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Aruba Airport Depature Woes on Saturdays

Leland, North...
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Aruba Airport Depature Woes on Saturdays

Feb 27 2010 - Saturday afternoon departures (in season) from Beatrix airport in Aruba can be a nightmare. They are many US flights departing in the afternoon leading to very long lines. They say allow 3 hours before flight time, and IMHO they mean it! The lines are long and slow, and it can start at your airline counter. Only United had a short line; most other carriers had lines snaked in the small terminal at times leading outside the terminal.

After ticketing you must then traverse four more lines, 2 for Aruban authorities and 2 US. The worst line was for US Immigration. Be prepared for standing in lines for 90 minutes or more AFTER getting your boarding pass. My suggestion is be prepared. Have a light meal before you get there since you won't be able to get food until you get to the gate area.

Finally, in the gate area be prepared for a gate change for your flight. Gates are shared amongst all airlines and change based on availability. We saw several last minute changes (including our United flight.) Again - this is for Saturday departures.

Note - the arrival process at Aruba was a breeze.

Janesville...
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1. Re: Aruba Airport Depature Woes on Saturdays

We avoid Saturdays as best as we can, but have done it and although the lines can be long we have always had plenty of time to get to the gates- not always leaving the 3 hour window. When you have that early AM flight I think its the worst b/c usually people are lining up before the agents start processing passengers and so the wait seems soooo long.

On the positive side I would rather pass through US customs in AUA vs having to do it in the states as those lines can sometimes be REALLY with so many flights coming into the major US International airports....so my guess is that if you take into account the time that you would spend doing US customs in the US you would find it evens out....I agree that it does seem like a long process and no one wants to leave anyway! :)

Hull, Massachusetts
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2. Re: Aruba Airport Depature Woes on Saturdays

Saturdays can be brutal in the airport, but I agree that I'm so glad to have the customs part behind me. We have left many other islands being in very long lines only to have the customs part waiting for us back in the states.

The last two years, we have stayed a couple of extra days and it makes all the difference. We love the extra time in Aruba and it's a breeze getting through the airport during the week.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Aruba Airport Depature Woes on Saturdays

Wait so you actually don't have to go through customs at all once you get back to the States? Everything is done on the Aruba side? That is very nice because Customs in JFK can be a total nightmare and we are returning on a day where my husband will have to go to work when we get back. That is good to know. At least he shouldn't be super rushed.

Massachusetts
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4. Re: Aruba Airport Depature Woes on Saturdays

So if you were going for say 10 days, would you recommend going down on a Saturday and coming home on a Wednesday to avoid the long lines at the airport. Rather than going down on a Wednesday and coming back on a Saturday?

jl
Waltham...
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5. Re: Aruba Airport Depature Woes on Saturdays

lovemickey - absolutely, yes! We traveled Wednesday to Wednesday last year, this year is Tuesday to Tuesday. In previous years we traveled the weekends and I couldn't believe the HUGE difference in crowds and lines.

Returning on a week day is so much easier.

Hull, Massachusetts
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6. Re: Aruba Airport Depature Woes on Saturdays

We arrived this year Saturday afternoon around 4:30 and breezed through customs.

Left during the week and it was just as easy. This is two years arriving on Saturday and leaving mid-week except that I hate to ruin a good thing, I'd recommend it to everyone.

Connecticut
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7. Re: Aruba Airport Depature Woes on Saturdays

So .. leaving on a Wednesday, how far ahead should you get to the airport????

jl
Waltham...
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for Aruba
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8. Re: Aruba Airport Depature Woes on Saturdays

We were there a little more than 2 hours ahead of time and still had time to stop and get booze to bring home, and sit and have a slice of pizza.

9. Re: Aruba Airport Depature Woes on Saturdays

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