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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    8

    Default Looking for flight tips

    I have 2 questions about flights to and from MBJ.

    1. We want to spend as much time as possible at CTI. From Seattle there's a flight that arrives at 10:50am but it has 2 connections and total travel time of 15 hours. There's another flight that arrives at 12:40pm with only 1 connection and 10 hours of travel. Is it worth the long travel for 2 extra hours?

    2. How much time should we allow for customs between flights? We found some good deals that connect in PHX. Most only allow 2 hours between flights. There's 1 flight that has a 4 hour ground time but we get home after midnight. Is 2 hours enough?

    Thanks in advance for answering my questions! 114 more days!

  2. #2

    Default

    Hey there, we usually fly out of Seattle when we go to Jamaica. Even with the 7 hout drive from Montana, it is still usually faster (and WAY cheaper). First, try to keep connections to a minimum, I know you have to have at least one, but try to stay with one. More connections means more chances for delays, lost luggage and general hassle. As for connection time on the way back for Customs, 2 hours is usually enough, there are times you will need up to 4 (Atlanta in the early afternon), but I have personally never needed more than 2, although it has gotten tight a couple of times. So, the short answer to #1 is (for me, anyway) take the shorter flight with one connection. As for #2, 2 hours should be enough.

    Hope this helps!!

    14 days to CSA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    257

    Default

    1. Only you can decide if it's worth it in the end. Personally, I'd probably go with the longer flight, since adding two hours to an already long trip is not that big of a deal to me. Also, I'd rather spent extra time on a plane and avoid an extra connection, which is always a bit of a pain, and you run an increased risk of a delay or misconnect.

    2. Are you using the same airline for both legs? If so, I'd say it's long enough because they won't schedule it otherwise. My experience is that two hours has been enough time, but you can't dawdle.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    21

    Default

    You should only have to go through customs once in the US and then at MTB. Figure 1 hr from touchdown to transportation to be on the safe side at MTB. It's about 90 mins to CTI.
    Leaving MTB:
    Rule # 1 - never leave Jamaica on a weekend
    Rule # 2 - never leave Jamaica on a weekend
    Rule # 3 - go to potty before you get in line or at least tag team.
    Rule # 4 - carry zip lock bags in your carry on bags unless you want to contribute to the legal thievary at customs.

    We were there last week and I forgot Rule # 1 and #2. We got to the airport 2 hrs before our flight and walked into the terminal and the line getting to the customs door stretched the entire length of the passenger terminal, not counting inside the customs room, which is another good 20-30 mins wait. We made it to our plane at boarding time.
    At your first stop in the states you will have to go through customs again and recheck your bags to the final destination.

    Rule #5 - start planning next trip as soon as you get home. We're coming back in November.
    Rule #6 - give Byron a hug arriving and leaving.

    Enjoy,

    Tony/Julia

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    240

    Default

    In my opinion:

    1. No way. After 15 hours of flying you will be so tired you won't enjoy the extra two hours.

    2. Going down you don't have to worry about customs just changing planes. I don't know anything about PHX but I would think 2 hours coming back would be enough.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    241

    Default

    1. I would go with the 10 hours of travel. The extra 2 hours in Jamaica would be nice, but not worth the two connections and possible luggage transfer problems, late flights, etc....

    2. Two hours has been adequate for our trips.

    Have a nice trip.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    772

    Default

    Me personally? I would take the 5 hours shorter travel time. We have found that a more direct flight... even if you leave a bit later gets you to the resort in MUCH better shape. With the 15 hour flight time, you are looking at about 17-18 hours (or more, depending on how long it takes you to get to the airport) before you hit the resort. That's a really really really long day.

    Re: your return, 2 hours MAY be cutting it close. And it's not so much in customs/immigration (though that can happen) but what if your original flight is delayed? If you decide to take the flight with the 2 hour layover, make sure there is another one you can get on if you miss your connection. We have found 3-4 hours is better. Especially if there is ANY kind of a delay.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,951

    Default

    Going to MBJ, all you need to worry about on your transfer is to get to your next flight. Returning, you will need time to get your bag and go through customs. How long that takes is really dependent on so many factors.

    If it is worth the stress of wondering if you have enough time, only you know the answer to that.
    Vicky

  9. #9

    Default

    Hi There.
    1. I would go with the shorter travel time and just 1 connection. Fewer things to go wrong with your flight.

    2.For customs 2 hours should be fine. They are pretty good about moving you through and we have even been waived through if we had to get to our connecting flight.

    When you get to Tower say hi to Byron and Kirk.

    We have 90 days.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    707

    Default

    I'd say NO that it's not worth the extra travel time for 2 extra hours at the resort ...... Just my opinion but the reason for me would be that your room probably won't be ready until mid afternoon & after that much travel time, I like to be able to go straight to my room & clean up a little & settle in before hitting the beach or anything even though you're welcome to start your vacation the minute you arrive even if your room isn't ready.

    Also, less connections is always a better deal .... way less hassle .... way less chance of losing luggage .... way less chance for something to go wrong to delay or cancel a flight & cost you valuable vacation time ........ less travel time is just a huge bonus.

    We never have more than 2 hours (usually 1 hr 40 min) between flights going from KC to Montego Bay no matter where we connect & it's always been fine.
    Julie

  11. #11

    Default

    Two hours is enough time between flights and I would go with the fewer connecting flights route. Less chances for delays.
    ARE WE THERE YET??

  12. #12

    Default

    I always like to arrive early too, but 5 hours extra in route and an extra layover do not seem worth it to me.
    For time in customers, if it is my husband and I only I think two hours is fine. Often times my grandparents go with us and we have to walk slowly, wait for more luggage, etc. so two hours would be really tight! I think the 2 hour layover time in customs is workable if it suits your ability.
    Good luck and enjoy your trip!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    808

    Default

    15 hrs? Take the 10 hr flight... You will spend more time awake. It is not worth an extra 2hrs to sit in a metal tube for an extra 5 hrs.

