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Topic: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: 797
Posted 2013-05-18 10:17:37 and read 29908 times.

As much as I love MIA, mostly for being my second home-airport, I must point out that the new central immigration hall is a complete and pointless disaster.

The last 6 times I have gone through MIA, I have had to wait over 2.5 hours to get through passport control. Lines are miles long and it's the most inefficient and slow process I have ever seen.

Today I decided to write this post as my parents are on a queue that goes OUTSIDE the hall for several hundred feet. They have been waiting for 45 minutes without moving and, again, have not even entered the hall where another thousand passengers are waiting to get their stamps on their passports.

Here are two photos I received from my parents:

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/e4e04288c817fe994df20f3913baaeec_zpsf7c65018.jpg



Moreover, officials said they won't expedite those passengers who have connecting flights.

How much does this inefficiency cost to the airlines? Is it fair to travel and go through such process?

This is just outrageous.

797

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: canyonblue17
Posted 2013-05-18 10:21:52 and read 29912 times.

Look forward to seeing these photos on the next episode of Airport 24/7: MIA.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Polot
Posted 2013-05-18 10:24:14 and read 29867 times.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
As much as I love MIA, mostly for being my second home-airport, I must point out that the new central immigration hall is a complete and pointless disaster.

Is this MIA's fault, or CBP's for not having enough agents? Having the biggest, shiniest, best designed immigration hall in the world means nothing if there are only 2 immigration officials staffing it and thousands of passengers going through it.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: varig md-11
Posted 2013-05-18 10:25:11 and read 29856 times.

Is it the new hall dealing with AA and its partners?

I flew twice from Europe with AF this winter and I never encountered such a situation: one hour at worst

Are connecting pax processed in the same queue than those exiting at MIA? it was like that like 10 years ago but I thought they would separate the 2 kind of pax like they do in IAD for example.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: 797
Posted 2013-05-18 10:28:07 and read 29795 times.

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 3):

Correct. This is the central hall used mostly for AA flights.

Air France, Alitalia, LAN and others use the J concourse (southern) concourse hall which is different and perhaps more efficient.

797

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: trex8
Posted 2013-05-18 10:30:21 and read 29775 times.

Aren't photos in international arrivals areas prohibited for security reasons? I've never seen CBP people seize a phone or camera yet but I have seen lots of people told off at ORD. I could be wrong on the technicaities but AFAIK they are forbidden from when you exit the plane till you clear customs and leave the security area.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mcmax
Posted 2013-05-18 10:30:57 and read 29764 times.

Do passengers who have Global Entry have to wait in that queue to get to the immigration hall, or are they allowed to move on ahead? (I selfishly ask this question as we will be arriving back from Paris next month via Miami.)

--Max

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: STT757
Posted 2013-05-18 10:34:50 and read 29704 times.

Effects of sequestration furloughs, don't like it write your Congressman.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: varig md-11
Posted 2013-05-18 10:34:58 and read 29700 times.

Quoting 797 (Reply 4):
Air France, Alitalia, LAN and others use the J concourse (southern) concourse hall which is different and perhaps more efficient.

Indeed the only time I used AA coming from Europe we were stucked 2 full hours just to get passport stamped.
It seems things are more organized at J. Maybe flight scheduling on J side make things easier.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-05-18 10:36:59 and read 29692 times.

Gotta save that money to make sure we have enough FAMs and TSA agents doing nothing, and dumb videos welcoming everyone in the customs hall 
Quoting trex8 (Reply 5):
Aren't photos in international arrivals areas prohibited for security reasons?

Yes. But a) what security reasons are they? They don't want people to see it's such an incompetent sh!t show it defies logic? and b) who cares?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Mah4546
Posted 2013-05-18 10:39:00 and read 29655 times.

Its not a disaster. The government isn't providing an adequate number of CBP employees at MIA, JFK, LAX and every other major airport. Nothing to do with the facility - which if adequately staffed by the federal government has the capacity to provide the fastest and most efficient immigration processing among major U.S. airports.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: goosebayguy
Posted 2013-05-18 10:45:12 and read 29577 times.

Unlike other countries America is so backwards at letting transiting passengers through without having to pass through immigration. Add in sequestration and the problem becomes far worse. Passengers won't make connecting flights. This means waiting until the next day to fly out leading to increased costs etc. Naturally this is also a great way to kill off tourism and the local economy.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: trex8
Posted 2013-05-18 10:45:53 and read 29557 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 9):
Yes. But a) what security reasons are they? They don't want people to see it's such an incompetent sh!t show it defies logic? and b) who cares?

I think they are worried about terrorist attacks and people trying to figure out the building and sneak through the system. At least thats a more legit concern than all the airline cabin staff who freak out when a pax takes photos on the flight or ask for the registration of the plane they are on which is painted in big letters outside and required to be displayed by federal law on a certificate by the door for the travelling public to see!!

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-05-18 10:46:02 and read 29542 times.

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 11):
Add in sequestration and the problem becomes far worse.
Quoting STT757 (Reply 7):
Effects of sequestration furloughs,

This long predates sequestration. It'd make more sense to blame Sandy 

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Polot
Posted 2013-05-18 10:48:16 and read 29510 times.

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 11):
Unlike other countries America is so backwards at letting transiting passengers through without having to pass through immigration.

Unfortunately unlike other countries America doesn't have passport control when leaving the country, so allowing transit passengers through without having to pass immigration is always going to be a challenge as you have to find an acceptable way to keep them away from domestic passengers/flights.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: flyby519
Posted 2013-05-18 10:48:25 and read 29496 times.

Perfect example for this thread:
US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves (by 744lover May 16 2013 in Civil Aviation)

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: 797
Posted 2013-05-18 10:49:49 and read 29500 times.

Quoting Mah4546 (Reply 10):

Thanks Mark. Though I must say these lines have been a constant at MIA ever since this new hall opened. I found the old one far more efficient.

I just got a word from my parents that someone (not in a uniform) apologized for lack of personnel...

This is ridiculous. This will harm the industry like nothing else.

797

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: SCQ83
Posted 2013-05-18 10:57:02 and read 29383 times.

That's sick.

My last time there (March) I was coming from GIG and I didn't see anything like that... and this was early morning with plenty of LATAM flights arriving. Insane.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: goosebayguy
Posted 2013-05-18 11:04:21 and read 29283 times.

Quoting Polot (Reply 14):
Unfortunately unlike other countries America doesn't have passport control when leaving the country, so allowing transit passengers through without having to pass immigration is always going to be a challenge as you have to find an acceptable way to keep them away from domestic passengers/flights.

Yet other countries manage this but America seem's to avoid dealing with it. Its a bit like trying to buy petrol with a foreign credit/debit card. The petrol pumps just won't accept anything without a zip code. Yet Canadians who are neighbours have postcodes. America just doesn't do international very well.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: bestwestern
Posted 2013-05-18 11:17:21 and read 29173 times.

Quoting Mah4546 (Reply 10):
Its not a disaster.

It is a disaster. Many of these people will vote with their wallets and fly via another airport the next time.

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 18):
Its all Obamas fault and the sequestration.

Actually, I blame Syria.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Polot
Posted 2013-05-18 11:24:50 and read 29105 times.

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 19):
Yet other countries manage this but America seem's to avoid dealing with it.

They do it by having dedicated international departure terminals and domestic departure terminals. To do that in the US you will have to basically redesign every major airport in the country. That is not feasible- especially since domestic flights make up the bulk of flights in the US unlike many other countries.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: bestwestern
Posted 2013-05-18 11:28:16 and read 29048 times.

Quoting Polot (Reply 21):
They do it by having dedicated international departure terminals and domestic departure terminals.

Very few countries have dedicated International and Domestic terminals.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: miaskies
Posted 2013-05-18 11:29:58 and read 29054 times.

watch the news much? read the paper?

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/Flyers-...ternational-Airport-198785821.html

Not just a MIA/AA problems - Major airports throughout the country are being faced with the same issue. Blame D.C.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: yellowtail
Posted 2013-05-18 11:31:33 and read 29030 times.

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 3):
I flew twice from Europe with AF this winter and I never encountered such a situation: one hour at worst

ITs the same long lines in a shiny new building.

Quoting Mah4546 (Reply 10):
Its not a disaster. The government isn't providing an adequate number of CBP employees at MIA,

True , but it is not nearly as bad at other airports.

Quoting 797 (Reply 16):
Thanks Mark. Though I must say these lines have been a constant at MIA ever since this new hall opened. I found the old one far more efficient.

I ahve been thru the new hall about 15 times since it opened and never been out of there in less than one hour.

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 20):
It is a disaster. Many of these people will vote with their wallets and fly via another airport the next time.

If I can I go via ATL or DFW these days.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mesaflyguy
Posted 2013-05-18 11:34:53 and read 29170 times.

Quoting canyonblue17 (Reply 1):

My first thought as well!

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-18 11:45:10 and read 30518 times.

Quoting Polot (Reply 14):
Unfortunately unlike other countries America doesn't have passport control when leaving the country, so allowing transit passengers through without having to pass immigration is always going to be a challenge as you have to find an acceptable way to keep them away from domestic passengers/flights.

The UK does not have departure passport control either, but they manage to handle int'l-int'l connections without requiring pax to go through immigration. The issue is much more the latter point you make, which is the US has not figured out (or not really given much priority to finding a way) how to manage the separation of domestic and int'l pax.

Quoting Polot (Reply 21):
They do it by having dedicated international departure terminals and domestic departure terminals.

No, that is a rare luxury at most major airports. It is usually done within the same terminal by having properly thought out separation and flow control.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: hiflyer
Posted 2013-05-18 11:53:22 and read 30228 times.

CBP staffing was a problem 12 years ago at MIA...and continues today. It does not make a difference how many booths they put in if they do not staff them....sequestration is johnny come lately to this dance....and it is not just MIA....without being able to transit....long waits for non US.....our contemporaries do far better

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-18 11:53:42 and read 30997 times.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 26):
The UK does not have departure passport control either, but they manage to handle int'l-int'l connections without requiring pax to go through immigration. The issue is much more the latter point you make, which is the US has not figured out (or not really given much priority to finding a way) how to manage the separation of domestic and int'l pax.

Nor does Canada, and they have to manage THREE 'sterile' flows of passengers (international, domestic and transborder). They spent some money to do it, but the Canadian hubs work just fine.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: 797
Posted 2013-05-18 12:11:02 and read 30874 times.

Just heard from my parents. Total time in line, 3 hours 12 minutes.

The flight from Caracas was only 2 hours 50 minutes. This is insane!

797

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: planesmart
Posted 2013-05-18 12:22:35 and read 30509 times.

Quoting Polot (Reply 21):
They do it by having dedicated international departure terminals and domestic departure terminals. To do that in the US you will have to basically redesign every major airport in the country.

No. You start with just one. Passenger volumes and revenues increase. Then upgrade another.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: scbriml
Posted 2013-05-18 12:26:21 and read 30503 times.

Quoting Polot (Reply 21):
They do it by having dedicated international departure terminals and domestic departure terminals.

This is true only in a minority of airports. Certainly not true at Heathrow or Gatwick (which I suspect both better MIA's pax numbers).

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: airbazar
Posted 2013-05-18 12:27:57 and read 30555 times.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
This is just outrageous.

MIA and LAX are a nightmare and I avoid them like the plague.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 7):
Effects of sequestration furloughs, don't like it write your Congressman.

BS. MIA immigration has always been a disaster, for as long as I remember and that's going back well over a decade.

Simply put the US immigration policies and procedures at airports is not scalable and it's very innefficient. You can clear immigration at comparably sized airports around the World such as FRA and LHR in a fraction of the time. Here's an example why: I'm a permanet resident in this country. That means the government has more information about myself than it has about any of its own citizens and yet, every time I enter the country I need to be interrogated, fingerprinted, and photographed. Why? That is a huge waste of time and resources.

And then there's the policy of making everyone clear immigration at the first point of entry. It doesn't scale well. More an dmore people are flying and yet airports with CBP facilities remain the same. I understand the need to do that but the money that's being saved at the hundreds (thousands?) of airports by not staffing them with CBP facilities, is not being employed to make the few that have CBP, better.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
How much does this inefficiency cost to the airlines?

Not just airlines but the airport itself if more people do what I do and start avoiding it.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: N62NA
Posted 2013-05-18 12:28:22 and read 30374 times.

Quoting 797 (Reply 29):
Just heard from my parents. Total time in line, 3 hours 12 minutes.

The flight from Caracas was only 2 hours 50 minutes. This is insane!

They have my sympathies.

Yet another reason why I AVOID travel by air if at all possible.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: flyingturtle
Posted 2013-05-18 12:28:34 and read 30454 times.

This queue is keeping more illegal immigrants out of the U.S. than the Mexico-USA border fence.


David

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: jayunited
Posted 2013-05-18 12:35:14 and read 30498 times.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 34):
This queue is keeping more illegal immigrants out of the U.S. than the Mexico-USA border fence.

That is the best comment I have read all day.   lol!!!

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: goosebayguy
Posted 2013-05-18 12:36:11 and read 30404 times.

Quoting Polot (Reply 21):
They do it by having dedicated international departure terminals and domestic departure terminals. To do that in the US you will have to basically redesign every major airport in the country. That is not feasible- especially since domestic flights make up the bulk of flights in the US unlike many other countries.

LHR manages this perfectly well. I just get the feeling America really does not see international travel as very important. Yet its a multi billion $ earner especially important in these times.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: eksath
Posted 2013-05-18 12:38:38 and read 30248 times.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
As much as I love MIA, mostly for being my second home-airport, I must point out that the new central immigration hall is a complete and pointless disaster.

..and I have done the same thing in the morning at LHR i.e. stand in lines that back beyond the hall into the walkways at LHR after arriving from the US. It has also been a process that took 1.5 -2 hrs to clear UK immigration. I have encountered this a number of times.


So lets start a list. This is not exclusive to MIA. Unfortunately, the US airports are showing this due to deliberate staffing level cutbacks. They are no accident or oversight.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: legacyins
Posted 2013-05-18 12:45:28 and read 30068 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 32):
Here's an example why: I'm a permanet resident in this country. That means the government has more information about myself than it has about any of its own citizens and yet, every time I enter the country I need to be interrogated, fingerprinted, and photographed. Why? That is a huge waste of time and resources.


You may be a Lawful permanent Resident (LPR) but you are a Citizen of another Country. There are LPRs who have a Criminal history and depending on the severity, may jeopardize their LPR status. Hence, the finger printing.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 32):
And then there's the policy of making everyone clear immigration at the first point of entry. It doesn't scale well.

Not sure if I understand this one. I can see if the same foreign flight is continuing onto another US City but how would you separate the domestic passengers on the flight from the foreign ones who did not clear?

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 36):
LHR manages this perfectly well.

I've traveled to the UK where I waited in Immigration lines up to an hour.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-05-18 12:48:20 and read 29953 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 28):
Quoting sankaps (Reply 26):
The UK does not have departure passport control either, but they manage to handle int'l-int'l connections without requiring pax to go through immigration. The issue is much more the latter point you make, which is the US has not figured out (or not really given much priority to finding a way) how to manage the separation of domestic and int'l pax.

Nor does Canada, and they have to manage THREE 'sterile' flows of passengers (international, domestic and transborder). They spent some money to do it, but the Canadian hubs work just fine.

Aren't arriving U.S. passengers mixed in with all other international arrivals at Canadian airports, meaning only 2 flows? The only 3rd flow is for departures to the U.S. (and only at airports with pre-clearance) but the situation being discussed in this thread involves arrivals.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-18 13:04:14 and read 29472 times.

Quoting eksath (Reply 37):
..and I have done the same thing in the morning at LHR i.e. stand in lines that back beyond the hall into the walkways at LHR after arriving from the US. It has also been a process that took 1.5 -2 hrs to clear UK immigration. I have encountered this a number of times.
Quoting legacyins (Reply 38):

I've traveled to the UK where I waited in Immigration lines up to an hour.

1. This happens only at certain peak times, and lines longer than 45 min at LHR are not common at all; in fact when things got bad before the Olympics last year, staffing was ramped up and things have stabilized quite a bit since then.

2. There are options for premium passengers and for frequent travelers to use premium lanes and electronic gates, which at least reduces the pain for the most frequent travelers

3. Imagine how much worse it would be if the UK required int'l - int'l connecting pax to also go through passport control in the UK.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-05-18 13:07:30 and read 29402 times.

Quoting miaskies (Reply 23):
watch the news much? read the paper?

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/Flyers-...ternational-Airport-198785821.html

Not just a MIA/AA problems - Major airports throughout the country are being faced with the same issue. Blame D.C.

That is about security not Passport control. It still is the same issues though, long lines due to lack of personnel and available facilities to process passengers.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: GCT64
Posted 2013-05-18 13:29:41 and read 28875 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 32):
Quoting STT757 (Reply 7):
Effects of sequestration furloughs, don't like it write your Congressman.

BS. MIA immigration has always been a disaster,

I agree, and would go further, at many US airports (not just MIA) immigration has been a disaster for a long time. I have had unreasonable queuing times at LAX (T2 and TBIT), ORD, DFW etc. It does now seem to be affecting the Residents queue as much as the Aliens though which, frankly, is a good thing as it now means there may be voter and political pressure to solve the problem.

The solution I generally operate is to clear US immigration in Canada or Ireland  

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: airdfw
Posted 2013-05-18 13:34:18 and read 28780 times.

I had a 3 hr wait in MIA last time from LA flight. I think the problem is the attitude at MIA more so than at other US gateways.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: par13del
Posted 2013-05-18 13:51:53 and read 28326 times.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 26):
which is the US has not figured out (or not really given much priority to finding a way) how to manage the separation of domestic and int'l pax.

What's to figure out???? The US government decided that everyone setting foot in the country must go through CBP.
Current airport design has to deal with this reality.

The new arrivals hall at MIA was designed to remove inefficiencies based on terminal layouts in an older airport which was expanding due to traffic, they built a hall to handle increased volume.
Unfortunately for MIA, the politicians and their political appointees wanted to punish the people for not forcing their representatives to take their side in the budget battle, so the first services cut were those most detrimental to the public, as they say in the movies, who's laughing now.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-18 14:00:03 and read 27960 times.

Quoting par13del (Reply 45):
What's to figure out???? The US government decided that everyone setting foot in the country must go through CBP. Current airport design has to deal with this reality.

Is that the cause or is that the effect though for the lack of separation and flow control of domestic and international in its airports?

[Edited 2013-05-18 14:01:41]

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: EK413
Posted 2013-05-18 14:10:53 and read 27756 times.

Do we have any photos of this shiny new immigration hall?

EK413

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mjoelnir
Posted 2013-05-18 14:15:04 and read 27777 times.

Quoting Polot (Reply 21):
They do it by having dedicated international departure terminals and domestic departure terminals. To do that in the US you will have to basically redesign every major airport in the country. That is not feasible- especially since domestic flights make up the bulk of flights in the US unlike many other countries.

I think you forget Schengen. Most European Airports I have transferred on have to keep traffic inside Schengen and outside Schengen separate. Inside Schengen traffic is also counted as international if you for example fly from HAM to CDG but it is handled like domestic travel as you do not pass immigration. You can mix domestic passengers with Schengen passengers.
The exeption is the UK airports, as the UK is not part of Schengen.
If you look at CDG both terminal 1 and terminal 2 handle both Schengen and outside Schengen traffic, and that it what you will find on most of the Europian airports.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: divemaster08
Posted 2013-05-18 15:11:08 and read 26662 times.

It is pretty dreadful the new place. I think it is a sort of a mixture of design and lack of staff.

Firstly the new snake line is an improvement over the many lines in the old E, but they then ruin it at the end where you get many people Q'ing up, at the nearest lines so it can create a roadblock. What they need is to keep everyone in the line and have a thing that when an agent is free it displays the number on the screen and someone shows you the way.


On another note, the Customs hall is too small. They have a scrum downstairs inbetween the carousels to get out of customs. If they moved the customs officers into the hallway more, allow more space in the baggage area, then have people enter a single line from the start, then it should move better as its just a mess.

Im sure they need more staff also but I think design is a real issue.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: cosyr
Posted 2013-05-18 15:25:03 and read 26446 times.

Quoting planesmart (Reply 29):
Quoting Polot (Reply 21):
They do it by having dedicated international departure terminals and domestic departure terminals. To do that in the US you will have to basically redesign every major airport in the country.

No. You start with just one. Passenger volumes and revenues increase. Then upgrade another.

Revenues would not increase in the US. No other country in the world has the volume or percentage volume of domestic flights. Even a heavy international airport such as EWR or LAX has more domestic flights than international flights any given day, and the international ones all leave at the same time, so you would have huge buildings dedicated to a couple hours in the evenings.

Quoting trex8 (Reply 5):
Aren't photos in international arrivals areas prohibited for security reasons?

Looks like these lines are long enough that they have not made it to the international arrival's area yet!  

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: varig md-11
Posted 2013-05-18 15:32:48 and read 26197 times.

Whether in MIA or not there are things which could be improved in the process of going thru CBP.
As mentioned before we have all ways and technologies to speed up things instead of creating nightmares for visitors bringing money to US economy.
Plus, I noticed the queues on the side of US residents and citizens is becoming nearly similar to the ones for aliens.

Of course we don't know all details but it doesn't look logical from the outside when it comes to CBP process.

Why do we need to be photographed and fingerprintted every time? isnt there a secure database hidden in the rocky mountains with all the data saved and retrievable at light speed?
Say you're a frequent visitor to the US coming from a visa waiver country (my case), what's the problem if by fingerprinting the right hand ONLY, CBP retrieves all your photo, data, history etc etc

That would save enormous amount of time and CBP manpower.
Plus, with the ESTA we must have, they already say "yes you can fly in" from before we check in....

