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Getting to Bonaire: ALM
Bonaire Talk: Getting to Bonaire: Archives: Archives 1999-2005: Archives - 1999-06-02 to 2001-12-31: ALM
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By DIVER DEBBI on Tuesday, October 23, 2001 - 4:49 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Good Grief...guess we have to go with the flow..just called ALM to check on the schedule for our trip from Hartford, Ct to Bonaire in Feb, have the tickets in hand and paid for , but the agent was saying too many changes in that schedule that I should call back the middle of November...sure makes my stomach feel nervous,,maybe I should have waited, but then the prices would go up...anybody have any reassurances for me ? JUST WANT TO GO DIVING !!

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chet Wood on Tuesday, October 23, 2001 - 5:11 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Debbi,
No reassurances from us; we got the same problem.

We spent a lot of time searching for flights with the departure times we like; without spending a night by O'Hare or getting to Flamingo at 4:00 AM. We purchased our ticket through AA, so we can maybe get changed to all AA (but with undesirable flight timing). We decided to wait 'till mid-November to contact AA (Airline Anguish) and/or ALM (Almost Lossing Mind)and/or DCE (Does Change Everything). Will post updates as they develop.
Chet

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Richter - NetTech on Tuesday, October 23, 2001 - 5:51 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Chet & Debbie, and others,

I heard last week from a guy that works at the airport here (at the bar, not the ticket counter) that some travelers had complained to him that their tickets issued on ALM ticket stock weren't being honored by other airlines in some cases.

I also heard yesterday from another visitor just recently having similar problems, which is why I mention this.

Linda (as a former travel agent) has told me that this may be the result of a ticket validation issue - the ticket number located at the middle bottom of the ticket, specifically the airline code, needs to be something other than "119" (which is ALM's airline code) - the airline code indicates which airline validated the tickets, e.g. got the money for the tickets through the ARC (the money clearing house for ticketing).

For example, my ticket to Miami in Sept. has a ticket number of 0 001 213481XXXX 4 - the 001 indicates American Airlines. Continental is 005, Delta is 006, United is 016, etc. An ALM issued ticket (which was all for American Airlines flights) back in August had a ticket code 0 119 9803 05XXXX 0 - the "119" indicates ALM validated the ticket. No idea if DCE has any airline code yet, by the way, but if they do, it's not likely to be a low number.

A full list of airline codes can be found at: http://www.arccorp.com/carriers.htm

So, in order to avoid major complications in the near future with your trip to Bonaire, if part of your flight itinerary includes segments on ALM, take a look at your ticket. If you have a ticket validated by ALM (code "119" per the above) then check with the non-ALM carriers you're taking to Bonaire for your upcoming ticketed trips (e.g. if flying American from Chicago to Miami, and ALM/DCE from Miami to Curacao/Bonaire - check with American), and see if your ticket will still be honored if the validating airline was ALM.

If the non-ALM/DCE carrier on your itinerary will not honor your ALM validated ticket, contact your travel agent ASAP to get your ticket redone on American or Air Jamaica (there should be no penalty for the change, although fares on AA or AJ may be different (possibly higher, possibly lower), since what you paid for is now undeliverable), and if your travel agent isn't much help, resort to your credit card company and explain the situation to them to get a credit for your tickets and then rebook a new non-ALM validated itinerary.

Linda also tells me that if any one segment on a to-be-ticketed route is not ALM, the travel may be able to make the non-ALM carrier be the validating carrier (i.e. using their airline code) on your tickets (for new flights only - for old tickets, check with the agent for recourse).

If the airline code on the ticket is for United (016) which code-shared with ALM, you should still be protected. However, if United insists it can no longer get you to Bonaire even though that's what you paid for, your recourse would probably be the same as above for ALM validated tickets in the event the carriers used won't honor them.

Nice mess, eh? Better to verify issues early than to be surprised at the airport, however.

Jake

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Thomas R. Gastio on Tuesday, October 23, 2001 - 6:07 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Jake: I had tickets purchased with air miles from NY/Miami/Curacao that were purchased before AA started flying from Aruba. No flights were available from NY SanJuan to Bonaire at the time of booking. I got my AA tickets and purchased separate tickets for ALM from CUR/BON and return. My Agent that sold me the tickets from CUR Bon sent me a new itinerary on for Dutch Caribb air. She said that they are not issuing new tickets and the old ones will be honored by Dutch Caribbean. Any advice would be appreciated

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Richter - NetTech on Tuesday, October 23, 2001 - 10:12 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Tom,

As far as I know, DCE is still honoring ALM tickets on the routes that it flies that are the same, although schedules will likely have changed. So, outside of taking a different flight than you may have been scheduled for, you should be okay.

Jake

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Anonymous on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 7:42 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Jake

Heard a rumor of possible big problems come Friday. You might want to check with Larry G. or Elsmarie B. or maybe Marion W.for details.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kelly on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 3:45 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Jake etal...

