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From US to Barbados--through Toronto or Charlotte? Question

Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
151 posts
25 reviews
From US to Barbados--through Toronto or Charlotte? Question

Hello everyone,

My family is planning a return trip to Barbados from Cleveland, Ohio next Spring. We had an absolute nightmare connecting through Miami this past April and do not want to repeat the chaos and horrible experience there.

Our other options appear to be through Charlotte on U.S. Air or through Toronto on Air Canada. Both require overnight stays for us before the fight to Barbados. Air Canada is significantly cheaper than U.S. Air so we are leaning that direction.

Has anyone out there flown either route? How is customs to get through normally?

Obviously, flying through Toronto will have extra trips through customs for us, and we expect lines, but want to avoid misery. We have had positive experiences in Atlanta and O'Hare which are certainly busy, but seem to be able to handle the crowds better than Miami.

If we have an overnight layover, do our bags get checked all the way through? Does that mean we can't take them to a hotel for our overnight stay? Or is that not an issue?

Any and all advice, opinions and experiences would be great!

Jennifer

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
8,296 posts
89 reviews
1. Re: From US to Barbados--through Toronto or Charlotte? Question

If you have an overnight layover, in my experience you have to claim the bags and re-check them in the morning.

Toronto's a quite large airport and can have lengthy customs/immigration delays while Charlotte is much smaller and easier so my guess is Charlotte will be easier for customs than Toronto will be. But if it's really a big savings, I would probably do Toronto instead.

Keep in mind it's really only the return trip where customs/immigration is an issue. You don't go through customs/immigration on the way out.

Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
151 posts
25 reviews
2. Re: From US to Barbados--through Toronto or Charlotte? Question

wes032,

Thanks for the advice. The cost savings is significant--$200-250 per person through Toronto rather than Charlotte. Too good to pass up.

Jennifer

Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
175 posts
66 reviews
3. Re: From US to Barbados--through Toronto or Charlotte? Question

Hi Jennifer, I cannot comment on using US airlines and connecting through US but if Toronto and Air Canada be careful you are not booking on Air Canada Rouge. Rouge is the new low service airline started by Air Canada to compete on sun destinations. BGI was "rouged" this year and it's possible that route will return to mainline next year just be sure you are not confusing mainline with rouge.

If you are ok flying in sardine cans then rouge will be fine, just know what you are paying for.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
8,296 posts
89 reviews
4. Re: From US to Barbados--through Toronto or Charlotte? Question

For $250 savings each, I'd be good with a sardine can.

Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
151 posts
25 reviews
5. Re: From US to Barbados--through Toronto or Charlotte? Question

It is on Air Canada, not Rouge. I made sure of that after reading all the comments on Rouge. :) Thanks for the advice!!!

Victoria, Canada
Destination Expert
for Regina
Level Contributor
3,301 posts
88 reviews
6. Re: From US to Barbados--through Toronto or Charlotte? Question

Yes with an overnight you'd claim your checked bags and then have to recheck them in the morning. You would also need to clear customs for your stay in Canada and then you get to do security again too... so how how horrible was Miami... since it seems like quite a lot of hoops to try and avoid a possible issue.

Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
151 posts
25 reviews
7. Re: From US to Barbados--through Toronto or Charlotte? Question

Wanderer05,

Miami was horrible. The flights from Miami to Barbados were booked in advance and they were $800 per person, and our flights from Cleveland to Miami were $450 a piece. It was horribly expensive to fly into and out of!

Add to that the fact that the line for customs was no line at all, buy more of a massive crush of hundreds upon hundreds of people in disarray. Airport police had to come in to help organize everyone, because the airport workers either couldn't or didn't want to.

It took us about 3 hours to clear customs at roughly 8:00 at night. Absolute nightmare.

Toronto will be more steps, but for 5 of us (as long as it's more organized than Miami) the cost savings of $200 per ticket over flying through Charlotte will more than make up for it.

Jennifer

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
1,347 posts
4 reviews
8. Re: From US to Barbados--through Toronto or Charlotte? Question

you may want to double check re,. Rogue, currently all flights to barbados from toronto are onRogue.... a horrible experience.....as the hundreds of negative reviews can attest to.... and even if it shows AC mainline carrier now, they are notorious for frequently downgrading to the no frill Rogue with little notice and no compensation.

Edited: 9:26 am, June 19, 2014
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
3,375 posts
44 reviews
9. Re: From US to Barbados--through Toronto or Charlotte? Question

Oh look the "I hate Rouge" crowd is out in full force again.

1. The dreaded Rouge should be clearly marked on the booking page of Air Canada so there is no way that you will inadvertently be BOOKED on to a Rouge flight - you just don't know if it will be changed or not. For a savings of $1000 it may be worth it for a mere 5.5 hour flight however.

If t was me though I would stick with a US airport. To avoid a second set of immigration formalities and because Charlotte might well have cheaper options for an overnight stay.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
1,347 posts
4 reviews
10. Re: From US to Barbados--through Toronto or Charlotte? Question

oh look - the rouge promoters are out again.....