For those of you who don’t like long trip reports, now might be the time for you to move on….
We were scheduled to depart Boston to New York and on to Aruba on March 15 at 6am. On March 14, about 2pm, I received a robo call from Orbitz telling us that our flight to NY had been cancelled. I tried to call Orbitz and was on hold for about 20 minutes. I hung up and called Delta and got a very nice lady who confirmed our flight had been cancelled –she did not know why. She said we could fly out on the same flight on Tuesday morning. Not an option. I wasn’t losing a day in Paradise. She had two seats left on a 5:45 am out of TF Green in RI. I’ll take it. She then put us on a connecting flight in Atlanta – perfect. She sent me the confirmation and there were no seat assignments for the first flight – hmmmm – ok, well we’re on a plane. We arrive in RI at 4am in the pouring rain and find out that we do not have a seat – the plane is oversold – huh??? After a ½ hour of panic, we do get on the plane and get seats – not together, but close enough. On to Atlanta. We board the plane in Atlanta and they start announcing the plane is oversold and would anyone want to get off – ummm, no one wants to get off a plane going to Aruba – are you kidding me. So at the front of the plane stands a family of four with 3 seats on the plane. After ½ hour of negotiations, Dad stays behind and Mom and two kids board the plane crying because Dad has been left behind until tomorrow morning – why do the airlines do this!!! Anyway, off we go and actually get into Aruba on time – nice flying captain. We get off the plane, breeze thru immigration and baggage and find out Bully could not meet our plane as we were now a hour later than our original flight, but he sent Ivan – a godsend of a man!!! He took out bags and into his taxi in about 2 seconds and off to the Divi – plane arrived at 2pm and by 2:45 pm, we were at the bar having our first drink – yippee!!! Thus began our week in paradise!
After that, it was eat, drink, nap, eat, drink, nap, repeat, repeat – except for a few different events. St. Patrick’s Day at the Bunker Bar – interesting to see. Lots of green people, hair, faces, outfits, etc. Meet lots of nice people from Boston and New York. Fun group. Thursday snorkeling with the Jolly Pirates – again a blast! Highly recommend this for young and old alike! Yes, did the rope swing again – not pretty, but better than last time. We had our only rain of the week while on the pirate ship. 10 minute downpour. One of the pirates was complaining it was cold while it was raining – are you kidding me? We left 35 degree rain in Boston – ha! Lots of fish, lots of boats this time. We had an audience watching us swing, which I wasn’t too happy with, but they cheered each and everyone of us, not just the pirates!!
Wind picked up on Friday – very windy Saturday and Sunday with pretty good size waves. Had hoped to try parasailing but not in that wind! Maybe next time. Left the Divi only a few times…to hit the Casino and won a little, to go to the flea market (not worth the walk, but not much of a shopper-person) and to go to the high rise area to hit those casinos one night which was fun. We hit 3-4 casinos and made a deposit to the economy at each one but had a chance to check out some of the other hotels.
Sadly, it all came to an end on Monday the 22. Sad goodbye to all our friends at the Divi and headed to the airport – to long, long lines! – at least for a Monday. A lot of people nervous they were going to miss their flight. We let a few people cut in front of us in line so they could make it – hopefully they did. We got to the airport at 1pm for a 3pm flight and just made it. One person working both the customs areas until people started to complain and they sent another one!! Flights back to RI uneventful – thankfully. Landed to rain and cold – ugggg. Snowing today – again, ugggg… New screen saver on my computer – Divi at sunset!! All in all, another wonderful trip to Aruba – already started planning next year’s trip!
I also agree that they should not oversell flights to Aruba???!!! Who would voluntarily give up their seat to go the next day and miss out on their vacation? Are these people who are running the airlines out of their minds?? People have either paid for a hotel room or have a timeshare and cannot always extend the trip on the other end. Leaving the next morning really means you loose almost another full day. What are they going to give you for compensation? Usually a voucher for travel within the continental USA, doesn't help you get back to Aruba??
glad it all worked out, with your flight. Yea really who would give up there seat to go to aruba... really are they going to make it worth your wild... mmmmmm would be a big fat NO. and its not like a domestic flight were you might be able to catch another flight later in the day. Inless there were able to route you threw another city, getting you there the same day!
Thanks for taking the time to write a trip report. I am happy to hear that you arrived safely and have a great time.
Overbooking is unfortunate. In a time where the airlines are not profitable, or just barely, to us it seems unconscionable that overbooking occurs. Unfortunately the reality is people do cancel flights at the last minute for any number of reasons and the airlines just do not want to take a chance at flying a plane with any empty seats if they absolutely do not have to.
My grandmother cancelled an Aruba flight last minute at Christmas due to a broken pelvis. If the airline did not sell her seat it cost the airline ...last minute ticket to Aruba with less than 7 day advance purchase at Christmas figure about $1800-$2000 . Small change for what to us seems like a big greedy airline, but they are answering to the stockholders and are in business to make a profit.
If you search the internet you will find stories of business travelers booking 2 and 3 tickets for travel the same day but on different flights. They buy full fare refundable tickets so whichever flights they do not show up for, they just get the refund. Although probably not applicable for travel to Aruba, the airlines are looking at the "big picture".
Luckily not in Aruba travel, but domestically I have had cancelled flights, been re-routed to airports not remotely close to where I wanted to go and been "bumped". Like paying surcharges for the privledge of taking along luggage, it is just another inconvenience of travel. Jmho.
Overbooking does stink, i know from many years working the hotel business that it is a reality in the this industry as well. People cancel at the last minute and no show on reservations every day. It was standard practice at the hotel i worked at to oversell by 3 to 5 rooms - 99% of the time it worked out, but it was no fun being the manager on duty when it did not - there were times I had to deal with some very unhappy (and rightfully so) travelers. It was just as bad trying to explain to corporate headquarters why you had empty rooms during peak season. Sometimes a no win situation for the employees who are just trying to keep their job, and keep the customer happy.
It was all worth it in the end. I know what everyone is saying. I had a boss that use to book flights all the time and then never go on the trip. Use to drive me nuts!! I told my boyfriend that's why they overbooked, but he still couldn't understand in this computer age how they could do that!! No one would get off a flight to Aruba! Just not right. One good thing though. I had read that Delta was charge $23.00 for the first bag. We didn't get charged either way!!
As for restaurants, I know we're going to get comments about this, but we never left the Divi/Tam. We talked about it, but were too lazy to go anywhere. We promised ourselves next trip we would!! We'll be looking for some recommendations next spring!!
We ate at the Red Parrot at the Divi twice - our favorite, Ginger at the Tam twice - second fav. One time at Paparazzi. It was our second time trying that and still didn't like it. Ate at the buffet for breakfast and lunch and two dinners. I hate when I read about people complaining about the food at the Divi/Tam. I thought it was great....of course, if I don't have to cook it and clean up after it, I'm happy. But there wasn't a day that I wasn't totally happy with the quality and the variety! Found a new drink too - Brown Lady - yummy!!! All in all, a great week - can't wait to go back!!!
Ughh, hate the oversold thing. Always makes me nervous that they are going to say "sorry charlie" to me and there is nothing you can do about it.
I'm glad you had a good time. We stayed at the divi for our honeymoon 3 years ago and are trying the occidental this year. I am sure going to miss those pizzas at the tam!!!