Consumer Complaints and Reviews
On our flight from Curacao to Kingston December 29, 2016, we had to endure a 19(!!!) hours delay. The flight was supposed to leave Curacao at 9h45 AM and was originally rescheduled to 10 AM. No big deal. However, nothing happened. No information given by/available to the gate personnel. According to Insel's website, the flight would be delayed to noon, then to 9 PM and then back again to 6 PM. On my request that we would leave the airport for Willemstad for those hours to at least enjoy another day there, I would only get one taxi drive reimbursed, not back and forth. In the mean time, the whole flight disappeared from the airport's departure list... Then it came back again on... 11h05 PM!! Even that was not delayed enough, in the end the airplane was ready for boarding at 1 AM.
Instead of a Fokker 70 (jet engine) it was a Fokker 50 (propeller), making the journey by 1 hour longer... that is, if it would fly. It didn't, some mechanical problem forced us to leave the plane again. Then they had us standing on the the airfield in front of the plane for 40 minutes or so, before directing us into the airport building again!! Finally, we boarded another Fokker 50, and finally left Curacao close to 3 AM. We arrived at Kingston some two hours and a bit later, where passengers for the return flight (scheduled around 11.15 AM local time) were still waiting for this plane!!
During our extended waiting time, we were only offered some lousy vouchers of 15 Antillian Guilders (some 8 $) twice for a drink and/or a meal. The week after (Jan 5, 2017), we had to fly back with Insel Air, from Kingston back to Curacao. Wiser, we checked the website of the airport and of Insel Air while still being in our hotel in Kingston. Again, instead of the scheduled time 11h15 AM, a "new departure time" was announced as 9 PM!! I called Insel Air and told them I was not going to wait for hours on an airport again. Even though they urged me to come to the airport and wait there for new information, we stayed in Kingston and had an extra holiday. I felt secure because the airplane that we had to take was first to come from Curacao. Thus, by calling Curacao Hato airport now and then to hear if it had left, we could safely stay in town.
At about 4h30 pm we were at the airport, where we joined the other passengers who were waiting there since about 9 AM... The Insel Air locals there were friendly and apologizing and did everything they could to keep us informed, but they knew not much themselves. Finally, they could announce that the airplane coming for us had left Curacao at around 6h30 PM Jamaican time. We were finally airborne at around 9 PM, so another close to 10 hours delay. However, we did not suffer too much this time. Many others, however, did.
The next day we had a flight back from Curacao to Amsterdam (by KLM, everything nicely on time). The airport departure list was again full of Insel Air flights with scheduled and "new" departure times, with many, many hours delay. I think, honestly, that not a single Insel Air flight was on time that day, and delays again went up to 12 hours or more. Anyway, we won't suffer anymore from Insel Air delays, since we will absolutely never use this airline again. Stay away from it if you possibly can!!! Unfortunately, although Curacao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the EU regulations for compensation for air passengers do not apply. Otherwise, we would have gotten two times 600 Euro compensation due to these excessive delays. I wonder, though, if there is any way to make the company pay for our damage (in terms of lost vacation days, as well as extra costs)?
It is truly unacceptable that an airline is late on a consistent basis unless there are more serious underlying problems. Currently the flight from Curacao to Miami is delayed 13 hours. Their price usually beats American Airlines, but is it worth it? Consumers beware!
I had flown with Insel previously on more than one occasion, but not in the past two years. Let me start with a positive. The cabin crew on all flights were very nice and friendly. Also, they did a really good job of boarding wheelchair bound passengers. Enough of that. I gave them one star for a rating because there is no option for zero stars. In the months before my departure from Miami I received multiple email with schedule updates, none of which were major in any way. Then a day or two before departure there was a published flight delay of one hour. This turned into 2.5+ hours in reality. No announcement at the gate. No reason given until we boarded and the captain announced that the crew was stuck in US Customs. Looked like good service as long as you were one of "the family". It was evident that many of the travelers were related to the crew by the way they were greeted and treated.
