Topic Author
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 9:05 am

Immigration @ MIA

Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:28 pm

Hello All:

In the next couple of months, I will be traveling CUR-MIA-DTW-MTY. I have never gone through MIA U.S. Immigration, and have heard that it can be an "interesting" experience.

I will be flying AA and will be arriving in MIA @ 10:55, and my next flight to DTW will be at 13:15.

Do you believe that 2:20 minutes will suffice for a non-U.S. to go through customs and such, especially at that time in the morning?

Any guidance would be of great help!

Many thanks in advance,
Posts: 2249
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:07 am

RE: Immigration @ MIA

Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:02 am

Quoting vingt20cent (Thread starter):
Do you believe that 2:20 minutes will suffice for a non-U.S. to go through customs and such, especially at that time in the morning?

It should be plenty of time, but candidly MIA has some of the surliest and most unhelpful personnel of any airport I have ever been through.

Be patient, expect to be annoyed, and hope for the best.

Have a good trip!
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Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:34 am

RE: Immigration @ MIA

Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:02 am

My flight was an hour late arriving from Quito, Eucador last July and I had an hour to pass immigration, customs and connect on my next flight. Since I had not checked my bags I did not have to wait for them to arrive. I found the experience in the category "interesting" since it was very crowded and directions were unclear as to where to form lines. I made it through and rushed to my connecting flight that had begun to board. Luckily, I was flying F, which reduced the need to look for overhead bin space and I looked forward to a drink and a meal on the way to DFW.
You will have enought time. The distance to the connecting flights can be a long way. The Sky Train may help.
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:48 pm

RE: Immigration @ MIA

Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:53 am

Ahhh MIA immigration. Trust me on this one, you never know what you're going to get in MIA. I've flown through there so much, nothing really surprised me anymore.

There have been times that I thought immigration SHOULD be fairly quick & painless because of my arrival time, and found the place bursting at the seams. On the other hand, I've arrived expecting a madhouse...only to find myself breezing my way through.

One piece of advice is that Canadians (can I assume you're traveling on a Canadian passport from the Maple Leaf by your screen-name?) are usually allowed to use the US resident line. If you find the resident lines shorter than the others - don;t hesitate to use them.

Overall, 2:20 should be plenty of time, but you never know with MIA.

Good luck!
Posts: 360
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:59 pm

RE: Immigration @ MIA

Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:38 am

I don't want to paint all of the hard working and dedicated workers at Miami with a broad brush, but the last time I cleared customs/immigration at MIA, what came to mind was that line in the Exorist, where Ellen Burstin is arguing with someone over the phone and asks, "How did you get this job, taking an illiteracy test?"

As a US born citizen, I was asked a few odd questions. I travel a lot and the questions are always the same whether MIA, ATL, CLT, ORD, JFK. Why did I go? Who did I go with? Did I see family or friends there? But the one that capped it all last year at MIA, was the fellow who collected the forms right before you exit. He very loudly asked where I was born. "Pennsylvania, " I replied. He asked, "Pennsylvania, United States?" I really wanted to respond, no Transylvania-do I look like Dracula? Then he asked where my parents, (my parents?) were born. "Pennsylvania." I was then sent to a secondary inspection room where they made me go thru the machine and all my baggage was inspected. I don't think he could find Pennsylvania on a map or spell it,

You'll do fine if you pretend you're in a Mad TV skit. Or Reno 911.
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:45 pm

RE: Immigration @ MIA

Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:17 am

Quoting vingt20cent (Thread starter):
Do you believe that 2:20 minutes will suffice for a non-U.S. to go through customs and such, especially at that time in the morning?

You should be more than fine - its generally a decent time of day to fly in and out. But if you're flying AA outbound expect a long walk 10-15 after crossing the security checkpoint, as the tram on the new North Terminal is not working as of now.

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