On our side of the pond I find Schengen organisation ridiculous and Immigration at airports a parody, but CBP becomes synonymous of headache and stress which is a shame

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: jcwr56
Posted 2013-05-18 15:33:11 and read 26268 times.

Welcome to the United States....

This issue isn't specific to MIA. There's been meetings with A4A, ACI, various cities and senior officials with DHS and CBP and guess what, they don't care. (I've sat in on a few and have been stunned by some of the moronic replies by some folks)

One response; you want to jam as many flights into a specific time period this is what the consequence is. They do not care about flight scheduling, how it's done world wide and why flights are scheduled the way they are.

Until foreign airlines get their respective governments involved and start applying political pressure, this will not change folks.

I've love to post up a power point presentation by CBP regarding staffing issues for this summer. If I was looking to visit the U.S, I'd give second thought to doing so based on what I saw.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: jfk777
Posted 2013-05-18 15:36:19 and read 26167 times.

Its shameful the new D customs hall in Miami is in such a state, they might as well have a sign saying, "Welcome to Miami we think you are a terrorist ".

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: by738
Posted 2013-05-18 15:41:08 and read 25757 times.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 51):
Its shameful the new D customs hall in Miami is in such a state, they might as well have a sign saying, "Welcome to Miami we think you are a terrorist

Which is exactly how I felt after a 9 hour flight then almost 3 hours in a queue to be interrogated rudely by border personnel. I will not route through MIA again.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: legacyins
Posted 2013-05-18 16:11:13 and read 25108 times.

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 49):
Say you're a frequent visitor to the US coming from a visa waiver country (my case), what's the problem if by fingerprinting the right hand ONLY,

This the current policy. The issue is, if a person's prints are not clear or they are too dry, they will not match the previous entry. This will require a full 10 print to be taken.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: flymia
Posted 2013-05-18 16:18:51 and read 24972 times.

First thing first. This is not soley an MIA problem this is a huge gateway problem which in the U.S. three ariports are in a league of their own. MIA, JFK and LAX.

Another factor people have not thought about. MIA has a TON of immigration problems, fraud, human trafficking, drug trafficking, smuggling animals, money etc.. I spent some time working For DHS/I.C.E. and got to tour the facility and spend time oberseving all stages of the process. When in the passport control station observing an officer at work the first women who came to us had a fake passport. The second man had the wrong visa, and it continues and continues. MIA is a big entry point for a lot of the wrong things. CBP and ICE have to be even more careful than usual at MIA.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
As much as I love MIA, mostly for being my second home-airport, I must point out that the new central immigration hall is a complete and pointless disaster.

Its the government's fault. Has Zero to do with MIA.

Quoting mcmax (Reply 6):
Do passengers who have Global Entry have to wait in that queue to get to the immigration hall, or are they allowed to move on ahead?

I am 90% sure you get to skip the line. Go to the global entry machine and cut the lines to just show the officer your reciept.

Quoting 797 (Reply 16):
This is ridiculous. This will harm the industry like nothing else.

I don't know about that. It could harm the International-International travel which for U.S. Airlines is not very large of a market. But if you want to come visit the U.S. you have to go through the process.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 17):
My last time there (March) I was coming from GIG and I didn't see anything like that... and this was early morning with plenty of LATAM flights arriving. Insane.

I too have never waited in a long line at MIA. But I have not flown internationall into MIA since 2010.

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 18):
America just doesn't do international very well.

Since the majority of our air travel market is domestic, no we don't focus as much on it. We also have huge immigration problems.

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 23):
True , but it is not nearly as bad at other airports.

No MIA LAX and JFK are in their own league. They have the most passengers and most problems.

Quoting 797 (Reply 28):
Just heard from my parents. Total time in line, 3 hours 12 minutes.
The flight from Caracas was only 2 hours 50 minutes. This is insane!

That is crazy I agree and hopefully congress will do something about it. But if has nothing to do with MIA, the design of the facility or AA.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 31):
BS. MIA immigration has always been a disaster, for as long as I remember and that's going back well over a decade.

Like I said, have not flown international into MIA since 2010 but I have flown plenty and I have never waited longer than 20-30mins. Have had some crazy lines across the world though.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 31):
And then there's the policy of making everyone clear immigration at the first point of entry.

Where should they clear it?? Are you saying someone flying GIG-MIA-TLH or LHR-MIA-ATL should clear immigration in TLH where there is none or in ATL after getting off the plane from a domestic flight and be able to walk around MIA and leave and enter as they please?
The way U.S. Airports are designed and the problems U.S. immigration has this is the only way IMO. They just need more staffing.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 31):
Here's an example why: I'm a permanet resident in this country. That means the government has more information about myself than it has about any of its own citizens and yet, every time I enter the country I need to be interrogated, fingerprinted, and photographed. Why? That is a huge waste of time and resources.

Because you are a resident. You are subject to different rights and laws which I am sure you are very familiar with.

Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 50):
Until foreign airlines get their respective governments involved and start applying political pressure, this will not change folks.

Well this is AA terminal. I am sure AA will try to pressure someone in D.C.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: fiscal
Posted 2013-05-18 17:16:09 and read 24117 times.

MIA was the worst American airport I have ever been to, and I have been flying since 1968. The problem as I see it, and it has been mentioned before, they expect every arriving passenger to be a terrorist. That paranoia has led to an entry process that it no commensurate with the risk. Profiling is performed in most countries around the world, to help keep the flow of legitimate passengers going smoothly. With new facial recognition software, it should be possible to make this flow even better. There is NO need to ask every passenger 20 questions about their stay, their business, their family, and the color of their underwear. It slows things down. Even the finger printing can be selective. You have a photo, a passport, and a visa, all on the system. If these pass muster, and you have no prints on file, take some, but not everyone every time.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: legacyins
Posted 2013-05-18 17:35:51 and read 23766 times.

Quoting fiscal (Reply 55):
Even the finger printing can be selective. You have a photo, a passport, and a visa, all on the system. If these pass muster, and you have no prints on file, take some, but not everyone every time.

I understand what you are saying but what id the person is an impostor to the passport they presented or they have committed a crime after their last entry? Or, they do not need a visa to enter the Country.The finger printing has stopped and prevented a lot of people from entering the US due to a past violation. If you go to japan, you also need to leave your prints, only 2, and photo. Did I feel like a Criminal or Terrorist when I gave my prints? Not at all nor did I complain about the process because that is required for me to enter Japan.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: jcwr56
Posted 2013-05-18 17:59:21 and read 23455 times.

Quoting flymia (Reply 54):
Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 50):Until foreign airlines get their respective governments involved and start applying political pressure, this will not change folks.
Well this is AA terminal. I am sure AA will try to pressure someone in D.C.

They can pressure all they want. Even at ORD with our President residing from here and his former chief of staff as mayor, nothing was done when the City, UA and AA had meetings with the folks from DHS and CBP. No money for additional staff...yada, yada, yada and we too are having 2.5+ hours for processing times.

I really feel sorry for the international tourist because once they get past the asinine process of entering this country, it's not bad.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: NOWINYOW
Posted 2013-05-18 18:03:14 and read 23419 times.

Quoting Polot (Reply 14):

Canada is right behind the US in this matter. I'm not an advocate for more gov't control, but a separate "in transit" area could really help speed things along. Don't airlines already have to submit passenger manifestos prior to entering US airspace?

To me, it seems that both Cdn and US regulators are oblivious to how efficient things could be. You'd think with all the junkets they take they'd learn!

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-18 18:07:31 and read 23314 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 38):
Aren't arriving U.S. passengers mixed in with all other international arrivals at Canadian airports, meaning only 2 flows? The only 3rd flow is for departures to the U.S. (and only at airports with pre-clearance) but the situation being discussed in this thread involves arrivals.

Yes, but the two are connected. There are three arrival flows depending on onward destination:

1) Local passengers and passengers connecting to the United States
2) Passengers connecting to the United States; and
3) Passengers connecting internationally.

In Canada, only Group 1 has to clear Canadian immigration and customs. That reduces the wait times. Of course, there are many fewer passengers connecting to Canada on the average inbound international flight to, say, YYZ than passengers connecting to the States on MIA-CCS, so it's not a perfect analogy.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Mcdu
Posted 2013-05-18 18:14:55 and read 23198 times.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 7):

Effects of sequestration furloughs, don't like it write your Congressman.

This like the FAA ATC sequester excuse is just a political football that CBP is using. I highly doubt there are staffing issues at any of the airports, just like there were no real ATC staffing issues. It is just government employees doing less in the same amount of time. They want to exercise their control to try and regain the overtime pay.

Often airline labor unions are bashed for strikes and slowdowns. More recently the airlines have taken employee unions to court to prevent slowdowns. Unfortunately with the government there is little anyone can do to get workers that already work at a snails pace to go any faster. Until a senator is required to wait in such a line NOTHING will change.

I wish the US would privatize some CBP and TSA functions. Let the free market rule and put the dinosaurs working to destroy our transportation system on the street. If CBP and TSA were privatized I would hope customer service and friendliness would be rewarded, versusthe barking and scowling the current staff seem to enjoy.

Thouroughly disgusted with the CBP and TSA.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: ABQopsHP
Posted 2013-05-18 18:45:12 and read 22758 times.

Quoting NOWINYOW (Reply 58):

I said the same thing, on the thread

US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves (by 744lover May 16 2013 in Civil Aviation)

But I was able to answer that too. The Us will not have transit lounges because we do not allow transit w/o visas.
Also known as TWOV. All persons arriving in the USA must clear customs then recheck for their on going flight.
Inefficient? You bet it is.

JD CRP

[Edited 2013-05-18 18:45:55]

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: airbazar
Posted 2013-05-18 18:57:06 and read 22613 times.

Quoting legacyins (Reply 37):
You may be a Lawful permanent Resident (LPR) but you are a Citizen of another Country. There are LPRs who have a Criminal history and depending on the severity, may jeopardize their LPR status. Hence, the finger printing.

So? If I have a criminal history it should show up the second they scan my green card. What's the point of the finger printing, the questioning, or the retina scans? None. It's a waste of time. Scan the car, if all cheacks out good, move on. If not step aside for secondary screening. Instead they waste time with every single person.

Quoting legacyins (Reply 37):
I've traveled to the UK where I waited in Immigration lines up to an hour.

That's still 1/3 of the time spent in MIA for the "subjects" of this post  
Quoting flymia (Reply 54):
The way U.S. Airports are designed and the problems U.S. immigration has this is the only way IMO. They just need more staffing.

More staffing may aleviate the problem but isn't going to solve it. Bigger facilities maybe but airports will always have more landing capacity than CPB processing capacity and airplanes are getting bigger. The system is simply not scalable. Unfotunately there is no easier, cheaper or popular alternative. The alternative is to staff every single airport in the nation with a CBP facility, which is what Europe has for example. But that's too costly so the passengers will continue to suffer. Another alternative is to have pre-clearance at large points of origine but the unions are fighting that already.

Quoting flymia (Reply 54):
Because you are a resident. You are subject to different rights and laws which I am sure you are very familiar with.

Irrelevant for this issue. The problem at hand is one of efficiency. Spend less time on people like me so you can deploy your resources where they're most needed. Call it profiling, if you will. We often think of profiling only in the context of security. There shoudl me more done in the context of immigration processing at the airports.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: par13del
Posted 2013-05-18 18:58:00 and read 22573 times.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 44):
Is that the cause

I would say cause, there are no more intransit visas, folks just using the US to connect say from the Caribbean to Central America all require B2 visas, which when granted allow you access to the country for at least a month, sort of eliminates the need for separation of pax.
Most airports have special access points / routes to departing gates once you clear CBP, sort of the best they can do. The longer this goes the more financial it becomes and more difficult to change, imagine if they decided to allow folks intransit to travel without a visa, how would most US airports today secure those pax from bolting, more security personnel and construction.

The new hall is nice, but unless all lanes are staffed it can become lengthy, but this usually depends on the day and time of arrival, Friday and Saturday early afternoon can be rough.
Authorities in MIA local and state Government have already registered complaints with CBP, according to them, since the new hall was opened it was never fully staffed, the billions spent on the airport improvements get lost if your first introduction is being stuck in a line for over an hour.

The train ride to the Rental Center has a good enough view of the city to ease some of the pain 

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: MSJYOP28Apilot
Posted 2013-05-18 19:13:47 and read 22298 times.

Could someone detail how US airports without completely remodeling them all could allow intl-intl connections to simply transit through US airports? Most US airports currently have customs and passport control that exit into baggage claim and necessitate passengers clearing TSA again. In an airport like ORD, JFK, ATL or IAD where international flights arrive and depart from detached concourses and terminals only accessible by either exiting the secure area or by joining the normal passenger flow. For example, if someone wanted to fly Lufthansa from FRA to ATL they would arrive in concourse F. If they wanted to transit to a DAL international flight to MEX out of Concourse E the only way to get from F to E is through the train or walkway with all the domestic passengers. There is no way currently to enforce transit passengers from exiting to baggage claim and entering the US illegally in that case unless they passed through customs first.

Intl to Intl connections are such a small number of passengers in the US, it would be hard to justify the costs of redisigning airports. If there is a way to do it that wouldnt endanger security and help connnecting passengers, it would be a good idea.

Many American concourses and terminals have international and domestic flights departing from gates right next to each other. The gate areas for both often overlap. Where would a transit passenger be able to wait for a flight such that they would be able to avoid passport control and also not be able to illegally enter the country?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Flying Belgian
Posted 2013-05-18 19:20:13 and read 22276 times.

I was in JFK T1 today at 12.15pm, same "disaster".

I think total wait time to have a passport stamped was way over 2h30'.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: spink
Posted 2013-05-18 19:39:38 and read 21960 times.

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 18):
Yet other countries manage this but America seem's to avoid dealing with it. Its a bit like trying to buy petrol with a foreign credit/debit card. The petrol pumps just won't accept anything without a zip code. Yet Canadians who are neighbours have postcodes. America just doesn't do international very well.

For the record, US cards don't work at Canadian pumps either, have to go inside.

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 49):
Why do we need to be photographed and fingerprintted every time? isnt there a secure database hidden in the rocky mountains with all the data saved and retrievable at light speed?

The fingerprints and photographs are part of the verification step. The new prints and photographs are compared with both your previous fingerprints and photographs if any and a deny/investigate database. A passport isn't on its own a valid proof of identity. Any security checkpoint not doing biometric verification along with ID isn't really doing anything useful. And yes, this means that the TSA documents checks are more security theater than actual security.

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 60):
This like the FAA ATC sequester excuse is just a political football that CBP is using. I highly doubt there are staffing issues at any of the airports, just like there were no real ATC staffing issues. It is just government employees doing less in the same amount of time. They want to exercise their control to try and regain the overtime pay.

Staffing issues at airports due to the sequester are very much real. The number of TSA and CBP agents at their various checkpoint is down at almost all airport except those that were already small enough that they were at min staffing to begin with.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: ilanbwoy
Posted 2013-05-18 20:11:02 and read 21439 times.

These r the facts as i have been told.

1) They r understaffed and are trying to get more officers stamping.
2) The sequester has had an effect in terms of decreasing the o.t. budget.
3) Pax numbers are up and the staffing levels have not kept pace.
4) The training program from hiring to stamping takes almost 7 months. Its a lot to learn.

As far as fingerprinting, that will not go anywhere. It may seem like a waste of time, but people do stupid things and it shows up. Many a person has been caught via fingerprinting. If u are a permanent resident, then get global entry. You wont have to deal with the long lines. There are other issues which are mentioned before like false dox, smuggling, visa issues...etc and these do slow down the line.

There used to be a process of separating the ITI pax (international to international) but that went away after 9/11.

1 big thing is the timing of the flights. If they all come in the same time, then pray that you are among the first to hit the arrivals hall or you will end up waiting. Its like walmart. If the 300 people always in there all decide to go cash out at the same time, then somebody is going to have to wait.

3 hours is long, but when u have flights from foreign countries and the majority of the passengers are visitors, all come in at the same time, it does get backed up.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: aaron747
Posted 2013-05-18 20:20:30 and read 21318 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 9):
Yes. But a) what security reasons are they? They don't want people to see it's such an incompetent sh!t show it defies logic? and b) who cares?

   Bottom line is that nobody in D.C. is remotely concerned about the first impression foreigners get of the US, much less the inconvenience to our own citizens who return from business/pleasure abroad.

Quoting trex8 (Reply 12):
I think they are worried about terrorist attacks and people trying to figure out the building and sneak through the system.

If they want to avoid that, smartphones and cameras are the least of their worries. They should monitor their own employees and get TSA (and their contractees) to look up from their text messages once in awhile and ensure situational awareness.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: BoxBoy
Posted 2013-05-18 20:29:50 and read 21216 times.

I stopped flying AA through MIA. I came through one early morning with no lines and the customs folks that I spoke with were complete A**holes. I travel the entire world and have never seen worse customs than MIA.

Oh yeah, I had to speak Spanish to get through MIA customs as well. No problem for me, but how messed up is the US?


I'll take Delta through ATL any day.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: superjeff
Posted 2013-05-18 20:36:12 and read 21099 times.

It is NOT sequestration. The Congress passed a law authorizing full staffing of airport staffs. The issue is Miami, which is a third world sh@t hole, I am afrai.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: asetiadi
Posted 2013-05-18 20:48:53 and read 20927 times.

America's airport is a joke, they have to follow asian/european airport especially the immigration part

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: ATCtower
Posted 2013-05-18 21:17:42 and read 20558 times.

Every other part of MIA is a massive CF, why would you expect a governmental aspect to be any different?

Seriously, waiting for security at a few of the concourses is a joke, and to expect better from customs?

You are dilusional.


MIA is bar NONE the worst excuse for an airport in history and you can certainly chalk that up to the mentality of the people of Miami and their unwillingness to understand people or to conform to any sort of order, that stretches to MIA.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: usxguy
Posted 2013-05-18 22:15:38 and read 19952 times.

The "sequester" was only a 2% reduction in CBP's budget... however the fat cats in DC / Administration want to make it as PAINFUL as possible...

I work for a government agency and we've cut our budget by 8% yet did not let it affect our services to the public AT ALL. Just one example of the conservative mantra to give states more control over budgets and funding.... something Obama and the democrats will NEVER allow as it will cost them votes (ie - less free $$ going out).

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: OB1504
Posted 2013-05-18 22:44:58 and read 19630 times.

As mentioned time and time again, this is the current reality at MIA. The new facility was understaffed when it opened, and just as Customs and Border Protection was about to hire more officers, the sequester kicked in. Those of us who work at MIA are just as fed up with it as the passengers are.

That being said, taking photographs in the sterile circulation area is strictly prohibited. Your parents could've had their electronics seized and been subject to detention and interrogation if the officer who caught them was in a particularly bad mood.

Quoting flymia (Reply 54):
Well this is AA terminal. I am sure AA will try to pressure someone in D.C.

Believe me, everyone is putting pressure on DC.

Quoting ilanbwoy (Reply 67):
There used to be a process of separating the ITI pax (international to international) but that went away after 9/11.

   There are unused international-to-international transit lounges in Concourse D (the former Concourse A portion), the Concourse E satellite, and Concourse F.

Quoting superjeff (Reply 70):
It is NOT sequestration. The Congress passed a law authorizing full staffing of airport staffs. The issue is Miami, which is a third world sh@t hole, I am afrai.

   The emergency relief act only applied to air traffic controllers. Cuts to CBP and TSA staffing have not been fully reversed.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: slinky09
Posted 2013-05-18 23:42:35 and read 18968 times.

Quoting ATCtower (Reply 72):
MIA is bar NONE the worst excuse for an airport in history and you can certainly chalk that up to the mentality of the people of Miami and their unwillingness to understand people or to conform to any sort of order, that stretches to MIA.

I couldn't agree more - for this frequent passenger Miami long ago dropped off the list of places to visit because MIA is just so horrendous to travel through.

If I have to visit the Miami area I head into New York and Jet Blue down to FLA. So much more civilized.

I don't get why something isn't done at MIA, it's been dire for years and the area is losing business as a result.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: vegas005
Posted 2013-05-19 00:16:30 and read 18557 times.

Out of curiosity, how is the J concourse/immigration? I will be arriving on Swiss in a few weeks and hope J is better?? If not, I may switch to another flight. Thx!

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-19 00:27:07 and read 18246 times.

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 74):
That being said, taking photographs in the sterile circulation area is strictly prohibited.

No kidding! They are terrified of photos of these long lines getting too much publicity!

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: LY777
Posted 2013-05-19 00:27:35 and read 18262 times.

Is there a priority for families with babies?
I fly YUL-MIA this summer with AA and I start to worry. My daughter will be just 7 months old

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: flymia
Posted 2013-05-19 00:29:09 and read 18256 times.

Quoting BoxBoy (Reply 69):
Oh yeah, I had to speak Spanish to get through MIA customs as well. No problem for me, but how messed up is the US?

I am the first person to complain about people not speaking English in the U.S. but I find it very difficult to beleive a federal lAw enforcement officer who graduated a fairly difficult training program in English could not speak English.

Quoting slinky09 (Reply 75):
I don't get why something isn't done at MIA, it's been dire for years and the area is losing business as a result.

Tell that to AA and the airport who have never seen busier times at MIA. Along with the hotels in the area. No idea where you made that one up from.

