Continental and Delta fly in/out on weekends only. Not sure about Insel Air. Continental has direct flights from Newark and Houston, Delta has a direct flight from Atlanta and Insel's is from Miami. You can fly American any day of the week to Curacao (direct flight from Miami) and choose one of the local regional airlines to get to Bonaire. You can also fly to Aruba and take a regional airline to get to Bonaire. After many years and trips to Bonaire I have to say that the Aruba route is my least favorite.
I have to agree with Bluewater... We did the trip via a connection through Aruba one time. I think I'd do the Continental late/over-night trip or Inesl through Miami before connecting through Aruba. Connecting via Curacao might be more reasonable though since there are more flights/options between Bonaire and Curacao. Using Delta through Atlanta is probably the easiest route, but unfortunately is also probably the most expensive.
Thank you for the info. We use United and I am not sure which partner airline they buddy up with. We have FF miles to use. We are on the west coast.
As far as I know direct flights to the states from Bonaire only in weekends and there are not many options.
Best way is through Curacao. Lots of daily flights from Curacao to Bon. Daily connections MIA-CUR is AA or Insel-Air. From Curacao it a short flight to Bonaire (15 to 20 min) and lots of options.
I was pretty shocked at the flight schedule. :)
I have no idea how long it takes to get from Houston or Newark other than I was told that those flights leave around 11:30pm or Midnight. I guess we will be ready to hit the beach when we get off the plane.
zacharysmommy ... the flights from Houston and Newark do indeed leave around midnight and arrive in Bonaire before the sun comes up. I am usually able to get some sleep on the flight there but that is not true for everyone. Take whatever you will need to make yourself comfy in a small space! The crews do dim the cabin lights and then before landing they bring them up again with a gentle wake up from the pilot that gives folks plenty of time to use the restrooms, etc. Once you get off the plane you will have to wait in line at Immigration and then you will have to wait for your luggage. This is not always a quick process in Bonaire and because it is near dawn the mosquito population can be pesky. It is a good idea to have some repellent handy in your carry-on. The wipes work well for this. While waiting for your luggage take advantage of the free Bonaire info that is available to pick up and read.
Once you get your vehicle and head to your accommodations you may or may not be able to get into your room. If you can, try to take a short nap! Some people book the room for the night before so that when they arrive the room is already theirs and they do not need to wait for housekeeping to get it ready. If you cannot get your room, your can store your luggage, get a bite to eat, find a chair to sleep or go for your dive orientation depending on your chosen dive operator.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the tips. I appreciate those tips. We will be travelling with a 8 year old. We will be staying at Buddy Dive Resort.
I hope the immigration line isn't as bad as the one in Cancun. Once you get through there line you have to run through the gauntlet of timeshare sharks.
There is NO comparison between Cancun and Bonaire! You will not find anything like the timeshare sharks in Bonaire. The Immigration line in Bonaire takes time because there are only 2-3 Immigration officers. The luggage takes time because there is only one truck with a small trailer. You will be standing in line outside and waiting for your luggage in an area with one belt only.
Will you be using Buddy Dive's shuttle? It can get quite crowded and once you arrive at Buddy the process there for check in can be quite long. Be prepared to wait! Maybe leave one person to check in and take the 8 year old to look at the sea, walk the grounds, find the iguanas.
Feel free to PM me with questions! We have been going to Bonaire for 12 years and are there at least three times a year for an extended stay.
Fully agree with last post. No comparison with the lines in Cancun. If you are on a direct flight from the states your waiting line will be longer than if you fly with a stop in curacao. Planes from the states are generally bigger that the ones used by the local carriers from curacao. 150 to 200 seats compared to 15 to 45 seats
If I know mentally what to expect all the better. :) I have learned my lesson that sometimes the unexpected just happens beyond our control. Like getting stranded in San Francisco on Christmas Day and losing a day and a half of vacation.
So are you saying to expect to be at the airport for at least 2-3 hours before we get out to the front door? Or are you talking longer? I am hoping my inlaws or some relatives will be able to take care of our son next June. So in the meantime, we are booking him with us on the flight. If we find someone it will only cost us $150 to put the miles back into our account. Much better than trying to find a seat for him the last minute (which probably wouldn't happen).
A few times it has taken us at least 2 hours to get out the door at Cancun.Edited: 11:02 pm, June 16, 2010