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  1. #1
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    Default Customs and lines

    Anybody know how long the lines are usually? What is the better of the days to fly in there so it wont be nuts?

  2. #2
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    Tues,Weds or Thur are the lighest days to travel. The busiest days are Sat and Sun

  3. #3

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    We have always found that it is not the Customs line but the Immigration line that is the longest. The Customs line has usually only been about 5 minutes for us but the Immigration line has been around 45 minutes to 1:15 hours on average. (based on the last 3 years) Last year for our departure the line for Immigration and security check was really long. It took us nearly 1:30 to get through an into the airport, whereas it had previously taken 15 minutes. Since we always leave at the same time, I'm not sure what was changed but it was terrible. We barely had time to stop and pick up some coffee at the airport before our plane took off. Forget about getting something to eat before leaving. We were running around the airport just trying to make our flight.

    As for your question, I think it really depends on when your flight arrives and how many other flights arrive just before yours. As we have always arrived on a Friday and left on a Sunday, the lines have been long. I believe I heard that arriving and departing on weekdays usually results in shorter lines.
    Jeff (Mandynjeff)


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  4. #4
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    Customs is generally very quick. However, before Customs, you have to go through Immigration, and that can have long lines.

    The lines are longest on the weekends in our experience. We've started traveling on a Friday and have found the lines to be much shorter. On our last few trips, we've only had a couple of people in front of us. We fly first class, so we're usually among the first on our plane to reach Jamaican Immigration.
    Pamela
    I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).

  5. #5
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    So many things can factor into the lines--time of year, day of week, time of day. You name it. Last year we flew in on Saturday morning about 11:00 and there were no lines. Other times, long lines. Best thing to do is to have all your paperwork complete and ready when you get in line. If you do not have the forms completed they give you on the plane, you will be pulled out of line until you get them completed. When we first started going to JA, people would fill them out at the immigration desk, which everyone else had to wait for them to get finished. Now they check and if your forms aren't complete, they have you step aside to complete them letting others pass you. Another thing is when you deplane, just walk and walk fast--which is why we don't do a lot of carry on, we can move faster to get to immigrations. Customs can vary, but what's on the other side is all worth it!
    Vicky

  6. #6
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    We have never experienced a prob with long lines. We usually travel on Thursdays.

    My neighbors flew to MBJ during spring break, on a Saturday and almost missed their flight home. The lines took them almost 3 hours.
    Last edited by cypresspeeps; April 6th, 2011 at 04:50 PM.

  7. #7

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    We have found that Tuesday is the best day to arrive in JA. The airport is very quiet and we soared through customs.

  8. #8

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    We flew in on a Saturday last year, first flight in for the day so we were through immigration in 7 minutes, and barely stopped walking at the customs desk.

    If you come later in the day you could probably wait for an hour at either.

  9. #9
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    Saturday is always the worse day to fly into Montego Bay. Figure around 60 minutes to get through immigration and customs before reaching Couples lounge. But, if you fly in around 11pm then the lines are really short. We did this once and I donít recommend it.

    Donít worry about it. Youíre in Jamaica. Just relax and enjoy.

    Life is good

  10. #10
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    Jul 2010
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    customs lines have to do with when you get there. if our flight had gotten in 10 minutes later we'd have been in a very very long line. as it was it still took us 25-30 minutes to get through immigration. Customs didn't take long, maybe 30 seconds for me, 5 minutes for my wife

  11. #11

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    We always fly in on a Wed or Thursday and have never experienced long lines until our last trip. Of course we flew in on the same day their was a fire at the Miami Airport and not sure but feel like that had something to do with it. This last time we waited for over an hour in customs but reminded ourselves an hour in line is better than an hour at work Every trip before we have arrived on a Wed or Thursday and flew right through customs.

  12. #12
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    It's really hard to tell. I would think that week-end times are busier, but that's just a guess. The good news is, even if there are a lot of people to process, it isn't all that bad. Years ago when all they had were giant fans, then it was yucky. All things considered, I think that a fair guess would be 1/2 to one hour. But you are in Jamaica.

  13. #13
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    Tuesday-Thursday are the best. We flew in on a Tuesday morning and had no line. Out on Wed and and the line was 30 minutes.

  14. #14

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    Would someone be so kind as to walk me through what exactly the process getting there and going home looks like? I've never flown internationally and I don't know what to expect. We fly into Atlanta, and from Atlanta to MBJ. Going there,will we have to go through additional security/screening in Atlanta, or just in Jamaica? Do you get your luggage before/after going through immigration and customs? What about on the return trip. I'm not crazy about flying to begin with - not so much scared (a little, maybe) - but mostly I just find it unpleasant and stressful. Knowing what to expect would help a lot.

  15. #15

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    We arrived at 6:15pm on a friday night a couple weeks ago. We were 3rd row off of the plane and were through customs and immigration within 15 minutes (if that....)

    Tammie & Mike
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  16. #16
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    Sunday took almost an hour to get off the plane, get our luggage and go through immigration/customs. However, for our last trip the line was backing up so I sent my wife to stand in line for immigration while I waited on the luggage. When it came I met her in line. Probably saved 20 minutes at least. It all depends on the number of flights arriving at the same time as you and how quickly you get your luggage.

