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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default New to Internation Travel... Question about Connection Time Length

    Hey all,

    I tried searching around the board for info, but couldn't find what I was looking for. My trip to CSA in October will be my first international trip and I have a couple questions about flights.

    First off, my layover in ATL takes place on a Monday between 8:54 AM and 9:45 AM (51 Minutes). Will that be enough time to make it? What all is involved? Both flights are with the same carrier. Is there extra security moving from a domestic to international terminal? Will my bags be automatically transfered between flights since it is international?

    On the way back the layover in ATL lands between 4:40 PM and 6:20 PM ( 1 hr, 40 minutes). How about on this flight? will bags need to be collected for customs here?

    Thank you,

    -t

  2. #2

    Default

    I've never flown international through Atlanta, but domestically was a nightmare. I wish you luck.

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience with customs etc. at DFW on Saturday evenings? I have a 1.5 hour layover and am hoping that is enough time.

  3. #3

    Default

    On your flight to Jamaica, on your layover all you have to worry about is making it from your arriving gate to your departing gate. You don't have to do anything extra with it being an international flight. 50 minutes could be tight, but you should be fine. You should only run into trouble if your incoming flight is delayed, then you and your bags may not make the connection to Montego. To be safe, pack a bathing suit and a change of clothes in your carry-on.

    It's on your return flight from Jamaica to Atlanta that you will need to get your bags at Baggage Claim, go through Customs, then re-check them to your final destination. Again, assuming your flight isn't delayed, 1 hr and 40 mins should be plenty of time, but you won't have any extra time to eat, etc.

    Also, one thing to keep in mind since you have a layover on the way home - you'll need to do some planning ahead if you plan to buy any duty-free alcohol at the Montego Airport. We always stock up on Rum Cream and vodka since it's so cheap. So, on your way home, you can buy up to a certain amount of alcohol duty-free and they will package it in cardboard containers for you to carry-on. However, when you land in Atlanta, you will have to retrieve your checked bags and go through Customs. THEN, you will have to re-check your bags before boarding your final flight. It's at this point that your liquid alcohol carry-ons from Montego are NOT allowed to be carried on and must be checked. If you think you might do this, pack some bubble wrap and either bring an extra suitcase to check or make sure you have room in yours.

    Happy to share any other tips for travel and packing- amy.welch@Hotmail.com

    Hope this helped!
    Amy Welch...Woooohoooo!!
    CTI - 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013
    CN - 2003/2004 CSS - 2008
    CSA - 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    449

    Default

    You should be fine both ways.... going out, you've already checked your bags, just get off the plan at ATL and go to the next gate. On the way back one hour and 40 min should be plenty as well. I'd be happy with those flight times myself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default

    What happens if the bags dont make it on time? when will i get them?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    369

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart Cockrell View Post
    I've never flown international through Atlanta, but domestically was a nightmare. I wish you luck.

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience with customs etc. at DFW on Saturday evenings? I have a 1.5 hour layover and am hoping that is enough time.
    DFW immegration/customs has always been a breeze. Probably just your flight or a couple others but it is a very large and nice facility. The big question is what terminal your next flight leaves from. You may have to tram it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,289

    Default

    couple more things,

    Bring a black pen to fill out forms on plane.

    On the way home when you re-check your bags you do not have to pay again.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcb View Post
    What happens if the bags dont make it on time? when will i get them?
    I suspect that would depend on the carrier. This one always worries me, as the wife and I both wear contacts, and we haven't found our saline in 3oz bottles. So while we have a bottle of our disinfectant along, we'd have to wear our glasses if our bags were delayed...

    As for the layovers, the flight down, as others said, you only need to worry if your first flight is delayed. The return, our first trip we had about 4 hours between flights, so it was a nice, leisurely, wait. We had plenty of time to grab a meal, then sit and read for a while.

    Jason

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart Cockrell View Post
    I've never flown international through Atlanta, but domestically was a nightmare. I wish you luck.

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience with customs etc. at DFW on Saturday evenings? I have a 1.5 hour layover and am hoping that is enough time.
    Been through DFW 2x on a Saturday night - first was beautiful and calming...but one Saturday night, the immigration line was 2 hours long. It was awful. I don't know if that was a fluke or what.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jimpat1 View Post
    DFW immegration/customs has always been a breeze. Probably just your flight or a couple others but it is a very large and nice facility. The big question is what terminal your next flight leaves from. You may have to tram it.
    Thanks a bunch. I have been worried. We are flying American from MBJ to DFW and then American to LAX. I know there might be some tram time, but I've been most worried about the customs thing as this is my first rodeo with that. Thanks again!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    197

    Default

    You'll be fine on your outbound flight provided your initial flight lands on time, which it should give that it's early morning. You'll show your passport at your first airport so there is nothing to do at ATL other than get to your new gate.

