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Thread: Aruba Airport issues and Global Entry chatter

  1. #1
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Aruba Airport issues and Global Entry chatter

    There has been much talk and much upset re: the congestion at the airport in Aruba. (mostly on the weekends)

    What do you think can be done to fix the situation?

    What has been your most recent experience?



    __________________________________________________ ____________

    We flew home from Aruba on a Thursday in mid May.
    The lines were minimal and we breezed through til we got to US Customs.
    @ US Customs, the line was probably about 75 + people in the line waiting their turn.
    There were 2 agents working processing passengers thru customs.

    I believe that the delays are caused by insufficient personnel in the US Customs area.
    I believe that these delays (especially on the weekends ) have been caused by the US Customs for at least the last 6 or 7 years.

    It is indeed a privilege for us to be able to utilize US Customs in Aruba.......... but if it cannot be manned/staffed correctly, I say why bother?

    A negative experience in Aruba's airport will cause some people to think twice as to whether they "wanna do that again!"
    THINK.. is it Thoughtful? Helpful? Inspirational? Necessary? Kind?
    Karma...It is pronounced "HaHaHaHa"
    SIDTM

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  2. #2
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    A variety of reasons (per my observations). Ticket counter staff are General Avaiation employees...trained ( I pesume) in how the specific airline wants things done. I have checked in and it took staff so long to process my reservation you would think I was making 20 connections rather than zero! Also, people waiting for wheelchairs...you sign up ahead of time, they know how many staff are needed and when, you still wait...sometime for 45 minutes. As to US Customs....a US issue....staffing appears to be the problem. But as a long time traveler to Aruba...starting in the late 80's....would rather wait in Aruba then connect and do Customs in Miami or San Juan. It was beyond stressful years ago....can't imagine dealing with it now!!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Staffing....
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the best of men!
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    Yesterday was a total disaster and the worst experience of my 33 trips- and it was so bad if that had happened my 1st couple of trips I don't think I would have ever continued...yep that bad! It all revolves around one thing- inadequate staff across the board- from checkin with between 1-3 people checking everyone in. The reason I say 1-3 as most often it was less than 3- they just kept disappearing. The USA Customs was a JOKE!!!!!!! The lines were out of this world long and when we got close we figured out why....3 or 4 working. To make matters worse after getting through USA customs we walked by the customs station on your left as you approach the last security screening and there were FIVE USA customs people chatting it up. I am thinking they could have put at least 2 or 3 of them on the desk...but what do I know.

    So from curb to gate how dong did it take us? How about 3 hours and 32 minutes!!!! You can't make this up. Glad my flight was really delayed....and we arrived over 4 hours before we were suppose to- thankfully.

    More on our horror day in my trip report I need to wrap up today.
    Trip 33 begins on July 15.








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  5. #5
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    The ability to clear immigration and customs in Aruba is a great benefit. I don't know how many of you guys travel internationally, but clearing customs in places like LA, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta and Philly to name a few can take hours, after flying for hours. Aruba needs to make it so folks can wait in A/C instead of long lines outside. I think a lot of people are unhappy because they are leaving Aruba and the long lines and wait for immigration and customs aren't helping. There are several things that could be done to minimize the wait, but staffing is the biggest offender right now.

    My solution? "Walt's Walk up and Wait Bar" outside ticketing. Grab a frozen adult beverage, cool down and think about how much fun you had, plan your next trip and wait patiently. Remember you are one of the fortunate people that gets to vacation in Aruba. And believe me other than it being a little warm, the wait is nothing compared to some other international destinations. You can clear US I&C in Abu Dhabi, but it can take 3 or 4 hours on a really good day.

    So get to the airport early, have all of your papers in order, check your attitude at the door and chill out. It's not that difficult.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    Yep, been many other places as well and do love clearing customs in Aruba...but it was still awful.

    Quote Originally Posted by WaltVB View Post
    The ability to clear immigration and customs in Aruba is a great benefit. I don't know how many of you guys travel internationally, but clearing customs in places like LA, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta and Philly to name a few can take hours, after flying for hours. Aruba needs to make it so folks can wait in A/C instead of long lines outside. I think a lot of people are unhappy because they are leaving Aruba and the long lines and wait for immigration and customs aren't helping. There are several things that could be done to minimize the wait, but staffing is the biggest offender right now.

    My solution? "Walt's Walk up and Wait Bar" outside ticketing. Grab a frozen adult beverage, cool down and think about how much fun you had, plan your next trip and wait patiently. Remember you are one of the fortunate people that gets to vacation in Aruba. And believe me other than it being a little warm, the wait is nothing compared to some other international destinations. You can clear US I&C in Abu Dhabi, but it can take 3 or 4 hours on a really good day.

    So get to the airport early, have all of your papers in order, check your attitude at the door and chill out. It's not that difficult.
    Trip 33 begins on July 15.








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  7. #7
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    I have two words...Global Entry. I don't understand why anyone (especially on this board) who travels to Aruba even ONCE a year doesn't have Global Entry. $100 cost for 5 years. Many premium credit cards even pick up the cost of Global Entry for card holders, every 5 years.
    Aruba had 4 (I think that's what I counted) Global Entry kiosks available yesterday when we came back from Aruba. My wife and I were through customs in 90 seconds (and it was only that long as the customs officer had to check something on people passing thru with their printed receipt ahead of us. The rest of our family that didn't have Global Entry took another 40 minutes to get through customs and get to the gate.

    Walt, I have used Global Entry coming back from other countries at the NY area airports (EWR and JFK) and it is just as fast and efficient with obviously more people using it but with many more kiosks as well.
    I haven't returned from any other countries as you mentioned, like UAE, that have US Customs there, but I'm sure those have Global Entry as well.
    Brian

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  8. #8
    Aruba since 1979
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    GE is terrific to have............and even with not much international travel annually, it still gives you TSA pre check!
    THINK.. is it Thoughtful? Helpful? Inspirational? Necessary? Kind?
    Karma...It is pronounced "HaHaHaHa"
    SIDTM

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  9. #9
    Senior Member LisaGrn's Avatar
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    Not going to add GE to my plate for this trip, but I'm definitely going to do it sometime in the Fall for next year. My personal hesitancy has been that I need to go down to JFK for the interview. Will wait a couple of months for that when hopefully my life will have calmed down a bit (wishful thinking! LOL!).
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  10. #10
    Senior Member act1966's Avatar
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    This was our first time flying back to Canada through the US. We were surprisingly gobsmacked - not by the pandemic hassles but by the duplicate functions between Aruba and the US! The duplicates of baggage claim, the security check then US Customs - We thought we'd stepped into some nightmare Groundhog Day.

    So either Aruba should ditch their end or the US should agree that the Aruba side is sufficient.

    Ugh. By the end, we looked like extras from "The Walking Dead". And we even went through relatively quickly! 1.5 hours!
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