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Miami airport immigration with young children

F L
Birmingham, United...
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33 posts
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Miami airport immigration with young children

We are booked to fly LHR to MIA in 3 weeks with AA. My husband and I will be travelling with our 2yr old toddler.

We've been via MIA before and immigration was fine (2009), now all I keep hearing is that it is so bad and we may queue for 2, 3, 4 hrs. 4.5hrs last Saturday apparently.

I'm really worried about this now and how my little boy will manage after a transatlantic flight. It's just cruel on my part to make him queue for so long. I feel awful.

Has anyone got any advice or tips?

Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: Miami airport immigration with young children

It depends on how many other international flights are in the same time as yours. No way to tell in advance unless you have access to Miami arrivals on that day. But your 2 yr old may surprise you and sleep on the flight over so shouldn't be fidgety standing in line. Make sure he has his favorite toy to hold.

F L
Birmingham, United...
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2. Re: Miami airport immigration with young children

Sadly he doesn't ever sleep out of his cot - never has so I'm planning that he'll be awake on the flight. I think 2-3hrs is a bit much for him to stand still, especially past his bedtime!

Fort Lauderdale...
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3. Re: Miami airport immigration with young children

Your flight will arrive in close proximity to at least three maybe four other large aircraft arriving from Europe.

Plan ahead have all your paperwork filled out and ready, have ready access to any required documents, passports etc.

Bring something to keep your child occupied should you be stuck in an extra long line waiting to clear Immigration, be sure to have snacks and diapers set aside for this...good luck

Nottingham, United...
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4. Re: Miami airport immigration with young children

My advice is;

1. Ensure that you have everything filled out correctly and at hand

2. Exit the plane as quickly as you can - if you can't get out quickly then just take your time

3. Try to move swiftly to the immigration hall - plenty of chance to stretch legs etc as it can be a long walk - depending where you arrive

4. It's pot luck as to where you land in relation to other planes and if you are ahead / behind schedule, you could be lucky...

5. As Objets says having a toy, snack, drink available may help - if the worst comes to the worst one stand in line and the other hang back with your child until they approach the head of the Que.

6.Sometimes you can break lucky and the line for US citizens clears quickly - I used to look for that area and once those lines are done they send you across - but it's pot luck.

7. Keep everything crossed and make a game of it - cos that's exactly what it is at Miami! Flying AA should mean you have less walking to do that those on BA / Virgin and other europeans landing at a similar time .

Thatcham, United...
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5. Re: Miami airport immigration with young children

We are flying into Miami on 26th March with Virgin. How can I tell how many other flights are arriving at the same time? Our flight is due in at 18:15.

I don't really want to stand for 4.5 hrs but not a lot of choice really if that happens. I'm expecting the worst and hopefully it won't be that bad!

Nottingham, United...
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6. Re: Miami airport immigration with young children

It's hard to say because there are so many variables. I have flown that flight and made it thro in an hour. My advice go onto mia website and look at arrivals international around your due time and it will show u what should happen. I will look later I cant at mo.

Fort Lauderdale...
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7. Re: Miami airport immigration with young children

Ive asked some people who know stuff and they have advised the following:

Immigration is now only one(1) line for ALL travelers, Citizen, Resident Aliens, and visitors. The only quick way thru is limited to those with access to Global Entry.

As for the Virgin Atlantic arrival, I honestly dont know their operation and suspect they clear a different Customs area than the one my friends went thru, the late arrival time may work to your favor.

Nottingham, United...
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8. Re: Miami airport immigration with young children

Its all in the same place yes but different lines still. I looked at global entry and its only for us citizens

Grenoble, France
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9. Re: Miami airport immigration with young children

This is an over reaction....there is no way you will be queuing for 4hrs...whoever is telling you this is being way too dramatic.

Limerick, Ireland
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10. Re: Miami airport immigration with young children

For airport waiting times

see.........CBP.GOV / AWT

F L are you flying direct to MIA ?