    Why does it take you so long? Is there a huge layover? It takes 3 hrs to get from seattle to memphis, and 3 hrs to from memphis to MBJ.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    808

    Default

    2 hrs is enough in customs.... That is perfect time, enough to get through, hit the bathroom, grab a coke and get back on the next plane.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    987

    Default

    We miraculously got through Houston's G.W. Bush airport in just about an hour, earlier this summer. We were re-booked on Continental out of MBJ because of delays by US Airways. It was hectic getting through customs and immigration. And we arrived at our gate in bare feet, running through the airport after going through security. But we made it. If you have a couple of hours I would think that would be enough. That first stop coming back into the States is the tough one. Lot's of standing in line, picking up bags, checking them back in, going through security all over again.

    Oy.

    Going down to Jamaica is easier than coming back, at least I think so.

    It is up to you if the extra travel time is worth a couple of hours on the beach. Some will say "heck yeah!", others will say "no way". I would say it depends on how well you deal with airports and travel routines.

    Good luck. Have a great trip!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,967

    Default

    You'll get guidance both ways on Q1... but its really up to you. The overnight stops tend to be more economical (although not necessaryily so), and certainly more of a hassle, what with rechecking bags and such.

    Regarding Q2, we've managed on 1-1/2 hours, though that's a bit tight. Obviously more is better, but I would think that the two hours is ok, assuming everything is on time.
    Chris

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


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Anyone? Prices are exactly the same no matter what combo of flights we book.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    19

    Default flights

    the extra two hours is in no way worth it....
    get the shortest flight time you can, without pushing yourself short in between flights.

    i just got back from CSS....ten minutes from CTI. it is easily a two hour drive from the airport to the resort, depending on time of day you arrive. since you are coming in mid-day, you have to allow for traffic, etc.

    my biggest problem was that i had two connections going from tulsa to dallas to miami to mont. bay. all flights were late, using american, and miami was the biggest nightmare of all. i will never go through miami again.....

    my biggest piece of advice is this...allow at least two hours connecting between flights. you will save yourself a lot of stress at the airports.

    as far as CTI goes...it will be all good when you get there. no worries mon. things dont even start happening until later in the day. enjoy.

  19. #19

    Default Flight Tips

    Can you explain #4? Thanks!

    Leaving MTB:
    Rule # 1 - never leave Jamaica on a weekend
    Rule # 2 - never leave Jamaica on a weekend
    Rule # 3 - go to potty before you get in line or at least tag team.
    Rule # 4 - carry zip lock bags in your carry on bags unless you want to contribute to the legal thievary at customs.

    Enjoy,

    Tony/Julia[/QUOTE]

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Thanks everyone! We booked SEA-MBJ leaving SEA at 10:50pm with a 3.5 hour stop in Miami. It puts us at MBJ at 12:40pm. For the return we leave MBJ at 12:50pm with a 2 hour stop in PHX. We get to SEA at 8pm.

    Skupplin, can you elaborate more on rule #4 please? What should we put in zip lock bags besides our allowable liquids which we probably won't have? Thanks!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    772

    Default

    #4 - carry zip lock bags in your carry on bags unless you want to contribute to the legal thievary at customs

    Although I'm not the OP, I'll take a crack at this one.

    If you don't have your liquids in a 1 quart ziplock bag, the security officials will take your liquids away from you. (Come on people, don't we all know this by now??) Technically, they are supposed to dispose of them, but we all know that sometimes, if it's good stuff, they keep it. I really don't begrudge them the shampoo and stuff in Jamaica, although I'm a bit bitter about the Leatherman that the guys in Tampa got to keep. -- Totally my fault. Forgot to remove it from my briefcase. Sheesh.

    Last time we were in Jamaica, the couple in front of us had TONS of liquids, shampoos, etc. in their carry on leaving MBJ. None of it was the approved sizes (they were regular sizes) and none of them were in baggies. The wife was pitching a ROYAL fit when security was throwing away all her stuff. Really held up the lines and the poor security lady was totally frazzled by the time she got to us. What a way to end your vacation, huh?

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Buster1330,

    Rule #4. Ziplock bags.
    I have a hard case shaving kit That I've used for over 30 years in the military and regular travel. It has regular man items in it along with a tube of Super Glue and a tube of Neosporen. All items made it down and back in February, down and back in April except my folding scissors which the customs agent couldn't figure out how to open, so she took them. Thats ok, I'd only had them for 40 years. Down in July and coming back they decided they wanted my Super Glue and Neosporen along with the travel shaving cream and travel shampoo. They were in a hard case, but not a thin ziplock bag. My mistake for not have a bag this time. When we go back in Nov, I'm taking a box full of ziplocks and if I see anyone who needs them, I'll give them out. There, I'm done ranting.

    Tony

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,951

    Default

    "Last time we were in Jamaica, the couple in front of us had TONS of liquids, shampoos, etc. in their carry on leaving MBJ. None of it was the approved sizes (they were regular sizes) and none of them were in baggies. The wife was pitching a ROYAL fit when security was throwing away all her stuff. Really held up the lines and the poor security lady was totally frazzled by the time she got to us. What a way to end your vacation, huh"

    Okay, my first thought was, how did they get it into Jamaica? But then I thought, were they Jamaican and just didn't know. I don't know how you can be from the states and not know. It is always all over the news. But then a family that was in line ahead of my son and I going to Florida had their full size sunscreen taken.
    Vicky

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    24

    Default

    I'd take the less-travel-time option. An extra two hours at the resort after traveling that long is not worth it in my opinion.

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