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Thread: Airport Hassles

  1. #1

    Default Airport Hassles

    Wife and I just returned last night from a fabulous stay at CSS. By far the very best vacation we have ever experienced. But I must warn you, especially gentlemen. When you depart Montego Bay airport, be prepared to be searched and then searched again. We went through first security check point, as usual you must empty your pockets and take your shoes off. They then opened all of my carry on luggage and patted me down. They were extremely rude during this process. Then upon boarding the aircraft, they repeated this process to a point of making you feel like you were a criminal. Again my luggage was opened and searched. I had to take my shoes off again, and was hand searched. The lady that opened my luggage tossed all of my belongings every where, then told me I had to repack it and board the plane. I am all for security at airports, but felt they went way over board. I am positive they were looking for drugs, and not your usual security concerns. It felt as if I was reliving the movie "Midnight Express"
    This was the only hassle we encountered during our entire stay in Jamaica. I hope the management of Couples allows this message to be posted, if for no other reason than a WARNING.

  2. #2
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    That same process keeps dangerous items of the plane and contraband out of the US. Is it frustrating sometimes? Yeah, I've been there and it is. Is it worth it? Yep.

  3. #3

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    That's just the world that we live in. It's not just Jamaica.

    I just figure any search that is not a cavity search is OK by me.

  4. #4
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    I feel for ya and I know it seems like a huge hassle but i'll take all the extra security in the world. We had an encounter like that as well, the people were nice though. The thing that left a bad taste for me was my wife came up missing items that she packed as gifts for family. Keep valuables in your carry on if you can.

  5. #5
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    My carry on luggage was searched at the security check point also. It was my fault, I put a couple of bottles of hot sauce I had purchased in my carry on by mistake. The officer was nice about it though, not rude at all, she allowed my to put them in the quart size bag and proceed on through.
    Irie ,
    (Ladydia) Dianna


    CTI 2006, CSA 2007, CN 2008, CN 2009, CN 2010 twice
    CN 2012, CSS 2012, CN 2013

  6. #6
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    Airport security in Jamaica is not much different than most other countries. Most overseas flights now have a second security search before you board the plane. This was the case for us this summer departing Belize. I fly almost every week for work, and all U.S. airports have signs that you may be subject to additional security searches once you are past security. Every few months, I will encounter a gate search prior to boarding at a U.S. airport.

    When we got to MoBay this year, I realized that I had packed several metal tin candles from the CSA gift shop in my carry-on. Well, those suckers light up the x-ray machine. I got my carry-on luggage thoroughly screened in both MoBay and Charlotte. And, no, neither guard carefully repacked my belongings, although they tried not to make a mess of it.

  7. #7
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    I have to agree with the original poster. The search that we were subjected to at the gate in March was beyond normal. I am all for increased security {my husband is a retired Marine and spent 37+ years with the Pa State Police} so we would be the last ones to complain. The people at the initial security check were polite and pleasant in addition to being thorough. However, the gate security was very different. The search included each and every person boarding that plane. My carry-on was thoroughly searched and my medication bottles were opened and searched. Now, there is no way they could tell if that bottle contained aspirin or a controlled substance. But she inspected each and every one and checked the name on the bottles. Ok, fine, even if she had no idea what she was looking at. Then I got the pat-down. My husband had gone first and he tried to stand to the side and wait for me to board. They would not permit that and made him board without me. And frankly, they were rude about it. That was our 6th trip to Jamaica and a definite departure from what has occured before. I think I would have minded it less if it hadn't seemed so threatening. In speaking to other passengers, I wasn't the only one who felt this way. Now, will this stop me from going to Couples this spring...no. But I will be more prepared for this.

  8. #8
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    There is an elevated threat level right now, I bet that has a lot to do with it also.

  9. #9
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    Coming home last May from CSS, I too was rechecked at boarding. About every third person was. One of the newspapers I read every morning on line is the Jamaican Observer. I read a few days later where the boarding gate recheck caught a U.S. Nurse smuggling a large amount of Cocaine for sale, about the time we were coming home. The only thing I didn't like about the extra security was that it came unexpected and seperated my wife and I boarding the plane.