Stopover in Curacao with another delay. Again, no announcement, just a time change published on the screens showing departures. When I asked why there was a delay the gate agents did not know (or seem to care for anything other than texting). Then, when the revised departure time passed without boarding, the screen at the departure gate change to show a different flight. More than a few passengers came out of their seats at the same time. On the return to Miami the flight was delayed because the aircraft was late departing from another airport. This was posted 30 minutes before the scheduled departure from Curacao and again no announcement made. I had to scramble to re-book my connecting flight out of Miami (a different airline). Another 2.5 hour delay.
Then there is the disgraceful baggage handling service in Miami. I know that Insel does not have their own ground staff. I timed a 63 minute wait at the carousel after clearing US Customs before the first piece of luggage from the flight was delivered. I had to wait another 40 minutes until both of my articles arrived. I booked comfort class because I had two bags and the marginal cost above the charge for the second bag was minimal. At least the seats were more comfortable. Again, the empty seats were partially filled with friends of the cabin crew. As for anything resembling priority boarding or baggage handling - forget it. A person who appeared to be a supervisor tried to set a tone of organization for boarding, but the gate staff just started letting anyone on. Resembled an experience I had in Indonesia.
Also, the "meal" served between Curacao and Miami in comfort class was a ham and cheese sandwich. One half had Cheese Whiz, the other half had a slice of ham. I read an article about financial problems and lack of aircraft maintenance at Insel. The flights I took were mostly full. I would consider them only for inter island flights from Curacao to Bonaire, as long as spare time is available.
P.S.: The Curacao airport leaves a lot to be desired. Went through the transit screening on the way from and to Miami. First time there was nobody visible at the screening station, so I walked through. It set off the scanner and woke the woman sleeping behind the X-ray machine. Second time through there was someone there but they had to search for their partner while about thirty of us waited in line. No concept of schedule or understanding.
Delays upon delays and subpar to no customer service. Flew 3 times with Insel airline and this will be my last. I thank them for getting me to my previous destinations safely. My accolades end there. Where do I begin. Excessive and constant flight delays and terrible customer service and an unorganized and lackadaisical workforce in Georgetown Guyana. As per policy regarding delays, hogwash!! No one was informed of delays nor were they presented with alternative flight arrangements. Forget speaking to airport staff or customer service, you'll sooner be penalized and offered no additional support and left to wallow in your misery. By the way the staff is amused by any customers' remonstrations. Insel needs to conduct more serious business/consumer relations training for ground crew. Unfortunately I will never realize the benefits of such training. WARNING!!! Never ever fly Insel.
I booked a flight from Cuba to Bonaire. One hour and a half delay on the way from Cuba to Curacao and another hour delay from Curacao to Bonaire. No information or explanation was given. Considering that we had to go to the airport in L'Havana more than two hours before departure (no online check-in was available!!!), the trip between two Caribbean islands took almost a day! No words. In addition to that personnel is not helpful at all and really unpolite. They simply do not care at all. Never again.
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My experience was pretty bad. I won a ticket in a flight Aruba to Valencia. In the plane, the personnel said to me about the conditions. I try to communicate with the main offices in Venezuela but was impossible. Then when the ticket expired, Insel airlines email me "You don't have miles available to use". The web page was unavailable to purchase a trip using the won miles. I hope never fly again with them.
Probably one of the worst airlines out there. The flight was delayed over 2 hours! Because of them I missed my connection and they refused to reimburse me for my updated flight. Never again!!! Don't use them.
My experience with this company is far from good. A month after I booked a flight with them I get an email with flight details showing my departure date was moved a day. This was without any explanation. I originally booked a direct flight from Aruba to Paramaribo with departure on Friday evening. They moved the flight to Saturday morning. When I was at the airport, the direct flight was not direct anymore. And when it was my turn to check in, they told me I could not go, because the connected flight was full. My next flight was Sunday evening. Making me have a total delay of two days. I lost the weekend I wanted to spend with my family. They all had to work again on Monday.
