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Thread: Sunday at the Airport

  1. #1
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    Sunday at the Airport

    Okay, so we left Aruba yesterday by a hair. We got to the airport at noon for a 3 o'clock flight. Zipped through in 20 minutes, no baggage check. Great. So we went to the bar. The flight we were waiting for was coming in at 1:30. Right at that time, while our plane was getting ready to land, a private plane made an emergency stop cause they had no landing gear. Of course Aruba only has one runway. They couldn't tow the plane, so we waited like 2 hours until they got a crane there. All the flights coming in were diverted to Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Curacao. We sat at the bar with tons and tons and tons of people. That was actually fun. Some people were already on the plane and had to get off. Once the airport reopened around 5 o'clock, I must admit they got the planes going but we had to wait and others had to wait for their plane to get in from the other islands. We finally left a little after six.

    we knew it was too good to be true that we zipped through the lines in 20 minutes on a Sunday. There were so many people furious with the airport. People that were there for the first time swearing never to come back to this third world country (their words, not mine). How could they have one runway they were screaming. Of course my husband said good, less people here, lol. Those who had been to Aruba before of course just ordered another drink, lol.

    Okay so that was my flight home. I will post my trip report and wedding report later because right now I need to unpack, clean, go food shopping and of course all the things you need to do when you get back. I'll tell you one thing though, after yesterday's disaster, next year instead of coming for two weeks, we're coming for three, lol, lol...........

  2. #2
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    yup

    not a good day at the airport yesterday

    but, good thing there were no fatalities or injuries!

    here are the photos from 24ora.com

    http://www.24ora.com/local-mainmenu-...bek-ta-andando


    Quote Originally Posted by gaby View Post
    Okay, so we left Aruba yesterday by a hair. We got to the airport at noon for a 3 o'clock flight. Zipped through in 20 minutes, no baggage check. Great. So we went to the bar. The flight we were waiting for was coming in at 1:30. Right at that time, while our plane was getting ready to land, a private plane made an emergency stop cause they had no landing gear. Of course Aruba only has one runway. They couldn't tow the plane, so we waited like 2 hours until they got a crane there. All the flights coming in were diverted to Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Curacao. We sat at the bar with tons and tons and tons of people. That was actually fun. Some people were already on the plane and had to get off. Once the airport reopened around 5 o'clock, I must admit they got the planes going but we had to wait and others had to wait for their plane to get in from the other islands. We finally left a little after six.

    we knew it was too good to be true that we zipped through the lines in 20 minutes on a Sunday. There were so many people furious with the airport. People that were there for the first time swearing never to come back to this third world country (their words, not mine). How could they have one runway they were screaming. Of course my husband said good, less people here, lol. Those who had been to Aruba before of course just ordered another drink, lol.

    Okay so that was my flight home. I will post my trip report and wedding report later because right now I need to unpack, clean, go food shopping and of course all the things you need to do when you get back. I'll tell you one thing though, after yesterday's disaster, next year instead of coming for two weeks, we're coming for three, lol, lol...........

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Glad you had a great trip and even gladder the plane landed safely. Accidents happen huh?

    I feel bad for the folks departing who were going to miss their connections, but even if they had 5 runaways like we have here in Atlanta, emergencies still happen and delays are just part of life. Sounds like you made the best of it!

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    no, to be honest, the agents at Jet Blue were phenomenal (we didn't fly them) but they got people either on other planes direct or helped them with their connections. the board at the airport that shows the flights never bothered to change the times or put delay so you had to constantly go to the gate to see what was happening. That part was poor management on the airport's part. but jet blue constantly made announcements for their flights keeping their customers informed what was going on. I wish we had Jet Blue here in Newark but JFK is too far to go to for us. United was useless as always. They are the worse airline on the planet, they really are. Their customer service is by far the worse. I laugh when I see their PR saying customer satisfaction is our number one priority. Obviously they need to look up the meaning of THAT phrase.

    But I have to give kudos to Jet blue. We met some fun people at the bar (isn't everyone fun at the bar, lol). But once the airport opened, they had those planes going out in record time. You looked out the window and it was plane after plane leaving, like two minutes apart. The airport cleared out in record time. Just those of us waiting for our plane to land took longer but if your plane was already there, you zipped out of there.

