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ANU Departure Chaos  
User currently offlinecory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2741 posts, RR: 5
Posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2374 times:

I flew EWR-ANU-EWR this past week on CO for a week's vacation in Antigua. EWR-ANU was fine, standard CO, immigration took nearly an hour in ANU, but that's par for the course in Caribbean islands, it seems.

However, the return was literally chaos. Check-in, emigration, security were all fine, but everyone got dumped into a large waiting area with seats all over the place and stores around the exterior, and there was one massive, well, scrum when it came to boarding. There were no airline podiums anywhere in the waiting area, so I have no idea what pax would've done if they had any questions or needed anything. When they called for boarding, everyone had to line up through a souvenir shop that funneled into one large entrance to an area where they were frisked and their bags were searched. There was literally no organization between which lines were for what flights (and there were three boarding at the same time -- AA to MIA, DL to ATL, and CO to EWR), and we basically got dumped into this large room where there were a few podiums lined up for the different airlines and a zillion agents pointing people where to go to get their boarding pass scanned and then walk out on the tarmac to their plane.

The boarding area seemed like a temporary facility, although I could be wrong.....could anyone offer any insight as to what's going on at ANU? It was literally insane when the three flights were trying to board at the same time.

4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCaymanair From Cayman Islands, joined Apr 2004, 856 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1894 times:

I'm not sure how much this helps, but I'll give it a shot!

In terms of immigration, an hour or so is standard in most cities with some exceptions (MIami, for example, block 2 hours minimum for immigration, or most of the EU where immigration is almost non-existent if you carry the right passport). The couple times I've been to Antigua I wasn't in there for more than 1/2 hour, so it may have just been a busy arrivals time or perhaps the officers just came back from lunch!

The boarding area isn't a temporary facility... what you describes is exactly how it was designed. I do know they have been discussing upgrading the airport, as it is on the most important hubs in the Caribbean, but I don't know what progress has been made on that front.

User currently offlineUA777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1875 times:

Sidebar on the immigration times--Watched my parents 744 from HKG land this morning at SFO while eating a doughnut (1 of 4) but the 4th one (I just worked a graveyard and I'm in college so that many doughnuts is par) they called and said they were out of customs and on the sidewalk. There were 4 prior Asian arrivals that morning as well.

I've waited longer for people on domestic flights.

The time before about a year ago it was also something like 5 minutes. I'm off to SXM next week so we'll see how that goes.

"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
User currently offlineLimaFoxTango From Antigua and Barbuda, joined Jun 2004, 903 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1657 times:

Unfortunately, I have to agree with corey6168. It all started a few months ago. The story goes that a group of individuals approached the ABAA (Antigua & Barbuda Airport Authority) about putting a new shop in the departure hall. There was no space whatsoever to put anything there and the proposal was reportedly rejected. These individuals with deep pockets, or so it seems, came with a plan B. To take approximately 300-500sq ft of the original departure hall to create their shop, and build a new 300-500sq ft area attached to the existing building. Well, the ABAA being cash strapped and looking for development at the airport, signed off on plan B. This all seemed fine on paper, but it was a complete disaster when the sections were re-opened. Believe it or not, all passengers now have to pass thru this new souvenir shop on their way to the departure "gates", file down walkway not wider than about 4 feet to their way to boarding desks. So imagine a day where there's CO, AA, BA, VS, DL, AC, C6 and of course LI trying to board flights around the same time. It is an unimaginable mess that was created. So, embarrassed by the situation, the CEO of the ABAA actually resigned because of it. Airlines now have to "make-do" with this situation until it's rectified, and I must say, they are handling it fairly well.

You are said to be a good pilot when your take-off's equal your landings.
User currently offlinecory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2741 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1560 times:

Thanks, LimaFoxTango! A.net certainly never fails to amaze me with how somebody on here is bound to know about everything in the aviation world. You basically described my exact thoughts on the subject....an unimaginable mess is a pretty accurate description. And I do agree, I do have to give the airlines credit, as they did have a ton of agents all over making sure that pax were going in the right direction. I must've had my boarding pass checked at least 5 separate times to make sure that I was headed to the right place while boarding the plane.

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