On the way back to Aruba I had a transfer at Curacao of almost three hours. I saw there was an earlier flight going to Aruba within an hour of me arriving. I asked if I could be on it, explaining my delay the week before. Only if I paid about $60 I could. I sent a complaint to Insel Air about all this. The only thing they could "offer" was a voucher with a 25% discount on a one-way base fare Aruba-Paramaribo to be used within 6 months. How is this compensating a two-day delay? Why would I want to spend more money on a unreliable air company. I recommend anyone to fly with another company if they can. Never Insel Air for me again.
I had a similar experience like another consumer. I bought the ticket for certain date. And then, a couple of weeks before the departure date they changed it via e-mail. Not only, they changed it a day before but the connection to my final destination is to stay overnight in Curacao without any accommodations paid by the airline. I called to complain and demand a change back of date, or help with the hotel accommodation/food or give me a refund. They said, that it was not their fault and that their politics is to let you know ahead of time so you can make your own arrangements! Unbelievable! The only thing they were able to give me was a credit on my next flight!
Are you serious? Do they really think that I want to fly with them again? The Customer Service Rep said that in their politics, all tickets are non refundable, and dates are subject to change with previous notification. I guess I can never make a future flight if they don't guarantee flight dates. I mean, how can they be taken serious if they can't commit their side of the contract? This is by far the worst customer service, the worst airlines and the most expensive one as well.
I am looking for assistance with what I deem as illegal practices by Insel Air. My husband and I bought airfare from Curacao to Kingston Jamaica (for our anniversary) 8 months in advance. We paid for the fare April 5, 2015 and purchased it for $428.60. On Dec 17 when we got to the airport we were told that the flight had left at 9:00 AM even though our itinerary stated 3:35 PM. In addition, Insel does not provide online check in or pre-flight notifications.
We spoke to a supervisor Elvis who told us that one email was sent to us in April advising us of the flight time change. We showed Elvis our email log which confirmed only marketing ads from Insel were ever received, and that no email re a change of flight time was received. We were also told phone calls were not made either. Elvis however stated that our fare would be refunded if we called customer relations at 0059997370444 as we did not take the flight. To date, Insel Air has not refunded this fare, has refused to and going through our credit card company has been fruitless as they have stated it is over the 120 days.
I purchased tickets to Bonaire 5 months in advance. Several days before my trip I was informed that my flight had been canceled but they could fly me a day early. When I was unable to accept the change I asked for a refund. Their response is my ticket is non-refundable. I'm not done with them in that regard but will not book any trips with them in the future.
We booked nonstop from Aruba to Bonaire and back. They changed the flights to stop in Curacao both ways. We actually left on time and on arrival in Bonaire they said they did not bring the luggage. It was kept for weight. Anyway they said they would deliver it in the morning or we could come back and pick it up. We said deliver not realizing it would take 8 phone calls and 8 hours to finally get it. One man we saw said it took him two days to get his. 5 employees at the check in counter but only one working. The locals say bad service is the norm for Insel Air. Their planes stink and they do not care about customers at all. They tell you what is most convenient for them. We saw other passengers treated poorly. I will do whatever it takes no matter the cost to avoid these guys.
I had to give one star cause it's required. They don't even deserve one. I had a flight for Friday at 3:30. At 4:00 they said that the pilot was not at the airport yet. Then at 6:00 they said that they had technical difficulties. That they were trying to fix that. At 9 pm they said that in an hour we were gonna leave in another airplane. After 2 hours they said that the flight was canceled that they were gonna give us our suitcases. Then they made us wait 2 more hours to get our suitcases. I got my things at 2 in the morning. They said we were going to Cuba at 8:00 am Saturday morning. It's 10 am and I am still in Miami so I'm very disappointed. Worst service ever. I don't know they are still on business.