Quoting ATCtower (Reply 72):
MIA is bar NONE the worst excuse for an airport in history and you can certainly chalk that up to the mentality of the people of Miami and their unwillingness to understand people or to conform to any sort of order, that stretches to MIA.

Is this a serious statement? Bar none? Worst airport in history? Really? A tad exaggerating there no? Love how you throw in the bashing of the people of Miami too. Great way to get that in there. Good job!

Quoting superjeff (Reply 70):

It is NOT sequestration. The Congress passed a law authorizing full staffing of airport staffs. The issue is Miami, which is a third world sh@t hole, I am afrai.

Clearly this has started to become a Miami bashing thread. MIA is one of the most modern Airports in North America. I'm glad that it is the people of Miami's fault that congress is incompetent in their jobs. Also as a very frequent MIA traveler I again have never had custom problems or any terrible lines at security problems. Ever. Not once.

Quoting asetiadi (Reply 71):

America's airport is a joke, they have to follow asian/european airport especially the immigration part

Yes. All major U.S. airports should be completely redesigned for the small international-international connection market. That makes perfect sense!

I think people are underestimating A. The understaffing and B. the huge problems CBP has to be on watch for at MIA. I feel some of the posters just don't know what goes into letting someone into this country and what CBP/DHS/ICE do at the airport.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: bestwestern
Posted 2013-05-19 01:12:11 and read 17726 times.

Quoting MSJYOP28Apilot (Reply 64):
Intl to Intl connections are such a small number of passengers in the US, it would be hard to justify the costs of redisigning airports. If there is a way to do it that wouldnt endanger security and help connnecting passengers, it would be a good idea.

ATL has a fairly large number of passengers transiting from Latin America to Europe.

Quoting flymia (Reply 79):
I am the first person to complain about people not speaking English in the U.S. but I find it very difficult to beleive a federal lAw enforcement officer who graduated a fairly difficult training program in English could not speak English.

There is a big difference between the ability to speak English and wanting to speak English. Its like the idiots in Barcelona Airport customer service who will respond in catalan to a question i posed in Spanish.

Quoting flymia (Reply 79):
I think people are underestimating A. The understaffing and B. the huge problems CBP has to be on watch for at MIA.

Can't you see the damage that three hour queues is doing to your airport reputation.

Anyone from the airport handing out water to the people waiting.... how about seating?

Quoting flymia (Reply 79):
MIA is one of the most modern Airports in North America.

A modern building with such terrible service results in people not seeing the building.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: macc
Posted 2013-05-19 01:59:08 and read 17188 times.

a few points to the results of such conditions:

- i am a frequent traveller both for business and leisure. i planned a trip last year to central america, but skipped it as the only acceptable transits were either ATL, MIA or IAH. And I do not consider any airport in the US as acceptable for transitting.

- been to DFW in January and found myself in the same queue reaching out from the immigration hall. After a 10 hour flight, and an already 16 hour trip, I am not really pleased with having to stand in a line for another 2hours.

- all immigration procedures there just give u the feelings of not being welcome. For me as from a visa waiver country, and terribly more so for people from other countries, as I could notice from a lot of my friends.

The result is that I stay away from the US unless I am forced by business. And I know that an increasing number of people from all over the world do as well. I do not have the feeling that this is my loss. But it definitly means billions of money not spent in the US. Whether the US needs it or not, its their decision.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: phunc
Posted 2013-05-19 02:00:34 and read 17180 times.

Even when I accept that I have to wait two hours in line after a 10 hour trip, it bugs me when the minimum wage MIA airport que guard brings people from the back to the front.

This has happened a few times to me. Example: I landed off the AA LHR flight. We landed behind the BA flight so, once in the immigration hall, we were right behind them. After us was a CDG flight. We queued for about 90 mins and then a latin flight and an AA MAD flight landed. The rotten MIA que organiser took those people from the latin and MAD flights to the residents area where they got though about 20-30 mins before we did after queuing for 90 mins.

Where is the fairness in that?

She also didn't care about people que jumping.

If I have to que then fine. But make it fair for all.

Then I get accused of being miserable and supposed to laugh and be all friendly to the customs agent who cracks a sarcastic cheap belittling remark about having a British accent...

Quoting aaron747 (Reply 68):
Bottom line is that nobody in D.C. is remotely concerned about the first impression foreigners get of the US, much less the inconvenience to our own citizens who return from business/pleasure abroad.

If true...a little arrogant.

Quoting Flying Belgian (Reply 65):
I was in JFK T1 today at 12.15pm, same "disaster".

Waited 2:45 there once. People were crying, one guy fainted and my knees seized up.

Quoting BoxBoy (Reply 69):
I stopped flying AA through MIA.

Mee too! Trying to avoid it.

Quoting slinky09 (Reply 75):
for this frequent passenger Miami long ago dropped off the list of places to visit because MIA is just so horrendous to travel through.

I've gone from visiting family five times a year to just twice, simply because the process is unwelcoming and painful. I'll get some sun in DXB instead.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: varig md-11
Posted 2013-05-19 02:02:16 and read 17178 times.

Quoting legacyins (Reply 53):
This the current policy. The issue is, if a person's prints are not clear or they are too dry, they will not match the previous entry. This will require a full 10 print to be taken.

Thanks for the comment. I was innocent enough to believe the fingerprints who be "well" taken with the inkless system but it's true if your skin is dry it amounts to "no ink enough". I will make my best to have my hands greasy next time  
Quoting spink (Reply 66):
The fingerprints and photographs are part of the verification step. The new prints and photographs are compared with both your previous fingerprints and photographs if any and a deny/investigate database. A passport isn't on its own a valid proof of identity. Any security checkpoint not doing biometric verification along with ID isn't really doing anything useful. And yes, this means that the TSA documents checks are more security theater than actual security.

Yes, I understand your point but see what happened the last time to me: I entered the US twice in a 2 months period; the second time they found back my file just by scanning my right hand, no photo no left hand = time saved, it lasted 30 seconds for me and 30 seconds for my friend who was in my case too. We're both visa waiver with ESTA.

Quoting vegas005 (Reply 76):
Out of curiosity, how is the J concourse/immigration? I will be arriving on Swiss in a few weeks and hope J is better?? If not, I may switch to another flight. Thx!

I had always better experience at J : most pax are Europeans or Brazilians compared to AA side where you have the entire central and south America arriving which means more juicy cases for CBP = more time processing

Quoting LY777 (Reply 78):
I fly YUL-MIA this summer with AA and I start to worry. My daughter will be just 7 months old

Salut LY777: won't you go thru CBP at Montréal? I believed it was the case like in YYZ

Quoting flymia (Reply 79):
MIA is bar NONE the worst excuse for an airport in history and you can certainly chalk that up to the mentality of the people of Miami and their unwillingness to understand people or to conform to any sort of order, that stretches to MIA.

Waouh.....neatly done the introduction of anti Miami comments....I haven't heard this since the 80s I believe. Why don't you try NYC for order and willingness to understand people?   

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 80):
There is a big difference between the ability to speak English and wanting to speak English. Its like the idiots in Barcelona Airport customer service who will respond in catalan to a question i posed in Spanish.


That's how you loose customers.....I avoid BCN because of this stupidity and I understand some people avoid MIA if that happens there.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-05-19 02:18:54 and read 17008 times.

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 80):
ts like the idiots in Barcelona Airport customer service who will respond in catalan to a question i posed in Spanish.

Wow, consider yourself lucky: every time I've talked to them in Catalan (the language of the land), I have been replied in Spanish...

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: bestwestern
Posted 2013-05-19 02:23:11 and read 16942 times.

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 74):
Your parents could've had their electronics seized and been subject to detention and interrogation if the officer who caught them was in a particularly bad mood.

Interrogation?? Probably tasered and taken to Club Med Guantanamo...

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 83):
That's how you loose customers..

Exactly. A lack of customer first mentality is what causes such problems with TSA and CBP in the US.

What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

What happened to the america of the welcomes?

Ah well, According to Fox news Obama can be blamed and naturally the republicans are innocent of anything.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: SASDC8
Posted 2013-05-19 02:44:45 and read 16685 times.

Anything over a 60 minute wait is not acceptable in my opinion, and a wait of over 3 hours is ludicrous. The US government really need to understand that they will loose business and tourism will suffer if they do not allocate sufficient resources to CBP. I mean what is the point of everything I have to fill in at the ESTA web browser, if it is not used for anything? And were do the 20 USD I pay every two years go? If the US keeps this up, Americans who travel abroad will be met by equally stupid and selective rules just for them (Brazil and Argentina are good examples).

I for one just cancelled my plans for a visit to the US this summer, and the US just lost 4000 USD in hotel and rental car expenses. But I guess noone cares...

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: lhrnue
Posted 2013-05-19 03:19:11 and read 16318 times.

Dear US government,

Please use the 14$ for the visa waiver to pay for the immigration - I talk about additional officer - and not for a tourist advertising campaign.
Short immigration queues (without compromising whatever you think is required to protect your country) would be the best advertising you could make.

Yours faithfully
A frequent visitor to the USA

P.S. Yes I am going home after every visit, because my socialist home country Germany pays for the healthcare.

[Edited 2013-05-19 03:28:33]

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: by738
Posted 2013-05-19 03:42:02 and read 15996 times.

no priority for families/children or babies, you might have a chance in a wheelchair

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: klemmi85
Posted 2013-05-19 03:48:44 and read 15935 times.

Can someone please shed some light on where the BA flights arrive and if they have to pass that central CBP hall as well?

Thanks!

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: PanAm1971
Posted 2013-05-19 03:56:13 and read 15842 times.

Actually, the entire customs and immigration process at our major airports is a complete disaster. And the behavior of staff dealing with arriving passengers (both foreign and US) is unacceptable. I think we can look objectively at the situation and give a grade of fail. There needs to be a rethink. But first there has to be an acceptance there is a problem. We're not even at that point yet.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: LY777
Posted 2013-05-19 04:05:46 and read 15728 times.

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 83):
Salut LY777: won't you go thru CBP at Montréal? I believed it was the case like in YYZ

I have just had the confirmation that we'll go through CBP at YUL!

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: garpd
Posted 2013-05-19 04:11:32 and read 15644 times.

I'm due to fly from CHS to MIA in September on AA to catch a BA flight to LHR.
Please tell me my friends and I will not have to endure this ridiculous queue!?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: varig md-11
Posted 2013-05-19 04:23:31 and read 15488 times.

Quoting LY777 (Reply 91):
I have just had the confirmation that we'll go through CBP at YUL!

You'll tell us how it works, last time I had a good price offer on CDG-YUL-MIA 
Quoting garpd (Reply 92):
I'm due to fly from CHS to MIA in September on AA to catch a BA flight to LHR.
Please tell me my friends and I will not have to endure this ridiculous queue!?

Why would you? there is no "export" control contrarily to what we have in Schengen area.
The "export" control will be done automatically by BA when they give your flight manifest to CBP

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: phunc
Posted 2013-05-19 04:27:33 and read 15451 times.

Quoting klemmi85 (Reply 89):
Can someone please shed some light on where the BA flights arrive and if they have to pass that central CBP hall as well?

You will go through the central CBP hall, yes.

Quoting garpd (Reply 92):
Please tell me my friends and I will not have to endure this ridiculous queue!?

Not going out, but if you fly back MIA from LHR with BA then you might do! Sometimes it's luck of the draw. I find the first BA flight isn't too bad - gets in about 1330. But around that time is when all the euro flights begin landing and the second wave of latin flights arrive.

My philosophy, try to avoid getting behind somebody carrying papers or folders - they often have a story to tell. It's often frustrating because I normally spend about only two mins with the officer before he stamps me and lets me go.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: by738
Posted 2013-05-19 04:29:30 and read 15425 times.

Quoting klemmi85 (Reply 89):
Can someone please shed some light on where the BA flights arrive and if they have to pass that central CBP hall as well

Yes they do. This was one of the excuses given by MIA immigration, that BA do not care and schedule all their flights to arrive within a few hours and clash with other international arrivals ie LH, AB. If there are any delays on the BA schedule (As there was on my last trip) two 747's worth arrived at the same time. Good luck with that one !

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Icarus75
Posted 2013-05-19 04:47:17 and read 15216 times.

I fly to US once or twice a year for holidays and going through immigration is always a nightmare because of long queues. The least I've had to wait was 1h30 two years ago in ATL coming from CDG.

This july, I'll fly from CDG to IAD : is it bad in IAD too?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: infinit
Posted 2013-05-19 05:59:43 and read 14435 times.

Why am I not surprised..
It is amazing how the world's largest economy by a mile (pun intended) is so backward on so many fronts.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: thaiflyer
Posted 2013-05-19 06:06:58 and read 14310 times.

I’m surprised that nobody requested the photos to be removed from this forum as it is gives terrorist some information (which I don’t know) or as it is against national security.
Sorry but this is just pathetic.

But back to the real topic, I don’t think that America should be surprised that the tourists are avoiding the USA more and more when you welcome you them like this.
I fly for my business on a weekly basis (luckily not the USA) but I would be very pissed if I had to wait that long.
At most airports I’m through the whole hassle within 30 minutes or less.
After a 10hr flight I just want to go to my hotel and nothing else.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: us330
Posted 2013-05-19 06:08:53 and read 14294 times.

Quoting aaron747 (Reply 68):
Bottom line is that nobody in D.C. is remotely concerned about the first impression foreigners get of the US, much less the inconvenience to our own citizens who return from business/pleasure abroad

Well, the obvious reason is that foreigners don't vote, and so there's no incentive for Congress to care about a population segment that they aren't necessarily accountable. The best way for foreigners to change the situation is to speak to the U.S. businesses that they visit or patronize in the U.S. and state that because of the increased red-tape, wait times, etc. for U.S. entry, you are strongly considering taking your business elsewhere unless the situation is remedied.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 77):
No kidding! They are terrified of photos of these long lines getting too much publicity!

It's a customs checkpoint--plenty of countries prohibit photography of border checkpoints for national security reasons.

Quoting LY777 (Reply 78):
I fly YUL-MIA this summer with AA and I start to worry. My daughter will be just 7 months o

Montreal is one of the 7 or 8 Canadian airports with U.S. Customs Pre-clearance, so when you arrive in MIA, the flight will be treated as a U.S. domestic arrival.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mjoelnir
Posted 2013-05-19 06:27:09 and read 14155 times.

The best way to change this situation:

1. Bring in US citizen special lines in other countries. Under staff those lines and be careful that the waiting time never falls below 2 hours. Make no exception for business or first class. Treat frequent travelers with special suspicion. Let passengers traveling for business fill out huge convoluted forms so everybody makes a mistake and you get the possibility to scream at them and send them to the back of the line. Put everybody who complains in solitary confinement for 24 hours.

2. Wait for the US government to make offers to ease international travel. I do not think the wait would be long.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: cgnnrw
Posted 2013-05-19 08:44:54 and read 12423 times.

Quoting BoxBoy (Reply 69):
Oh yeah, I had to speak Spanish to get through MIA customs as well. No problem for me, but how messed up is the US?

I had the same experience when I flew FRA-MIA back inthe late 1990s. It was a real shock for someone who was born and raised in the US. I was aware of the strong Latin/Hispanic influence in Southern Florida but having to actually tell the immigration officer "sorry, I don't speak Spanish please repeat your question in English" and then not understanding her English was infuriating.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: par13del
Posted 2013-05-19 09:04:56 and read 12123 times.

Quoting MSJYOP28Apilot (Reply 64):
Could someone detail how US airports without completely remodeling them all could allow intl-intl connections to simply transit through US airports?

They can't, hence the longer it goes the more difficult a situation to resolve.

Quoting by738 (Reply 95):
Yes they do. This was one of the excuses given by MIA immigration, that BA do not care and schedule all their flights to arrive within a few hours and clash with other international arrivals ie LH, AB. If there are any delays on the BA schedule (As there was on my last trip) two 747's worth arrived at the same time.

Been there and can attest to the length of time it takes, and that was before the new hall, perhaps the lack of flexibility on the European side has to do with their slot restricted airports and curfews?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: N62NA
Posted 2013-05-19 09:21:52 and read 11949 times.

Quoting par13del (Reply 43):
Unfortunately for MIA, the politicians and their political appointees wanted to punish the people for not forcing their representatives to take their side in the budget battle, so the first services cut were those most detrimental to the public, as they say in the movies, who's laughing now.

100% correct - and from a citizen of The Bahamas no less!

Quoting by738 (Reply 52):
Which is exactly how I felt after a 9 hour flight then almost 3 hours in a queue to be interrogated rudely by border personnel. I will not route through MIA again.

The rudeness is ingrained in the organization - not just at MIA. My friends from Hungary and The Netherlands have had the same rudeness directed at them at JFK, EWR, ATL and RDU (the RDU guy even refused one of my friends entry because "he had been here just 9 months ago" and put him in "CBP holding center" (the county jail) for 2 days until there was space on the next flight back to Europe.

Quoting usxguy (Reply 73):
The "sequester" was only a 2% reduction in CBP's budget... however the fat cats in DC / Administration want to make it as PAINFUL as possible...

Correct.

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 85):
A lack of customer first mentality is what causes such problems with TSA and CBP in the US.

They simply don't care. They are Federal government workers, which means there is practically no way they can be fired. Just look what's going on with the current IRS scandal, when everyone who is testifying just goes up there and says "I don't know" and "I wasn't aware of that" and "I'm sorry" and the like. They know they are untouchable.

Quoting SASDC8 (Reply 86):
The US government really need to understand that they will loose business and tourism will suffer if they do not allocate sufficient resources to CBP.

See above (they don't care).

Quoting us330 (Reply 99):

Well, the obvious reason is that foreigners don't vote, and so there's no incentive for Congress to care about a population segment that they aren't necessarily accountable.

The problem is partly Congress, but the real problem is that Congress just writes the rather broad (comparatively speaking) laws. The laws then go to the bureaucrats at the agencies to interpret and churn out regulations based on the laws. So, one page of a law will result in many, many pages of regulations. It's truly insane.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mt99
Posted 2013-05-19 09:27:04 and read 11855 times.

Quoting ilanbwoy (Reply 67):
1) They r understaffed and are trying to get more officers stamping.
2) The sequester has had an effect in terms of decreasing the o.t. budget.
3) Pax numbers are up and the staffing levels have not kept pace.
4) The training program from hiring to stamping takes almost 7 months. Its a lot to learn.

The entire MIA airport is awful. About a month ago the fire alarm on the "new" terminal D was going off for for at least 1 hour.

That not sequestration.

I entered the country thru DFW - man what a difference. DFW has rapidly become my favorite entry point to the country.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-05-19 09:33:55 and read 11783 times.

Quoting us330 (Reply 99):
Well, the obvious reason is that foreigners don't vote, and so there's no incentive for Congress to care about a population segment that they aren't necessarily accountable.

Except that these passengers may be connecting to domestic flights and thus creating significant misconnects for the airlines. The airlines do have some political strength with A4A and their own contributions.

With the recent debate over opening up an customs pre-clearance facility in the middle east this may actually be the tipping point we need to get this function privatized. I advocate putting pre-clearance into all of the major airports, that is allowing the foreign customs officials to be deputized to administer our clearance process; ie putting Global machines and US customs computers in FRA, LHR,NRT etc. Allow the pre-clearance to eliminate thousands of CBP jobs here in the US. It will help reduce our cost from a governmental standpoint and put the current CBP employees on notice of impending job cuts. Perhaps that will motivate a few of these folks to do a better job. The CBP is like the post office. They are slow and ineffective and mired in processes and procedures that are outdated.

It would be nice to see all citizens enrolled in Global Entry to further reduce the need for CBP and to have pre-clearance for foreign citizens. The cost to business travelers for missed meetings as a result of misconnects and family's that miss important events due to misconnects from this job action by CBP will eventually add up. I lump the TSA into this same boat. Have noticed they are using reduced number of screening lines to give the perception of a staffing issue. This is a minor budget adjustment for these departments and yet they want to punish the traveling public to make a point.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: bogota
Posted 2013-05-19 10:06:27 and read 11419 times.

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 83):
I had always better experience at J : most pax are Europeans or Brazilians compared to AA side where you have the entire central and south America arriving which means more juicy cases for CBP = more time processing

Actually between Avianca, Taca, LAN and Copa which by far outnumber any other international flights, most customers are Spanish speaking Southamericans. Add TAM and you will have most pax at J with visas stamped on passports. Now juicy cases probably arrive with more frequency from visa waiver countries where people have to be filtered more at arrival than from visa holding countries where people have been thouroughly checked before the visa is stamped.

I fly into the US at least once a month and never spend more that 30 seconds at the counter, the problem is standing in line for ever at many airports. Once you get to the booth it is basically swipe visa, digital procedures, usually no questions asked.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: jfidler
Posted 2013-05-19 10:18:39 and read 11282 times.

First, let me be clear I don't think a 2.5 hour queue at CBP is acceptable and I think it gives an awful "welcome" to foreign visitors to the US. I hope their impression of the US improves once they are actually in the country.

Some other posters in this thread were pointing out the negative economic impact this is having, making visitors less likely to come to the US. I thought it would be useful to look at the official numbers on this:

Quote:
Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $128.2 billion in 2012, an increase of more than 10 percent when compared to the previous year.

Source: "Travel and Tourism Industry Buoys Record U.S. Export Figures for 2012"

Quote:
Foreign national (non-U.S. citizen) air travelers (99.4 million) increased by nine percent, increasing share of the total market from 55 to 56 percent.

Source: "Annual 2012 U.S.-International Air Passenger Traffic, 177.6 Million, Up 7 Percent"

(Note that when a tourist spends money on their visit in the US, that is considered an "export" for statistical purposes.)