  10. #10
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    when we flew out of MB to ATL a few months ago there were others who were searched however the wife and I weren't.

  11. #11
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    We've noticed the attitude of security personnel in Jamaica can be hit or miss, though there seems to be an increase in rudeness of late, particularly with the gate security.

    People living in Jamaica even write to the Jamaican papers to complain about it, so it is not just us. Best to be forewarned and prepared for it, just in case you end up with someone having a poor day.

  12. #12

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    Last May while departing MBJ I was pulled aside at the gate and searched. Security searched my carry-on, gave me a full pat down and literally made me take apart my expensive running sneakers.

    In my bag I had a small white plastic plunger (about 3/4" long) which I carry to aid in removing a Hard Contact Lens. Security felt it was drug related. They insisted it was contraband until I showed them how and what it was used for.

    The next thing they gave me a hassle over were my expensive running shoes which I was wearing. They made me remove the shoe laces and inserts. They then questioned the clear part of the soles. They felt the clear soles might be filled with drugs. I explained that the shoes were manufactured that way and politely asked for a Supervisor. Security denied my request, pushed all my belongings aside, made me repack everything and allowed me to board. IMO and based on his actions I feel security liked and wanted the sneakers for his own use.

    Will this stop me from going to Jamaica. No! Will be arriving in 30 days with my sneakers and contact lens plunger!!!!

  13. #13

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    Last July Phyllis and I returning from CSS went thru the 3 levels of checking, and the last security check was terse, but professional, and unexpected.

    Hey maybe they had a bad day. However. I kept saying thank you, and I was humming in my head the words from "3 little birds", and it helped me. You know the words "Dont worry about a thing and every little thing is going to be all right". It certainly help me I was told I couldnt wait for my wife at the gate that I had to board since I went cleared the last inspection ahead of her. I did and she joined me on the plain a minute or two later. If she didnt get on in a few minutes, then I would of said something or have had both seats to myself (just kidding), but the odds were, she was going to get on shortly after me.

    Unfortunatley this is a different world from the one I grew up in. Oh those were the good old days. You wore a suit to travel, they gave you real food, with real knives and forks. And visitors could walk to the gate with you. How civilized we were. There was no security checkings. But this is all because the game has changed. I watched on one trip in Orlando a few years ago, my 5 year old granson was wanded, (it may have been an extra disney pin that he forgot to remove) but he went thru an unexpected security test. While I was horrified and upset, he thought it was cool.

    While a hassle and I aggree it is a hassle, and I long for the old days, the ever changing the extra level of security are making it tougher for the bad guys to do us harm. One security level could be breached with a simple bribe, multiple levels make it harder for that to happen, and I'm sure that is why we see extra security and changes all the time. Hey we cant bring on bottled watert but we could three years ago. These things are going to change to put the Bad Guys at a disadvantage.

    So I guess I'm going to be singing a lot about the 3 little birds.

  14. #14
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    That's terrible we usually get hassled at MIA (Miami Airport) every time we travel and this puts a damper on our trip! I hope we don't have to go through it in Montego as well

  15. #15
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    Ran into the same thing leaving Cancun in Aug. A second search before boarding. Cancun is bad when you get there too. After all the xray and screening you walk up and push a button, if you get a green light you and your group are good to go. If the light turns red they open and search ALL of your luggage for everybody in your group

  16. #16
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    I am not impressed! I feel they should have been this concerned all the time and not just since 911. If they had been doing this all alone then we would not have had 911. I am all for security also, but u still don't have to be rude. And still with all this security, people r still finding ways to get around it and bring contraband on public transportation. I agree with FuninJamaica, if u r doing your job that's one thing but, being rude about it is something totally different. She should not have thrown his stuff out of his suitcase or all over the place. That was rude and unnecessary. We should not have to put up with that behavior. People complain about crying babies on an airplane but, being treated rudely for the sake of security is okay. I don't think so. There is a wrong and right way to do everything!!!

