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Djh Dive
11-08-2012, 12:13 PM
We are in final countdown to Bonaire.
We fly into Aruba on a Friday
We booked a hotel in Oranjastad for Friday night.
We have DAE 9am departure Saturday to Bonaire via Curaco.
My question is How early do we need to be at the Aruba airport for a 9 am flight. I figure we need to clear Aruba customs on the way to Bonaire.

thanks

fraserfraser
11-08-2012, 03:21 PM
Please post your experience going from Aruba to Bonaire and back. been looking at this an alternative for awhile.
Thanks

jimw
11-08-2012, 06:35 PM
DAE, Insel, and Tiara all cancel flights with regularity and without notice. That seems to be the general opinion here. I am tracking Insel and they seem to cancel about 10% of all flights. I think it would be a little higher on DAE. The good news is that you are on Aruba and there are many flights to Curacao with some going on to Bonaire.

Check with the airline before you leave the airport, then check online often that evening and morning. If they say they are going, head to the airport aabout 7am and be prepared for them to NOT go. Know the other airlines schedules ahead of time. This is more like catchin' a taxi at a busy time than a flight--be ready!! The one local airline that seems to go and go on time is www.fly-divi.com (http://www.fly-divi.com) DiviDivi Air out of Curacao.

jimw
11-08-2012, 08:21 PM
CORRECTION on the Divi Divi Air website............ www.flydivi.com (http://www.flydivi.com)

Dee
11-09-2012, 11:02 AM
I will be going through Aruba on the Thursday 15th - Norfolk to Atlanta To Aruba through Delta arrive 3pm. then insel air 4:30 to curacao, then insel air 6:00 from curacao to Bonaire arrive by 6:30. I did a mulit city flight, so on the way back we are fly
Saturday: Delta to Atlanta to Norfolk. Last min trip, but this works. I will let anyone know of the good and the bad on this.

kob
11-09-2012, 11:24 AM
Good luck getting thru Aruba in 1-1/2 hours

ModCecil
11-09-2012, 01:24 PM
They might get lucky it is a weekday (but mid afternoon is bad), the immigration line is the time killer, if a big plane gets there before you.

DJD
11-09-2012, 02:32 PM
Dee please let us know how it goes. We arrive on a Thursday and have 2 hours to get through. Does anyone know if we'll even have to go through C/I in Aruba since we're flying in on US Air and out on Insel since they code share?

larry
11-09-2012, 03:05 PM
My wife and I have flown JetBlue from NYC to Aruba, then Tiara to Bonaire 4 times now. Going to Bonaire from Aruba has not been a problem. Going through security has been smooth and quick. The JetBlue flight arrival in Aruba gives us 3 hr between arrival and departure. HOWEVER, the return from Bonaire has been horrible on the last 2 trips. There has been plenty of time between flights, but the entire time (2.5 hr or so) has been spent standing in a snail's pace, crowded Sat. PM line first in ticketing, then in a mostly outdoors line under awnings (shade, but no AC and little breeze), before somewhat chaotic customs and immigration lines. Despite the fact that the air terminal is of relatively recent design and construction, it cannot easily handle the number of people on flights departing at approximately the same time each Saturday. On the other hand, that is our perspective, and the airlines might be perfectly happy because the flights are full or nearly full and, despite our discomfort in lines and crowded terminal areas, plus the lack of time for lunch, the departures seem to be on time with all passengers in their seats. Not pleasant. But that may be the price paid for a cheap ticket to/from Aruba. Of course, a big part of the problem in Aruba relates to the fact that travelers go through US Customs and Immigration, thereby eliminating this portion of the trip back in NYC.

fraserfraser
11-09-2012, 05:12 PM
larry,
have you ever come back during the week? what time does your flight on Tiara leave Bonaire? thanks Jetblue does a non stop from boston so its intriguing as a way to get to Bonaire. also what's the cost for round trip on Tiara? or atleast what did you pay :-)
thanks

Desertdiver
11-09-2012, 05:42 PM
I am watching this thread carefully. My wife and I are doing the same thing just with United SLC-DEN-IAD-AUA then transfering to another airline to BON. Thanks for having this one going.
Robert

Dee
11-13-2012, 07:38 AM
oh boy!!!!!!! I will put on my rolling skates and hope for the best. Thank you for the heads up!

Dee
11-13-2012, 07:41 AM
Okay, Will do. If I dont make it to Insel, I will have plenty of time to BT. The Marriott sounds good in Aruba for back up plan! LOL

ruth
11-13-2012, 12:30 PM
Hi all...just keep in mind that the airlines you are using do not know that you are transferring to another in Aruba. To them, your final destination is Aruba, so if you land/get stuck in immigration/get stuck waiting on luggage/get stuck waiting on customs & get to your gate late (most prefer you to be checked-in 1.5 hours+ ahead of time), they'll just see you as being late to check-in to their flight (or a no-show & will give your seat away). As stated earlier, the time of your flight can make all the difference in the world-mid-week/non-holiday should be easier than a weekend. Lots of package tours to Aruba start/end on Saturdays (as do cruises; several cruise lines start from Aruba, so all of those passengers need to fly in/out too). I made the mistake of going to Aruba a few years ago for a long weekend--on Sunday we got to the airport 4 hours before our Tiara flight time, and made it to the gate with less than 30 minutes to spare (checking-in, security, immigration all had extremely long lines, snaking out the airport & down the sidewalk, and only 2 immigration officers were working...). A friend recently flew the same route on a Monday night-no hassles or unusual delays at all (did check-in at Tiara counter 2 hours before flight time though).

