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Miami Int'l Airport

usa
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Miami Int'l Airport

I have never travelled thru Miami to get to Barbados. I have always flown direct from JFK. I have been reading this forum since I purchased my tickets in Sept., and it seems that Miami can be a nightmare? Any helpful information will be greatly appreciated. My wife and I fly on Feb 7, for our 14th trip to Barbados. I just keep in mind what I will be doing that afternoon, and that gets me past the issues I have encountered at airports. Is Miami different? Thank you in advance for any advice, counting down the days!!

Wantagh, New York
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1. Re: Miami Int'l Airport

We have gone thru Miami on several occasions with no big issues....seems things can be a distance when connecting or a longer line coming back going thru customs....We leave in 2 weeks and our non stop flight from JFK changed to a change in Miami.....using miles so we'll deal with it.

Prague, Czech...
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2. Re: Miami Int'l Airport

I have only 1 hour 45 minutes at Miami International airport to chance my flight from Milano ( Italy) to Barbados. Is it enough to catch plane to Barbados? Do I have to go thru U.S. imigrant control in Miami or not? Thanks.

Barbados
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3. Re: Miami Int'l Airport

Miami is so random! Last time I went through there, in August last year, it took 10 minutes to get through Passport Control - yup, a whole 10 minutes! But friends tell horror stories of 2 or 3 HOURS! So it really depends on what time you come in, what other flights are on the ground etc.

You can sometimes find a sympathetic official who will move you up in the line if you have another flight to catch, if you're lucky. Trouble is, so many others will be in your same boat.

Barbados
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4. Re: Miami Int'l Airport

rhanna3256

I have only ever had one bad experience with MIA. Some trips can be great, others not so great. I personally like MIA when travelling to the USA.

Regards

Sudbury, Canada
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5. Re: Miami Int'l Airport

Vasek, since MIA will be your port of entry to the US yes you will have to go through US immigration there. You may or may not have to go through customs depending on how your luggage was tagged. It 'should' be tagged right through to BGI but if it is not, then after going through immigration, you would have to claim your luggage at MIA and go through customs. You may also have to go through TSA (airport security) after customs I don't remember if you are still on the secure side in the baggage hall and can get to the departure gates. You are best to call your airline and ask for the details. Are you using the same airline from Milano to MIA as from MIA to Barbados?

Barbados
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6. Re: Miami Int'l Airport

Normally everyone has to collect luggage and clear customs at the first port of entry to the US, unless there is some agreement with the US - some countries are set up to allow clearance of US customs on their end. At MIA, if you do have to collect your luggage, you give the luggage back to TSA as soon as you come out of Customs - there's a drop-off area that's clearly marked, and there are TSA officials who just grab it from you - no line-ups. To catch your next flight you will need to go back upstairs to the departure area and go through security with your hand luggage. You should be given your boarding passes for all flights that day when you check in to your original flight, so no need to check in again at MIA - go through security and straight to your gate. Do check the monitors for your correct gate when you get back upstairs to the departure area - MIA changes gates sometimes and it's too large an airport for them to make announcements about every gate change.

Sudbury, Canada
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7. Re: Miami Int'l Airport

Bajanswife, when we have flown from Canada to Belize or Roatan via the US our luggage has been tagged straight through so we didn't have to claim it at Houston or Atlanta. Our boarding pass was stamped "INTRANSIT", we showed that to the customs officer as we exited the baggage hall, went through TSA again and got back to the departures level to our next gate. Going through the States is always a crap shoot because it seems they are always changing the rules and each airport is set up differently.

Atlantic Shores...
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8. Re: Miami Int'l Airport

"To catch your next flight you will need to go back upstairs to the departure area and go through security with your hand luggage."

No longer. Late last year MIA changed the process so that you now exit customs/immigration and hand off your bags as you are herded into a queue on the same level. You don't have to go through the land side of the terminals anymore. But you still have to be re-screened by TSA and the lines can be huge. The only advantage is that at least you don't have to navigate upstairs and into a security line along with domestic passengers waiting for screening.

Barbados
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9. Re: Miami Int'l Airport

That's interesting bpfife. That airport always seems to be changing!

rhanna, your flight originates in the US, correct? In that case you will be tagged straight through, no need to collect luggage. No Immigration either - it will be just like flying domestically. The only issue you may have is a long walk from one end of the terminal to the other (a low number gate to a high number gate or vice versa) but you can always take the Skytrain if that is the case. There are maps of the AA terminal all along the way that you can look at to see if it's worth taking the train or not. It's on the way home to the US that you will have the Immigration issue (potential long waits) and have to clear customs in MIA since your luggage will not be intransit to somewhere else.

My previous advice was for Vasek coming from Milano. "Intransit" or not, you are still herded through Immigration with everyone else, and still have to go back through security to get back to the departure gates - as an "Intransit" you only skip the part where you would collect luggage (which is usually waiting for you unless Immigration is quick), and I find the customs lines usually move relatively quickly. Hopefully the fact that you now have your own security area downstairs will help you get back to the gates more quickly as well.

Barbados
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10. Re: Miami Int'l Airport

Good to see that MIA has altered the process. That should be making things a little easier.