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US Travelers to Cayman Will Pre-Screen in Miami to Avoid Immigration Lines

Discussion in 'Cayman Islands' started by KathyV, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. KeithG

    KeithG Guest

    This could work well if they do it right, but they may just end up moving the long slow line from GC to Miami? How many officers will be available to perform preclearance? Maybe the best solution is to simply add more officers in GC?

    As indicated above many Canadian airports provide US preclearance due to the large volume of travellers. This works great in YYZ if you are a Trusted traveller. I have Nexus and it takes me less than a minute to clear custom / immigration. This is only because there are about 30 machines and a dedicated officer for us. Security can take up to 10 minutes at peak volumes.

    Non Trusted is a different story. At peak times the volume overwhelms their processing capacity and they actually close access to security and customs and force people to queue outside the processing area since the security and immigration holding areas are completely full. Not sure how longs this takes but I would guess at least over an hour.

    The other issue to consider is the ammenities in the "holding area". If preclearance is only a single gate done at the gate then you may end up with nothing (i.e. not even washrooms). I have travelled through a few airports were each gate was segregated and had no facilities (not even seating). In YYZ the Air Canada US holding area is a complete branch of the terminal with around 30ish gates lots of shops and restaurants and 2 Air Canada lounges.
    caydiver and KathyV like this.
  2. Drew Sailbum

    Drew Sailbum Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Grand Cayman
    Local reports are that the initial roll out will be limited to Cayman Airways flights from Miami on Sundays only. Not sure how soon it might be expanded to American Airlines flights and/or other days of the week.

    For now the plan envisions the Cayman Customs and Immigration officers flying back and forth on Sunday. That might not work in the long term.
    Crazybaldarcher and KathyV like this.
  3. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    Reviving this old thread with some recent information about the Miami FastTrack pre-screening program being offered by Cayman Customs and Border Control at MIA on Fridays and Saturdays:

    Why did I have to fill out a Customs form?

    "...When you took the form from the officer in Miami, that put you into the Miami FastTrack programme, which is offered by the CBC out of Miami International Airport and enables you to be “pre-cleared” to Cayman. Part of the process requires you to complete that new Customs Declaration Card, which you can see here (except it would be green to indicate the Miami FastTrack programme), whether or not you have anything to declare, a CBC official explained.

    (This is separate from the Immigration Card, which passengers who are not travelling with a valid Cayman Islands passport must fill out, and this is collected by CBC officers at the gates in Miami as part of the “landing control process”).

    One other note about the declaration form: some airlines still have the old forms, so that might be what you are given to fill out, rather than the green version...

    ...The initiative was set up “to alleviate the congestion in the arrival hall by pre-clearing these passengers in Miami and those days (Fridays and Saturdays) were identified to be best”, the CBC official said, adding, “This initiative was started during the airport expansion project when space was of concern.” However, it is still to be decided whether this programme will continue to be necessary once the airport expansion is completed."

    jonhall likes this.
  4. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    How was your flight to Cayman in April, did AA offer the customs pre-screening program at Miami Airport?
  5. Crazybaldarcher

    Crazybaldarcher Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Missouri
    Smooth. Yes, AA did offer a pre-screen card, but seeing as we didn't have anything to declare and being prep with all the right answers we didn't have a issue.
    jonhall and KathyV like this.
  6. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    good to know, I am not a fan of MIA but the pre-screening program might change my mind!
  7. caydiver

    caydiver Contributor

    Things have changed dramatically at the airport. What happened last Octoberish during super low season has no bearing on the current situation now that many parts of the airport are up and running. We have been through many times most recently weekend (ugh) and just hasn’t been bad. Usually do Cayman Airways who “should” land first but last week was JetBlue. Less than 15 minutes to curbside and there were already visitors on the cab line who beat us out and that is busy family travel time. The bids for fast track machines just went out but it is a reciprocal arrangement and the US holds are the cards. We use similar services all the time Europe to US. What happened last year or the year before especially in October the lowest and cheapest time for tourists has no bearing. Guess why the airport closures for lengthing the runways are happening in October. Definitely not because it is a reasonable time to judge airport efficiency from a tourist standpoint. Everything is relative

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