    On the flight home. . . things to consider . . . flights departing Jamaica are often (read: almost always) delayed especially if you leave after 12 noon. In fact, in the 9 yrs we've traveled, I can't remember a single flight that has left on time. Lines at customs in the US can vary greatly at any airport depending largely on how many flights arrive at the same time as yours. If you get behind several jumbo jets of passengers . . . it could take a while.

    I can't speak for Atlanta but two years ago, the lines at Charlotte were so long (over an hour) that many people missed their connections. Last year at Charlotte, no one was there when we landed. However, our flight from Jamaica was delayed so that we still missed our connection. So, you never know.

    Look . . . I'm sure lot of folks will tell you 1 hr 40 min is doable. And it might well be. However, I HIGHLY recommend allowing AT LEAST 2 hours to connect on your return. If you're delayed out of Jamaica . . . and if there are long lines and . . . if you have to change terminals which you almost always have to do going from int'l to domestic . . . that time gets eaten up quickly.

    At the end of the day, allowing yourself plenty of time saves you from worrying. if you have a longer connection and all goes smoothly, you can always stand by for an earlier flight if you have only carry-ons. If you at least have a later flight in the bank, you aren't worrying. As for your luggage, if it misses the connection the airline will deliver it to your home.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    22

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    Thanks for the great info my fiance and I will be making couples our first International trip as well.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    305

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    Hi tcb

    Hope you enjoy your first trip out of the country. Jamaica and CSA are a good choice for your initial foray into international travel.

    I travel through ATL a lot! I am assuming this is on Delta

    Outbound
    51 minutes is generally enough time but keep in mind that you may arrive in the A terminal and have to go all the way to the other end to the new International terminal. There is a train under the terminal which takes about 10 minutes from one end to the other. As long as your first flight is not delayed you should be OK. There are a couple of flights a day from ATL to MBJ, so if you are nervous you could try to choose a later flight leaving ATL (there is another at about 10:50 and another around 1:00).

    There is no extra security going from the other terminals to the International terminal.

    Your bags should make it in the transfer. We have had that same turn around and not had much trouble with the bags. You won't have to do anything with them for the outbound leg.

    Return flight
    Coming back is a bigger deal. I always try to have a minimum of 2 hours for the return in ATL. Technically your 1 hour 40 mins is enough by the airline's standards but it can make it tough to get through Passport Control and customs if the line is long. Some times you land and go to Passport control and there is no one in the line. We have walked right up to counter. But other times the wait is long. The longest wait we have had in ATL was about an hour. It all depends on how many other international flights have landed at the same time and how many are in the US citizen line and how many are in the foreign visitor line. Flights from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands and Mexico etc tend to have a lot of US citizens returning from holiday.

    You and your husband can go to the Passport counter together. After passing that you have to collect your bag and go through customs. If you bought any liquids in the Duty Free in Mo Bay (ie rum) you have to repack that in your checked bags before you go on. You cannot carry those on into the terminal. The bags then get rechecked to the airline.

    Then you have to go back through security to get back into the main terminal, find your gate, and wait for the next flight.

    Overall, I find ATL to be pretty big and busy but also pretty efficient.
    They handle so many international flights for Delta that they are used to it. It is a little stressful but not too bad. Usually we are soooooo relaxed after a week at Couples that nothing bothers us on the way back. I also like watching all of the thousands of business travelers in suits and ties hurrying places, while we are in our island gear and flip flops with a tan and a big smile.

    Enjoy
    John


    Quote Originally Posted by tcb View Post
    Hey all,

    I tried searching around the board for info, but couldn't find what I was looking for. My trip to CSA in October will be my first international trip and I have a couple questions about flights.

    First off, my layover in ATL takes place on a Monday between 8:54 AM and 9:45 AM (51 Minutes). Will that be enough time to make it? What all is involved? Both flights are with the same carrier. Is there extra security moving from a domestic to international terminal? Will my bags be automatically transfered between flights since it is international?

    On the way back the layover in ATL lands between 4:40 PM and 6:20 PM ( 1 hr, 40 minutes). How about on this flight? will bags need to be collected for customs here?

    Thank you,

    -t

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    64

    Default

    Another tip for you tcb, pack your essentials in your carry on in case of problems with baggage. We always bring a days worth of clothes in ours. Most importantly, we pack our beach clothes in case our room isn't ready when we arrive at the resort. This way we can change and hit the beach while we wait!

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