Maybe this growth would be even higher if the CBP experience was better. I looked for statistics for the EU during the same period, but could not find the data. Would be interesting to compare if anyone has that data.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: varig md-11
Posted 2013-05-19 10:29:32 and read 11191 times.

Quoting bogota (Reply 106):
Actually between Avianca, Taca, LAN and Copa which by far outnumber any other international flights, most customers are Spanish speaking Southamericans. Add TAM and you will have most pax at J with visas stamped on passports.

Yes, probably it depends on the time you pass thru J. Beginning of the afternoon you have German Italian and French speakers mostly, from my experience.

Quoting bogota (Reply 106):
Now juicy cases probably arrive with more frequency from visa waiver countries where people have to be filtered more at arrival than from visa holding countries where people have been thouroughly checked before the visa is stamped.

You forget we pay for the ESTA which is a mini-visa we have to renew every 2 years. Visa waivers have to be filtered more for what reason? if it was the case visa waiver system would be suppressed.

Quoting bogota (Reply 106):
never spend more that 30 seconds at the counter, the problem is standing in line for ever at many airports.

   and questionning for visa waivers is limited "how long do you stay" is the classic and often only one

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: SCQ83
Posted 2013-05-19 10:35:45 and read 11162 times.

I don't get the bias against MIA here. I find it quite a nice airport for American standards. I assume the bias that some posters have here is that they don't "feel" at home in MIA.

Quoting BoxBoy (Reply 69):
I stopped flying AA through MIA. I came through one early morning with no lines and the customs folks that I spoke with were complete A**holes. I travel the entire world and have never seen worse customs than MIA.

Oh yeah, I had to speak Spanish to get through MIA customs as well. No problem for me, but how messed up is the US?

I'll take Delta through ATL any day.

I can't see the problem... Spanish is Miami's most spoken language and the first language of an overwhelming number of passengers flying thru MIA. And the fact that Miami is Spanish (and increasingly Portuguese) friendly is one of the reasons so many Latin Americans live or have businesses there (which means billions for the Florida economy). AFAIK there is no official language in Florida. I noticed in MIA quite a few people in news stands or stores do not have a great command of English, but again I can't see the issue. If I am flying through Paris, I don't expect them to speak perfect English.

I personally would take MIA over ATL any day, if only for the eating options (ATL = plenty of junk food; not that you don't have that in MIA but you have more variety and healthier options), the newer, more airy terminal (I feel ATL is a warehouse) and the more international atmosphere.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: bogota
Posted 2013-05-19 10:57:54 and read 11053 times.

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 108):
Yes, probably it depends on the time you pass thru J. Beginning of the afternoon you have German Italian and French speakers mostly, from my experience.

If you filter the MIA arrivals for today into terminal J out the 27 flights arriving this afternoon as of 1 p.m. only 3 european flights arrive, Swiss, Lufthansa and Alitalia. The rest of the flights are basically Avianca-Taca or LAN plus a few others including Aerolineas Argentinas and TAM.

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 108):
You forget we pay for the ESTA which is a mini-visa we have to renew every 2 years. Visa waivers have to be filtered more for what reason? if it was the case visa waiver system would be suppressed.

Visa Waiver countries are entitled to it, the ESTA simply checks your background (usually for terrorism purposes). I have seen young europeans being questioned for a few minutes before gettting through, I asume they want to make sure they have enough resources or plans to leave the country soon, etc.

This would not happen obviosly to frequent travellers, just like renewing a visa these days is question free for frequent travellers.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: varig md-11
Posted 2013-05-19 11:37:20 and read 10905 times.

Quoting bogota (Reply 110):
If you filter the MIA arrivals for today into terminal J out the 27 flights arriving this afternoon as of 1 p.m. only 3 european flights arrive, Swiss, Lufthansa and Alitalia

You forget AF at 2.25 and tomorrow there'll be TP too.
Usually AF (77W) AZ (772) LH (A380+A340) LX (A330) arrive between 1 and 3 pm at J.
Last time I was there, we AF pax, were behind LH and just before AZ wave.

Number of flights is one thing but a 77W equals 2 TACA A320 pax wise. Not to mention LH A380 + A340 from DUS

I know JJ flights arrive at J but at this time of the day I didn't see any brasileiros.

Quoting bogota (Reply 110):
I asume they want to make sure they have enough resources or plans to leave the country soon, etc.

Sure, young Europeans on visa waiver are sometimes "visiting friends" (= no hotel booked and not enough money to stay) or are tempted to find a job for the summer in the US (the latter being illegal on a visa waiver, the first one draws attention on you for an overstay suspicion)

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: N62NA
Posted 2013-05-19 12:59:01 and read 10630 times.

Quoting mt99 (Reply 104):
The entire MIA airport is awful. About a month ago the fire alarm on the "new" terminal D was going off for for at least 1 hour.

Oh come on!

You never have to hear "we're 30th in line for takeoff" when flying out of MIA.

You never have to wait for your plane to be de-iced.

There's a ton of restaurants and shops in the secure area.

There's ample seating at all the gate areas.

The terminals are very clean.

It's got great transportation to the new rental car / transit hub building and now also to downtown Miami.

Have you ever been to LGA? Or the Delta terminal at JFK?

Quoting mcdu (Reply 105):
The CBP is like the post office. They are slow and ineffective and mired in processes and procedures that are outdated.

Yes, and add onto that the way the law / regulations are written that give the CBP agent "complete authority and autonomy" to make your entrance into the USA a living hell. God help you if you end up going into the "additional processing" room (and I'm not talking about just MIA, but any of the major USA gateway airports).

The entire State Department is a total mess. A "rogue agency" that operates with complete impugnity. The employees on the front line know that they are the "ultimate authority" and some of them run amock with such power.

* In my own personal experience, I have NEVER had a problem with a CBP agent, though a Customs agent at MIA once started asking me questions about "what business am I in" and "how long have I been employed with them" which were totally inappropriate for his particular duty, which was just to see if I was bringing in any goods that I would need to declare or any banned plants/foods. I gave him a stern "how many more irrelevant questions are you going to ask me" response and that ended the interrogation.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: planesmart
Posted 2013-05-19 13:14:10 and read 10549 times.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 112):
You never have to hear "we're 30th in line for takeoff" when flying out of MIA.

You never have to wait for your plane to be de-iced.

There's a ton of restaurants and shops in the secure area.

There's ample seating at all the gate areas.

The terminals are very clean.

It's got great transportation to the new rental car / transit hub building and now also to downtown Miami.

Those should be given, minimum airport standards.

But catering for international passengers? Can you use virtually any currency, notes and coins, at competitive exchange rates, at those restaurants and cafes in the secure area?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: par13del
Posted 2013-05-19 13:48:40 and read 10457 times.

Quoting planesmart (Reply 113):
Those should be given, minimum airport standards.

Yes it should but its not, especially on arrival where one waits for a gate.
I guess MIA corruption hides those advantages of smooth traffic flows 
Quoting planesmart (Reply 113):
But catering for international passengers? Can you use virtually any currency, notes and coins, at competitive exchange rates, at those restaurants and cafes in the secure area?

Even if you cannot, currency exchage booths abound, in a couple weeks I'll confirm to myself that they are also in the secure area.
I always travel with US Dollars so its not something I need to look for when going through or stopping in MIA.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 109):
I don't get the bias against MIA here. I find it quite a nice airport for American standards. I assume the bias that some posters have here is that they don't "feel" at home in MIA.

To some its just that its taken so long, but yes, the changes and improvements are miles ahead of how it used to be and when looked at physically without pre-conceptions is quite nice.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 103):
100% correct - and from a citizen of The Bahamas no less!

Hey, I have to put with with my extended family who live in the US complaining when I visit  

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: DL747400
Posted 2013-05-19 14:23:49 and read 10357 times.

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 19):
It is a disaster. Many of these people will vote with their wallets and fly via another airport the next time.

ATL will be delighted to have their business! And with DL's new JFK T4 opening next week, DL offers yet another option to those travelers who are disenchanted with MIA or other gateways.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mham001
Posted 2013-05-19 14:27:34 and read 10309 times.

They could easily make it all more comfortable by giving the passengers a number and providing seats to wait. This has worked wonders at the Californoa DMVs.

If more people voted with their feet, the airport would change their attitude.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: jfidler
Posted 2013-05-19 15:24:57 and read 10172 times.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 112):
The entire State Department is a total mess. A "rogue agency" that operates with complete impugnity. The employees on the front line know that they are the "ultimate authority" and some of them run amock with such power.

The State Department and CBP are entirely separate. CBP is part of DHS. If you are referring to the immigration process at MIA, you are unlikely to find any employees of State there, as that is handled by CBP.

As for the US State Department, which does operate the US consulates and embassies where visas are applied for, the busiest of those (China) had a 34% increase in issuance of non-immigrant visas to the US between 2011 and 2012:
http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.c...process-for-visa-applications.html

It also says wait times for an interview are 5 days, which I'd say is pretty good. I think State is actually in favor of more tourism to the US, as it benefits the US economy. It's CBP that is hindering things.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: N62NA
Posted 2013-05-19 16:07:13 and read 10039 times.

Quoting jfidler (Reply 117):

The State Department and CBP are entirely separate. CBP is part of DHS.

Ooops, forgot that it was folded into DHS when that department was created. However, they still apply the same test as to whether a person has "immigrant intent" as State does when deciding about visas. That's the real problem here.

Quoting jfidler (Reply 117):
It also says wait times for an interview are 5 days, which I'd say is pretty good.

Yep - but if you get a 221g and are placed in "Administrative Processing" you'll likely be in limbo for months if not years. (My friend from the EU is currently stuck there for 2+ years).

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: bogota
Posted 2013-05-19 17:07:21 and read 9875 times.

Quoting jfidler (Reply 117):
It also says wait times for an interview are 5 days, which I'd say is pretty good. I think State is actually in favor of more tourism to the US, as it benefits the US economy. It's CBP that is hindering things.

It is to be said that the visa process has changed dramatically, I remember spending a full day inside the embassy waiting for an interview, after several long queues. Now as you said, in the case of Colombia, 5 days for an appointment is normal, although a quite lengthy on line application is the biggest complaint. Once in the embassy most people spend 1 to 2 hours waiting and the interview is virtually non existent for frequent flyers.

Huge difference between this process and the horrible, painful, bureaucratic and unfriendly process by any (supposedly tourist friendly) European Embassy.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: SCQ83
Posted 2013-05-19 17:40:43 and read 9786 times.

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 111):
Sure, young Europeans on visa waiver are sometimes "visiting friends" (= no hotel booked and not enough money to stay) or are tempted to find a job for the summer in the US (the latter being illegal on a visa waiver, the first one draws attention on you for an overstay suspicion)


I wouldn't feel too entitled because you don't have the "worst" passport (I assume you are French) nor you aren't a teenager anymore (I assume that too) and you have a work back in France. There are multiple reasons for which you can get a 2nd inspection. And I don't think there is necessarily any logic behind it.

A French friend of mine got a 2nd inspection not long ago (and this was not at all his first visit to the US) because he boarded first in LHR (instead of France), so the CBP apparently asked him why he boarded there instead of France (he works in London, and in a "qualified" job). So why did he got it, as exotic as a French working in London is? Maybe they thought moving to London and having a much-better than average English for a Frenchman without that irritating accent   was a "step" to later move illegally to the US. Who knows.

I am not sure either how the hotel stuff today makes any sense either... you can book a hotel in booking.com, print the receipt and cancel it 10 minutes later.

So I would certainly try to forget about "possible" patterns and whether you fit in them and that you are free or not from questions.

Quoting bogota (Reply 119):
Huge difference between this process and the horrible, painful, bureaucratic and unfriendly process by any (supposedly tourist friendly) European Embassy.

I have Latin American, ME and Asian friends that really *hate* getting Schengen Visas. I think because (and that has a lot to do with mentality and background), Americans and Europeans think of nationals from emerging countries in different ways.

The US will do whatever is possible to facilitate wealthy people from those countries (Colombia, China, Brazil, Turkey...) to visit and invest in the US. That is why they also grant them 5 or 10 years visitor's visa (to some nationalities at least). That probably has to do a lot with the American mentality that sees people more in regards to their socio-economic position than to their country of origin (I mean, in the US no one would care where you come from as long as you have money   ).

Then you have Europe that, unfortunately, we still have a much more nationalistic view... so if you are from Colombia you will probably deal with "he must be a whatever dealer since he is Colombian"... well you know what I mean. So there is no interest to attract those "poor" people which, I think is a mistake. Though my impression is that this is changing, at least with some major countries (for instance, Russia and Brazil).

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mt99
Posted 2013-05-19 18:36:29 and read 9621 times.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 112):
Have you ever been to LGA? Or the Delta terminal at JFK?

Yes an MIA is a better than them. What's your point?

Quoting N62NA (Reply 112):
There's a ton of restaurants and shops in the secure area.

Its so relaxing dining while the fire alarm goes on and on.. the strobe lights are a nice touch..lovely

Quoting N62NA (Reply 112):
The terminals are very clean.

Are the baggage claim band still held together by pieces of wood?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: atsiang
Posted 2013-05-19 18:41:37 and read 9605 times.

Agree to many of the comments concerning the rudeness of the CBP staff. Experienced and witnessed it myself. A few years ago, I flew into ORD from KRK and needed to quickly find shortest line so I can reach my connecting flight, I briskly walked to the other side of the hall and was rudely scolded by an agent why I needed to walk to so fast. I didn't bother answering her back as it would've been a complete waste of time. But my thought at the time was, what a way to be greeted back into the US. Another instance occurred in 2011 as I arrived at SFO from HKG. There was a family who obviously was visiting the US for the first time from Hong Kong was rudely greeted by a CBP agent and shouting at a child in the family who was filming their arrival into the US. Granted that video and photography is not allowed, this child certainly was not aware of the rule but it didn't require the agent to yell at the top of his lung for the whole hall to hear. The agent could have just explained in a calm way that video recording is not permitted. Again my thought was what a way to be greeted into the US. Just terrible.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: b787900
Posted 2013-05-19 19:11:47 and read 9509 times.

I am quite surprised how this topic has gotten so big.

First and foremost, I cannot fully understand what the fuss is all about. As a Canadian citizen I have been travelling to the United States quite frequently. I have also transited there numerous times. Never once in at least the past 10 years have I encountered any rude or disrespectful CBP officers, TSA, or any other airport personnel. I have experienced quite the opposite actually, most were very professional, friendly, and would even occasionally tell a joke.The process to enter the US as a Canadian citizen almost always involved being asked quick questions such as the duration and location of stay. I never spent more than 2-3 minutes at the counter. While I certainly believe that rude and unprofessional employees exist at US airports, this issues (as with all American related issues) has been blown out of proportion. In addition to that, I always sense some sort of over entitled attitude around here each time there is a discussion about airport and airline quality. The airport/airline staff do not owe us (the traveling public) anything other than safe and reliable transportation and acceptable treatment upon arrival. Nothing more, nothing less. My expectations are just that. To this day, I have not once been disappointed.

What I also find quite ridiculous is how a number of members on here make some sensational claims without providing reliable facts or sources to back up their statements. Apparently, more and more travellers are traveling to the United States each year. A quick Google search will reveal and prove it. If you expect red carpet treatment upon arrival in the US, chances are, it ain't happening. Only because you fly in F or J or even regular Y class does not entitle you to any special treatment once on the ground, regardless of the country. I also believe MIA is not always as busy or chaotic as depicted on the photos.

While I agree that it would be quite beneficial for US airports to set up a hassle free transit (no visa/luggage pick up/2nd check in), it is not an absolute must. It would require a hefty amount of money to be invested in order to "fix up" the airports around the country with the single busies airspace the world. As far as I know, Canadian airports are set up somewhat similar. International (non-US) passengers must clear Canadian customs when transiting here. For passengers travelling on a passport from a country not on a visa waiver program, a transit visa must be obtained prior to arrival/transit in Canada. For example, a Ukrainian traveling between KBP and MEX via YYZ. These rules are there for a reason. At the end of the day, I would much rather transit anywhere in the US or Canada than in a country with poor human rights record, abuse and ridiculously strict and abusive local laws. Indonesia, China, UAE, among many, many others, come to mind. Sure, those countries might have excellent airports but the rest of the region oftentimes leaves much to be desired.

Finally, I personally know plenty of people who have experienced rude, unprofessional and racist airport staff, poor treatment, long immigration lines, claustrophobic facilities, etc, at airports such as CDG, FRA, LHR, SVO, and many others. I saw and experienced some of it myself. Apparently, not everything in Europe is perfect or better than in US, despite what some tend to imagine and believe. On average, having transited in Europe, Middle East and Asia numerous times, I found the experience to be nor better nor worse than in the US. On a second thought, transiting at KUL last year was certainly not pleasant, not to mention the airport's main check in area was very chaotic and overcrowded. I have absolutely no idea why so many people on here are obsessing over US airports, airlines or any issues coming from that country or displaying a "we're so much better" attitude. From an average Joe's perspective I find this to be a little creepy.

[Edited 2013-05-19 19:29:51]

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: bogota
Posted 2013-05-19 19:22:34 and read 9452 times.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 120):
I have Latin American, ME and Asian friends that really *hate* getting Schengen Visas. I think because (and that has a lot to do with mentality and background), Americans and Europeans think of nationals from emerging countries in different ways. The US will do whatever is possible to facilitate wealthy people from those countries (Colombia, China, Brazil, Turkey...) to visit and invest in the US. That is why they also grant them 5 or 10 years visitor's visa (to some nationalities at least).

That could be true but actually the US does grant visas to wealthy and middle class Colombians with not much problem, according to the US Embassy in Bogota 85% of visas get approved which in the case of Colombia they go for 10 years. The difference goes in that the US tends to trust people, once you get approved the first time you basically renew it with no problem as long as you have not abused the system.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 120):

That probably has to do a lot with the American mentality that sees people more in regards to their socio-economic position than to their country of origin (I mean, in the US no one would care where you come from as long as you have money ).

Both Europe and the US look for people who wont overstay visas.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 120):

Then you have Europe that, unfortunately, we still have a much more nationalistic view... so if you are from Colombia you will probably deal with "he must be a whatever dealer since he is Colombian"... well you know what I mean. So there is no interest to attract those "poor" people which, I think is a mistake. Though my impression is that this is changing, at least with some major countries (for instance, Russia and Brazil).

The "Colombian Dealer" mentality when referring to Colombian citizens is actually more ingrained "thanks to Hollywood" and the known lack of knowledge by US citizens in general of the "outside" world. Europeans tend to have less of a bias about it.

On the other hand consular officers live the daily life in Colombia so they don´t suffer from those types of thoughts regarding us. Yet the policies regarding visas by European countries are highly bureaucratic and totally absurd. I for instance work for a German company, yet I have not been able in the last two years that I have worked here, to get more than a 1 year Schengen visa. I worked for BA for many years also and still back then had to renew my Schenghen visa every year. Many people in my office who hold a 10 year US visa, get a 2 week Schengen visa on repeated occasions every time they need to go for training into Germany. Totally ridiculous.

So although US airports might be a nuisance to go through, visa processes for us that need it are much worse when thinking about going to Europe.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: infinit
Posted 2013-05-19 19:32:50 and read 9404 times.

Quoting b787900 (Reply 123):
First and foremost, I cannot fully understand what the fuss is all about. As a Canadian citizen I have been travelling to the United States quite frequently...

Are you white?

If you aren't I reckon you wouldn't have gotten the same treatment.

Blatant discrimination but I've seen it first hand there...

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: LipeGIG
Posted 2013-05-19 19:51:31 and read 9330 times.

I believe this problem become more intense after the Boston event. Probably it takes longer to accept each visitor right now than 2 months ago.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 105):
It would be nice to see all citizens enrolled in Global Entry to further reduce the need for CBP and to have pre-clearance for foreign citizens

True. Still not so many people uses the program and it could help a lot. Even Green card holders can apply but many don't know. I have the GE for more than 2 years now, and it is perfect.

Quoting bogota (Reply 106):
Actually between Avianca, Taca, LAN and Copa which by far outnumber any other international flights, most customers are Spanish speaking Southamericans.

Not only ... TAM for example increased a lot their number of flights, and now new players such as Gol added MIA flights.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: b787900
Posted 2013-05-19 19:57:09 and read 9299 times.

Quoting infinit (Reply 125):

Excuse me? What does this have to do with the skin colour?

I find such comments rather inappropriate. If what you are trying to say is that all or most American CBP officers are racist, then you are mistaken! Big time! I know plenty of people who are visible minorities and they have not had any problems entering the US.

If you really want to talk about racism and discrimination then it would not hurt for you to truly educate yourself on this matter before saying something that is false. Discrimination happens everywhere but the US is a far better country to live in as a minority than anywhere in Asia. Honest and hard working minorities have no trouble moving up the chain in the work force in the United States. Typically, such individuals are treated with respect and dignity. It is not always so in Singapore or in Asia in general.

Occasional bad apples at MIA, JFK, or LAX do not represent the majority of American CBP or TSA officers.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: SCQ83
Posted 2013-05-19 20:07:37 and read 9267 times.

Quoting infinit (Reply 125):
Are you white?

If you aren't I reckon you wouldn't have gotten the same treatment.

Blatant discrimination but I've seen it first hand there...

I am not postuling the US (or Europe for the case) as samples of racial equality, but still they are still probably among the most equal places in the world.

