We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hassle at the airport

London, United...
Level Contributor
275 posts
22 reviews
Save Topic
Hassle at the airport

Hi all!

I recently returned from a girly trip to Ochi and at the airport we were interrogated by airport staff at check-out (they asked if any Jamaican's had been in contact with our belongings-ipods, laptops etc)

Now, I am planning a trip back in December to spend christmas with my partner and his family and will be staying with them. I am slightly worried that I will get hauled into an interview room and interrogated within an inch of my life!

I was wondering if anyone else has traveled alone and stayed with family/their partner and if they have experienced any difficulties on their way back? I have no problem with being asked questions, as they are routine and to prevent drug-trafficking but I would like to be prepared for a grilling!

Glen Mills, PA
Destination Expert
for Montego Bay
Level Contributor
5,974 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Hassle at the airport

You very well may get some intense scrutiny if you are going back to Jamaica so soon. They do stepped up profiling with travelers from the UK. In fact, they have agents from the UK sitting in front of the screeners.

Mentioned in this post
Jamaica
Jamaica
Caribbean
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
10,742 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Hassle at the airport

inbound, i've traveled a lot and used local addresses and never had an issue with customs other than the last time when we had 14 bags and a car seat in total.. even then they had zero interest in going through all my bags and selected 2 at random... i usually get a few eyebrow raises when they have to flip through 4 (or 12) pages of jamaica (and UK) stamps and find a squishy spot... and a couple sly comments, but never any issues from immigration...

leaving jamaica, never had an issue with immigration/customs (they're combined here... have heard a few people have had issues but mostly random)

arriving home, only problem with immigraiton is that they send me to customs more often than i'd like... had a few runnins with customs... only one somewhat nasty.. i know they're just doing their job, and i try to make it as pleasant as possible but sometimes they're just miserable!

i've had as short as 6w between trips without an issue... not sure why some people are hassled more than others to be honest....

Chelle

Mentioned in this post
Jamaica
Jamaica
Caribbean
Canada
Level Contributor
101 posts
239 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Hassle at the airport

My first couple trips to Jamaica (about 6 weeks apart), I was interrogated coming in. More recent trips I have had no trouble.

Mentioned in this post
Jamaica
Jamaica
Caribbean
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
215 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Hassle at the airport

I'm Canadian but live in Jamaica and I get treated like a drug dealer every time I go to Canada and its really annoying.

Last time they even searched all my phones, camera and laptops to make sure i'm not taking part in illegal porn or human trafficking...Seriously???

I'm not even black so I can't say they're being racist but they're really being bias...

It really depends on who you get and which airport because for me if I land in Toronto I don't get questioned but if I land in Ottawa or Montreal they keep me for an hour.

I've never had any problems with Jamaica immigration though

Edited: 18 July 2011, 20:30
Mentioned in this post
Jamaica
Jamaica
Caribbean
Toronto
Toronto
Ontario, Canada
Ottawa
Ottawa
Ontario, Canada
Montreal
Montreal
Quebec, Canada
Toronto
Level Contributor
812 posts
95 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Hassle at the airport

I have never had a problem and used to travel to Jamaica alone 6 times a year for numerous years. That being said, I know I am quite lucky especially since I would travel from JA to Canada on a UK passport.

While I do think that security can be a bit harsh at times... and YES I am sure there are bouts of profiling going on - I would try my hardest to not let it bother me and look at it as anything more than it is.... maniditory! We are all aware that it is possible.

I do get a laugh whenever I do land in any country when they try and find a spot to give a stamp. Since my UK passport is valid for 10 years I usually have to get a new one before it expires due to the extent of travelling. When I arrive in JA, I usually get the same old... "welcome back".. its quite nice! But when I travel to other countries such as Mexico, Cuba and America that is when I have a hard time with security and I know it has to do with the gazillion Jamaican stamps.

Mentioned in this post
Jamaica
Jamaica
Caribbean
Mexico
Mexico
North America
Cuba
Cuba
Caribbean
Noblesville, Indiana
Level Contributor
1,022 posts
63 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Hassle at the airport

This past trip to JA was my worst exp. Coming and going....Nit picky on forms entering JA...Leaving they made mistakes on our luggage tags, then acted as if I was hidding something with my bag, when I corrected them on the tag error...Double the screens/pat downs....AND best of all 4 passes with the drug dog in Orlando! My wife and I were well dressed (not flashy) and as a couple not traveling solo. Having been all over the world this was extreme...

Mentioned in this post
Orlando
Orlando
Central Florida, FL
Birmingham, England
Level Contributor
178 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Hassle at the airport

I've been to Jamaica 3 times, and I'm from the UK... And I've never been interogated by anyone... Last time I was there, it was in January.. So I don't know why this should have changed..

Hopefully its just a one off - don't let it spoil your experience of the island

Mentioned in this post
Jamaica
Jamaica
Caribbean
London, United...
Level Contributor
275 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Hassle at the airport

Thank you all for sharing your experiences! I find the process so intimidating! I know they tend to profile lone female travellers so I will expect the worse and hope for the best :)

London, United...
Level Contributor
275 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Hassle at the airport

Thank you all for sharing your experiences! I find the process so intimidating! I know they tend to profile lone female travellers so I will expect the worse and hope for the best :)

Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
75 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Hassle at the airport

the same thing happened to me when i was coming back from jamaica going into pierre elliot trudeau airport in montreal . when i got to immigration they kept asking me so many questions like how did i get the money to pay for my trip, where do i work, why did i go to jamaica etc.. and after leaving i had to go through customs then go iinto this rooms and i was really scared because i thought that theywere gonna detained me and strip search me and i heard that has happened to a lot to women who travel alone particularly black women . the customs agent who searched through my luggage was really nice to me. i told her that i paid 1100$( flight, hotel transfers) for my whole trip to negril and she seemed really interested. and she said that it was good that i did organized tours and not stay on the beach the whole time i was there . i think the reason why immigration and customs agents interrogate/ hassle people this because a lot of drug mules/ smugglers smuggle drugs into canada.

Edited: 26 July 2011, 00:34
Mentioned in this post
Jamaica
Jamaica
Caribbean
Get answers to your questions about Ocho Rios
Recent Conversations