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Mexico´s Immigration and Customs Not So Bad

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Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel, Merida
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Mexico´s Immigration and Customs Not So Bad

If you thought things were a bit slow here in Mexico, try the USA. According to a recent survey , 43% of travelers avoid to traveling to the US for that reason. This article from TravelMole:

http://www.travelmole.com/news_feature.php?c=setreg&region=3&m_id=_r~AdvmY%21&w_id=8794&news_id=2005692

San Jose, California
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1. Re: Mexico´s Immigration and Customs Not So Bad

We experienced this on Tuesday connecting through Houston. It was a mess.

We waited in the immigration line for over an hour - it appeared that we were lucky in this because the line behind us kept growing and before we got to the front of the line, the queue behind us had filled the entire hall. There were only 7 immigration agents on the US citizen/residents side to process people - literally thousands of people arriving. I have no idea how long the poor souls behind us had to wait or what it was like on the visitors' side of the immigration area. Fortunately once we got to the immigration officer, he was polite and efficient and we were on our way. It just looked like they were seriously understaffed.

Customs was fine - no problem, no waiting.

The real fun started when we had to go through security for our connecting to another flight. The security area was a zoo. We were able to get into the premier line and it was still a mess. The TSA agents running this security check point appeared to be severely under-trained. The premier line should move like clockwork because all of the passengers in that line know the proceedures. Wrong. It was pure chaos.

Kansas City...
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2. Re: Mexico´s Immigration and Customs Not So Bad

Good Point. We spent just as long clearing back in Chicago as we did in Cozumel. Houston wasn't much better.

If I had my choice, I would pick Dallas everytime.

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: Mexico´s Immigration and Customs Not So Bad

November-Moon. What you saw in Houston is the result of the current "sequester" in our Federal budget. Cuts started on March 1. We saw it as we cleared Customs on our return from Cozumel on March 2. Serious reduction in staff. Like you, we were lucky enough to be on the first plane that landed. By the time we cleared - the hallway was filled with several hundred people - three more planes had landed. If making a connection, you need to have a LOT of time now. Its only going to get worse come April.

From ABC News -- "6 Questions and Answers About the Sequester"

…go.com/Politics/…

Cozumel, Mexico
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4. Re: Mexico´s Immigration and Customs Not So Bad

¨November-Moon. What you saw in Houston is the result of the current "sequester" in our Federal budget. Cuts started on March 1.¨

Thats what the administration wants you to believe. But the results in this survey cover a long period of time and doubt anyone was polled since the much touted sequester. Its really just the result in an inefficient operation, in my opinion.

Minneapolis...
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5. Re: Mexico´s Immigration and Customs Not So Bad

I disagree, Robert. I travel Internationally all the time, so does hubby. It has gotten a LOT worse since March 1. Is the operation inefficient?......sure ....but it has gotten WORSE since March 1.

CBS News: March 1, 2013

......."Most of the sequester apocalypse, of which Obama's Cabinet has warned, relates to government-worker furloughs: Airport-security lines will get longer because TSA agents will work one fewer day every two weeks, thinning out the workforce; fewer commercial planes will fly because of furloughs to air-traffic controllers;..."

'Red

Edited: 21 March 2013, 17:47
San Jose, California
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6. Re: Mexico´s Immigration and Customs Not So Bad

So basically we have just gone from bad to worse. And I thought we were supposed to be the best country on earth... ;-)

Calgary, Canada
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7. Re: Mexico´s Immigration and Customs Not So Bad

We feel that way about travelling through Toronto - because apparently it's the "hub of Canada". We're in Western Canada and 75% of all flights south have to go through Toronto - NOT !

We go out of our way to not connect through Toronto and would much rather go through Houston or Dallas and so far (fingers crossed) we haven't had any issues.

Minneapolis...
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8. Re: Mexico´s Immigration and Customs Not So Bad

It is what it is....all you can do is be prepared. Allow a LOT of time to get through TSA. If its quick...you can sit and have a drink or a coffee. If its slow, you won't be in a mess. Same with connections, don't let the airlines push a tight connection on you if you have to clear Customs. I'd much rather be sitting in an airport cafe than frantic in a line about to miss my plane.

Cozumel, Mexico
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9. Re: Mexico´s Immigration and Customs Not So Bad

Two words: "Global Entry"

You don't have to fill out a returning immigration and customs card in the US. Then pass "Go".....do not stop at the immigration line. Hand the nice Customs agent your printed piece of paper from the immigration "ATM" and be on your way.

And the bonus for Global Entry? "Trusted Traveler". Skip taking off your shoes, belts, coats and emptying your laptop/fluids from your bag. It's not at every airport, but well worth the $100 if you fly or fly internationally.

Ontario
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10. Re: Mexico´s Immigration and Customs Not So Bad

I like Pearson airport in Toronto. I don't *mind* Dallas, but I hate Houston and will NOT do that again--it's just impossibly big and the lineups are CRAZY long, both customs and security. Dallas seems to have a guy pulling people with connections out of line and keeping things tidy, but Houston is just brutal.

That being said, I only fly direct now. I prefer to go to Coz in the off-season, but I just don't want to have to deal with US Customs (2x) and the TSA as well as Canadian customs (security is a breeze). It just means I'm stuck with the seasonal schedule is all. :o(