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Entering and leaving the beautiful island

,Essex
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Entering and leaving the beautiful island

I've just this morning returned from another wonderful two week holiday in Jamaica. This was our eighth visit as a family and having travelled extensively to many other destinations, there is nowhere in my opinion that quite has the vibe of this beatuful island.

However.

I have read numerous posts over the years and experienced first hand, how on occassions the welcome received at Montego Bay airport is lets say less than warm. Immigration officers high handedness and rudeness towards their guests is well documented and on this occassion it was no different.

I witnessed a number of incidents where tourists were spoken to as if they were second class citizens for minor indiscretions such as not filling their immigration cards correctly or standing forward of a non existant imaginary line.

On leaving I was lectured regarding my party and my authority to take a member of my family out of the UK without documentation. (A UK juristriction matter that British immigration officers saw no cause for alarm otherwise we wouldn't have been allowed to leave for our holiday in the first instance.)

Now all this is a bit like water off a ducks back to me as I'm now used to it and see it as a bit of a nause to put up with to enjoy our vacation.

How many others however don't and make the decision never to return based on that first impression?

St. Charles, MO
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1. Re: Entering and leaving the beautiful island

I will say that on my half a dozen or so trips to the island I have encountered some immigration and customs people who were very friendly and greeted us with a smile and a 'welcome to Jamaica'. I have also encountered some who were less welcoming, but never what I would call rude. Just business like. Just my personal experience. Your results may be different.

But that first impression is important. If I do remember correctly from 12 years ago, on our first ever trip to Jamaica we were greeted warmly and welcomed by the immigration officer. Perhaps if we had a different experience we may have had a different opinion.

Bodega, California
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2. Re: Entering and leaving the beautiful island

You're in an airport. I don't know why you'd expect anyone to be friendly except maybe the people that check you into your airline and your airline gate agent. Customs and immigration officers in any airport are not paid to be "friendly". Never had a friendly one in Jamaica, in the US or in Paris. Not openly rude either - just all business.

new jersey
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3. Re: Entering and leaving the beautiful island

If you think they are bad you should try coming back to the USA through Philadelphia International Airport.

Apache Junction...
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for Montego Bay
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4. Re: Entering and leaving the beautiful island

While the one's I've encountered have never been overly friendly, none have been rude. They have been very business like and I'm good with that.

Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: Entering and leaving the beautiful island

Hate to disagree with the "experts" !!! But, after 40 of international travel I seldom have a rude US Customs Agent, the couple of times I have, I reported them to their supervisor !!!!! And yes, we too had a female customs (not Immagration) offical that was very rude to everyone!!! She won't have lasted long in the US !!!

Bodega, California
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6. Re: Entering and leaving the beautiful island

Plumeria - you are not disagreeing with anyone. I don't see anyone here complaining about rude customs or immigration agents. In my many years of international travel I can't recall an agent in any country being rude - but I can't recall one ever being overly friendly (or friendly at all) either.

The myth about female customs and immigration agents in Jamaica is just that - a myth. I've had tougher searches than most in Jamaica because of the amount of baggage I bring with me for a seasonal stay - but again, not rude, just business like, all genders the same.

Its strictly business. And they do NOT have a sense of humor.

Barrie Ontario
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7. Re: Entering and leaving the beautiful island

Some friendly some not never rude to us though. It seems that in Jamaica they seem to take their job very seriously. There is one lady in immigration is a bit rough seen her many times.

Atlanta, Georgia
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8. Re: Entering and leaving the beautiful island

Rastagal: In the US , we expect customs personnel to act like "Public Servants". In Atlanta, they almost always have a smile and ask "how was your trip", we are the ones paying their salary!!!

Didn't realize their was a myth about Jamaican Female customs agents. LOL I didn't start this post, but i'm also not trying to disagree with everything the OP has to say !!!

Bodega, California
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9. Re: Entering and leaving the beautiful island

hahaha....the "myth" is that the female immigration officers will give you a harder time than the males. I'd been told this so many times that I actually would WAIT for a male officer to be free - until I just didn't want to do that any more and learned that they are all the same, just doing their jobs.

Never cleared customs in Atlanta but I have in New York, DC, SFO, Miami and Dallas. Its the personnel in those cities where I've had experience in the US - not friendly but not unfriendly.

Atlanta, Georgia
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10. Re: Entering and leaving the beautiful island

I could also really do without being "frisked/gropped" by the Female security agents as your boarding the plane. Doesn't happend often, but once is enough !!!