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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    17

    Default OK, be real with me -- Customs at 12:30 on a Sunday

    I've been reading that the customs/immigration can take up to 1.5 hours to get through in Jamaica. We've been to Jamaica twice before and either we've been extremely lucky or we've arrived at great times because we've never had to wait! This time we are taking a different approach to break up our flight and avoid a red eye by flying into Orlando on a Saturday and leaving for Jamaica the following morning, arriving in Jamaica at 12:30 on Sunday. For what it's worth, our trip is in late October (just a few days, yippee!!).

    Did we pick a bad time to arrive? Is it likely that we'll face long lines? I'd like to prepare my husband in advance if this is the case, he's kind of a baby until he sees that lovely Couples lounge!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,492

    Default

    Since the airport upfit, we've been in at 3p, 11:30a, and 1p...never had any wait worth mentioning. Mileage may vary.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    114

    Default

    Heck, we arrived at about 12:30-1:00pm on a Thursday and were through customs in 30 minutes or less. I don't forsee why it would take 1.5 hours, but that is just my experience.

    Good luck... I wish I was going back

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    181

    Default

    we've never arrived on a Sunday, but I think it's safe to say that any day is better than Saturday. We always arrive on Saturday and have been very lucky to be among the first arrivals of the day so we've mostly avoided long lines, plus we usually go during the off-season, and twice in October. This last time, however, in early April (the high season) the line was HELLA long and we were like, "oh no!", but it moved really fast and we played word games and iPhone games together and we were at the Couples lounge in no time!!! Going home was also horrendous - the line snaked through the entire arrivals part of the airport! but again, moved super quick. Bottom line, the line shouldn't be too long, but if it is, it should move fast. No worries!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,295

    Default

    We've arrived on a Sunday around 12:30 on our last 2 trips to CSA. Both times we were the only plane going through immigration, so we spent less than 15 minutes in line. However, Sunday is a popular arrival date, and there is the possibility that even if just one other plane arrives at the same time as you do, you will have a 1/2 hour wait.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    223

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    Hi! We've been to Jamaica 3 times and I don't recall ever having to wait for more than maybe 30 minutes max through customs. We have always arrived there on a Saturday around noon - 1m in February, October & April ~ Pretty much the same wait time every time. Safe travels and have a great vacation!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    257

    Default

    They seem to be pretty efficient, but it really depends on where your flight ends up on the schedule. If you land behind a couple of jumbo jets, it could be a bit of a wait, but that could happen on any day. For what it's worth, however, I think Saturday is the day with the most flights (many airlines have Saturday-only nonstop service from smaller markets, but I haven't seen many, if any, Sunday-only extra flights). And October is not a terribly busy time of year. Whatever happens, I wouldn't stress about it too much: done is done, and you'll only make yourself crazy pondering all the what-ifs, could-haves and should-haves. Have a safe and wonderful trip!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    942

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    My nephew and his wife arrived at 12:15 on a Sunday in February to meet up with us. It took them almost 2 hours to get to the couples lounge due to the long lines at immigration/customs. We get there at 10:55 and usually takes about 20 minutes. Timing is everything. Hope you get through quickly.

  9. #9

    Default

    It is hard to say........ if you are the only plane arriving, it will be really quick. However, they have gotten much better getting people through. (more immigration agents) We were there this last Memorial Day weekend, tons of people and it took a little less than 30 mins

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    17

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    Perfect, thanks everyone! Luckily we are sitting in the front of the plane so that's good, at least we'll be the first off of our flight (fingers crossed it stays that way). It sounds like it's pretty much a crap shoot. I'll be sure to post and let everyone know how it went once we return.

  11. #11

    Default

    Do you mean Customs or Immigration?

    Immigration depends on if you are at the front or back of the plane - i.e. how many people get off the plane into the queue ahead of you. We arrived 3 days ago, sitting at the back of a Jumbo and we had to queue for about 35 minutes to get through Immigration.

    Customs was, collect bag, hand over forms, stamp and through, took 30 seconds!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Also, I just realized that we always go during off season, but usually late August/early September. I'm sure that's why we've been so lucky. We are still traveling during hurricane season, but this time on the cusp, so I'm sure it won't be as empty as we are used to.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    408

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    I like to know what to anticipate before I land, so I always look up the flight schedule at the airport before I arrive. If you go to
    http://www.flightstats.com/go/Flight...usByAirport.do
    you will get the arrival and departure flights for Sangster International Airport. If you hit the modify search button at the top it will allow you to search all flights for 2 days in advance. Ignore the flights for international airlink and any charter flights because they will not effect custom lines. You will be able to see exactly how many flights are suppose to land around the same time as your flight. If there are not many or any other flights around your time, you will fly through customs. However, if there are several flights at the same time, I would be prepared for a longer wait.
    Sadly, I think they keep the same number of workers around regardless of the number of arrivals.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Well I can say my wife and I arrived at 11:46 am and went right through customs and grabbed the TimAir flight up to Negril and we were at the resort sipping champayne by 12:45 pm!!! We arrived on a Saturday morning and thought exactly what you are thinking but didn't have any problems!!! If your going to Negril consider the TimAir flight worth every penny!!!!

    JLML 90

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,988

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    Just returned from SweptAway last night. We arrived in MBJ on Saturday the 15th at 11:45 am. I don't know what it was about this arrival, but it took us far longer to reach Immigration than to get through it; we were in the Couples Lounge within about 30 minutes of deplaning, and the lounge was full! The only thing I can figure is that our arrival and deplaning were a serendipitous bit of timing. Normally, it takes about an hour to hour and a quarter to get to the lounge.

    On a side note, we had a very similar incident yesterday (Sunday, the 23rd) when we departed Jamaica. We arrived to find that (at least at USAir), the RedCaps helped us to check in, and ushered us almost directly to our luggage check-in station; we took a bathroom break and then braced for our entry into the security checkpoint... again, we were shopping within minutes of shedding our luggage... a big deviation from all of our previous experience!

    I guess its all in the timing.....
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


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