Just in case-before you leave, print out all of your other options--know the other flights/airlines' times, and know what a hotel room should cost (I check out prices on hotels.com, etc., before leaving, so I know if I call the Marriott from the airport, they're being fair). Or if your phone works when you land, you can use an app like Priceline.com.

DJD
11-13-2012, 02:33 PM
Hello, I've asked this before but haven't had an answer yet. We're flying US Air to AUA on Thanksgiving Day and have a 2 hour layover in Aruba before catching the Insel flight to CUR-BON. Does anyone know if we still have to go through Aruba C/I if we're continuing on a code share airline with US Air? I emailed customer service at AUA and haven't heard back yet. I should also try US Air customer service but it's hard to get a live rep. Thanks!

ruth
11-13-2012, 03:01 PM
DJD, unless USAir tickets you all the way through, including issueing Insel AUA/BON boarding passes & your luggage checked thru to Bonaire (which I'm 99.99% sure won't happen; 100% hope for you they do...), then yes--you need to go thru immigration, pick up your baggage, clear customs, go to the Insel counter and check-in/check baggage, then get to your gate: must go thru security & exit-immigration again. 2 hours on Thanksgiving day is tight...if it were me, I'd have at least a Plan B for getting to Curacao, and a Plan C for a night in Aruba. Print out Insel, DAE & Tiara's flight schedules to both Curacao and Bonaire (if getting to CUR is your only option-take it; once you get to Curacao, there are 4 other airlines flying CUR/BON)--if there aren't any more Insel flights, or the next flight is many hours away, you may find the Insel counter derserted for that time...be sure to get their Aruba ticket office tel number before you fly.

To anyone traveling thru either Aruba or Curacao, remember, if you purchase liquids in duty-free in your originating airport, you must be able to get them into your checked luggage before the local connecting flight, as they will not permit a bottle of booze/perfume, etc, thru security.

DJD
11-13-2012, 06:05 PM
Thanks Ruth! Bummer, I hope we make our flights! I have looked at the other flights and will print them out like you advise. Thanks again.

Dee
11-14-2012, 06:32 AM
Thanks Ruth, perhaps we will be able to see you this trip!! Dee and Billy.

DJD
11-14-2012, 11:18 AM
Well, I just checked and they changed our flight from Aruba to a later flight so now we have a 3 hour layover and don't get in until 9pm. I've got to email the car and villa rental agencies and let them know. At least I won't be stressing now in Aruba.

larry
11-15-2012, 08:22 AM
larry,
have you ever come back during the week? what time does your flight on Tiara leave Bonaire? thanks Jetblue does a non stop from boston so its intriguing as a way to get to Bonaire. also what's the cost for round trip on Tiara? or atleast what did you pay :-)
thanks

No. Only on Saturdays, and that is really the problem. The Sat-Sat Aruba flights try to depart at about the same time and create the crowding in Aruba. The Tiara flight we take leaves Bonaire about 10:35 AM, if I remember correctly. Don't remember the trip cost, but do know that Jet Blue charges more than AA or others. But, the extra is not too much and the Jet Blue seats are really spacious compared to most other airlines. The Tiara flight is not cheap on a per mile basis. About $75-80 each way, I think. When all is said and done, the total cost to BON is not much different from that for a Delta flight from JFK-->Atl-->Bon and return. However, the Delta flights don't get back to NYC until around midnight, whereas the Jet Blue flights arrive much earlier (6-ish?). One negative about going via Aruba is arriving on Bon usually after dark and too late for food shopping. We now bring some dry cereal with us and pick up a bit of milk in a small store on Sunday AM before the checkout dive.

Dee
11-16-2012, 03:42 PM
Okay WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,, Yippppieeeee We made it without a hitch from Delta to Aruba, then Insel to Bonaire via Curacao. I was a little stressed not knowing what to expect with getting the luggage, going to recheck our bags at Insel, but it all worked out great!. I immediately found an athletic looking gentlman to take our luggage to Insell since we didnt know where to go and if we had to run i needed someone who could keep up the pace. Delta got our luggage out very very quickly.Well, noone was in line at Insel, we had overage pounds in our luggage, not bad - but we had to pay $30 extra. They took care of the departure tax at the counter and told us what gate to go to. We lucked out at Immigration, - no one was in line! We had plenty of time to get to the gate and also duty free( although we didnt shop in fear of missing our flight)One thing was a little confusing. At gate A/B they didnt have Insel air on the board - they had Tiara it was a little confusing and as I said earlier, I was a little stressed, but the locals told me it was the gate. Insel flight was late, we arrived in Cur at around 5:35pm to catch our 5:55 flight to bon. We got off the plan , up a set of stairs that said transfer, off to the gate and back on the same plane, same seats, same crew!!!!LOL what a hoot, but we arrived on time on Bonaire and all of our luggage made it as well. I dont know how Insel did it, but, I dont care. You have to put your carry on in luggage under the plane which they take as you board - no big deal. Plane was not bad for short flight. Would I do it again,, maybe.