Thankfully DCE is honoring ALM tickets. DCE flight schedule can be viewed at www.flydce.com. Online services are to start up soon.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Richter - NetTech on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 3:54 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Well, after some digging regarding even bigger problems, here's the best I can come up with:

About 3 weeks ago KLM put a lien on all of the ticket revenue for ALM coming in via IATA. That's why ALM ceased operating under its name (but still wasn't bankrupt for political reasons), and DCE took over (to some poor extent) on Monday, October 15th.

Right around the same time, a Canadian company which does aircraft maintenance filed an attachment or demand for payment against ALM for approximately US$260,000. This should have forced ALM into actually bankruptcy proceedings, but as it apparently turns out, ALM got the court to give it a one week extension before it had to go into bankruptcy proceedings (likely the delay was due to political machinations). That extension is said to be expiring Friday or next Monday. It's my understanding as well that other creditors have come forward now too, which makes ALM's future even more questionable.

Should the bankruptcy come to pass, it's not clear whether DCE will survive either, as the two companies are still joined at the hip despite attempts (by the politicos) to keep them separate, even though all the assets are jointly shared in some bizarre (and probably illegal) fashion.

So, with all this (which I will point out is not 100% confirmed, but fits the pattern of news bits I've been seeing and hearing), my *personal* recommendation is that if you are booked on any ALM/DCE flights in the future, do whatever you can to switch your itinerary entirely to American Airlines or Air Jamaica... Better safe than sorry.

Jake

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Richter - NetTech on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 3:58 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Kelly,

You posted while I was composing. The honoring of ALM tickets by DCE is not complete. Apparently the BON/CUR and CUR/BON flights aren't being accepted as well as they should. At least for folks buying tickets on Bonaire, DCE is not honoring reservations at the prices quoted by ALM even from a couple of weeks ago, and has been tacking on a NAFl. 200 surcharge to cover the BON-CUR portion of tickets. I've heard of this for someone who was booked to go to St. Maarten yesterday, and another person booked to go to Paramaribo, Surinam on Monday.

So far, DCE does appear to be honoring the MIA-CUR ALM flights ticketed to foreign-based travelers, but that's about all I've been able to confirm.

Jake

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Richter - NetTech on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 4:11 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Just a quick note: Divi-Divi Air, the folks who operate the Curacao/Bonaire Cessna charter (phone +599-9-888-1050) will have their plane out for routine maintenance from Thursday, Nov. 1st through Saturday, Nov. 3rd, so that limits the interisland connection options next week a little.

Jake

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kelly on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 4:34 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Now if they get Chogogo into reliable service.. I wonder where they will dock in Curacao/Bonaire, will the resorts van pickup, will cabs be available, rental cars, etc. etc. etc. Until DCE settles in I would sure like to have that as a back up. One nice feature is they will take all the baggage you can carry, obviously they have not encountered my brother ;-)

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Richter - NetTech on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 4:37 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Kelly,

I've sent the ferry people a note asking for an update and any details they can share. As soon as (and if) I get a response I will post it.

Jake

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By DIVER DEBBI on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 10:32 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for al the info on DCE..I think we will just hang tight for alittle while,,mid Nov anyway..all the airlines are in such flux we will all have to remain patient..as I said before..JUST WANNA GO DIVING !!!! hey..found another use for my Spare Air..incase of biothreat, might use to extend my airtime untill out of danger ! good grief !

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kelly on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 11:23 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Jake, it won't hurt to have that alternative. I did notice they were planning to sail twice a day from Curacao and Bonaire. With the right price, reliable schedule and a central mooring this could be a good deal for all.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Clay Lansdown on Thursday, October 25, 2001 - 9:43 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Jake - Regarding the ferry....
If they do get up and running, one thing that would help their business would be for them to take delayed baggage from AA and others to Bonaire for a small or no charge.
As it stands, if you have a ticket on say AA to Curacao and your baggage doesn't make it and you take the ferry to Bonaire, I think AA's responsibility is only to get your baggage to Curacao. That would make for a real problem unless the ferry agrees to pick up the slack as a customer service.
Since the ferry isn't even running yet, this is pretty much academic I guess.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glen Reem on Thursday, October 25, 2001 - 4:34 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

And then, of course, there is the small matter of the transfer between the airport and the ferry on Curacao. And the meshing of airline and ferry schedules. I don't expect the ferry is planned as an alternative for international travel connections. It will be interesting.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By lee metzger on Thursday, October 25, 2001 - 10:44 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

I am traveling with a group of 7 to Bonaire on November 17. We are booked on ALM from Miami. We made the reservations several months ago. After reading some of the posts on this board I am concerned about my reservations. Is ALM still flying?

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Richter - NetTech on Thursday, October 25, 2001 - 10:53 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

ALM is no longer flying, but their planes are, under the name Dutch Caribbean Express, which, for the moment, is honoring most ALM tickets (MIA-CUR in particular), but there appear to be some problems with the Curacao - Bonaire routes. Also, if your tickets are validated by ALM you may encounter problems on your connections. See above. As more news develops on the whole ALM matter, it'll get posted here.

For everyone - today's Extra newspaper indicated that the judge in the matters of ALM suing KLM for breach of contract, and KLM's demand for payment on a loan to ALM ruled in KLM's favor on both counts.