    And all these people got there four hours prior but didn't need that much time. There were at least 4 or 5 agents at us customs so that went really fast.
    All in all, it was an inconvenience. But I did ask the agent look, if they are going to cancel our flight, can you tell us because I would have called Lisa (wedding planner) at the Radisson and told her to book us a room for the night instead of waiting at the airport but she said no, no flights are being cancelled. The people who were landing were pissed though. Not a good way to start your vacation. When they got off the plane, those of us waiting clapped but they were having none of it. At least it happened going home, not arriving. To be that close, circling the airport and then being diverted, that's depressing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DiviDiviFan's Avatar
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    Can you imagine the lines at customs for people arriving all at once? I know they were not happy campers not being able to land but hopefully when they finally did they were able to smile and realize their vacations were now starting. I know, easier said than done I'm sure. I am glad the plane was able to land safely kudos to the pilot. Thanks for the cool pictures Andrea that must have been something to watch a crane picking up the plane! Can't wait to read your trip report Gaby and all about the wedding, welcome home!

  6. #6
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    yes indeed......i hope that the immigration officers had all of the stations opened in order to expedite the process........and then too, imagine the luggage room and then going thru aruba customs?!?! i hope that the flights comin in were staggered. then...........maybe long lines checking in to the hotels?

    at least, it is now monday and back to the norm. chillin on the beach i hope
    Quote Originally Posted by DiviDiviFan View Post
    Can you imagine the lines at customs for people arriving all at once? I know they were not happy campers not being able to land but hopefully when they finally did they were able to smile and realize their vacations were now starting. I know, easier said than done I'm sure. I am glad the plane was able to land safely kudos to the pilot. Thanks for the cool pictures Andrea that must have been something to watch a crane picking up the plane! Can't wait to read your trip report Gaby and all about the wedding, welcome home!

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    Senior Member WaltVB's Avatar
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    It disappoints me to hear that an aircraft emergency would make so many people so irate. The plane had an emergency and needed to land on an island in the middle of the caribbean, not JFK, where Newark, La Guardia, Teeterboro, etc are all within a short distance. What if their plane needed to make an emergency landing? Oh well, can't please everyone. Gaby, you did exactly what we would have done, sit at the bar and talk to everyone else in the same boat. As far as we are concerned every extra minute on the island is a plus, even at "One Happy Bar", besides all you're doing is going home. As for the arriving passengers, if the plane ran out of booze while they were circling around, then THAT is a problem, Aruba isn't going anywhere. Glad you made it home safe and sound, can't wait to hear about your trip and the wedding.

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    the only problem I had was actually not with the airport but with United. They never made announcements to keep you informed. If you wanted to know the status of your flight with them, you had to leave the bar (never a good thing, lol) and walk to the gate and find out. All the other airlines were making updates for their passengers. Jet Blue, Delta, etc.

    I don't know what the custom lines were like for people arriving but I they sure got the people waiting in the airport out of their quickly. If your plane was there, they started at gate one and boom, the plane took off. As soon as a detoured plane landed, they emptied it, filled it and got you out again. The truth of the matter is the delay was anywhere from 2 to 3 hours depending on your plane location status. What happened was they couldn't tow the plane because it had no landing gear. So they had to send out for a special crane to lift it off the runway. If they were able to tow it, it would have been much quicker. It took two hours for the crane to get there (don't know where they got it from==probably the Ritz construction==only kidding). Once the crane got there, it was like 20 minutes and the airport was going.

    It was kind of funny cause the airport was packed, the bars were packed. then they made an announcement the airport was open and like within half an hour the airport went from packed to half full, then just a few flights left. The turn around once the crane got there was rather quickly. One woman on my plane waiting by the gate once they announce boarding was so miserable. I swear, if they gave her a penthouse suite at the Ritz she would still complain (you know the type of person I'm talking about). This is her first time, never again she said. I said well we were just talking about coming for longer next year. she said I would never come back here. my husband was like good, less people on line, lol...

    as always, those who have been there before could have cared less. now believe me, if they closed the bars then THAT would have been a problem, lol..but you know, you start talking to people and meeting them. by the time people were going to their flights you're like bye, giving hugs & kisses to people, lol. But like I said my only complaint was United which I just filled out their survey and told them to take a lesson from Jet blue & Delta.

  9. #9
    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
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    I can understand folks being upset that they might miss their connections, but only upset....really, it could have been someone that they cared about on that landing plane...then it would have been a different story.
    As Gaby pointed out, those of us that frequent Aruba would just have ordered another drink. I agree, though, if you are so upset about Aruba only having one airport, then by all means do not come back.....we that come all the time don't mind at all !!!! More rum and sun for us !!!!!
    ARUBA....HOME AWAY FROM HOME

  10. #10
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    It just shows once again that despite all the planing and considering, there can always be the unexpected to throw everything off. I'm sure many can tell stories about this. Glad you were only a few hours late. I feel sorry for those who missed their connection flights and had to stay in a hotel, possibly even pay for it. Been there.

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