  17. #17
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    Having traveled to London recently, you have not seen security like that. I was frisked by a guy with a machine gun at LHR, so yeah, the sweet jamaican lady frisking me is nothing.

  18. #18
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    Last trip in Apr 2010 I was pulled out of line and taken to a room. Got a pat down and hands swabbed with something. Had to sit and wait for the results to come back. They said it was a random number on my boarding pass. Two women in the room were very pleasant. I did not have a handbag. My husband just took the carry on bag. When we were boarding the airplane I again got patted down and had to take my shoes off. Couldn't get them back on until we got off the plane in NY. No chairs provided and not enough room on the plane to bend over and put them on. Because of the additional screening at the gate the plane left over an hour late. Needless to say the flight attendants were having fits!!! It has to be very frustrating for them too!!!!

  19. #19
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    we just returned from CSA 2 days ago..and the only thing we had to do at the airport was get our tickets and go through the metal detectors..they didnt search us anymore than that. they even told us to KEEP our flip flops on.. i also didn't see anyone else getting searched

  20. #20
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    I too found the security agents in the MoBay airport to be extremely rude, but we're from New York, so it just felt like home.
    Pamela
    I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).

  21. #21

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    I have a great story you all will enjoy. While waiting to depart mbj at the gate a stern enforcement officer came around with a drug dog. He was sure to not allow anyone to pet or talk to the dog as it sniffed everyone's carry on baggage. The officer was making it a point to appear tough (and rightly so) and not willing to smile at all. Once he passed we heard a bunch of loud screams and laughter coming from the next gate down. Sure enough here came the fierce drug dog playing with a plastic coke bottle it had stolen from a passenger. Along came the officer chasing after the dog as it was playing keep away from the man. So much for the stern officer as he had no other choice but to laugh as he chased the dog around the terminal. He finally was able to catch the pup and take the bottle out of its mouth. The crowd laughed and cheered as the officer gave a wave goodbye. It provided a nice lasting memory as we were departing the greatest country in the world!

    The airport security is stern but I would rather be safe than sorry.

  22. #22

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    Interesting thread and I agree the final security check at JMB is OTT. I write this while holidaying at CSS so have it to come again in a couple of days, but last year we stayed at CN and experienced exactly as described in the tunnel to the aircraft. Rude, antagonistic and to some very distressing - just about everything the Jamaican people are not known for!
    It does leave an unpleasant aftertaste as you leave the island. I travel widely and have experience very many airports security throughout Europe and the US (even Miami!) but JMB is by far the worst I have experienced.
    Curiously, a week after we had returned to the UK last year we were reading about an aircraft hijack at Montego Bay, so maybe its effectiveness is also questionable.

  23. #23
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    Funny thing, I have a metal knee and I set of every metal detector in teh world "except" for MBJ airport. I don't think that thing is even turned on half the time! I have been in it 4 times and only set it off once. Otherwise every other airport I have ever been in, I am ALWAYS sent to secondary inspection. SO you guys complaining about it happeining to you in Jamaica can forget it. I love going through there because it is the only place I don't get the third degree. Although in hinde sight....maybe I wish I was cause if I get through what else can?????

  24. #24

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    Will this stop me from going to Jamaica. No! Will be arriving in 30 days with my sneakers and contact lens plunger!!!![/QUOTE]

    Lol

  25. #25
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    Wife and I were both searched at the gate leaving MBJ last Feb. I was done first and stayed at the end of the jetway in sight of her until she was done. Everyone was courteous. I have no problem being searched, I don't want to get blown up. That being said, if they are separating husbands and wives as some commenters have indicated, this is very concerning to me. The first time that they separate me from my wife and force me to go somewhere that she is out of my sight will be the LAST time that I come to Jamaica. I would imagine that I am not the only one who feels this way and in the name of keeping business good, the resort owners need to lobby to have the separation of families while being searched stopped immediately.

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