If you want blatant racism go to a passport control in Dubai or any ME airport, where you will be basically get a "Local queue", a "Western queue" and "Another queue" (Filipinos, Indians and so on). That is shocking discrimination.

Quoting bogota (Reply 124):
Yet the policies regarding visas by European countries are highly bureaucratic and totally absurd.

I was referring to that. It seems that European countries look more to the collective (poor/rich nation) as a factor whether the US looks more to the individual (personal income, wealth). That certainly has to do with the mentality of each side of the pond (individualism VS collectivism).

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: bogota
Posted 2013-05-19 20:09:42 and read 9254 times.

Quoting b787900 (Reply 123):
The airport/airline staff do not owe us (the traveling public) anything other than safe and reliable transportation and acceptable treatment upon arrival. Nothing more, nothing less.

Actually if these are your expectations I am not surprised you can not spot the difference between most US airports and those that are leading the airport experience around the world.

As of my experiences with the visa issues and how the US actually is the least problematic, I can actually say that Canada has the dishonor of leading the pack of the most problematic. To get a Canadian Visa as a tourist I have to provide personal information of all my family (parents, brothers, etc) including their jobs and even date of departure from this world in my case my father (RIP).

I find funny when the countries who protect people´s rights the "most" are those who tend to discriminate with their policies those law abiding citizens from emerging nations.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-19 20:32:20 and read 9170 times.

Quoting bogota (Reply 129):
As of my experiences with the visa issues and how the US actually is the least problematic,

I'm not quite sure how we got on visa policies in a thread about--or ostensibly about--wait times at immigration at MIA. The fact is that the US has figured out how to issue visas relatively fairly and efficiently. We require visas of more folks than some other countries, but the process for getting a visa is reasonably honest and straightforward.

Whether or not one has/needs a visa has nothing to do with how long it takes to clear immigration upon arrival at MIA.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: legacyins
Posted 2013-05-19 20:51:36 and read 9131 times.

What is the percentage of International passengers compared to domestic passengers at MIA and is International expected to grow faster over the next couple of years?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: b787900
Posted 2013-05-19 20:55:02 and read 9119 times.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 128):

  

Quoting bogota (Reply 129):

Maybe that is because each one of us have their own goals and priorities in life.

My priorities as far as the airport/airline service is concerned are pretty straightforward. I want to get there safe, on time and with an acceptable and adequate customer service. While it certainly feels excellent using top notch airlines (SQ, EK, TG) via supposedly top notch airports, I never felt they delivered the kind of service that I am willing to pay for. For example, just last night after looking up JFK - HKG via DXB flight offerings for the month of June, July and August I was stunned by how expensive it is to fly EK even in Y. I flew EK in the past and while they were excellent I don't think I would be willing to spend up to $1,000 more only to get a better meal, IFE and always smiling flight attendants. DXB by the way, was far more overcrowded than MIA or JFK! That said, it doesn't mean I do not see some differences between airports or customer service. I simply don't make a big deal out of poor experiences which by the way, happened to me almost exclusively outside of the United States and Canada. Go figure...

I could post links to hundreds of complaints about SIN, ICN, FRA, DXB, etc, which are supposedly the latest and the greatest in terms of customer service and satisfaction.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: spink
Posted 2013-05-19 21:24:37 and read 9073 times.

Quoting LipeGIG (Reply 126):
True. Still not so many people uses the program and it could help a lot. Even Green card holders can apply but many don't know. I have the GE for more than 2 years now, and it is perfect.

And its not just green card holders and us citizens. South Koreans, Dutch, Mexicans and Canadians can all get Global Entry certified. And it is relatively cheap at $20 per year (cost is $100 for a 5 year term). Flux/Privium in the Netherlands on the other hand is super expensive at ~$180 per year for GE members and ~$360 for Dutch citizens. In comparison the Korean SES service is the same price as the GE service. Plus if you have GE, you can also opt in to TSA Pre-Check as well.

And GE is now accepted in Australia and New Zealand for expedited customs and immigration. Hopefully more countries will get on board with trusted traveler programs and at reasonable/free costs.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: infinit
Posted 2013-05-20 00:49:55 and read 8804 times.

Quoting b787900 (Reply 127):
Excuse me? What does this have to do with the skin colour?

I find such comments rather inappropriate. If what you are trying to say is that all or most American CBP officers are racist, then you are mistaken! Big time! I know plenty of people who are visible minorities and they have not had any problems entering the US.

If you really want to talk about racism and discrimination then it would not hurt for you to truly educate yourself on this matter before saying something that is false.

Occasional bad apples at MIA, JFK, or LAX do not represent the majority of American CBP or TSA officers.

I merely posted a question to you in my previous post...

No, I didn't do a scientific study on this matter and neither did you. We comment based on our own experiences.

Many people in the US think I'm of Middle Eastern or Mexican origin and my experiences passing through US immigration haven't been as pleasant. On one occasion I had my passport thrown at me, on another I was asked repeatedly about my ethnic origins.

I was also once told by a TSA agent I don't look Singaporean which doesn't make any sense since there is no Singaporean "look". Like the US we are an immigrant country and we have more than 20 ethnic groups.

Quoting b787900 (Reply 127):
Discrimination happens everywhere but the US is a far better country to live in as a minority than anywhere in Asia. Honest and hard working minorities have no trouble moving up the chain in the work force in the United States. Typically, such individuals are treated with respect and dignity. It is not always so in Singapore or in Asia in general.

Care to share what discrimination Singapore's ethnic minorities face (me being me one of them)?

"Singapore and Asia in general" - that statement reflects a highly prejudiced attitude on your part, Asia is a very diverse continent. There is no one "Asian" thinking or attitude, and Singapore in many ways is different from even our closest neighbours, Malaysia and Indonesia. So right back at you, educate yourself  

Oh and how many hate crimes have there been in Singapore, ethnic or otherwise since our independence from Malaysia? ... and how many in the US on a year?

Never lived in the US apart from being a tourist there. I didn't feel discriminated against by Americans. I've been to 5 states and found the people to be generally friendly. The only discrimination I felt was by the TSA albeit on every occasion I passed through immigration.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Icarus75
Posted 2013-05-20 01:42:28 and read 8717 times.

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 108):
and questionning for visa waivers is limited "how long do you stay" is the classic and often only one

I disagree on this one!!!!
Everytime I go trough immigration, I'm not only asked "how long do you stay" but also "where are you going", "why there", "why so long".....

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-20 01:54:29 and read 8688 times.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 128):
If you want blatant racism go to a passport control in Dubai or any ME airport, where you will be basically get a "Local queue", a "Western queue" and "Another queue" (Filipinos, Indians and so on). That is shocking discrimination.

I have not seen this at Dubai or Abu Dhabi. What I have seen is separate lines for labor passengers, but that is because they have different processing requirements and it makes sense not to slow down the general lines with them. A local vs foreigners line is common all over the world. Have not seen anything that would force an Indian tourist or business traveler, for example, to stand in a separate line from "Westerners".

Quoting b787900 (Reply 127):
Excuse me? What does this have to do with the skin colour?

It has to do with profiling. For better or for worse, people of a different skin color are more likely to have a rougher time at passport control due to unfortunate recent history.

Quoting b787900 (Reply 127):
Occasional bad apples at MIA, JFK, or LAX do not represent the majority of American CBP or TSA officers.?


But this thread is about MIA. I don't think anyone is saying *all* CBP agents are rude; the point is enough of them are to give them all a bad rap. Much like flight attendants on US airlines.     

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: varig md-11
Posted 2013-05-20 02:02:51 and read 8664 times.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 120):
I wouldn't feel too entitled because you don't have the "worst" passport (I assume you are French) nor you aren't a teenager anymore (I assume that too) and you have a work back in France. There are multiple reasons for which you can get a 2nd inspection. And I don't think there is necessarily any logic behind it.

Well, you assume right  
If there is no logic begind secondary inspection then I find it scary and completely arbitrary. I thought all this story of biometry, databases, software and pre-arrival analysis would cut the crap and limit secondaries.

Quoting Icarus75 (Reply 135):
Everytime I go trough immigration, I'm not only asked "how long do you stay" but also "where are you going", "why there", "why so long".....

Maybe your data in CBP database is ringing a bell to officers 
It's true once or twice I've been asked what was my occupation, when I answer I work for the state at CDG it cuts the story short   

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: par13del
Posted 2013-05-20 03:19:24 and read 8544 times.

Quoting legacyins (Reply 131):
What is the percentage of International passengers compared to domestic passengers at MIA and is International expected to grow faster over the next couple of years?

I would say the ratio at MIA between the two is much closer than any of the other major airports, too much back-tracking is involved in using MIA as a domestic connecting hub as it is so far south.
I'm guessing 50/50, before going to google.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: par13del
Posted 2013-05-20 03:24:25 and read 8549 times.

Google is a good friend at times, now on to some math to get the percentages, why is life not simple  http://www.miami-airport.com/pdfdoc/...IA_Passenger_Services_brochure.pdf

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: cgnnrw
Posted 2013-05-20 05:31:09 and read 8276 times.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 109):
If I am flying through Paris, I don't expect them to speak perfect English.

I agree CBP officers shouldn't be expected to speak 2 or 3 different languages but if they are working in a position with authority they should be able to speak fluent English. I don't think it's unreasonable for Frenchman/woman to expect to be spoken to in French at CDG. Just like I expect to be spoken in English when I enter back into my country of birth.

I've gone in and out of MIA domestically several times and find the airport to be okay. Once behind security there are plenty of shops and places to eat and many of the terminals offer great views of the tarmac.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-20 05:49:24 and read 8200 times.

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 137):
If there is no logic begind secondary inspection then I find it scary and completely arbitrary. I thought all this story of biometry, databases, software and pre-arrival analysis would cut the crap and limit secondaries.

You've lost me. Any good profiling programme has to have a random component to acknowledge its imperfection and keep the bad guys guessing--and every customs inspection I've ever witnessed does, in fact, have a random/arbitrary/"behavior-based" component.

Quoting infinit (Reply 134):
The only discrimination I felt was by the TSA albeit on every occasion I passed through immigration.

Too bad TSA doesn't staff immigration . . .

Quoting Icarus75 (Reply 135):
Everytime I go trough immigration, I'm not only asked "how long do you stay" but also "where are you going", "why there", "why so long".....

They are supposed to ask at least one question--preferably "off the wall," though some agents aren't good at that--of everyone. Citizens get questioned too.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mjoelnir
Posted 2013-05-20 05:53:28 and read 8205 times.

The people working for TSA, immigration and customsin the USA are IMO rather friendlier and more professional now than just a few years ago.

I have nothing against TSA being thorough, I like to be alive also after the flight and do not appreciate bombs and similar equipment on aeroplanes.
I have to remove my shoes, belt and everything metal, show my clear bag with liquids, put my computer and cameras separate to the scanner also in Iceland and many other European countries. I find the body scanner not worse than a pat down. Rather the other way round.

I do not talk about Visa applications or why we out of a visa waiver country have to to the ESTA application giving about a similar amount of information as in many other countries for the visa application, that all is before the flight and hopefully done in time.

My main beef with US immigration is standing two hours or more in the line just to get to the immigration counter.

A good organisation of the international to international transfer would at least keep that group of pax out of the need to process them through immigration and it is less complicated than most here want to acknowledge.
You run them by passing immigration, past a transfer counter, through TSA, direct into the international department lounge. If they need to change terminals you move them by a special bus service, for those passengers only, either before or after TSA to the next international departure lounge. You have a small separate TSA sideline and switch that according to need and do not mix transit and departing before TSA.
The luggage of this passengers you run directly from the arriving to the departing international flight no need to bother customs.

Lets say a plane arrives from somewhere international, you have 50% US citizens and 50% non US citizens. We assume that 100% of the US citizen are O & D traffic. If than 5% of the passengers of that plane are int. to int transit you will find out that the strain on immigration processing lowers quite a bit.

Many European countries have changed there passports to include bio metrics, that was also a requirement from the USA.
Why is it not used? The UK goes much more for automated processing and the threat level from terrorist is not lower there than in the USA.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: thaiflyer
Posted 2013-05-20 06:21:10 and read 8123 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 141):
They are supposed to ask at least one question--preferably "off the wall," though some agents aren't good at that--of everyone. Citizens get questioned too.

Why are US citizen ( i presume with a US passport ) questioned at all?
I don't believe that they can refuse US citizen entry intro their own home country.
Therefore there is no reason to ask on question except for the Welcome home message.
When i return to my home country i just get sometimes the passport check and that's all.
( most of the times i just get waived through )

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-20 06:23:00 and read 8111 times.

Quoting thaiflyer (Reply 143):
Why are US citizen ( i presume with a US passport ) questioned at all?

Behavior analysis for possible referral to customs or agriculture secondary inspection. There's not the hard line between immigration screening and customs screening that a lot of countries have.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-20 06:47:13 and read 8041 times.

Interestingly, as a US citizen I have never ever been questioned at all when entering Russia, UAE, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, China, Japan, etc numerous times over the years.

Only places I have been asked some questions (typically "what is your occupation" and "how long have you been away / plan to stay") has been when returning to the US, and when entering the UK.

I put that down to a legitimate response testing / security measure as these two countries have learnt the hard way that even their own citizens (or citizens of their closest allies) cannot always be assumed to be harmless.  

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2013-05-20 06:48:49 and read 8006 times.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
The last 6 times I have gone through MIA, I have had to wait over 2.5 hours to get through passport control. Lines are miles long and it's the most inefficient and slow process I have ever seen.

I'm glad they've stayed consistent over the decades!   

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 13):
This long predates sequestration. It'd make more sense to blame Sandy

   Exactly.

Quoting usxguy (Reply 73):

The "sequester" was only a 2% reduction in CBP's budget... however the fat cats in DC / Administration want to make it as PAINFUL as possible...

   Cut the fat... and put in more clerks.

The waits at LAX, JFK, and MIA are hurting the US economy.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 142):
The people working for TSA, immigration and customsin the USA are IMO rather friendlier and more professional now than just a few years ago.

That I agree with 100%.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 144):
Behavior analysis for possible referral to customs or agriculture secondary inspection.

   My last time through customs with my ex had us questioned extensively. We met the profile of someone trying to smuggle a female (my ex) into the nation. Part of this might have been due to my nature of being a 'hands on father.' (The two girls were interacting with me and not the mom so much while waiting in line off the cruise ship. My ex also only smiles when faking it, something I had to learn but is obvious once you know what to look for, which I assume customs does. Both are signs of someone who should receive customs attention.)


Lightsaber

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: OzGlobal
Posted 2013-05-20 08:07:27 and read 7798 times.

Quoting Polot (Reply 14):
Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 11):
Unlike other countries America is so backwards at letting transiting passengers through without having to pass through immigration.

Unfortunately unlike other countries America doesn't have passport control when leaving the country, so allowing transit passengers through without having to pass immigration is always going to be a challenge as you have to find an acceptable way to keep them away from domestic passengers/flights.

The US is in no way 'special' in relation to the 'challenges' of managing international transit passengers. The US just chooses to ignore the need. That's all. The same challenges apply in other countries, but they choose to provide the totally sane service of segregating 'arriving' passengers from 'transit' passengers. It's that simple. You have a fork in the road in the arrivals concourse: you accept arriving passengers via immigration; you route transit passengers back into the departures area via a security check. It does not seemed to have occurred to the US that many people are just changing flights on US soil and are not O or D to the US. This makes most passengers avoid transit via the US like a hole in the head.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-20 08:18:53 and read 7761 times.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 147):
The US is in no way 'special' in relation to the 'challenges' of managing international transit passengers. The US just chooses to ignore the need. That's all.

Absolutely. It's too small a need to justify the expenditure. The US no doubt loses passengers because of it, but it's a choice we've made. Why is that hard for folks to understand?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-20 08:19:46 and read 7760 times.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 147):
You have a fork in the road in the arrivals concourse: you accept arriving passengers via immigration; you route transit passengers back into the departures area via a security check.

The problem is the departure areas have a mix of domestic and international pax, as well as arriving and departing pax, and no way to prevent someone from just leaving the area and exiting the airport landside. For this to work international flight departures would have to be in a separate sanitized area.

Not saying it justifies the current situation, but the solution is more complex than you make it out to be given how US airports and passenger flows have been historically designed.

[Edited 2013-05-20 08:26:00]

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: OzGlobal
Posted 2013-05-20 08:47:43 and read 7645 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 148):
Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 147):
The US is in no way 'special' in relation to the 'challenges' of managing international transit passengers. The US just chooses to ignore the need. That's all.

Absolutely. It's too small a need to justify the expenditure. The US no doubt loses passengers because of it, but it's a choice we've made. Why is that hard for folks to understand?

We might equally say, why is it so hard for US 'folks' to see how much it sucks?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-20 08:55:29 and read 7600 times.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 150):
We might equally say, why is it so hard for US 'folks' to see how much it sucks?

Is there anyone in this thread who you contend doesn't "see how much it sucks?"

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: OzGlobal
Posted 2013-05-20 09:10:18 and read 7546 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 151):
Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 150):
We might equally say, why is it so hard for US 'folks' to see how much it sucks?

Is there anyone in this thread who you contend doesn't "see how much it sucks?"

You seem to dismiss objections about how painful it is with the following post:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 148):
it's a choice we've made. Why is that hard for folks to understand?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-20 09:14:11 and read 7536 times.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 152):
You seem to dismiss objections about how painful it is with the following post:

Not at all. Choices have consequences. I don't see why people discount the fact that in this country, we've chosen a more streamlined airport experience for a number of passengers at a lower cost than what sterile transit would take. Of course, the choice that we've made has operational advantages that are often ignored, like the fact that we don't need to bus passengers when their aircraft is at the wrong type of gate, as happens almost as a matter of routine on narrowbody flights at a number of European airports.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-20 09:20:41 and read 7488 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 153):
Not at all. Choices have consequences. I don't see why people discount the fact that in this country, we've chosen a more streamlined airport experience for a number of passengers at a lower cost than what sterile transit would take.

I do think that was the original intent, but times have changed and something will have to be done sooner or later to invest in the process, layout, and logistics changes to prevent 2.5 hour waits at passport control growing to 3.5 and then 5 hour waits at peak periods over time if we just ignore the problem.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-20 09:24:14 and read 7457 times.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 154):
but times have changed and something will have to be done sooner or later to invest in the process, layout, and logistics changes to prevent 2.5 hour waits at passport control growing to 3.5 and then 5 hour waits at peak periods over time if we just ignore the problem.

But again, that has nothing to do with whether or not we have sterile transit, as the lower cost way to address that problem is simply staffing appropriately (and/or a greater emphasis on trusted traveler programs).

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: AA777
Posted 2013-05-20 09:34:39 and read 7420 times.

Can't wait to come back ti MIA from Colombia this weekend........................

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-20 09:50:59 and read 7328 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 155):
But again, that has nothing to do with whether or not we have sterile transit, as the lower cost way to address that problem is simply staffing appropriately (and/or a greater emphasis on trusted traveler programs).

That is true. Along with more staffing and technology, a separate processing lane or area for int'l to int'l transit to prevent them backing up behind arriving passengers will also be hugely helpful and should not be that hard to do.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mjoelnir
Posted 2013-05-20 10:01:45 and read 7292 times.

I do not think that you as the USA have the right to the choice to make live miserable for in international travelers.

Okay, when I am a tourist, I have choice, go to the US or go somewhere else.

But when I am on a business trip your behavior is akin to non tariff hindrances to free trade. If an US citizen has a right to come to my country for business, I have the right to go to your country for business reasons. You do not have the right to exclude me for no apparent reason and you do not have the right to make my travels miserable.

The visa waiver program was not a US gift to the citizens of other nations. It was bilateral agreement to ease travel between those countries.
It is questionable were the ease is going in regard of the unfriendly treatment of the citizen of supposedly "friendly nations".

It is high time to get your act together.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: SCQ83
Posted 2013-05-20 10:14:59 and read 7227 times.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 158):
The visa waiver program was not a US gift to the citizens of other nations. It was bilateral agreement to ease travel between those countries.

As you say this is a bilateral agreement.

There are many countries that have reprocity policies. If you have only an US passport and you want to visit Brazil (whether it is for business, tourism...) you gotta get a (very expensive) pre-arranged visa in a Brazilian embassy/consulate in the US, the same flavour that Brazilians have to suffer to get to the US.

I don't think no one would stop Iceland   or the Schengen area to have similar policies as the US.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mjoelnir
Posted 2013-05-20 10:33:09 and read 7125 times.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 159):
As you say this is a bilateral agreement.

There are many countries that have reprocity policies. If you have only an US passport and you want to visit Brazil (whether it is for business, tourism...) you gotta get a (very expensive) pre-arranged visa in a Brazilian embassy/consulate in the US, the same flavour that Brazilians have to suffer to get to the US.

I don't think no one would stop Iceland   or the Schengen area to have similar policies as the US.

I do know nothing about the agreements the USA has with Brazil., but I am pretty sure that when a US citizen needs an visa in Brasil that then a Brasil citizen needs a visa in the USA.
I do know the agreements the USA has with Iceland.
I do know that no US citizen will need 2 hours + to pass immigration in Iceland when all his papers are okay.
We are holding our side of the bargain up, it is time for that on your side.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: kasimir
Posted 2013-05-20 11:01:11 and read 7001 times.

Funny that this subject comes up now, but since around 2002/2003 I try to avoid the USA as my traveling hub to anywhere else in the world if I cannot get a direct flight!

Things got really bad after the increased security due to 9/11 and things at most major US airports are really a pain in the but for international travelers, even worst if you possibly have a connecting flight.