Jake

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James Redford on Friday, October 26, 2001 - 1:24 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Jake i am confused. Looking at Curacao Airport live flight arrivals/departures www.curacao-online.net/curinta it appears there are still ALM and DCE flights operating, with DCE to Bonaire/Aruba and ALM to the rest of their destinations. The DCE website only mentions flights to Aruba/Bonaire/St Maarten/Amsterdam? I have also heard comment about Dutch Caribbean Airlines? Are they going to operate the rest of ALMs network?
Is it true that KLM are to operate their daily Amsterdam-Curacao-Equador service via Bonaire instead next year?
James

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Antonio Ferrer on Friday, October 26, 2001 - 2:05 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

The Amsterdam-Quito flight will not help a lot. I am under the impression that it is practically full all the time with passengers to Equador. In fact, travelling to Quito this summer (2001), I could not get in, and in the flight I took (Iberia) there were passengers from Amsterdam

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Linda Richter - NetTech on Friday, October 26, 2001 - 2:13 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

The advantage for Bonaire on the Equador flight is the extra jobs to handle the refueling, transit the passengers, and all the rest of the ground handling. The airport buildings are being expanded as well as the runway extended. All of which makes Bonaire a more desireable airport for the larger aircraft. The hope of course is to pickup more direct flights into Bonaire.

The DCE/ALM situation is confusing and we don't know what's up.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Richter - NetTech on Friday, October 26, 2001 - 2:59 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Here's more on the ALM etc. situation from today's The Daily Herald (http://www.TheDailyHerald.com):

--------------------
ALM Loses Court Case Against KLM

WILLEMSTAD ALM has lost its court case intended to force KLM to lift a 3.5 million dollar attachment on the Antillean airline's revenues at the International Air Travel Association (IATA).

Judge Bob Wit ruled that the action by the Royal Dutch airline was justified in an effort to safeguard the financing it had provided for ALM's catering building.

While ALM had made its monthly payments, the loan contract stipulates that KLM can demand full payment at any time, which it did on May 16. Since there was every indication ALM was on its way to bankruptcy after both the Island and Federal Receiver placed liens, the judge considered it understandable.

As a result of the action taken by KLM, the IATA
has now thrown Air ALM out of its clearing house, because the airline cannot meet financial obligations to members. Airlines settle debts among each other through IATA.

One of the consequences is that "interline agreements" with other airlines are no longer valid. This means that, for example, someone visiting New York, who bought an ALM ticket to Miami and then on to New York with American Airlines based on the interline agreement, will now have to pay the return leg to Miami with American Airlines again, as the U.S. airline no
longer recognizes the ticket issued by ALM.

ALM will compensate travellers in such cases, but they will have to pay the ticket first.
--------------------

Of course, the latter presumes that ALM will have money available for such compensation, and that's becoming increasingly unlikely with all the attachments and liens going on.

And yes, the ALM/DCE situation is confusing - to the point that ALM & DCE don't even exactly know what they are doing.

Jake

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Richter - NetTech on Friday, October 26, 2001 - 6:31 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

James and others,

The ALM/DCE situation is getting worse. I've just confirmed with two independent parties here on Bonaire that DCE has stated it is no longer honoring ALM tickets either, no matter who issued them (except possibly United Airlines), joining the rest of airline world in this move.

And, keeping in mind that ALM itself isn't flying anymore (DCE is flying all of ALM's routes, more or less, and has been as of October 15th), that makes for an even more messy situation. I understand at this point, the only ALM-related tickets being honored may be ones issued by United Airlines, and even that's up in the air.

DCE is now asking anyone flying on ALM tickets (or ALM routes where the money for the route went to ALM already) to pay again. And, rebooking with DCE is no guarantee of being able to fly either - they don't have their own ARC code, and no relationships with anyone other than United right now. Plus, when ALM goes down, DCE will likely get pulled along.

So, if you are in any way booked on ALM, either directly or via another carrier's connection to ALM, I would suggest protesting the charges for those tickets with your tour operator first, credit card company second if the tour op can't help you for those tickets, and getting new ones on different airlines (AA through San Juan or Aruba, Air Jamaica through Montego Bay - can also connect other airlines to all these hubs - lots of safer options).

I know, it's a tired litany from me on this thread, except now I'm offering no exceptions - do it no matter what type of ALM connection you have.

For those who need written proof for their credit card companies that their tickets will no longer be honored, I'm trying to get a copy of some documents that will support this (the documents exist, but are not in wide circulation), although I suspect that your travel agent or tour operator would be able to confirm this detail as well. Heck, print out this thread and include it with the protest letter!

If anyone else gets any updates, please post them here!

Jake

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Sarah on Friday, October 26, 2001 - 7:28 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Oh dear, we too have ALM tickets for BON to CUR Dec 20th!! I wonder whether the ferry will be operating by then???? S.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Sarah on Friday, October 26, 2001 - 7:32 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

We're also flying ALM from CUR to Miami.. gosh, got to go and re-schedule the whole darn thing! S

 


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