Book flight to Curacao with Insel air. The worst experience ever. Leaving Aruba, they were boosting airplane. We were seating 40 minutes in airplane without air condition. Flight was delayed from Aruba for 3 hours and on the way back from Curacao for 2 hours. Unreal. Never again.
I was scheduled to fly out of Caracas for Miami with a layover in Aruba with Insel Air. The flight out of Caracas was to leave at 7 am but it did not take off until 8:30 am. We had NO NOTICE or announcement of a delay not to mention no explanation. Once in Aruba, my flight to Miami was to leave at 11:30 and by the time we arrived at 10:30 am, it was delayed by half an hour. At noon, they announced that the flight would not leave until 2:30 pm and started handing out sandwiches to the passengers.
I ended up missing a connecting flight out of Miami. When discussing this with their staff, the person said that when flying with different airlines, you are supposed to leave a THREE HOUR WINDOW between arrival and next departure. Even a three hour window wouldn't allow me to make this. American Airlines luckily enough allowed me to get on a later flight and still make it home despite Insel's inability to depart on time. American made a client for life that day.
Having to buy a ticket for my sister, out of three good options I pick Insel because one of the other options arrived on a week day which is impossible for me to travel 5 hours to pick her up and the other option included a waiting time of 13 hours in another country, so I pick Insel with $100 over my two other options. The day of the trip my sister gets to the airport to find out the flight was "canceled" because a defect on the plane, but at the same time I see in a app that the flight left on time and arrives to the destination on time, but not only that I went to the airport and saw the same plane number, same departure arriving on time. When I ask for the "broken flight" to the airline personnel they didn't know anything about it and showed me both planes were on time. I had to make 18 calls to customer service to be able to speak with them. When I did three different people gave me three different versions.
At the end here I am drive 5 hours back to my home without my sister, not knowing what to do tomorrow when she gets to an airport 5 hours away from where I leave and nobody to give an answer or solution. I pay hotel Saturday to Sunday to be able to wait for her and also gas expenses but I have a very important responsibility at 7 am Monday to Friday here where I live. I just ask them to put my sister in a plane to where I live, and they said they can not do that. The last person's name I spoke with is ** and his extension **.
My wife, myself and 3 friends were on Insel air for a trip to Bonaire. Flight 914 to Curacao and connection to Flight 353 to Bonaire. Here is what happened. Flight was 2 hours late leaving and we would not make our connection in Curacao for Bonaire. I talked to the flight attendant and she told me to talk to the gate agent when we arrived. On arrival I spoke to the gate agent and she told us the flight to Bonaire had left and we had no other flights we could take. The flight attendant had told me flight to Bonaire left every hour to Bonaire until 11:00 PM. It was now around 9:30PM and we are now being told no flights and no offer of any assistance. We insisted to talk to a manager and learned from him they had held the flight and we did make it to Bonaire with a lot of stress.
Now we are ready to return on Saturday June 6th on a 7:45 AM flight back through Curacao. Flight 302 with a connection to flight 913 to Charlotte. Because of the other problems I decided to go to the airport on Friday and find out what time we needed to be at the airport to make our flight. The gate agent tells me we have to be at the airport at 5:00AM to be through security by 6:00AM because they would close security at this time.
We were up at 3:00AM and at the airport by 5:00AM only find it closed and did not open until 6:00AM. At 6:00AM the same gate agent that gave me the 5:00AM instruction told us the flight had been moved to 8:45. It would have been nice to know this ahead of time. She tells me 5:00 AM and she did not arrive to work until 6:am. We made to Curacao with time to make our connection for the 10:00AM flight. We boarded the flight and then we were told the plane needed a repair that would take an hour so we debarked the plane and waited 2hours.
I was home with the Charlotte flight but others in our party missed connecting flights out of Charlotte and had to deal with this. I was warned about this from other review and should have taken the advice. The Insel Air flight from Charlotte make Bonaire an attractive destination. I have been going to Grand Cayman for years with no problem at about the same price. If you are thinking about Bonaire take a second look at Grand Cayman.
