We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Connecting in Miami-returning home from international travel

Washington DC
Level Contributor
4 posts
419 reviews
Save Topic
Connecting in Miami-returning home from international travel

I recently returned from an international trip with a connection in Miami. This is an experience that I will never repeat again. Nothing is worth the headache. If you have this kind of connection be prepared to wait. From the time the flight touched down to the time that I was actually at my next gate was over 2 hours and that is with no bathroom, restaurant, etc stops along the way. The majority of that time, over 50%, was spent trying to clear security in Miami to get back into the terminals. I have never seen lines that long. It was disgraceful.

The next time I will have an international flight where I will need to clear customs somewhere other than my final destination I go through Charlotte. Anyone know how long I need my layover to be?

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
Level Contributor
6,844 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Connecting in Miami-returning home from international travel

It all varies by airport and time of day. You could have been unlucky and hit immigration with another flight that was late/early which could have messed up the balancing they (I think) try to keep with flow. I've never been through Miami, but I've had it take 15 minutes one time and an hour the next to clear in Detroit.

Kingston-upon-Hull...
Level Contributor
3,854 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Connecting in Miami-returning home from international travel

Last time I went via Miami, I was through like a dose of salts! ian480.

Morristown, New...
Level Contributor
931 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Connecting in Miami-returning home from international travel

I had nearly the same experience in Miami...and was able to access the shorter first class lines due to traveling in that class. I believe if I was traveling coach, I might still be there in line..months later. Their customs/immigration setup is a disgrace.

Arkansas
Level Contributor
199 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Connecting in Miami-returning home from international travel

It's hit and miss at any airport. MIA does appear to have more bad days than good. I've made it though in 30 minutes and other times over an hour. However, I've had just as bad lines at one time or the other at all the major international airports.

As a rule I try to plan a 3 hour lay over when entering the U.S. If it's a good day, I go have a drink. If it's a bad, I have enough time to make the connection without too much stress.

Washington DC
Level Contributor
4 posts
419 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Connecting in Miami-returning home from international travel

Customs wasn't the issue in Miami, that was the only smooth part. The only wait there was for my bag. The issue was clearing security to get back to the gates. I spoke to a TSA agent at the airport who told me that a wait 45 minutes to an hour was starndard for the airport if you go through at any of their peak times. I live in Washington DC now, grew up in NYC, have traveled around the world, and have never seen the kind of disaster that I saw in Miami before.

Shoreline
3 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Connecting in Miami-returning home from international travel

I agree Miami was very disorganized. Long lines to go back through securtiy plus the fact that the airport wasn't air conditioned. They had fans blowing on the TSA workers but not the travelers.

Bathrooms in immigrations and restaurants after you past through security were plentiful however. No complaint there.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
9,272 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Connecting in Miami-returning home from international travel

I had nearly the same experience in Miami...and was able to access the shorter first class lines due to traveling in that class.

____________

Eh? No US airport offers priority immigration or customs for those in First/Business.

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
54,115 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Connecting in Miami-returning home from international travel

I think the delay was in security lines, not customs/immigration.

Hartford...
Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Connecting in Miami-returning home from international travel

Hi

I would say a 2hr layover,I too had the terrable experience of having a connecting flight through Miami.I tried twice and both where horrible they offer cheaper fares to connect through there but it's not worth it!

Sioux City, Iowa
Level Contributor
9 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Connecting in Miami-returning home from international travel

Two hours is better that my experiences in Miami. Different days of the week, different times of day.

Miami: NEVER again for me.