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miami connecting flight

London, United...
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miami connecting flight

Hello

I am trying to book a trip to Belize via Miami and have been reading a lot about long queues at Miami Intl. At present the return flight I am looking at from Belize is BZE-MIA and then MIA-LHR with a connecting time of 2.5h. I am not sure if we will have to collect bags or if they will be transferred (travelling AA). The question is: will this be enough time. I have only travelled within the US before and have never made an international connection in the US besides coming from the UK. I am assuming I will have to go through customs and pick up the bag. Otherwise I could get an early flight from BZE and have a >5h connection time.

Many thanks

Liverpool, UK
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1. Re: miami connecting flight

"Otherwise I could get an early flight from BZE and have a >5h connection time." - I would go with this option as you will need to clear immigration/customs at MIA and the current waiting times are terrible.

Your bags should be tagged to LHR when you check in at BZE but you'll have to collect them after US Immigration to clear US Customs and return them to AA after customs, there should be a drop off point just after customs. A connection window of 2.5 hours might be possible but carries a risk of missing your flight to LHR.

What connection do you have on your outbound journey? - as an aside I assume you know you'll need an ESTA to enter the US even if you're just transiting in MIA.

Fort Lauderdale...
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for Fort Lauderdale, Miami
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2. Re: miami connecting flight

A lot will depend on what time you arrive in Miami. If its during a complex when several other international flights arrive you MAY have a problem. Folks coming in from London etc. are the ones reporting the longest wait times. It really hard to say for sure. Should you miss the flight AA will rebook you, but that may require an overnight stay(at your expense is suspect) or travel through another city that offers more flights to LHR.

Guildford, England
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3. Re: miami connecting flight

When I did this last year my flight from Belize arrived at 15:15 and my flight on BA to LHR left at 20:40 so I allowed just over 5 hours. The wait at immigration can be truly horrible. Similarly clearing security takes a time. I would recommend the 5 hour wait.

London, United...
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4. Re: miami connecting flight

Thanks to all, I have taken your advice and booked the longer connection time: there would be no point in spending the morning in Belize when I would be worrying about the flights.

We will be spending 7 nights in Miami first before going on to Belize, and both have valid ESTAs. When travelling from Miami Intl to Belize Intl, I was planning on allowing 3h as it is intl flight, would this be enough time to pass through security in Miami?

Thanks again for all advice, it helped me to make the best decision, otherwise I would have been dithering about which to choose

Liverpool, UK
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5. Re: miami connecting flight

"When travelling from Miami Intl to Belize Intl, I was planning on allowing 3h as it is intl flight, would this be enough time to pass through security in Miami?"

I'd allow longer on your outbound flight if possible as you'll still have the immigration/customs issues to deal with and I don't think there will be many alternative flights to BLE if you miss the connection.

Chicago
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6. Re: miami connecting flight

Tom it's not a connection going to Belize as OP is apparently spending time in Miami first. One would hope that arriving three hours beforehand would be sufficient but I haven't flown out of Miami recently so don't know.

Wales
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7. Re: miami connecting flight

Yes, it's not possible to fly LHR-MIA-BZE in one day in any case - you have to have an overnight in Miami.

We did the 5 hour stop on the return leg last year, and to be honest by the time we'd got through immigration and security we only had about an hour and a half before boarding (although we were delayed 2 hours for a tyre change ...).

I'd definitely allow the 5 hours

Bridgend, United...
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8. Re: miami connecting flight

I am travelling to LHR to MIA to SanJuan staying in miami for 4 nights so should not be a problem my concern is the return flights San Juan to MIA to LHR will 2 hours for connection miami to london be long enough? never done this trip before or can you suggest something different. we are on Summit 7 day cruise 1/2/2014 - 8/2/2014 are staying overnight in San Juan on disembarkation then onto Miami on the sunday 9/2/14

Italy
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9. Re: miami connecting flight

I usually risk the shorter connecting time but always book a through ticket because if for some reason I don't make the flight because of the incoming flight being late or long queues at immigration it's the airlines responsibility to get me on the next available flight but we're all different and if you want peace of mind it's better to leave more time for the connection.

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: miami connecting flight

I don't think it's enough. You could spend 2 hrs just in immigration. Miami can be terrible. We're there last month and they had signs posted apologizing for the lengthy delays. Would not take much if a delay for you to miss the connection. So you have to ask how big an issue is that for you. If it is a single ticket, they will put you on the next available flight, but that could be the next day.