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Clearing Immigration in Florida

(13 Posts)
Clementine1 Tue 08-Apr-08 18:42:50

We are lucky here in Ireland in so far as we clear immigration before we board in Dublin but am looking at going back to Florida in the near future and see that there are good deals to be had going via London. How long does it take to clear in Florida? Thanks.

MrsMattie Tue 08-Apr-08 18:44:33

The queues at Orlando and Miami are fairly slow moving and they give you a bit of a grilling at the desk. I'd say from the time you get off the plane to when you get through to baggage reclaim is at least 30 mins, maybe longer.

IlanaK Tue 08-Apr-08 18:50:20

Way longer than 30 minutes! I have my father living in Florida and we recently vowed not to travel there until the kids are much older because it can take 2 hours to get through once off the plane! Really horrific in Miami. Not sure about other airports. I would guess Orlando is similar though. I recently noticed that a new ariline - Zoom - is flying direct London to Ft Lauderdale (where my dad lives). I am guessing it would be much quicker to clear immigration there. Miami is just a zoo!

MrsMattie Tue 08-Apr-08 19:03:43

Sorry, do you mean clearing immigration (as in passport control) when you arrive? I have never found it that bad. Going home is a different matter - all the security checks and what not - a very long process.

Clementine1 Wed 09-Apr-08 17:31:51

I don't know how its done in the UK but here in Ireland we check in then before you get to the gate you go through immigration where you complete your forms and they stamp your passport. you still have to go through Passport control on the US side but its only a formality as you have already cleared immigration. You arrive where the the internal US flights come in.

PuppyDogTails Wed 09-Apr-08 17:39:57

It took us a couple of hours at Miami last year

claricebeansmum Wed 09-Apr-08 17:51:10

We have a friend who flies to US and always flies via Dublin to he can clear immigration there.

It is the getting out I think that it is a problem though.

Clementine1 Wed 09-Apr-08 18:06:11

ok - looks like a non runner - back to looking at flights ex-Dublin.

IlanaK Wed 09-Apr-08 19:28:28

Wow- what a good system in Dublin then. I wish we could do that from London. If you have that option, then I would definately take it and not fly through London. The extra couple of hours in Miami is just NOT worth it.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 11-Apr-08 14:50:35

Am in Orlando at present and it took an age (around an hour) just to clear Immigration two Sundays ago. Out of 26 available desks there were only four desks open. With both the BA and Virgin direct flights into Orlando landing at around the same time that was an awful lot of people to process. A lack of forward planning and disinterest on the TSA's part led to people waiting a long time to be processed. BTW this airport will at some point start the ten digit scans.

By the time immigration is cleared all the luggage is going around on the carousel and when that gets too full the luggage goes on the floor.

Miami is a crap airport - would never recommend anyone go through there. Tampa is much nicer an aiport and the system there is a good one.

BTW all pax have the option at Orlando to take their suitcases onto the train (this was not previously permitted). Also you are not now hand searched on arrival (as was previously the case).

betterhalf Fri 11-Apr-08 14:55:52

Just to add to the comments alerady made; if you have a new passport, then be prepared for a longer stay at the airport. When we travelled to the USA last year DH had his passport renewed that year so it was one of the new ones and he had to be taken to a different area and interviewed.There was probably about 30 people from the plane that had this happen to them. Apparently they do this with all new passports? So not looking forward to my trip there next year as they will cart me off as well!

hmc Fri 05-Aug-11 00:34:55

Just archived searched on Miami airport - would never, ever go there again and I have been to several US airports and Miamia plumbed the depths!

auroraday Thu 11-Aug-11 09:33:16

Miami is not a great airport but not so bad it's worth inconveniencing yourself or not going! It is a pretty major hub. I have been through there several times in the last few years and it is just random (also corroborated by a friend who lives in Carib and uses it several times a year). If you get in behind a Haiti flight you are always going to be there 1-2 hrs. But I have been through immigration in 5 minutes before. It is usually quieter to head to the far left in the hall.

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