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Thread: lines at airport

  1. #51
    Senior Member sunscreen's Avatar
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    well.......that's good news.....especially for short-termers who will be visiting soon. Thanks for updating and sharing.

  2. #52
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Flew home today (Saturday May 4th). Our flight was at 3:50pm on United. We left for the airport a little before 11:30 mentally prepared for lines and waiting. Turns out there was an accident in the downtown area so traffic was a little heavier than expected. We got to the airport around noon. The United ticket counter was well-staffed, and there were only about 3 people in front of us. We were through the check in and the first security checkpoint within 30 minutes. There were lines but everything is well organized. As others have said, you cannot go to US Customs until 2 hours before your flight and they did have someone at the door checking boarding passes for the flight time. We took this time to look around and grab a slice of pizza. There were not many seats open. Many people are in this area waiting for the time to enter US Customs. I think this is a good process it keeps Customs from being overwhelmed with people like my dh who have to be extra early for everything and end up slowing down those who follow the guidelines. When it was our time, we headed for US Customs and the line snaked back to the door but there were quite a few open booths and even an agent to keep the line moving and telling people which line they needed to walk to. The line moved quickly. Lots of complaining in the line, but really the process went smoothly. From taxi drop off to our gate I think the total time was a little over 2 hours (including the stop to wait before we could enter US Customs). We got lucky and had an empty seat in our row! That is rare, our flight was pretty full. I should probably add that we did see people get pulled forward in the Customs lines for a couple different flights. Just follow the 3-3.5 hour rule and I really think you will be fine.
    Last edited by Traceyd14; 05-05-2013 at 12:40 AM. Reason: add a detail
    Not sure when, but we will be back

  3. #53
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your experiences at airport
    Quote Originally Posted by Traceyd14 View Post
    Flew home today (Saturday May 4th). Our flight was at 3:50pm on United. We left for the airport a little before 11:30 mentally prepared for lines and waiting. Turns out there was an accident in the downtown area so traffic was a little heavier than expected. We got to the airport around noon. The United ticket counter was well-staffed, and there were only about 3 people in front of us. We were through the check in and the first security checkpoint within 30 minutes. There were lines but everything is well organized. As others have said, you cannot go to US Customs until 2 hours before your flight and they did have someone at the door checking boarding passes for the flight time. We took this time to look around and grab a slice of pizza. There were not many seats open. Many people are in this area waiting for the time to enter US Customs. I think this is a good process it keeps Customs from being overwhelmed with people like my dh who have to be extra early for everything and end up slowing down those who follow the guidelines. When it was our time, we headed for US Customs and the line snaked back to the door but there were quite a few open booths and even an agent to keep the line moving and telling people which line they needed to walk to. The line moved quickly. Lots of complaining in the line, but really the process went smoothly. From taxi drop off to our gate I think the total time was a little over 2 hours (including the stop to wait before we could enter US Customs). We got lucky and had an empty seat in our row! That is rare, our flight was pretty full. I should probably add that we did see people get pulled forward in the Customs lines for a couple different flights. Just follow the 3-3.5 hour rule and I really think you will be fine.

  4. #54
    Member brph26's Avatar
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    We will be flying out of Aruba on a Sunday in September. Do you all think there will be a super long wait on a Sunday? Should we plan on arriving to the airport more than 2 hours ahead of our flight time? That was what our travel agent suggested a few months ago when we booked. We will be flying first class. Will that help our chance of getting through any lines quicker than normal?

  5. #55
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    I'm interested in September/October Sunday flights home, too. I can tell you we fly first class and that makes no difference in Aruba as far as the security lines are concerned. It may for the ticket counter (we do carry on so I can't answer that).

  6. #56
    Senior Member ~Amy~'s Avatar
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    Flying First Class out of Aruba only helps at the checkin/ticket counter since you are able to use the First Class line. But that's it.

    When I flew back last Tuesday it seemed like everything was back to "normal".

    Last Sept. we flew home on a Saturday which is the busiest day at the airport - this is from my trip report last Sept:
    We flew out on the dreaded Saturday (busiest day at the airport) because hubby wanted to have a day off before back to the office on Monday. Flight was at 3pm and got to the airport around noon-ish. Line to check in was quick (Sky Priority with Delta), immigration line was slow, and the first security check point was both slow and long. Tons of people in line for U.S. Customs but they were well staffed and it moved pretty fast. All in all, from check-in to the gate it took about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Had time to grab a sandwich and a beer at the Old Dutch Bar which was right by our gate. About 15 minutes before boarding they called my husband’s name to the desk and we both got upgraded to First Class for the flight home at the last minute. So we had our "second lunch" on the flight to Atlanta.
    ~Amy~ - 35th trip to Aruba: New Years Eve 2017/2018 -- Zihuatanejo, MX: March 2018 -- Ireland: June/July 2018 -- 36th trip to Aruba: Sept. 2018




  7. #57
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Question Maybe this should be a separate topic/thread

    Can anyone say for certain what possible delays might be in September, October, November, December, or next year...???

    If you can, then please let me know so I can plan in advance for January 2, 2014. I don't think anyone can answer the question so I am not going to worry over something I have NO control over.

    The fact is, as of this very moment the US Congress appropriated additional funding for Homeland Security (as well as the Defense Dept.), some monies were added back in for CBP and border protection. With this Napolitano declared that there would be no furloughs for US Customs & Immigration.

    In my very simple mind that should tell us that it should be "business as usual" at the airport in Aruba until such a time that the funding for agents changes. Napolitano did state that when the current "extra" funding ran out she would return to Congress and ask for more $$$.

    The real question here imo, is that since there were NEVER any furloughs of ICE agents, why WERE there such long lines in Aruba?
    Was it just extra passengers which overwhelmed the system or another issue?

  8. #58
    Senior Member ~Amy~'s Avatar
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    Even though there were no furloughs, they had previously put a freeze on overtime for agents. I think that the "no overtime" rule coupled with high season (more flights) in Aruba was where the problems began.

    Aruba was not the only place experiencing long lines for customs:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/1...o-customs.html
    Last edited by ~Amy~; 05-06-2013 at 11:33 AM.
    ~Amy~ - 35th trip to Aruba: New Years Eve 2017/2018 -- Zihuatanejo, MX: March 2018 -- Ireland: June/July 2018 -- 36th trip to Aruba: Sept. 2018




  9. #59
    Member DPEmerald's Avatar
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    We just flew home on a Friday and the problem wasn't the check in process, it was that the American Customs didn't open until after 10am. The line went past the Duty Free stores.

  10. #60
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Post From the "Airport Guide" http://www.airportaruba.com/airport_guide.php

    Check-In hours
    "Check-in hours vary between airlines and destinations. Consult your Airline for more information.
    For US-bound departures you have to check-in three hours before the scheduled departure. For more check-in information contact your airline. Airline contact information can be found here."

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