Immigration is really the biggest problem and it ALWAYS took me atleast 1hr to get through immigration and this is extremely annoying especially after a 10+ hour flight. It makes tight connections nearly impossible or planning for relatives to pick you up is also a pain, since you get screamed at if you want to use your phone to let your waiting relatives know that your waiting in line for immigration!

The next big issue that really annoys me if you have a (international or domestic) connecting flight, is that you have to claim your baggage at the first US airport that you arrive (some kind of customs regulation) and then bring it personally to the connecting flight baggage drop off.

The last big issue of traveling through the US is the TSA and I will not get into detail, since this has been discussed to death already  

All this makes international--to-international or international-to-domestic flights through the US very inefficient and very tiring to do and I prefer flying to any other airport in the world if my final destination is outside the US.

Example (I regularly fly to Brazil):
CUR-MIA-GIG => connecting through MIA takes me atleast 2hrs to get from one gate to the next gate (go through immigration, claim baggage, go through security and get to departure gate) and most of the times I prefer to stay one night at a hotel to make sure that I don't miss my flights and travel more relaxed => makes things more expensive and lose more than a day!
CUR-BOG-GIG => connecting through BOG is a really pleasant experience (if you fly with Avianca) and the last three times it took me less than 15 minutes to get from arrival gate to my departure gate and my baggage got at final destination without any problems!

I don't understand why the US doesn't have any interest to fix this problem, because not only is it extremely annoying, but also does the US lose billions of $$$ from travelers that choose to connect through other countries and the value of time lost due to just waiting should not be avoided either!
Other countries do not have these STRUCTURAL problems like the US and I always have to be mentally prepared to travel to the US to not to get a heart attack  

By the way, its not only MIA, but I constantly had bad experiences at JFK, EWR, MCO, ORD, LAX, SFO....

PS: The only country which I know that does international immigration just or nearly as bad as the US is Brazil

[Edited 2013-05-20 11:22:02]

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: kasimir
Posted 2013-05-20 11:37:58 and read 6858 times.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 149):

Absolutely. It's too small a need to justify the expenditure. The US no doubt loses passengers because of it, but it's a choice we've made. Why is that hard for folks to understand?

While I agree that the expenditure is too huge to make up for it in the short-term, but the problem still remains and the US will lose out in the long-term, due to other countries taking the opportunity to offer international travelers better and more effective connecting options.

This issue shouldn't be ignored even if you are a die hard American patriot, because it might effect the US in a much bigger way than just the comfort of travel for international and connecting passengers!

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-20 12:09:29 and read 6770 times.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 160):
I do know that no US citizen will need 2 hours + to pass immigration in Iceland when all his papers are okay.

At MIA, that's simply false. Most of the line occurs before the split for US citizens and non-citizens.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-20 12:52:48 and read 6604 times.

Quoting kasimir (Reply 162):

That was Cubsrule's comment you quoted, though somehow it showed up under my name.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 163):
At MIA, that's simply false. Most of the line occurs before the split for US citizens and non-citizens.

He was talking about Iceland. However it seems strange that MIA has a common line for US and non-US until it splits -- makes no sense.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: ETinCaribe
Posted 2013-05-20 13:02:34 and read 6559 times.

Quoting mcmax (Reply 6):
Do passengers who have Global Entry have to wait in that queue to get to the immigration hall, or are they allowed to move on ahead? (I selfishly ask this question as we will be arriving back from Paris next month via Miami.)

You need not worry. I went through this hall 2 days ago, long lines for others but with Global Entry, you are out in 30 seconds or less. 95% of your time is taken by how fast you can walk.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: jsnww81
Posted 2013-05-20 13:21:35 and read 6485 times.

Quoting ETinCaribe (Reply 165):
You need not worry. I went through this hall 2 days ago, long lines for others but with Global Entry, you are out in 30 seconds or less. 95% of your time is taken by how fast you can walk.

Same experience here. I flew into MIA back in March - I arrived at about 5am on a completely full 767 from GYE, and as we taxied into the gate, there were 767s and 777s from all over South America pulling in around us. Using Global Entry I was through in about 45 seconds. For the non-US folks it was a different story, but the lines also weren't nearly as bad as they look in the OP's photos.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: FlyingHollander
Posted 2013-05-20 13:32:00 and read 6426 times.

To keep things a little bit positive, I must say it's never taken me extremely long to get through as a US citizen at any US airport (ATL, JFK, MIA, ORD, PHX, SEA, CVG, MSP). However, I do agree that the system as a whole needs te be evaluated completely as there are many, many things that could use improvement.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: CitationJet
Posted 2013-05-20 13:36:54 and read 6404 times.

Quoting miaskies (Reply 22):
Not just a MIA/AA problems - Major airports throughout the country are being faced with the same issue.
Quoting superjeff (Reply 70):
It is NOT sequestration

Agree. It took 1 hour and 30 minutes to pass thru Immigration and Customs at DFW last Saturday. There were hundreds of people in line, with only two agents working the Customs line. Many in line missed their connecting flights. My flight from Cancun only took 2:25 minutes flying time, but I spent 1:30 getting thru Customs/Immigration. It was the same mess at DFW in January when arriving from FRA.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: kasimir
Posted 2013-05-20 13:43:37 and read 6370 times.

Quoting FlyingHollander (Reply 167):
To keep things a little bit positive, I must say it's never taken me extremely long to get through as a US citizen at any US airport

I think the key word you are using is "US citizen" and every time I stand in line to wait I can observe that the lines for US citizens move somewhat faster (but the still very slow compared to most airports for example in Europe).

If I needed to travel very often into the US I would apply for Global Entry too since that seems to go very easy and fast, but why can they not introduce self-service electronic immigration gates (for the VISA waiver countries) next to the normal immigration desks, which might take some of the work-load away and make things a little smoother... In Europe they are already doing this for all EU passport holders and I prefer the self-service immigration over the normal immigration desks!

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: flymia
Posted 2013-05-20 13:54:01 and read 6315 times.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 160):
I do know nothing about the agreements the USA has with Brazil., but I am pretty sure that when a US citizen needs an visa in Brasil that then a Brasil citizen needs a visa in the USA.
I do know the agreements the USA has with Iceland.
I do know that no US citizen will need 2 hours + to pass immigration in Iceland when all his papers are okay.
We are holding our side of the bargain up, it is time for that on your side.

When Iceland has the immigration problems AND the amount of international travelers coming into their airport the we can talk. I mean really you have to be joking. There are more people traveling between MIA and Brazil and Mexico than total passengers at KEF.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 158):
But when I am on a business trip your behavior is akin to non tariff hindrances to free trade. If an US citizen has a right to come to my country for business, I have the right to go to your country for business reasons. You do not have the right to exclude me for no apparent reason and you do not have the right to make my travels miserable

The lines suck , I agree. Even though I have never waited in a long CBP line. I have waited in lines in other countries though. But for you to think you have the "right" to come into the USA is laughable. Just like I think there is no country I have the "right" to visit the U.S. does have the right to deny you entry if they wish. The only person who has a right to enter the country is a U.S. Citizen.
No one wants people travel to be miserable but right now at the major gateways long lines are happening. Hopefully the problems will be fixed.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: legacyins
Posted 2013-05-20 13:54:05 and read 6314 times.

Quoting par13del (Reply 139):

Thanks very much for the link. Very informative.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: bestwestern
Posted 2013-05-20 14:01:49 and read 6278 times.

Quoting flymia (Reply 170):
But for you to think you have the "right" to come into the USA is laughable.

FlyMia's proposal to reduce lines - all foreigners go home.....

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: b787900
Posted 2013-05-20 14:05:18 and read 6252 times.

Quoting infinit (Reply 134):

Pal, I do not recall myself mentioning anything along the lines of, "all Asian countries are the same". Don't get where you're getting that from. What I meant was, people of colour such as Indians, Sri Lankans, Africans, etc, are far better off in the US or here in Canada than anywhere in Asia. That isn't a generalization, it is simply how it is. There is a lot of discrimination against Indian, Pakistani, and Sri Lankan individuals in countries such as UAE, Singapore, Indonesia, etc. Oftentimes those people are permanently stuck at the very bottom in their jobs and careers. Just a quick search on Google reveals a not so pretty picture regarding race relations in your region. I haven't even touched on other subjects such as interracial relationships and marriages. And I actually have done a significant amount of research on this matter in the past.

Further, US remains the country most people want to settle in, followed closely by other highly developed nations like Canada. I would expect far more hate crime in Europe and North America than in Singapore simply because, the local laws in Singapore are so strict that most people are reluctant to break them. There is hardly any personal freedom in many Asian countries (not in all countries though). Hate crime is definatly wrong! But so are the overly strict and abusive laws. I would still rather transit in US or here in Canada than in most other places in the world. But it is only my opinion. Asia is wonderful to visit though.

Quoting kasimir (Reply 161):

I find it somewhat irrational and overly picky when some say things along the lines of "I avoid country X because it has unpleasant airports or staff". No wonder why so many people are miserable these days, especially when they fly. I never expect red carpet treatment anywhere I visit. I had my Canada passport thrown at me at SVO, the immigration officers at the airport were rude, however, I would still return to Moscow or transit through SVO. Russia is a fascinating country and the hassle of obtaining a visa or transiting at their airports will not deter me from coming again.

If European or Asian airport are so wonderful, how come each time I transit in Europe (arriving from US/Canada), my carry on luggage is almost always thoroughly checked before I board an intra European flight? Do you know how inconvenient it is to have your carry on luggage being turned inside out (and then having to repack it) at the security check point when there are hundreds of other people lined up all rushing to get out as soon as possible? I very rarely had such problems in the US or here in Canada.

What I find strange is how in the past 10+ years not once have I had any unpleasant experiences in the US. Not once have I waited for more than 20-25 min in line inside the immigration hall. I suspect some individuals already arrive with their baggage and hostility against CBP/TSA officers right from the start... I can sense it in this thread. You create what you fear. Some of my best airport experiences were at DFW, LAS, and CDG. ATL was not bad either, concourse F is quite nice. I never avoid transiting in the US, only if it is more expensive to transit there than elsewhere. Apparently, plenty of people are obtaining visas in order to be able transfer in US. It does not stop them.
I get it, the system isn't perfect and could certainly use some improvement, but it is not as bad as what some of you describe in this thread.

Quoting thaiflyer (Reply 143):

Here Canada when I arrive at YVR, YYZ, etc, I almost always get questioned about the purpose and duration of my travel, what I purchased abroad, what I do for a living, etc. Such questions are necessary in order to verify the identity of the person trying to enter the country. Human and drug trafficking is rampant in a lot of places around the globe. We need to protect our borders and people.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 160):
I do know that no US citizen will need 2 hours + to pass immigration in Iceland when all his papers are okay

International passengers being processed for two hours at US airports? Most passengers are processed in under 5 minutes, unless what you meant was that they have to wait in line for up 2 hours before being processed. But isn't it wrong to compare smaller Euro airports such as KEF to MIA? MIA is much, much busier. I think US airports might be somewhat understaffed though, which results in long immigration lines.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: jfidler
Posted 2013-05-20 14:25:45 and read 6194 times.

Does anyone have data on how much MIA traffic is International-International (transfer) traffic? I looked around but couldn't find any data.

Some posters in this thread state this is an important issue to be addressed, so it would be good to see some hard numbers on what percentage of passengers actually fall into this category.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: flymia
Posted 2013-05-20 14:30:29 and read 6174 times.

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 172):
FlyMia's proposal to reduce lines - all foreigners go home.....


Glad you took that out of context. I don't think I have the "right" to enter Ireland. I have the right that the U.S. states give me a passport to be able to travel but if for some reason Ireland, China, Brazil or Italy wanted to deny me entrance into their country that is their fault. Would it be a good idea to just deny people for no reason. Of course not. But when I visit another country I am entering that country as a visitor and do not think I have a "right" to enter that country in any way. I am be granted permission to enter the country. Where I said lets just stop letting people in I don't see but hey you believe what you want to.

Quoting b787900 (Reply 173):
What I find strange is how in the past 10+ years not once have I had any unpleasant experiences in the US. Not once have I waited for more than 20-25 min in line inside the immigration hall.


Same here.

Quoting b787900 (Reply 173):
Human and drug trafficking is rampant in a lot of places around the globe.


I think people do not get this part of Immigration. It is such a big problem. It is an especially big problem at MIA.

Quoting b787900 (Reply 173):
I think US airports might be somewhat understaffed though, which results in long immigration lines.


They most certainly are.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Stratofish
Posted 2013-05-20 14:30:29 and read 6175 times.

Ok, very interesting thread.
I'm currently looking for cheap fares to South America and always AA pops up as the "best" choice.
So my question is if one does not make his/her connection, will AA (or whatever airline) have to come up with a solution or will I be stranded in MIA? AA's website shows me 2:15h connection time at MIA, judging from this thread that's far from realistic..?

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 168):
Agree. It took 1 hour and 30 minutes to pass thru Immigration and Customs at DFW last Saturday. There were hundreds of people in line, with only two agents working the Customs line. Many in line missed their connecting flights. My flight from Cancun only took 2:25 minutes flying time, but I spent 1:30 getting thru Customs/Immigration. It was the same mess at DFW in January when arriving from FRA.

Shame. I remember having connected through DFW in 2000 and the international transit lounge albeit not being very comfortably it offered great views that no other lounge at DFW did (to my knowledge). Those pre 9/11 days...

Btw, what's the situation at ORD? I last flew there on 9/11/2002 and was through immigration in less than 20 minutes.

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 74):
That being said, taking photographs in the sterile circulation area is strictly prohibited. Your parents could've had their electronics seized and been subject to detention and interrogation if the officer who caught them was in a particularly bad mood.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't these photographs been taken well outside the security area?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-20 14:41:05 and read 6180 times.

Quoting flymia (Reply 175):

Quoting b787900 (Reply 173):What I find strange is how in the past 10+ years not once have I had any unpleasant experiences in the US. Not once have I waited for more than 20-25 min in line inside the immigration hall.

Same here.

As a US citizen or as a Canadian pre-cleared in Canada, you are unlikely to ever face the kinds of lines foreign visitors face in US passport control.

However you clearly know that excessive waiting times are a problem as you go on to say:

Quoting flymia (Reply 175):

Quoting b787900 (Reply 173):I think US airports might be somewhat understaffed though, which results in long immigration lines.

They most certainly are.

So therefore all people are saying is that something should be done to fix this problem that primarily impacts foreigners entering the US.

[Edited 2013-05-20 14:49:09]

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: jfidler
Posted 2013-05-20 14:48:11 and read 6138 times.

I found some data on the wait times at MIA for immigration:
http://apps.cbp.gov/awt/

You can choose each terminal of MIA, and see the average and maximum wait times, as well as how many booths were staffed.

I picked a few months and terminals at MIA, and rarely was the maximum wait time anywhere close to 2 hours. Also, average processing times seem to be closer to 30 minutes, and peaking at 60 minutes. The number of booths staffed seems to be in the 15-45 range.

Since they know what flight number you came from, I'm guessing the wait times are taken either from when the flight disembarks, or when the first person on the flight clears immigration.

So based on the hard data, as opposed to anecdotal evidence, it appears the waits are not as bad as people claim. At the same time, there is still room for improvement, as some of those waits I would still consider longer than reasonable.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: tonystan
Posted 2013-05-20 14:51:46 and read 6115 times.

Quoting Polot (Reply 20):
Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 19):
Yet other countries manage this but America seem's to avoid dealing with it.

They do it by having dedicated international departure terminals and domestic departure terminals. To do that in the US you will have to basically redesign every major airport in the country. That is not feasible- especially since domestic flights make up the bulk of flights in the US unlike many other countries.

No, no they don't!

Ireland, UK, France, Germany.....infact pretty much all of Europe do not have separate domestic and international terminals, Canada, Japan, China, Russia.....

I could go on!

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: b787900
Posted 2013-05-20 14:56:22 and read 6083 times.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 177):

I do not always fly to US from Canada. Half my flights to US originated in Europe and Asia. None of those regions (apart from Ireland) have US pre-clearance facilities. I arrive in US as an international passenger and wait in line along with other non-US citizens. Never had to wait longer than 20-25 minutes at JFK or SFO even when I flew EK A380/AF 747 respectively. The lines were long but they moved quick.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-20 15:05:38 and read 6046 times.

Quoting b787900 (Reply 180):
Never had to wait longer than 20-25 minutes at JFK or SFO even when I flew EK A380/AF 747 respectively. The lines were long but they moved quick.

You have been fortunate. I too have not waited more than 45 minutes as a US citizen. Others however have not been so fortunate. This is a real problem, people are not making up these stories and fabricating the photos.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: N62NA
Posted 2013-05-20 15:09:26 and read 6040 times.

Quoting mt99 (Reply 121):
Yes an MIA is a better than them. What's your point?

It was stated that MIA is an awful airport. It's nowhere near being an awful airport.

Quoting mt99 (Reply 121):

Are the baggage claim band still held together by pieces of wood?

No.

Quoting b787900 (Reply 123):
The airport/airline staff do not owe us (the traveling public) anything other than safe and reliable transportation and acceptable treatment upon arrival.

Not true. The airlines are selling service and comfort (Y+, J, F) in addition to transportation.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 130):
The fact is that the US has figured out how to issue visas relatively fairly and efficiently.

Well, I guess "relatively" is a relative word. But when my poor European friend has been stuck in "Administrative Processing" for more than 2 years, and NOBODY (not me, not him, not his U.S. lawyer, not the embassy where he interviewed, not the State Department in Washington DC) can tell him what the heck is going on with his application beyond it is "in Administrative Processing" something is VERY wrong with the system.

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 137):
Maybe your data in CBP database is ringing a bell to officers

And, what sucks about that is that the poor soul has no way of seeing that data to see if he is labelled a terrorist by mistake.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-20 15:15:18 and read 6005 times.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 182):

It was stated that MIA is an awful airport. It's nowhere near being an awful airport.

It is improving (finally!), but really in my experience must rank amongst the least attractive / customer friendly major airports in the US, right alongside some of JFK's terminals.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: legacyins
Posted 2013-05-20 15:16:21 and read 5996 times.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 182):
And, what sucks about that is that the poor soul has no way of seeing that data to see if he is labelled a terrorist by mistake.

Why don't you do a FOIA. I've done a couple and besides the retracted stuff, some interesting information comes back.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Boysteve
Posted 2013-05-20 15:17:19 and read 6008 times.

In the UK last weekend the BBC had a feature about long queues at US immigration and warning people that 2 hour delays were going to be common place throughout the summer. Obviously the UK has had it's own problems recently on immigration queues so we know what they can be like! The blame was put on spending costs but people will be put off taking their holiday in the US I am sure.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: jcwr56
Posted 2013-05-20 15:41:02 and read 5943 times.

Quoting kasimir (Reply 169):
If I needed to travel very often into the US I would apply for Global Entry too since that seems to go very easy and fast, but why can they not introduce self-service electronic immigration gates (for the VISA waiver countries) next to the normal immigration desks,

They are at ORD, they should be up and running by July 1st. However, at the beginning, they'll be available for U.S Citizens only. We'll have 32 kiosks in addition to GE. They'll shift those inspectors to non US lines.

Quoting jfidler (Reply 178):
I found some data on the wait times at MIA for immigration:http://apps.cbp.gov/awt/

That is great information if you're a historian.. Everyone knows each day is different. What CBP needs to do and what we're doing at ORD is looking forward on wait times. Getting projected passenger counts from the airlines directly and then using a model to look at CBP staffing during a given time to come up with what "X" amount of time will be during peak based on "scheduled" activity. It allows CBP to adjust their numbers 30-60 days out.

Matter of fact, we're looking at staffing for the winter season already based on initial W13 schedules. Some airports are trying to look at different ways of improving. The sad thing is, there's no "official" stance from DC to make the system work better. It's left up to each Port to figure it out.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: N62NA
Posted 2013-05-20 15:46:12 and read 5914 times.

Quoting legacyins (Reply 184):
Why don't you do a FOIA. I've done a couple and besides the retracted stuff, some interesting information comes back.

Thanks.

He had his lawyer do that. Pretty much all that was left after all the black magic marker went through it were the words "the" "and" "or" and his name. Totally worthless exercise in his case.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: L410Turbolet
Posted 2013-05-20 15:46:16 and read 5919 times.

It's not only the US government who is to blame for the mess. Airlines and their reduction of hubs are also contributing significantly to the problem, imho. Long gone are the days of direct flights from Europe to MEM or CVG and to a large extent also to DTW or MSP (I am using SkyTeam as an example since my experience with OW or *A is limited). Now almost everything from Europe is funneled through NYC/JFK or ATL which makes everything even worse even without the staffing problems.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-05-20 16:32:54 and read 5822 times.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 188):
Now almost everything from Europe is funneled through NYC/JFK or ATL which makes everything even worse even without the staffing problems.

Shouldn't the reduced CBP needs at MSP, CVG and MEM allow for assets to be in place at airports like JFK and ATL? There should be plenty of staff to handle the demands.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mjoelnir
Posted 2013-05-20 16:33:23 and read 5838 times.

I just read MIA_Passenger_Services_brochure.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.miami-airport.com/pdfdoc/...IA_Passenger_Services_brochure.pdf
I t went past me I did not read that post earlier.

It debunks one argument so many US posters put up here, that international travel is tiny on all US airports compared to domestic travel.

