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Connecting In SJU, How Easy?  
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3360 posts, RR: 46
Posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3268 times:

Hello all,

I am flying from SXM back to AUS on June 6th, through SJU, MIA, and DFW.  biggrin 

Our flight, AA 5041, gets into SJU at 1055, and our flight leaves SJU at 12:15 to MIA. Is this enough time to get through customs and back to our MIA flight? I'm very unfamiliar with SJU (though I generally navigate airports well), so I have no idea where our flights go in and out of, terminal wise. We're in C SJU-MIA, if that makes any difference timing wise.

Also, on the ATRs, do they board and deplane out of the front or back? Back, I'm assuming. My mom has semi-bad knees (after this vacation, they'll be on the baddish side I'm sure), so she moves a bit slower, so any tips for getting there shorter/faster are much appreciated.

One more question: No customs/immigration in MIA, correct? SJU is considered a port of entry into the US, right?

Cheers,
Cameron

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7815 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3257 times:

If I were you I would ask to be put on a flight from SJU-DFW. Sometimes if AA has the seats they will allow it (mostly depending on the fare). This way you could bypass MIA!!! Sometimes they dont, but sometimes they do.


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User currently offlineAlitaliaMD11 From Spain, joined Dec 2003, 4068 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3245 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
Our flight, AA 5041, gets into SJU at 1055, and our flight leaves SJU at 12:15 to MIA. Is this enough time to get through customs and back to our MIA flight? I'm very unfamiliar with SJU (though I generally navigate airports well), so I have no idea where our flights go in and out of, terminal wise. We're in C SJU-MIA, if that makes any difference timing wise.

That should be enough time. I have cleared customs before at SJU after coming back from SXM and it only took me three minutes as there was no lines at all. The American concourses are all connected so it is easy to access them.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
Also, on the ATRs, do they board and deplane out of the front or back? Back, I'm assuming. My mom has semi-bad knees (after this vacation, they'll be on the baddish side I'm sure), so she moves a bit slower, so any tips for getting there shorter/faster are much appreciated.

Boarding and deplaning takes place from the back of the aircraft.



No Vueling No Party
User currently offlineMD90fan From Bahamas, joined Jul 2005, 2931 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3238 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
Also, on the ATRs, do they board and deplane out of the front or back? Back, I'm assuming. My mom has semi-bad knees (after this vacation, they'll be on the baddish side I'm sure), so she moves a bit slower, so any tips for getting there shorter/faster are much appreciated.

They board and de-plane in the back using stairs sir. I could recommend you wait at the gate area long before everybody comes, that way one the door opens to walk down the airplane you can beat everybody on  wink 

The boarding is pretty much like this:


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Photo © Marlo Plate - Iberian Spotters



Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
No customs/immigration in MIA, correct? SJU is considered a port of entry into the US, right?

It's domestic sir  yes 



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User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3360 posts, RR: 46
Reply 4, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3199 times:

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 1):
If I were you I would ask to be put on a flight from SJU-DFW. Sometimes if AA has the seats they will allow it (mostly depending on the fare). This way you could bypass MIA!!! Sometimes they dont, but sometimes they do.

 gasp 

But...but...but... if I did that, I'd miss the 777 in F between MIA-DFW. Are you crazy!?!?!?  Smile I'll go through the worst airport in the world if it means a ride in F on a 777.

Quoting AlitaliaMD11 (Reply 2):

That should be enough time. I have cleared customs before at SJU after coming back from SXM and it only took me three minutes as there was no lines at all. The American concourses are all connected so it is easy to access them.

That's good to know, I was a bit worried that an hour and 20 minutes wasn't going to be enough.

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 3):
They board and de-plane in the back using stairs sir. I could recommend you wait at the gate area long before everybody comes, that way one the door opens to walk down the airplane you can beat everybody on wink

Haha, sounds like a good suggestion to me. I'm trying to decide whether to sit in the very front (right now we have 1 A,B, and C reserved. Exit row, good views from what I hear), or the very back. Back is easy on and easy off, but I do like being toward the front... Any suggestions?

Thanks all for the help!

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3179 times:

All depends on how fast American Eagle gets the bags to the terminal in SJU. Was on an ATR72 flight from BGI and it took 45 minutes just for the bags to appear, nearly missed the connection to DFW. Generally, you should be okay.

User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7815 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3166 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 4):
But...but...but... if I did that, I'd miss the 777 in F between MIA-DFW. Are you crazy!?!?!? I'll go through the worst airport in the world if it means a ride in F on a 777.

AHHH, ok. I didnt know that. Thats true, I love me a 777. I was just suggesting somthing that might make it easy. When I went to college in Fort Worth, I flew AA everywhere and If I wanted to bypass a connection, if they had the seat they would let me do it.



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineBDL2DCA From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3155 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 4):
Back is easy on and easy off, but I do like being toward the front... Any suggestions?

The rear of a prop is much quieter, fwiw.



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User currently offlineSpyderz From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 651 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3117 times:

When I transit through SJU on an international itinerary, it usually takes me a solid hour to transfer through the international mess that is San Juan.

On arrival, the ATR will deplane from the rear, however a bus will being waiting to shuttle you back to the terminal. The bus will then drop you off at the farthest possible point from immigration with the walk taking approximately 5-7 minutes. While the lines at SJU immigration are never long, the officers in SJU have to be the most incompetent in the entire system. I have continually had issues where the agents did not know the proper regulations and the secondary screening room seems to be a second home. However, if everything is straight forward you should have no problems. Once baggage has been claimed, which can be a crapshoot, the customs form has to be dropped off. I've seen lines snaking to the back of the room, taking approximately 10 minutes to hand off a form, however around noon the lines should not be as long. Afterwards the bags need to be dropped off and security needs to be recleared, which is always a pain. If you survive all these steps in a timely fashion, you'll make your flight.

While every international to domestic connection is not simple, the process in SJU seems particularily bad. You'll be tired, frustrated, and annoyed after going through this process. American needs to take a serious look at this, as I purposely avoid making int'l connections through SJU now.

To answer your question, you should just have enough time to make your connection.....just.


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