's 2 minutes and very easy, even with SCUBA gear. There are elevators for every grade. The hotel is about $100 for the night. It has a nice restaurants and very clean, new rooms. Note that as of this year, the monorail takes you back to the domestic terminal and you will need to get to the international terminal by shuttle, or else treat yourself to a cab from the Marriott.

The downside of this approach is that if there is an equipment issue in BON (or less likely ATl) you can be stuck for 24 hours or more until equipment gets fixed or flown in (which has happened). There's no backup in Bonaire.

If it were easy to get to Bonaire, you wouldn't want to go there!

Philip Gelber
07-26-2012, 02:19 PM
That's the way we go as well. Note that this year, you will be deposited back at the domestic terminal (there's a new international terminal at ATL) and you will need to take a shuttle or even better, just take a cab from the Marriott to the international terminal directly and be a sport.

marc
07-26-2012, 03:40 PM
if you can stay away from DAE

petri hausmann
07-26-2012, 03:54 PM
unless you have flown in the last 2-3 months or so with DAE you arehave an opinion about a company of the past. The new DAE recently changed hands,(owners) under new management and with some new equipment in the fleet .. including the jet serving the miami route As i said before .. it is very popular and receives good reviews from the "locals' that have used it for their summer travels.it is an new option to be considered not judged by past performance.

nitrogenfixx
07-26-2012, 07:55 PM
Although not returning to Bonaire until April 2013, we would deeply appreciate it if anyone would know, between now and then, of a hotel that will offer shuttle service directly to the new international terminal. We take Delta/overnight in Atlanta the night before.
Thank you.

Tom T
07-27-2012, 02:13 AM
We have flown from San Francisco to BON for 14 years. Since we have friends/relatives in the Miami area we always fly to and from MIA, where we stay overnight or longer each way. Recently we've flown several times on Insel from MIA to BON via a stop in CUR, and take the Saturday BON to MIA flight back. I think doing the CT (pick a starting airport) to BON route via MIA could be done in one (long) day each way, but changing airlines in MIA might require a baggage recheck and a longer stopover. But might be worth checking into.
-Tom

Bill Thorpe
08-08-2012, 12:57 AM
Hi Guys,One of the things I always do is pick my days and then set it up on Kayak, so I get a daily feedback on prices. I've sometimes ended up with a great price and a fast trip.

Kelly
08-08-2012, 10:56 AM
I'm sorry but does anyone read the posts before making their own post? It says that to get to the international terminal from Marriott, you need to get a cab. The shuttle only takes you to the domestic terminal. Come on peeps!

nitrogenfixx
08-08-2012, 01:11 PM
Kelly:
If your comment is in regard to the question I asked a week ago, please note: I said we were not going back to Bonaire until april 2013. I was requesting information that perhaps, between now and then, there may be a hotel that will begin to offer shuttle service directly to the international terminal.
Yes, I did read the posts regarding shuttle service, at this time, to the international terminal.

Dee
08-08-2012, 04:34 PM
ATL to BON: Sounds like the cab is the way to go if you are overnighting in Atl. I was a bit nervouse coming back to the USA from Bon to the new terminal as when we left we left out of the old international terminal. We just returned from Bon - ATL via Delta 2 weeks ago. The new terminal is great and very convenient on the return! It was a breeze to go through. We have global entry, however, there were no lines! I hope this great service continues.
We leave from Norfolk International in Virginia. Arrive in Atlanta about 1 hour to 45 minutes before flight takes off to BON. We dont get to stop at Duty free because the flight is tight, but, that is okay.

jkehnle
08-09-2012, 08:39 AM
Fifteen trips -- half a dozen routes over the years.

Most recently (last 4-5 trips), we've used United from Cleveland to Houston, then the red-eye to Bonaire.

In February 2013, we're flying Delta from Cleveland to Atlanta on Friday afternoon and booking a hotel room at the airport that evening. We'll schlep to the airport in time for a leisurely brekkers for a 9:45 AM departure.

Money -- none of it is particularly cheap, by any measure. But my suggestion for Bonaire is -- choose the best flight for you, then bite the bullet and pay the bucks.

BTW -- Don't put off the purchase too long. We purchased our tickets a month ago for February of next year. The flight from ATL-BON had plenty of seats available, but the return flight the next week was 2/3 full already.

Another suggestion about air fare to Bonaire. Once you buy the ticket -- don't look at prices again! And, like buying a car or a big screen TV set, don't tell anyone how much you spent. Everyone will have bought their tickets much more cheaply, even if they have to...well...maybe stretch the truth a bit!