Dee
11-16-2012, 03:45 PM
I also want to thank you all for the great input and travel advisories with my itinerary! Today, had time to sign up for diving, go to the grocery, relax and get ready for Happy Hour!:cheers:

Desertdiver
11-16-2012, 05:18 PM
I am getting so nervous about this transfering airline thing in Aruba. Dee how long did you have between your flight from Delta before your Insel flight?
Rob

DJD
11-16-2012, 09:22 PM
woohoo! Hopefully it goes well for us next week! Can't believe you had to even get off the plane in Curacao.

Dee
11-17-2012, 05:40 PM
Hi Rob, we had 1 and a half hours to catch our flight on insel via cur to bon. We arrived Thursday Aurba I think at 2:30,( remember, i have been on island time now since Thursday:), flight to cur was at 4 or so. I have to tell you, it was a breeze for us. But get the athletic skinny guy to take your luggage to insel air, he can whistle anything and do unbelievable sounds, a really cool personality trait. If you prefer to take your own, get your luggage, go out the door turn right then turn right and insel air is there on the right. They are very helpful. Dont forget , the gate they tell you IS THE GATE no matter what the sign says at the gate, well, you may want to check, but that is what it was for us.

Dee
11-17-2012, 05:44 PM
Yep DJD we did, but we did not have to pay a departure tax either. so get off , go up the stairs turn right, go to insel ticket counter show your transfer ticket, go out side, wait a few, then go down the stairs and back on the same plane! I had a great experience. We did have to give them our carry on to put under the plane because the plane is so small there is not enough overhead room - no big deal. No drink service or bathrooms on the plane - too short.

DJD
11-17-2012, 11:17 PM
Dee, thanks for all the info! Hope you are having an amazing time. We can't wait to get there!

Dee
11-18-2012, 06:41 AM
oopsie, i forgot, at the top of the stairs you have to go through security. No need to take out laptops or makeup bags.

tennille
12-27-2012, 05:12 PM
I'm also attempting to go through Aruba to get to Bonaire via Jet Blue. Jet Blue doesn't know I'm transferring. Is it safest to just plan on a night in Aruba on my way back? That seems to be the hardest transfer according to all of you. Any suggestions for me?

Desertdiver
12-28-2012, 07:23 AM
Tennille,
We are leaving tomorrow to return home. On our way to Bonaire we took United and transfered to DAE. We quickly discovered that DAE does not like to fly thier 9:00 pm (2100) flight to Bonaire. Fortently they did put us up in the Marriot in Aruba for a night but it was frustrating. I would advice an over night stay in Aruba. When we got to Aruba the line to go through immigration was crazy. We are never doing the Aruba to Bonaire thing again. We will go through Curacao in the future. Less stress.
Best
Rob

Ashley1101
12-28-2012, 12:09 PM
Oh no - this makes me nervous! I am arriving in Aruba at almost 5:00pm this Sunday and am scheduled to take the 9:00pm DAE flight to Bonaire (plenty of time to get my luggage and transfer). Bob - do you have any idea how often they cancel that flight? Also - did they pay for your transportation to/from the Marriot?

Wish me luck!

-Ashley

Desertdiver
12-28-2012, 01:28 PM
Ashlee,
We have watched every night just out of curiosty. They have cancelled every flight at 2100. They did pay for the taxi. MAKE A BIG DEAL OF THE INCONVIENCE. THey also payed for a dinner and breakfast for each of us as well as drinks at the hotel.
Best of luck. We are already starting out countdown to Bonaire 2013.
Rob

tennille
12-28-2012, 02:19 PM
I booked flights from Aruba to Bonaire with a pretty large pad of time in between with Insel Air. I'll be spending 2 entire days travelling or hanging out in airports, so hopefully it all works out. Thanks for the help!

Ashley1101
12-29-2012, 12:48 AM
Oh my goodness! Well - I'll keep my eye on the flight schedules and thank you Rob for your help! Best of luck to everyone on their next Bonaire adventure. :)

Desertdiver
12-29-2012, 02:50 PM
Recent updates with regards to flying with DAE. I would never advice anyone not to fly on an airline without prior expierence but, in this case. We were suppose to leave Bonaire at 7:00 this morning. I was afraid that I would have to many hours to kill in Aruba. As it turns out we will not leave until 4:00 (If they are telling the truth) We will not be able to make our United flight tonight. DAE is currently working ( at least I hope) on changing our United flight to tomorrow. I will not ever fly DAE ever again.
Bonaire is worth the hassle of getting here and with the exception of an implosian on a dive it has been a wonderful trip and I will post a trip report later when I am stateside.

Best to all
Rob