Last minute sells a ticket between panama- curacao- bonaire. Panama- curacao with copa air, curacao- bonaire with Insel air. In panama they do not deliver boarding pass from curacao to bonaire. In curacao you lose the connection from curacao to bonaire. Result: 60 dollars, delay of 4 hours and 5 dollars for curacao transit. Insel air: license to steal???? BAD...
My first experience with Insel Air took place in December 2014 flying from Aruba to Curacao. After landing in Aruba from the U.S., my wife and I picked up our checked bag (which took 45 minutes to arrive on the luggage carousel). We then approached the Insel Air ticket counter to obtain our boarding passes for the next flight. The representative advised us that our flight was scheduled to depart in 58 minutes and he would help us check in. Given this is a very small airport, this seemed like more than enough time to make it to our gate. The representative proceeded to print our boarding passes. This is when things went downhill.
His supervisor was standing next to him on the phone, and signaled for him to stop. The supervisor then motioned to rip up our boarding passes so we could not have them. The representative told us his supervisor wouldn’t allow us to get on our flight, even though we were there and the boarding passes were already printed. They said the ticket counter is supposed to close 1 hour before the flight (company policy) and we should have arrived sooner. This was never posted anywhere we saw, but is apparently a known frustration for those who have traveled Insel Air previously. We tried to speak with the supervisor but he would not put down the phone, and we were told to go to their office. We had even opted to pay the additional fee for their priority boarding seats, and this didn’t seem to matter.
After arriving, there were 6 people ahead of us who all had the same situation. The representative told us that we would be placed on standby and called when a seat was available. No documentation was provided to confirm this as Insel Air does not maintain a written or electronic standby list. When prodded further, they said they just remember who was there first. When asked even further about flight availability that day, we were told that all flights were completely sold out, but we could just Wait and see as it was Not their fault. We waited another 4 hours that day, and saw 3 flights leave which we did not get on. Even more frustrating was the fact that our original flight departure was delayed and left 45 minutes late.
My skepticism over their standby list were later confirmed as we were initially told we were 6th and 7th on standby, but 9 people made it on flights that day before us. At 10 pm, there were no further flights. We were forced to book a hotel for the night (at our own cost) and come back tomorrow. The representatives acted extremely vague when asked about flight availability the next day, and after expressing much frustration they finally said we could pay a $50 fee to get confirmed seats tomorrow. Given our experience thus far, we opted for the confirmed ticket and paid even more money.
Be cautious with Insel Air as they do not operate under the same mentality as most reputable airlines, who strive for customer satisfaction. If anything goes wrong and they can blame it on you, they will. Unfortunately, alternative airline options between Aruba and Curacao were limited, so if you fly Insel Air, arrive at the check in counter 2 hours before your flight and be prepared to experience delays.
I am so disappointed with the service received from this airline lately. Especially the last trip. The luggage was delayed a day after arriving at my final destination and the airline would not send the suitcases to my home, instead I had to make another trip to the airport. On my way, back the service was much worse. Both of the suitcases were sent to a different city than my final destination and on top of that, when I contacted the customer service manager had a attitude with me like it was my error. I had to make a trip to a different city to pick up my luggage and when I received the suitcases, there were damage and the airline would not make themselves responsible for it. I do not think I will be flying with them anymore.
I will from now on be advising everyone on social media and online to avoid your airline at all cost . You stranded me in a foreign country (Curacao) because my original flight (from Bonaire) with you guys was delayed and offered me no compensation or solution!! No hotel and didn't even offer to help get me on a new flight. Not even compassion from your RUDE employees. I was told it was "not your problem", since when is making people miss their connecting flights not your fault?!? I will be contacting my lawyer and pressing charges as soon as I get home to the United States. There are DOT regulations and you need to abide by them like everyone else!!! Do not fly with Insel Air! Illegal practices!!