Lets start with JFK busiest international hub of the USA:
all pax 49.3 mil pax on international flights 23.9 mill that is 48% international to 52% domestic.
busiest int. route JFK-LHR 2,678,991 busiest domestic route JFK-LAX 1,586,000

MIA second busiest international hub of the US
all pax 39.5 mil pax on international flights 18.4 mill that is 47% international to 53% domestic.
busiest int route MIA-LHR 2,678,991 busiest domestic route MIA-ATL 704,000

LAX third busiest international hub of the USA
all pax 63.7 mill pax on international flights 16.4 mill that is still 29% international to 71% domestic.
busiest int route LAX-LHR 1,300,010 busiest domestic route LAX-SFO 1,699,000

EWR fourth busiest international hub of the USA
all pax 33.9 mill pax on international flights 11.5 mill that is still 34% international to 66% domestic.
busiest int. route EWR-LHR 1,197,847 busiest domestic route EWR-MCO 662,000

ORD fifth busiest international hub of the USA
all pax 72.1 mill pax on international flights 10 mill that is still 14% international to 86% domestic.
busiest int. route ORD-LHR 1,207,407 busiest domestic route ORD-LGA 1,342,000

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2013-05-20 17:02:44 and read 5782 times.

Is this immigration hall in the newly completed North terminal D concourse or, is it in the Central (Old school MIA) terminal?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: jonathanxxxx
Posted 2013-05-20 17:35:39 and read 5725 times.

Hmm.....

There seem to be conflicting numbers. According to this article:

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/201...lauderdale-hollywood-international

MIA beats JFK in international flights.... Of course it is only by one flight it still puts things into perspective that the most international airport in the US definitely needs to cater to foreign passengers, which it does, but definitely needs some shaping up as far as CBP goes.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mozart
Posted 2013-05-20 17:43:34 and read 5707 times.

Quoting ETinCaribe (Reply 165):

You need not worry. I went through this hall 2 days ago, long lines for others but with Global Entry, you are out in 30 seconds or less. 95% of your time is taken by how fast you can walk.
Quoting jsnww81 (Reply 166):
Same experience here. I flew into MIA back in March - I arrived at about 5am on a completely full 767 from GYE, and as we taxied into the gate, there were 767s and 777s from all over South America pulling in around us. Using Global Entry I was through in about 45 seconds.

So you basically just walked past the waiting line towards the Global Entry kiosks? Didn't people think that you were queue-jumping and threatened to start a riot?

Arriving myself with GE at Terminal J on Swiss in 2 weeks. This thread has put me off quite a bit, pondering to cancel my trip to MIA

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: flymia
Posted 2013-05-20 17:46:19 and read 5693 times.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 190):
It debunks one argument so many US posters put up here, that international travel is tiny on all US airports compared to domestic travel.

I think you completely miss the point. Yes the large international gateways have a lot of international flights. MIA is even close to 50/50. But here is the point you are missing. International-international connections are what would need the transit lounges. That is the only point we are saying about how other posters are talking about U.S. airports being poorly designed and laws being dumb. There are not many international-international al connections. Obviously international O/D arrivals need to clear at say MIA and of course someone flying LHR-MIA-MSY would need to clear in MIA. Those are the majority of Internatioanl passenger traffic at the few large Internatioanl gateways. Of course they are still waiting in the lines and that is a problem. But when we are pointing out that the majority of air travel in the U.S. is domestic we are pointing that out to people stating its crazy you need to clear customs and immigration even if you are in the U.S. to only connect.

As you can see after the "big three" of JFK, MIA, and LAX. It is clear the majority of traffic is domestic. Why don't you check stats for LAS, DEN, CLT, PHX, MCO, DTW, ATL? To the majority of airports international travel is small.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mjoelnir
Posted 2013-05-20 18:58:49 and read 5590 times.

Quoting flymia (Reply 194):
Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 190):
It debunks one argument so many US posters put up here, that international travel is tiny on all US airports compared to domestic travel.

I think you completely miss the point. Yes the large international gateways have a lot of international flights. MIA is even close to 50/50. But here is the point you are missing. International-international connections are what would need the transit lounges. That is the only point we are saying about how other posters are talking about U.S. airports being poorly designed and laws being dumb. There are not many international-international al connections. Obviously international O/D arrivals need to clear at say MIA and of course someone flying LHR-MIA-MSY would need to clear in MIA. Those are the majority of Internatioanl passenger traffic at the few large Internatioanl gateways. Of course they are still waiting in the lines and that is a problem. But when we are pointing out that the majority of air travel in the U.S. is domestic we are pointing that out to people stating its crazy you need to clear customs and immigration even if you are in the U.S. to only connect.

As you can see after the "big three" of JFK, MIA, and LAX. It is clear the majority of traffic is domestic. Why don't you check stats for LAS, DEN, CLT, PHX, MCO, DTW, ATL? To the majority of airports international travel is small.

Come with numbers this is just blah blah blah.

First talking as international flight was hardly existing and only domestic was needed to bother about.
When that is refuted you talk about transit international to international was not important.

Put up your numbers instead of waffling.

And it does not matter if you find enough airports were international traffic is small, that is absolutely no reason to not support it were international travel is big.
And if you need more airports ATL has 9.9 mill pax on international flights, SFO 9 mill, IAH 8.6 mill, IAD 6.5 mill, DFW 5.5.
And if you look at a hub like FRA there you will find that the inside Schengen routes, comparable to domestic in the USA, are busier than international out of Schengen routes. You will find that on most big European hubs with the exception of LHR.
Still they cater to international traffic.
If one would see you guys doing something about the jams, than one would stop complaining about it but it is been going on like this for years and it is getting worse.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Rafabozzolla
Posted 2013-05-20 19:17:37 and read 5556 times.

I'm a holder of a Visa country (Brazil) and a Visa Waiver country (Italy) passport, and I've used both to enter the US (using the Brazilian passport in situations I'd have needed the visa anyway, like student and press). Well, once arriving in the USA from Mexico on a tourist trip through DFW - using my Italian passport - I was taken to secondary screening due to conflicting info from having two passports. I have to say the CBP officers were firm but respectful and professional. They were doing their job, but I was through with no harassment whatsoever. I did miss my connecting flight, but that was handled seamlessly by AA.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: par13del
Posted 2013-05-20 19:30:54 and read 5524 times.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 164):
However it seems strange that MIA has a common line for US and non-US until it splits -- makes no sense.

You exit the a/c into a terminal corridor all pax are together until you get to the arrivals hall, the pictures earlier in the thread shows this corridor.
No pax has any exit point until they get to the arrivals hall, then the lines can be split.
In the old hall when volume was high, they held pax outside the hall and called US citizens forward to quickly get them cleared - which pissed off the non-US citizens to no end -.
The new hall was suppsed to eliminate the need for such measures by having enough lanes and spacing to accomodate a greater mass of pax, unfortunately, CBP decided not to fully staff the hall when opened and the sequester kicked in which aggravated the situation, so it is what it is. I think part of the problem was all lanes were only needed for a few hours per day and CBP may not have been willing or have no work rules which only allow max staffing for a few hours per day, all staff may have to work a full shift, I am speculating here, so take it as such.

Unfortunately, based on departure times from deep South America and Europe, between noon and 03:00pm at MIA on Fridays thru to Monday along with Wednesday will usually have high volumes.
Maybe with budget cuts the US will look at placing more pre-clearance facilities in third countries, it will allow those countries to foot a part of the bill - as their citizens benefit also -, give more US staff third country deployments, reduce the number of pax who need to clear in the US, reduce the number of a/c movements between terminals.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: spink
Posted 2013-05-20 19:38:53 and read 5496 times.

Quoting thaiflyer (Reply 143):
Why are US citizen ( i presume with a US passport ) questioned at all?
I don't believe that they can refuse US citizen entry intro their own home country.

They need to check US Citizens for various issues including but not limited to validity of passport, violations of laws, and trafficking.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 155):
But again, that has nothing to do with whether or not we have sterile transit, as the lower cost way to address that problem is simply staffing appropriately (and/or a greater emphasis on trusted traveler programs).

The US is heavily pushing on trusted traveler programs and program reciprocity. GE is very very affordable for anyone who is going to be traveling into or through the US even several times over a 5 year period. Right now there are 5 separate countries that are eligible for GE: US, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and Netherlands. They are working to expand the countries that are eligible based on reciprocity agreements. It is likely that New Zealand and Australia will be the next two.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 158):
I do not think that you as the USA have the right to the choice to make live miserable for in international travelers.

Every country does and does do it to various extents depending on the nationality of the international traveler.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 158):
But when I am on a business trip your behavior is akin to non tariff hindrances to free trade. If an US citizen has a right to come to my country for business, I have the right to go to your country for business reasons. You do not have the right to exclude me for no apparent reason and you do not have the right to make my travels miserable.

The US is heavily going to a known traveler system as its primary method of easing security and immigration/customs requirements and delays. I don't know if you have a Dutch passport, but if you do, you can take part in GE and be through customs, immigration, and security within minutes.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: flymia
Posted 2013-05-20 21:41:32 and read 5334 times.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 195):
If one would see you guys doing something about the jams, than one would stop complaining about it but it is been going on like this for years and it is getting worse.

We all agree that the lines are too long and that something needs to be done about it. No one is saying international flights are not important. No one. And if they are saying that they are wrong. Let me see if I can explain this better.

Some posters have said how crazy it is how when only connecting you still need to wait in these lines and clear customs and immigration. The majroity of connectins in U.S. airports from International airports are going to domestic cities. Few are going to international destinations. U.S. Airports are designed for primarly domestic flights and international departures. So the terminals are not made to hold people "in" who are only connecting in the U.S. for another country.
That is the only thing I and many others are talking about. It does not make sense for U.S. airports to be redesigned just to cater to a small amount of international-international connecting passengers.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 195):
First talking as international flight was hardly existing and only domestic was needed to bother about.
When that is refuted you talk about transit international to international was not important.

I never said international passengers are not important and what I am talking about little to do with the long lines.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 195):
Come with numbers this is just blah blah blah.

I don't need numbers to know that the vast majority of passengers at LAS, DEN, CLT, PHX, MCO, DTW, ATL etc.. are domestic. That is common sense in the Anet world.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 195):
When that is refuted you talk about transit international to international was not important.

This was the only thing I was talking about. I was always talking about international-international which IS a small market in the U.S.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: varig md-11
Posted 2013-05-21 00:35:48 and read 5189 times.

Quoting mozart (Reply 193):
Arriving myself with GE at Terminal J on Swiss in 2 weeks. This thread has put me off quite a bit, pondering to cancel my trip to MIA

If memory serves me right when you enter J immigration hall: first on the left are booths for US citizen, then "other passports" booths in the middle, and GE automats at the end of the hall: it's clearly marked and separated

Quoting spink (Reply 198):
The US is heavily going to a known traveler system as its primary method of easing security and immigration/customs requirements and delays.


That was my understanding too. CBP wants to apply and reinforce the "know your customer" policy. I think by now we have all the technologies to alllow something less stressful.
I wish France was on the list for GE...If Germany starts the trial I hope we'll follow

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-21 00:37:51 and read 5192 times.

Quoting par13del (Reply 197):
You exit the a/c into a terminal corridor all pax are together until you get to the arrivals hall, the pictures earlier in the thread shows this corridor.
No pax has any exit point until they get to the arrivals hall, then the lines can be split.

How about pax eligible for the Global Entry kiosks then? Do they get to bypass this line?

Quoting flymia (Reply 199):
It does not make sense for U.S. airports to be redesigned just to cater to a small amount of international-international connecting passengers.

I agree. But perhaps they should consider a separate counter or line to process these pax so as to make the intl'l-int'l connection experience less onerous?

Quoting flymia (Reply 199):
We all agree that the lines are too long and that something needs to be done about it.

I think most of us agree on this. However there are a few who claim "but I have never, in 10 or 20 years, experienced such a line, therefore clearly the problem does not exist"!  

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: spink
Posted 2013-05-21 03:21:37 and read 5057 times.

Quoting varig md-11 (Reply 200):
That was my understanding too. CBP wants to apply and reinforce the "know your customer" policy. I think by now we have all the technologies to alllow something less stressful.
I wish France was on the list for GE...If Germany starts the trial I hope we'll follow

Ideally, all of the EU would jump aboard, and hopefully with a program more financially reasonable than the ones the Netherlands has in place at the moment. Having to pay a chunk of money to Flux and then to GE/Privium every year is insane. So hopefully the model is close to the South Korea/US model which is you pay the $100 application fee to each and its good for 5 years.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: kasimir
Posted 2013-05-21 09:51:16 and read 4762 times.

Quoting b787900 (Reply 173):
I find it somewhat irrational and overly picky when some say things along the lines of "I avoid country X because it has unpleasant airports or staff". No wonder why so many people are miserable these days, especially when they fly. I never expect red carpet treatment anywhere I visit.

Please, I'm not an idiot and fly international atleast 20 times per year and I know that air travel is an inconvenience anyway, but I don't get miserable or depressed or anything like that!
But it makes perfect sense to say that I avoid a certain country as traveling hub when flying international (final destination not USA) when I can find an alternative at similar price levels.
I'm used to unpleasant airports or staff, but if I constantly lose 1.5-3 hrs while transferring through the US with the risk of missing my connecting flight or my baggage (because I have to claim my baggage at the first US airport to then drop it at the connecting flight baggage drop-off), this is more than an unpleasant experience, especially when my international travels are less than a week and basically every hour counts. This makes me rely a great deal on a smooth transportation and this includes next to a reliable airline also a reliable and efficient transfer hub (=airport) and level of service!
If I lose a day in MIA because I lost my connecting LH flight to FRA on a 5 day business trip to Germany, you can believe me, than I prefer to connect in BOG where I have a smooth and reliable transfer from gate to gate within 15-20 minutes. This also gives me some piece of mind if the flight (towards the hub) is a little delayed...

By the way, also from a personal experience, most of baggage losses happened while traveling to or through the US, which is very much an inconvenience when it takes up to 2-3 days for my luggage to be delivered.

Quoting b787900 (Reply 173):
If European or Asian airport are so wonderful, how come each time I transit in Europe (arriving from US/Canada), my carry on luggage is almost always thoroughly checked before I board an intra European flight? Do you know how inconvenient it is to have your carry on luggage being turned inside out (and then having to repack it) at the security check point when there are hundreds of other people lined up all rushing to get out as soon as possible? I very rarely had such problems in the US or here in Canada.



How many times have you waited 1+ hrs at a security checkpoint at a European airport for carry-on luggage to be checked? I also have my carry-on luggage checked thoroughly at European airports, but the whole security check process usually takes less then 15-30 minutes (most of times I'm done in less than 10min). By the way, in European airports I don't always need to take of my shoes!!

Quoting b787900 (Reply 173):
What I find strange is how in the past 10+ years not once have I had any unpleasant experiences in the US. Not once have I waited for more than 20-25 min in line inside the immigration hall. I suspect some individuals already arrive with their baggage and hostility against CBP/TSA officers right from the start... I can sense it in this thread. You create what you fear.



I will be honest and like someone else already said, the TSA and CBP officers became much more friendly and service orientated in the past years and you can see that they try to become better, but my problem is not with the individuals or rude people, but with the inefficient system itself that bothers me.
The whole process at immigration of taking pictures, all fingerprints and interrogation for EVERYONE creates these huge problems, while most EU passports now store the fingerprints and pictures in a RFID chip in the passport, so in my opinion no need for it! Lets not forget that you need to complete the ESTA form online before even getting on your flight towards the US, so automatic and electronic background checks can already be done before the passenger even steps foot on US soil  
Secondly I don't understand why my fingerprints need to be taken every time I travel through or to the US, my fingerprints should not change and if saved in a central database they can just use those and check them.
There should be a system where the CBP officers have more flexibility due to better training to decide who they gonna check more thoroughly (taking pictures, fingerprints etc) and who can be processed faster (because they have a passport with biometric information or are frequent US travelers).
I would say now it takes roughly 3-5 minutes per person to be processed at immigration in the US, compared to European airports where it only takes me 1-1.5 minutes to be processed! Thats a huge difference if there are 500 people waiting in front of you!

Quoting flymia (Reply 194):
I think you completely miss the point. Yes the large international gateways have a lot of international flights. MIA is even close to 50/50. But here is the point you are missing. International-international connections are what would need the transit lounges.

My problem is also with international to domestic flights. If you have to go through immigration, baggage claim, baggage drop-off and security checks it makes things less efficient than if atleast the baggage could be routed all the way to the final destination without the need to claim the baggage at the first airport of entry in the USA (like it is done in most other countries in the world).
I understand why this system is in place and its not an easy or cheap fix, but it makes things much more inconvenient and creates great risk for baggage not getting on the connecting flight...

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-21 10:05:16 and read 4717 times.

Quoting kasimir (Reply 203):
If you have to go through immigration, baggage claim, baggage drop-off and security checks it makes things less efficient than if atleast the baggage could be routed all the way to the final destination without the need to claim the baggage at the first airport of entry in the USA (like it is done in most other countries in the world).

Wouldn't that require customs at airports like HTS and YKM?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-21 10:11:07 and read 4696 times.

Do int'l-to-int'l pax also have to claim their bags at the US transfer airport and re-check them? I see no logical reason why this should be the case. Understand they have to go through passport control due to lack of separation of intl vs domestic, departing vs arriving pax. But don't understand why the bags cant simply be transferred.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-21 10:20:03 and read 4675 times.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 205):
Do int'l-to-int'l pax also have to claim their bags at the US transfer airport and re-check them?

It depends on the airport. At MIA--at least for AA to AA connections--they do not.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: flymia
Posted 2013-05-21 10:37:35 and read 4639 times.

Quoting kasimir (Reply 203):
My problem is also with international to domestic flights. If you have to go through immigration, baggage claim, baggage drop-off and security checks it makes things less efficient than if atleast the baggage could be routed all the way to the final destination without the need to claim the baggage at the first airport of entry in the USA (like it is done in most other countries in the world).
I understand why this system is in place and its not an easy or cheap fix, but it makes things much more inconvenient and creates great risk for baggage not getting on the connecting flight...

So where would those bags go through customs? If you are flying EZE-MIA-SDF you want your bag to be check at SDF? So the bags on the plane would need to separated by ones checked by customs and ones not checked and then they would need to hire customs officers at all commercial airports pretty much. And then have separate baggage claims.

At MIA on AA when doing international-international you don't need to worry about checked bags. But it only makes sense to go through the whole entire process if it is an international-domestic connection. Any other way makes no sense at all.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: kasimir
Posted 2013-05-21 11:09:30 and read 4562 times.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 205):
Wouldn't that require customs at airports like HTS and YKM?
Quoting flymia (Reply 207):
So where would those bags go through customs? If you are flying EZE-MIA-SDF you want your bag to be check at SDF?

Please, why always go to extremes? Other countries in the world also get this done, but I understand this is not an easy fix, but thats why I try to avoid the US for transfers if possible!

I'm not sure how other countries do it, but I can imagine that airports with an "international" designation should be able to handle this without a problem...

There are a lot of destinations in the US with international airports where there are no (or very little) direct flights from overseas locations. Let me give you a realistic example! Try to fly from Europe to HNL, there is no direct regular service I know of that flies there, so you either connect in LAX or SFO to get there! From 4 times I flown to HNL from FRA, my luggage didn't arrive 2 times and believe me after a 12-13hr flight FRA-LAX, the last thing you want is, to go through 1-2hrs immigration and pick up your baggage, drop it and run to your gate for your connecting flight and then arrive in HNL to not see your baggage on the belt!

Fly for example MIA-FRA-STR and you don't have to go through all the hassle that you have experience in the US

Again, I know that this isn't an easy fix, but please try to understand the outside perspective from others that say that the air transportation system in the US has a lot of room for improvements... It should be in the countries best interest anyway  

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-21 11:18:55 and read 4545 times.

Quoting kasimir (Reply 208):
I'm not sure how other countries do it, but I can imagine that airports with an "international" designation should be able to handle this without a problem...

Not at all. Many "international" airports lack any sort of in-terminal customs facility, and nearly all of them have bag claims that are open to the public, making customs checks on the way out of existing baggage claims all but impossible.

Quoting kasimir (Reply 208):
Fly for example MIA-FRA-STR and you don't have to go through all the hassle that you have experience in the US

What percentage of STR's traffic is international? It must be well over 50 percent.

Airports of comparable size in the US (9-10 million enplanements) are DCA, MDW and SLC, all of which are less than 10 percent non-precleared international.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: kasimir
Posted 2013-05-21 11:56:34 and read 4478 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 209):
What percentage of STR's traffic is international? It must be well over 50 percent.

I don't know about that, but don't forget that in Europe, continuing your domestic travel with high-speed train is also a viable alternative   ... So seeing the true numbers of international travelers to Stuttgart is a little more difficult, but I would be interested to see the numbers too.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 209):
and nearly all of them have bag claims that are open to the public, making customs checks on the way out of existing baggage claims all but impossible.

I said before already, its not an easy fix, but a reason why I (and many others) try to avoid traveling through or to the US!

Let me give you another example... By the way, I know these are more the exception than the rule, but shows the problem!

If I want to travel to DXB... I basically have 2-3 options:
- CUR-JFK-DXB or CUR-MIA-JFK-DXB
- CUR-AMS-DXB
- CUR-BOG-FRA-DXB

I will always prefer the last two options (even if EK starts to serve MIA) and I'm not the only one that thinks like this and that is lost $$$ for US airlines/airports.

Don't underestimate the amount of travelers (living in LatAm) that has to travel through the US (or other global hubs) for these kinds of connections to get to Asia or Middle East/Africa/Australia because there is no direct flights.

I think we are getting a little OT now, but the MIA and immigration problems are just one part of the reason why I avoid traveling through the US  

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-21 12:12:16 and read 4431 times.