    For return flights I have found that the smaller the airport (Charlotte!!), the quicker you get on your way than say Miami or Houston.

  17. #17

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    I miss those fans! Yes,it is all better than work for sure. Once we flew through Immigration, but then waited almost an hour for our luggage.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cambed View Post
    Would someone be so kind as to walk me through what exactly the process getting there and going home looks like? I've never flown internationally and I don't know what to expect. We fly into Atlanta, and from Atlanta to MBJ. Going there,will we have to go through additional security/screening in Atlanta, or just in Jamaica? Do you get your luggage before/after going through immigration and customs? What about on the return trip. I'm not crazy about flying to begin with - not so much scared (a little, maybe) - but mostly I just find it unpleasant and stressful. Knowing what to expect would help a lot.
    When you change planes going down in ATL you will not need to do anything with your luggage. Just take yourself and carry on to next gate--usually in terminal E but they will tell you before landing. When you get to MoBay, you exit the plane and walk forever to immigration. The flight attendants will give you forms to complete on the plane. Make sure you keep a pen or two handy with your travel documents. You will need these to complete the forms. If you need help, the flight attendants will help. Once you get through immigrations--show the form they gave you and your passport, you go to baggage claim. Your bags will most likely be waiting near the belt for you. So if you don't see them on the belt right away, don't panic. From there proceed to customs to the line "nothing to claim"--assuming you nothing to claim. Once through customs you go left. There will be people there asking if you need assistance. Just say no and keep going left. You will see the Couples Lounge and you just walk up and tell them your name. They will take care of you from there.

    Leaving, your driver will get you to the airport and the porters will get you to the right check in. Let them for a buck a bag, it's worth getting to the right place. You will check in with the airline, then go through security. Then you will go through immigrations to leave. When you arrived they gave you a slip of paper, you will need that. We keep ours in with our passports. Once through immigration you just go to your gate. If you have not been before, you will want to get your bearings and then you can shop or eat.
    Vicky

  19. #19
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    Cambed,

    I'll pick up where VIcky left off. Once you land in Atlanta after leaving Jamaica, you'll make your way through U.S. Immigration, collect your luggage, then proceed through U.S. Customs. SInce you have a connecting flight, you will recheck your luggage with your airline, proceed through security, then head to the gate for the next leg of your flight.
    Pamela
    I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).

  20. #20
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    A few very minor clarifications for Cambed:
    Quote Originally Posted by Vickyj View Post
    ...
    Leaving... You will check in with the airline, then go through security. Then you will go through immigrations to leave. ...
    Actually at Montego Bay you go through immigration first then through security, though that probably will not cause Cambed issues in any way. Montego Bay, like a few other Caribbean airports, has the reverse procedure of most international airports for some reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pamela View Post
    ...
    Once you land in Atlanta after leaving Jamaica, you'll make your way through U.S. Immigration, collect your luggage, then proceed through U.S. Customs. S(i)nce you have a connecting flight, you will recheck your luggage with your airline, proceed through security, then head to the gate for the next leg of your flight.
    In Atlanta one must recheck any checked luggage whether the final destination is in Atlanta or elsewhere. Once you clear U.S. Customs, there usually is an official directing passengers to one set of conveyor belts for connecting flights and another for those with Atlanta as the final destination.
    If someone with a connecting flight puts their checked luggage in the area for ATL as final destination, their luggage may end up in ATL's baggage claim area while they fly on to some place else.

  21. #21
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    Happy we get in on a Thursday afternoon Should be drinking a "cool" drink by 3:30 then!

  22. #22
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    And, DON'T use your phone when in the US immigration area. Bad idea.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by cambed View Post
    Would someone be so kind as to walk me through what exactly the process getting there and going home looks like? I've never flown internationally and I don't know what to expect. We fly into Atlanta, and from Atlanta to MBJ. Going there,will we have to go through additional security/screening in Atlanta, or just in Jamaica? Do you get your luggage before/after going through immigration and customs? What about on the return trip. I'm not crazy about flying to begin with - not so much scared (a little, maybe) - but mostly I just find it unpleasant and stressful. Knowing what to expect would help a lot.
    You do not need to go through security in Atlanta on your way to Jamaica. The only security you go through is for your first flight which gets you to Atlanta. When you arrive in Jamaica it is a rather long walk to get to immigration. Once you get there there are a # of agents and you will be directed by the staff to get into lines. Once you get your passport stamped you will go through a door and find your luggage. Once you have found your luggage you will go through customs (green line)- unless you are bringing in 10,000 cash LOL. Once you get through that you will be directed to the Couples lounge by a greeter. If you are not greeted turn left and look straight ahead the Couples lounge is right there.

    Now on the return you will get in line for security after you have obtained your boarding pass. Once through you can go to your gate. When you land in Atlanta you will go through US Immigration, grab your luggage and then Customs. Remember to put any booze you bought in Jamaica in your checked luggage when you get to Atlanta. Once done you recheck your luggage- it is handled very quickly. Then you go through security before you reach your gate.

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