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Chalks Airlines Bamboozles Public

Florida/Bimini
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Chalks Airlines Bamboozles Public

Travelers beware of Chalks Airlines "service" to Bimini. Even before the fatal crash of a year-and-a-half ago, this airline was notorious for its poor service and lack of concern for customers. I am sad to report, based upon my recent travels, that this atrocious attitude continues. Please note that CHALKS SUBCONTRACTS ALL OF ITS FLIGHTS at this point to a variety of charter operators--so you have no opportunity to examine the history of these operators prior to boarding an aircraft. They have NO usable airplanes of their own. If you chance your travel via this so-called airline, be prepared for extensive delays including the Fort Lauderdale-based management which does not provide any responsive measures to customer complaints. I traveled on a flight on May 27th scheduled for a 9:00 a.m. departure (BIM-FLL) that I was told at the time of booking would be conducted on a 19-seat Raytheon Beechcraft 1900 aircraft. What I actually traveled on was a hastily arranged charter aboard an Island Express 9-seat Cessna 402. (Although the flight was cramped, it was very well executed). Please note that as my 9:00 a.m. flight was "delayed" until 10:30 a.m., two flights departed (Bimini Island Air and Continental Express) with available seats. My fellow passengers and I were then informed that the plan would not arrive for "at least" several more hours. I would have gladly arranged passage on either one of the other airlines had Chalks simply provided an HONEST answers as to when our plane would arrive.

This type of response is typical of Chalks over the past several years. Prior to the arrival of Continental Connection (Gulfstream Airlines), Chalks almost single-handedly wrecked the Bimini tourism industry with unheard of delays and cancellations. It was very common to have persons scheduling a FULL DAY to travel the 15-minutes flight from Bimini to Fort Lauderdale because one could never be certain of flight arrival and departure times.

DO YOUR SELF A FAVOR AND AVOID THIS "AIRLINE" AT ALL COSTS.

In my experience, Continental Connection (Gulfstream) provides twice daily reliable service aboard 19-seat Raytheon 1900 aircraft. Their service is reliable and affordable when booked in advance. They use the airline standard yield-management system which makes the last seats available at astronomical prices (over $500 for a 20-minute flight this past weekend).

I had relatives which flew on Bimini Island Air this weekend to rave reviews. Their operation flies out of Fort Lauderdale's Executive Airport for quick in-and-out and free parking. However, for those connecting passengers it is very much out of the way. Stick with Continental or Lynx.

Lynx Air has service only two days of the week (on Fridays and Sundays) but I have found them to be very reliable, friendly and most accommodating. They also offer "one price" regardless of date traveled and a unique "open return" option (without penalty) for your ticket if you're unsure of how long you wish to stay.

Try Lynx, BIA or Gulfstream. Avoid Chalks at all costs--unless you have lots of time to spare!

Miami, Florida
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1. Re: Chalks Airlines Bamboozles Public

Ok you must learn Island time, ALL Airlines especially those going to Bahamas have delays. I am fed up with Continental Connection and Gulfstream. Iwaited for 2 and a half hours for a Gulfstream/Continental Connection flight because they didnt have a plane at all. I only Fly Chalks now, everyone has their own experience, and in this case I think the readers should go with whomever is more convenient and better priced not by how reviews go. From what i hear chalks will be getting their own planes soon.

Lauderdale
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2. Re: Chalks Airlines Bamboozles Public

I had a simlar experience with Chalks, in early July. I was flying from Ft. Lauderdale to Marsh Harbor, on a mid day flight. We boarded in Ft. Lauderdale an hour or so late, then had to return to the terminal when the plane had a problem. They told us it would be 45 minutes. Two hours later, they said that another plane was coming in to pick us up. That never happened. I ended up taking Island Express through Bimini, to Marsh, late in the day. While I do not like flying 402s, IE provided exactly the service they promised, unlike Chalks.

Caveat Emptor!

3. Re: Chalks Airlines Bamboozles Public

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