Quoting kasimir (Reply 210):
I said before already, its not an easy fix, but a reason why I (and many others) try to avoid traveling through or to the US!

But your example has nothing to do with the problem/alleged solution you cited, as you aren't connecting to a domestic US flight when you travel to Dubai.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mjoelnir
Posted 2013-05-21 12:13:28 and read 4439 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 209):

Dear Cubsrule, the following is the explanation of Schengen, between Schengen countrys are no boder controls, so flying between France and Germany is like flying between Texas and New Mexico. In the Schengen area are living more tha 400 Mill People.

The problem with the statistics is that traffic between France and Germany for example is still counted as international traffic even if there are no border controls. In reality this traffic compares to domestic traffic and freely mixes with domestic traffic.
If you now have a look on an airport like STR and look at routes, than you will see that most of the traffic is either domestic or to Schengen countries, so it well compares to your US airports like DCA, MDW, and SLC.
All international traffic inside Schengen is precleared international traffic. The uncleared international traffic arriving in STR will perhaps reach 10% perhaps 15%. You do not find an easy statistic to see those numbers.

It is perhaps hard to understand for you but there is really not so much difference between air traffic in the USA and air traffic in the main part of Europe.

If you drive by car from Sweden via Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Spain to Portugal you will realize that you pass from one country to the other by a sign on the road. If you enter Schengen by car, ship, walking, bicycle or aeroplane you are once cleared into Schengen on the first point you enter it.

I understand that you are just not prepared to change your ideas. But the reality is like that.
And all the things you judge utterly impossible in the handling of passengers are done that way in Europe and regarding costs, all the bigger European airports are earning money no losing it. I do not know if they pay for customs clearance but they do pay for the security.

So if you fly from JFK to FRA and on to STR and you stay in the same alliance you go through immigration in FRA and you get your luggage in STR and if the customs wants to check your bags he does it in STR.

Some information about Schengen

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/sta...d/index.php/Glossary:Schengen_area

Glossary:Schengen area
The Schengen area encompasses 25 European countries that have eliminated all passport controls on their common borders. It takes its name from the Schengen Agreement signed in Schengen (LU) in 1985; this agreement was later incorporated into the European Union's legal framework by the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam.
All EU Member States except for Ireland and the United Kingdom are required to implement the Schengen Agreement. Three other Member States, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania, are not yet fully-fledged members of the Schengen area; border controls between these countries and the Schengen area will be maintained until the EU Council determines that the conditions for abolishing these controls have been met.
Apart from 22 EU Member States, the non EU countries (but EFTA Member States) Iceland, Norway and Switzerland also belong to the Schengen area.
The following countries have implemented the Schengen Agreement and allow passport-free travel between them, thus making ut the Schengen area:
Belgium (BE) Latvia (LV) Portugal (PT)
Czech Republic (CZ) Lithuania (LT) Slovenia (Si)
Denmark (DK) Luxembourg (LU) Slovakia (SK)
Germany (DE) Hungary (HU) Finland (FI)
Estonia (EE) Malta (MT) Sweden (SE)
Greece (EL) the Netherlands (NL) Iceland (IS)
Spain (ES) Austria (AT) Norway (NO)
France (FR) Poland (PL) Switzerland (CH)
Italy (IT)

Another official page about Schengen

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs...ies/borders-and-visas/index_en.htm

[Edited 2013-05-21 12:17:39]

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-21 12:34:56 and read 4390 times.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 212):
between Schengen countrys are no boder controls, so flying between France and Germany is like flying between Texas and New Mexico. In the Schengen area are living more tha 400 Mill People.

"No border controls" is too simple for this discussion. As you acknowledge, everyone arriving on an intra-Schengen flight must pass through customs since there is mixing of passengers on intra-Schengen itineraries and those connecting from outside of Schengen, but those who are intra-Schengen are ordinarily not screened (this is the purpose of the colored stripes you have doubtless noticed on checked bag tags in Europe).

What that means is that customs at, say, STR must be set up such that all passengers can pass through even though some are domestic (and truly exempt from screening) and others are intra-Schengen (and de facto exempt from screening). That's quite a lot different from a comparably-sized airport in the States like SLC, where most passengers are exempt from customs screening because they are domestic (or transborder).

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 212):
I understand that you are just not prepared to change your ideas. But the reality is like that.

Let's leave the personal attacks out of it. I expect I may have lived in more European countries (both Schengen and not) than you have. I understand Schengen very well.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: apodino
Posted 2013-05-21 12:39:58 and read 4375 times.

The bottom line is this....you can add as many checkpoints and make the customs hall as big as you want it...but it is only as good as its staffing level. So if there are long lines...the issue generally isn't the hall itself...but with the staffing of such a facility. Does anyone know what role sequester is playing in this now? Rumor has it that they want to put in exit xpchecks as part of the immigration bill before congress...which would include fingerprinting on exit.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: varig md-11
Posted 2013-05-21 13:01:41 and read 4317 times.

Hey Cubsrule 

Also for your information in Europe we have the green tag and the white tag system:

White tags for Non-EU bags: say you fly MIA-CDG-BIQ (Biarritz, France). You go thru immigration at CDG but your "white tagged" bag continues to BIQ where there is no indoor customs. You never see or touch your bag at CDG. When you arrive at BIQ on the CDG flight your bag is recognizable by a possible mobile Customs squad which chose (or not) to control the local airfield that day - I understand that might be shocking for US fellows -  

Intra EU bags are marked Green....which means domestic, so no interest for customs

Hence on the bag belt you have either green or white tagged bags....and Customs does (or NOT) a check at final destination.
Now that might be more difficult for the USA considering the distance effect: the mobile Customs unit at BIQ checks also trucks coming from Spain for example (drug route from Africa to Northern EU). It would have less sense to have a CBP unit in Boise or Des Moines for example.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mjoelnir
Posted 2013-05-21 13:09:38 and read 4290 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 213):

If you know Schengen so well, than I do not understand many of your arguments.

We start of with immigration and there you will find that there is practical no difference for people traveling inside Schengen and inside the USA.
European airports do not clear people traveling inside Schengen through immigration.

If we talk about customs than yes I have to agree that there are big differences how Schengen handles it and how the USA handles it, that is exactly what we are talking about.
Customs in Europe depend less on checking everybody at the border, but more on spot checks, perhaps in Europe you have never really "cleared" customs they can check you (I have never seen it) at the taxi on the way to your hotel outside of the airport.
If you transport commercial goods even just inside Germany from place to place you always have to have papers on you, customs can check you (also never seen it). If they want to make a spot check for illegal goods they can do it just somewhere.

You have also in the USA regulations about interstate commerce, I think for example sending wine from California to New York.
I do not know what agency enforces those rules.

But your argument was about the number of international passengers arriving in STR and my argument is that you can not count international passengers originating inside Schengen with the international Passengers originating outside of Schengen.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: flymia
Posted 2013-05-21 13:11:28 and read 4292 times.

Quoting kasimir (Reply 210):

You do know that if you fly MIA-CUR-LHR you don't need to worry about your checked bags same with LHR-MIA-CUR. So assuming EK left out of the North Terminal if they did start at MIA you would not have to re-check your bags. Just an FYI.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-21 13:34:58 and read 4219 times.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 216):
But your argument was about the number of international passengers arriving in STR and my argument is that you can not count international passengers originating inside Schengen with the international Passengers originating outside of Schengen.

No, they have to be counted together, because for purposes of airport design, a CDG-STR passenger is just like a ORD-CDG-STR passenger. The need for customs screening at the airport is the same (even if the CDG-STR passenger, by virtue of the green stripes on his bag tag, just sails through).

As you say, European law permits customs screening outside the airport. US law, generally, does not, so customs screening would have to be accomplished at the airport. I'm not sure why the European system is obviously better.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mjoelnir
Posted 2013-05-21 14:01:59 and read 4158 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 218):
Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 216):
But your argument was about the number of international passengers arriving in STR and my argument is that you can not count international passengers originating inside Schengen with the international Passengers originating outside of Schengen.

No, they have to be counted together, because for purposes of airport design, a CDG-STR passenger is just like a ORD-CDG-STR passenger. The need for customs screening at the airport is the same (even if the CDG-STR passenger, by virtue of the green stripes on his bag tag, just sails through).

As you say, European law permits customs screening outside the airport. US law, generally, does not, so customs screening would have to be accomplished at the airport. I'm not sure why the European system is obviously better.

The main point is still immigration, we were talking about the immigration hall in MIA.
All ORD-CDG-STR passengers will have cleared immigration in CDG before arriving in STR.

And in regards to immigration you can not count the Passengers having either passed into Schengen somewhere else, or the Passengers orginating in Schengen, with the passengers flying directly from EWR in to Stuttgart, those have to pass immigration in STR.

The custom part is a sideline making it possible for people originating outside of Schengen to check there bags all the way to there destination. It cuts down the time needed to make a transfer. It does not cut your time needed in immigration.
It is an additional service to make flying more comfortable, something you seem violently opposed to.

There are also some European airports were your color coded tagged bags run to a different baggage band and than only you and the others coming from outside Schengen pass a custom check.

[Edited 2013-05-21 14:07:09]

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-21 14:09:57 and read 4127 times.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 219):
The main point is still immigration, we were talking about the immigration hall in MIA.

No, we were discussing Kasimir's suggestion that :

Quoting kasimir (Reply 203):
atleast the baggage could be routed all the way to the final destination without the need to claim the baggage at the first airport of entry in the USA


Baggage routing is a customs issue. Of course, the benefit of gargantuan immigration lines is that there's no wait for bags/customs.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-05-21 14:17:26 and read 4106 times.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 212):
between Schengen countrys are no boder controls, so flying between France and Germany is like flying between Texas and New Mexico.

Not quite the same. There are no customs controls between Texas and New Mexico.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: RICARIZA
Posted 2013-05-21 14:18:18 and read 4105 times.

Hey 797!! Good to see you  

I use AA for 95% of my travels back and forth, therefore I use MIA immigration facility at concourse D many, many times (5-6 times a month) and I have never seen this queue out of the hall, never... that must have been something very particular of that day..

Do you think Global Entry members were stock on that line too?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mjoelnir
Posted 2013-05-21 14:24:40 and read 4067 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 221):

There are no custom controls between Germany and France. You have custom controls into and out of Switzerland, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway as non EU countries.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-05-21 15:00:07 and read 3992 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 220):
Of course, the benefit of gargantuan immigration lines is that there's no wait for bags/customs.

The drawback being that in the meantime somebody (anybody) may have taken your bag, inadvertently or not. It happened to me at PHL after a particularly horrendous wait in summer 2007, having arrived on US from FRA...

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mjoelnir
Posted 2013-05-21 15:04:32 and read 3992 times.

The problem with custom clearance would not even in the USA be so complicated.

You get to a hub in the USA. You transfer, your bags are on the next flight, they wear coded tags.
If there is any customs on the next airport, and there need to be if that airport has any direct international flights, you route the coded bags through a customs hall were the passenger collects the bags. You are past immigration the only problem would be you would have to walk to a special place.

If the destination airport has no customs, the airline does not check your bags through.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-05-21 15:07:46 and read 3997 times.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 225):
If the destination airport has no customs, the airline does not check your bags through.

That'd be a mess. I can imagine. just before landing, the FA announcing: "Passengers going to XXX, please collect your bags, go through customs and recheck them; passengers going to YYY, do not collect your bags", etc. Chaos and confusion would ensue.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: mjoelnir
Posted 2013-05-21 15:25:23 and read 3987 times.

Quoting UALWN (Reply 226):
That'd be a mess. I can imagine. just before landing, the FA announcing: "Passengers going to XXX, please collect your bags, go through customs and recheck them; passengers going to YYY, do not collect your bags", etc. Chaos and confusion would ensue.

You would have booked your onward flight before you are on the first flight.
When you check in for the first flight you will know if your bags go all the way, or were you have to collect them.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: B777LRF
Posted 2013-05-21 15:29:20 and read 3977 times.

When it comes to the point of checking bags through to final destination, what some poster with European flags next to their name seems to overlook is the wide difference in "international" passengers arriving at secondary airports in the US versus the EU. In other words, there are far more non-Schengen passengers arriving in e.g. STR, MAN or BCN than there are international passengers arriving in e.g. SLC, MEM or CVG. Thus having a customs infrastructure in secondary US airports similar to that of their EU cousins would not be cost effective, and since US.gov really apparently doesn't have an interest in the level of service a privately owned company provides to its customers, it's not going to change unless those companies are willing to cough up the dough to pay for the show. With the balance sheets of US airlines in mind, this is about as likely to happen as me waking up next to Kate Upton tomorrow morning.

But customs is not the bottle-neck in the US, immigration is. Immigration is also the main reason why the US will not develop into a major transfer points for indirect services, simply because a lot of potential customers will either have problems acquiring a US visa, or because they simply can't be bothered going through the process. Can't say I blame them, I for one would never spend time standing in line at an embassy to get a stamp allowing me to take a vacation. Business is a bit different, but time is money everywhere and nobody likes wasting either.

Should the US wish to be more welcome to its guests, it requires "nothing" but a proportional level of investment in processes, procedures, crowd control and staffing levels. Do that and I should never take more than 20 minutes to get through. If US airlines wishes to attract more business by becoming international hubs, they must convince their politicians to introduce rules allowing sterile areas requiring no immigration processing, and airport owners to change the layout of their facilities to match. A saying involving Kate Upton springs to mind, when it comes to the likelihood of either happening.

I will never berate the US for the way they do things; it's their train-set to play with as they see fit. I'll just make my choices accordingly, and that means I've been visiting the US around 20 times on business but never once privately. I really just can't be bothered wasting time in US immigration and, besides, it's too far away for my liking.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-05-21 15:30:19 and read 3976 times.

Quoting mt99 (Reply 104):
I entered the country thru DFW - man what a difference. DFW has rapidly become my favorite entry point to the country.


Yes, I have found that to be the case as well I like travelling through ATL and DTW. Most other international arrival gateways should be avoided at all costs.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: kasimir
Posted 2013-05-21 15:53:10 and read 3953 times.

Quoting flymia (Reply 217):

You do know that if you fly MIA-CUR-LHR you don't need to worry about your checked bags same with LHR-MIA-CUR. So assuming EK left out of the North Terminal if they did start at MIA you would not have to re-check your bags. Just an FYI.

Last time I flew CUR-MIA-LHR (both flights on AA) in Dec 2010 I had to go through immigration, claim my bags and drop it again right after customs to continue to the departure gate...

When has this procedure changed and is this something that happens all over the US now or just in MIA?

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: kasimir
Posted 2013-05-21 16:27:17 and read 3872 times.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 219):
The main point is still immigration, we were talking about the immigration hall in MIA.

I totally agree!

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 220):

No, we were discussing Kasimir's suggestion that :

Yes, I said that next to the mess with immigration there are a lot of other issues (including the customs issues) that keeps me from using the US as a transfer point!

Coming back to immigration and I made a point earlier which wasn't discussed yet, but I think could help speed things up significantly:

- Every passenger coming to the US has to complete the online ESTA form... Why not use that information to process automatic and electronic background checks on the passengers as a kind of pre clearance?
- Certain countries already issue passports that have the necessary biometric data stored on an RFID chip, so that really makes taking fingerprints and digital pictures obsolete for that passenger at immigration!?
- Passengers who regularly go to or through the US could be processed much faster since their fingerprints do not change and if the information is stored, that could be used again

Providing the CBP officers with the necessary flexibility and proper training to decide who needs to be fingerprinted again or interrogated longer could make a huge difference IMO, even if those ideas only will cut time by 2-3 minutes per passengers, but that makes a huge difference when you are in line with 500+ other people!

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 228):
Should the US wish to be more welcome to its guests, it requires "nothing" but a proportional level of investment in processes, procedures, crowd control and staffing levels. Do that and I should never take more than 20 minutes to get through.
Quoting B777LRF (Reply 228):
I will never berate the US for the way they do things; it's their train-set to play with as they see fit. I'll just make my choices accordingly

Couldn't say it any better and I'm looking forward to my next flight in 2 weeks CUR-BOG-GIG, where I will not bother to go through Colombian immigration during transfer and enjoy a very efficient and well managed airport! A shame that a country like Colombia has to show the US how to do these things properly!  

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-05-21 16:52:43 and read 3810 times.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 227):
When you check in for the first flight you will know if your bags go all the way, or were you have to collect them.

Still, people would make mistakes. Now the whole plane follows the same procedure, and the FAs tell the story a number of times, and yet people make mistakes. Imagine if people had to remember what they had been told, once, when they started the journey.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-05-21 18:09:44 and read 3691 times.

Quoting kasimir (Reply 231):
Providing the CBP officers with the necessary flexibility and proper training to decide who needs to be fingerprinted again or interrogated longer could make a huge difference IMO, even if those ideas only will cut time by 2-3 minutes per passengers, but that makes a huge difference when you are in line with 500+ other people!

The issue is fingerprinting, and I agree with you on that point. CBP officers already have discretion to vary the length of questioning, and the effective ones use that discretion quite well. They need similar discretion (and perhaps better training) on fingerprinting.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: legacyins
Posted 2013-05-21 18:20:53 and read 3650 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 233):
They need similar discretion (and perhaps better training) on fingerprinting.

Out of curiosity, what discretion would you use? Age, Race, Gender..

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: flymia
Posted 2013-05-21 20:02:27 and read 3532 times.

Quoting kasimir (Reply 230):

I don't know how new it is but it is only AA and maybe other airlines in the North Terminal and might even vary from point of departure. I don't know I obviously never have to connect in MIA but I do know that the system is in place. I remember when I flew in on BA into MIA there was an annoucment made that if connecting outside the U.S. you do not need to pick up your checked luggage.
http://www.miami-airport.com/flight_connections.asp

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: infinit
Posted 2013-05-21 20:18:09 and read 3530 times.

Quoting b787900 (Reply 173):
Quote:
What I meant was, people of colour such as Indians, Sri Lankans, Africans, etc, are far better off in the US or here in Canada than anywhere in Asia.

That is a sweeping statement.

For starters, one thing I noticed about the US is that there are are enclaves everywhere- many neighbourhoods seem to one predominant ethnic group. You don't get this here. The government mandates that every neighbourhood must have a representation of the different ethnic groups using a quota system. I disagree with a lot of the PAP-led government's policies and things may change soon after the watershed election of 2011 where the PAP lost a large chunk of the vote for the first time since independence, but I think this particular policy they introduced is fantastic. It ensured people get to interact with those from other ethnicity. If people don't live and interact with each other. a lack of contact breeds prejudice. Studies have shown that attitudes towards ethnic-Africans improved a lot in the US in WW2 when ethnic-Caucasians and ethnic-Africans worked alongside each other in the factories for the war effort
see- http://www.oxfordaasc.com/public/features/archive/0608/index.jsp

Quote:
Just a quick search on Google reveals a not so pretty picture regarding race relations in your region. I haven't even touched on other subjects such as interracial relationships and marriages. And I actually have done a significant amount of research on this matter in the past.

In Malaysia especially, yes I agree. Not so much about Singapore.
Malaysia has always had discriminatory policies in favour of the ethnic Malays. But things are starting to change now. There have been a series of demonstrations over the past two years over this.

Quote:
I haven't even touched on other subjects such as interracial relationships and marriages. And I actually have done a significant amount of research on this matter in the past.

Care to share your research with me?
I'm curious, with my interest in Sociology which I did a Minor in.

I'm a 4th generation Singaporean of Indian descent and no, I've never faced discrimination on any level in Singapore. Many of my relatives have done pretty well for themselves and we are somewhere in the 10-20% percentile in terms of incomes. The next generation of my family is all ethnically mixed- my cousins have all married Singaporeans of other ethnicity and some to foreigners from other parts of Asia and Europe. Inter-ethnic marriages make up 30% of all marriages here now and has been rising. SIN having been a large hub for the past 3 decades, almost everyone I know would have at least some foreign relatives. On the contrary I see far more numerous ethnically-homogeneous families in the US.
If anything, I have noticed rising Sinophobia here against the immigrants from China but it is still minimal.

Quote:
Further, US remains the country most people want to settle in, followed closely by other highly developed nations like Canada.

Singapore isn't developed? Okay, you obviously haven't been to Singapore. Do some research.

I think there are many things we are still backward on but I'd give credit to my country where its due.. It's one of the safest cleanest, most peaceful in the world. And in terms of per capita GDP Singapore has the third highest in the world behind Switzerland and Luxembourg according to the IMF. But we all know the limitations of GPD/capita as an indicator of wealth. Median incomes too have risen exponentially since independence and will rise especially with the populous becoming increasingly more socialist. And Sg has one of the highest qualities of life - http://www.economist.com/media/pdf/QUALITY_OF_LIFE.pdf

There have also been huge immigration waves into Sg over the past 20 years. Our population has nearly doubled from 1980 and immigrants now make up 45% of the population, the highest in the world.


In summary, how we all got to this, my opinion is I feel there is a level of discrimination by some US agents towards people who are perceived to be of middle-eastern decent.

I'm not going to dwell into this here but I did briefly study this issue in university and there is a lot of rhetoric on it on the internet. It may not be overt but it is definitely present.

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-21 23:23:43 and read 3373 times.

Quoting infinit (Reply 236):

Excellent post, Inifinit!

Topic: RE: MIA's New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster (photos)
Username: 777ER
Posted 2013-05-22 00:09:17 and read 3335 times.

MIA New Immigration Hall Is A Disaster Part 2 (by 777ER May 22 2013 in Civil Aviation)


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