On 24 April 2012, our flight from Bonaire to Miami 7i 903 got cancelled. Then, out of Curacao was a nine-hour delay. I was given a 50% discount coupon, but to use it effectively, I would have had to go to Curacao. I live in Jacksonville, FL. I got varying stories by phone and in person in Miami. Insel did not answer my email, even though their automated email system logged it in.
Insel Air has only gotten worse. The schedules are meaningless. You are best to add an extra day stay over in any direction flying with Insel. You will be lucky to have a 2 to 3-hour delay. As for your luggage, it will arrive after you. On a 2-week trip to Bonaire, the trip to Bonaire via Insel Air was a disaster. The return trip home was another disaster with numerous delays. With these memories, it negates the vacation to Bonaire.
To those who intend to travel with Insel Air, here is the reality. This company doesn't care with their customers! I and my wife was traveling this January by Curacao and Aruba. We planned this trip for two years, and at the end of this trip, we would visit Caracas. When we were in Aruba, taking a flight back to Curacao and then a connection to Caracas, the Insel Air flight delayed a lot. It was remarked to 20:30. The original time was 18:30. We had a connection by Dutch Airlines to Caracas at 20:00. With this delay, more than two hours, we would loose our connection in Curacao because of Insel Air's delay.
When we were making the check in, we informed the attendant about our predicament, asking for a solution--if we could get to a new flight in Curacao to Caracas or a one day stay in Curacao. They told us that the responsibility of Insel Air is to deliver people and that the company is not responsible for delays. If you delay one hour or ten hours, it is the same. And if the customer has another connections and financial losses, you don't care.
After this, we did the check in and we went to talk with Insel Air's manager in Aruba's airport. She was extremely impolite. She said that nothing could be done. She didn't give us any option. She said that the responsibility of their company is about the flight, delays are normal and she couldn't do anything about it.
When we arrived to Curacao, I went to Dutch Airlines to see if there would be another flight that night to Caracas. The attendant said that they didn't have one. He came with me to Insel Air office and we discovered that Insel Air company had a flight to Caracas at 22:00. We had to buy another ticket. It was the worst experience ever.
In Aruba, your local manager never informed us that there would be a flight of Insel Air at 22:00 to Caracas. We travel around the world and we were never treated with lack of respect and consideration. This situation happened with other companies in other countries, and the treatment was very different.
I checked my luggage in at the counter and the agent put a tie wrap on pulls. When I arrived in Bonaire and went to open my luggage, I found the tie wrap not there. When I opened the bag, my point and shoot camera that was tucked inside and in the middle of clothes was nowhere. The camera bag fell out and it had been ripped apart with no camera inside. They also took the battery charger that was attached to the plug in cord. I would suspect that the guys who did the x-ray on the bags must have seen the camera and decided to steal the camera. The airline won't cover the loss. They should monitor the people who handle your luggage. It's just a license to steal whatever they want, it must be a pretty lucrative job for those handling baggage at Miami International.
I was inquiring information about luggage since my mother had to fly with InselAir on Dec-08-2009 from Miami-FL to Valencia-Venezuela (Miami International Airport). When I called 1-877-546-7352 to get information (press 3 after the number for luggage), there was a message saying that all passengers are allowed 1 carry on (10 kilos-22lbs) and 2 pieces of luggage of 88 lbs each. If there is any overweight, the rate is $50 for up to 10 k or 22 lbs (this is what the number tells you). We packed and sent some other articles with a cargo company based on that information and when I got to the counter the rates were totally different: passengers are allowed to 1 piece of 10 kilos or 22 lbs and 2 pieces of 20 kilos or 44 lbs each, which makes a difference of 88 pounds, in my case 100$ (to start) for being over the weight limit.
Mr. **, their representative in Miami (called himself the Manager) was very unwilling to talk it out and help with the problem. The message on their answering machine has been recorded and the transaction receipt kept as proof of deceptive advertising or information.
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