Most important: At the end of that flight, you will be in Bonaire.:cheers:

tursiops
08-09-2012, 10:25 AM
Fifteen trips -- half a dozen routes over the years.

Most recently (last 4-5 trips), we've used United from Cleveland to Houston, then the red-eye to Bonaire.

In February 2013, we're flying Delta from Cleveland to Atlanta on Friday afternoon and booking a hotel room at the airport that evening. We'll schlep to the airport in time for a leisurely brekkers for a 9:45 AM departure.

Money -- none of it is particularly cheap, by any measure. But my suggestion for Bonaire is -- choose the best flight for you, then bite the bullet and pay the bucks.

BTW -- Don't put off the purchase too long. We purchased our tickets a month ago for February of next year. The flight from ATL-BON had plenty of seats available, but the return flight the next week was 2/3 full already.

Another suggestion about air fare to Bonaire. Once you buy the ticket -- don't look at prices again! And, like buying a car or a big screen TV set, don't tell anyone how much you spent. Everyone will have bought their tickets much more cheaply, even if they have to...well...maybe stretch the truth a bit!

Most important: At the end of that flight, you will be in Bonaire.:cheers:
Great email! +1!

kob
08-09-2012, 04:11 PM
Jeff K -- like you, I vote for Delta. Getting on island at 2:00p and having the rest of the day to buy BNMP tag, get tanks & weights, buy groceries, etc. then a nice dinner at Bobbejans is worth a few extra $$.

tursiops
08-09-2012, 04:44 PM
The problem is, Delta is $1251 from DCA for my next trip, in October.

kob
08-10-2012, 07:18 AM
Mel -- Ouch !! You're paying about $300 more than the same trip from CLE when I last checked.

DeputyDan
08-10-2012, 09:29 AM
Personal opinion of course.

The Delta flight on Saturday is the way to go if you can find prices that fit into your budget. Good luck with that.

We fly AA into Curacao and then take the DIVI DIVI to Bonaire. If you have a luggage issue - it will be on the next flight and if you are returning and may have a luggage issue - then take your luggage over to the airport early and Divi Divi will send it to Curacao on an earlier flight. We have never had a problem with Divi Divi coming through.

We have flown the red eye once and my wife said never again. - As the saying goes - if momma ain't happy ....

fraserfraser
08-10-2012, 12:45 PM
DeputyDan,
its not just about the money with the Redeye. I agree about if momma ain't happy...:-)
but have taken the redeye three times for a total of 6 one ways--two of those have been 12-14 hour delays, fortunately and I use that advisedly it had been when leaving from Newark. Anyway Delta if it works and your method are by far preferable to the Redeye in my experience.

croerig
08-10-2012, 01:18 PM
We just booked (our 10th year in 2013) United from Grand Rapids MI to Houston - then redeye to Bonaire. Very expensive, but the flight was filling up fast. We have taken the Newark redeye in the past, but in late Feb you never know what kind of weather they get, so we prefer the Houston redeye.

tursiops
08-10-2012, 02:48 PM
Mel -- Ouch !! You're paying about $300 more than the same trip from CLE when I last checked.

Not exactly. I bought my ticket at $915, two weeks later it was 787, but it is now 1251...so the folks who have kept waiting for a better price and really paying for their hope.

lorimich
08-10-2012, 05:56 PM
Hi,

We've always went to Aruba and I usually wait until Sept to Oct to buy my air tickets for a march trip because the price drops for a few weeks. Have any of you noticed this for Bonaire? Is there a better time to buy air fare, so many months out from the trip? This is our first trip and I'm going by "best time to buy for Aruba" for Bonaire. What do you think? As it stands now, it can't get any worse, right?

tursiops
08-10-2012, 07:16 PM
Not exactly. I bought my ticket at $915, two weeks later it was 787, but it is now 1251...so the folks who have kept waiting for a better price and really paying for their hope.

Well, it's up to $1387 right now, DCA-BON, Oct 6-13. That's ridiculous.

wwguy
08-11-2012, 11:19 AM
Delta seat maps indicate the ATL-BON flight on Oct 6th is pretty full. They show only "preferred" and "economy comfort" seats and M class fares available in coach right now. That's likely why they're so expensive. The lower fare class tickets Mel saw previously have been sold.

For weeks before and after Oct 6th, seats on the same route are currently available for less than $800. For these weeks there are significantly more seats available, including discounted K,L,U fares. For anyone who didn't seem my previous post on air fare codes, here's a link (http://cwsi.net/delta.htm). Not all coach-class fares are created, offered, or sold equally.

The major airlines love to leverage supply and demand methodology to wring every last penny out of us.