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Customs in Florida

Rocky Mountain...
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for St. Lucia, Castries
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Customs in Florida

Any idea how much time to allow for getting through customs in Miami upon return at 7 pm? Looking at a flight that only has 1-1/2 hours between arrival and next departure. Not sure it is enough time

Atlantic Shores...
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1. Re: Customs in Florida

Depends on a great many variables, primary among them the day of the week and whether you are checking bags. For Fri-Sun, or a holiday, I'd say no way. And if you're checking bags, absolutely not. As you know, you'll have to go through immigration, retrieve your bags, go through customs, then deposit your bags, exit the secured area and re-enter.

Also depends on your arrival terminal vs. departure terminal, as the distance between them can be quite long.

Tip: If you do check bags and have to re-enter security, avoid terminal A or D, as they are the busiest. Go through one of the other (somewhat) less busy terminals, which all offer connections between them on the other side of security anyway.

Rocky Mountain...
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for St. Lucia, Castries
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2. Re: Customs in Florida

Thanks. It's always interesting that AA will put their flights that close together for connections on international flights. Guess they think it's doable.

dorval
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3. Re: Customs in Florida

nevera,

From a past experience, I'd say not enough time. What I don't understand and this might warrant an explanation......is why they don't have an in transit area for those just making a connecting flight and not staying in the U.S?

We were completely checked and rechecked in Barbados, then in Miami, had to pick up our bags, go through all the check points, customs and security and for what? An in transit area would stop all that. Outside can't enter and you can't leave............Simple, one would think. I really can't see an hour and a half being enough, but good luck with it. For those that live in the States, it's understandable that they would have to check your bags. For me? Once bitten, twice shy.....I won't go through Miami again.

Paragon 140

Atlantic Shores...
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4. Re: Customs in Florida

Paragon,

"...why they don't have an in transit area for those just making a connecting flight and not staying in the U.S?"

Well, all the international hub airports in the US used to have exactly that. Then came... 9/11. And in that traditional way we have of throwing the baby out with the bath water, our government decided this was a security threat. Along with contact lens cleaner, breast milk, water, and other deadly liquids in quantities over 100ml. But I digress.

Like you, this made no sense to me. If my bags and I have cleared security and been deemed safe enough to fly one leg of a trip, how can I now be a potential threat if I've never gone outside the secured area of the aircraft or the arrival airport? So I posed that question to Patrick Smith, author of the popular book and online column, "Ask The Pilot". http://www.askthepilot.com

In an e-mail, Patrick told me that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) doesn't truly consider airport screening measures in some countries to be up to the TSA standards. Not all airports, mind you. Just some. So they screen everyone and their bags again. Even if the inbound flight was on a US carrier. Even if you're just connecting to another flight out of the US. If you think about that for a moment, you'll see the total lack of logic in the process.

Logic, of course, doesn't enter into TSA decisions. For more proof, go to Patrick's web site and read the story about the time TSA confiscated his table knife, one identical to that used by first-class passengers on his own plane. They took a table knife. From. The. Pilot. Who has the plane's control wheel in his hands. I guess they thought he might try to storm the cockpit and stab himself to gain control of the aircraft.

dorval
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5. Re: Customs in Florida

bpfife,

Agree with some points, but with TSA, it seems to be overkill at the best of times. If we're all safer by all this security, I suppose we should be thankful, but with having to get to the airport two and three hours ahead of your flight time and going through the same situation again and again should one have a few stops along the way, it can be a bit demoralizing to say the least. I wonder how anyone in their outfit would feel if on entering Barbados they were to go through customs and security before entering the country because the immigration in Bim didn't think TSA were doing a thorough enough job? A secure transit area is the answer in Miami and probably everywhere else for that matter......and I'll repeat.......secure. Leave that area and you'll have to go through the whole shebang again. Stay put and catch your next flight without all the hassle.I appreciate security as much as the next guy, but it has gotten way out of hand. By the way, how come my bags can go straight through to Barbados from Canada, even though I might have made two stops in the U.S before getting there? Isn't my first point of entry an interest to the TSA.......as it is when I enter the States.....Miami.....in this case? What's the difference?

Paragon 140

Altoona...
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6. Re: Customs in Florida

I prefer going through customs in Puerto Rico than Miami. Did so last Feb. and made sure flight change was again through SJU this Feb. Much smoother travels doing it that way, I have found.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Customs in Florida

As someone that works in the industry,I can tell u it's not enough time. When I recently went to BGI, I went via MIA, trust me, not by choice. I waited to buy my tix the same time as people who were planning on going so we could choose our seats together. Long story short, I got tired of waiting for them and by the time I purchased my tic, I had no choice but to go thru MIA. I always do the direct from JFK, waaaay less hassle!

Fairfax, Virginia
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8. Re: Customs in Florida

Just came back 2 weeks ago. In Miami, definitely 2 hrs. between flights is much better. There is a huge amount of people from all over getting their luggage to go through customs, and it takes LOTS of time. You'd be more relaxed with at least 2 hours in between, although you could probably do it with only 1-1/2 hrs.

9. Re: Customs in Florida

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