Obviously depends on many factors, weather etc, on how many flights come in together. The average wait time will be about 30 minutes. It's all good after that though! Prepare yourself for the worst and hope for the best! :-)
We arrive next month on a Friday at 12:45pm. Hopefully the customs line on a Friday is better than it was on a Saturday when we went last year, we were in line for almost 1.5 hours to get through customs.
Make sure to complete the paperwork they give you on the plane before you land. Have your itinerary and passport handy as well as a couple of pens. If you don't have the items completed, they will pull you aside to until you are finished.
We fly in on Friday's but arrive at 11 am. Usually 30 minutes later we are walking from customs to the Couples Lounge, well wife is walking I am running, for that first cool sip of Red Stripe. Hopefully the afternoon time is as good for you mon!
I don't recall if we have arrived on a Friday before or not. But we are this year. I know we have traveled on Thursdays, Wednesdays and Tuesdays in the past, never on weekends. Some years it was a breeze coming in, other years it was a two hour wait through immigration, customs is usually the much easier part of the incoming process and takes only a few minutes. Biggest hold up in immigration is either folks do not have the forms filled out correctly or they will only have a very few personnel available in the immigration hall to check people through. There are a dozen or more stations available, but I have never seen them all open. When there are multiple flights arriving very close together it becomes a very long wait if they are understaffed for the influx of travelers that hit at the same time.
Going home always seems to be a mess at Sangster. Long lines at the airline check in and security makes for a long and tiring afternoon getting out of Jamaica.
Much of the quickness (or lack thereof) at Customs/Immigration coming into Jamaica is (a) how many people they staff that particular day, and (b) how many flights land at once.
Last time there, we scheduled a flight that was to arrive about 11am, with the closest flights +/- 45 minutes. But.... thanks to good weather, we got there 25 minutes early, and the previous flight ran about 15 minutes late, so there were two flights at once to deal with Customs. But it still moved very quickly.
As someone else has said, make sure your paperwork is done before you get to the desk (in blue or black pen -- they sent someone to the back last year because they used a purple one, and had to fill out a new one!) and all should move quickly.
Last edited by jagorham; March 5th, 2012 at 11:27 AM.
We just flew in to Mobay on Friday Feb 24th and got in around 1:30 pm. We got through customs in under 20 minutes. One word of advice, print out your resort confirmation (we did not do this because we had pre-checked in with Couples ahead of time online) so we actually had to pull up the reservation on our phone to prove to the customs agent where we were staying.
When you leave, spend the $30/person for the Ariport Lounge that includes VIP priority screening thru security and customs and includes free food and drinks. We were sitting having a drink 10 minutes after arrival at the airport. Best $60 we ever spent.
We do carry-on only, so the stop at the ticket counter is fast too. We self check in at a kiosk.
We arrived last friday at 12:30 pm. I was excited cuz we were the only plane on the ramp that i could see. A plane landed ten min after us so i was hurrying. Got to immigration and there were at least 75 to 80 folks ahead of us. Took about 30 min to get to the Couples lounge. Line moves pretty fast. Waited 30 min in the lounge for transportation.