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2 questions

Nottinghamshire...
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2 questions

Hi all,

I'm sorry if these questions have been asked over and over. I would usually do a really thorough search but I'm at work and posting between jobs (it's taken me 4ish hours to type this post so far!)

In a few weeks I'm heading, with my boyf, to New York. We'll have ESTA visa waivers, so not problems with this leg of the trip. However, after a week in NYC (with a day trip, by air, to Niagara Falls- not anticipating problems as crossing by land into Canada), we are flying to the Dominican Republic for 1 week, then back to NYC for our flights home.

So my questions are as follows:

1. We'll have ESTA's, doesn't look like we'll need to get any futher visa to cross into/back out of Canada and we understand that we just purchase a travel/tourist card into the Dominican (no visa required). Now I'm a bit confused about what we do on our return trip to the US. The flight is an AA flight from Puerta Plata (POP) to JFK via Miami (where we change planes). We will be international passengers on a domestic flight when we arrive at JFK, so do we go throught the usual international travellers lines for customs/immigration etc?? As an additional, will we go through international immigration on our domestic flights between Buffalo and JFK due to being UK passport holders? (I've never flown domestically anywhere!)

2. I've only ever flown direct before, so apologies if this is a silly question. We have a 1 hour window to change flights in Miami on the way to/from POP. Am i likely to be right in assuming that our baggage will be transfered and we'll just go through a "connecting flights" queue at immigration/customs and then clear customs at JFK? My concern is that it's only a one hour change over, so I imagine it would be near impossible to clear imm/customs, collect bags, re check bags, clear security and board in such a short space of time. (Am I being too neurotic here? My boyf says so and that we should just ask on the flight...he doesn't factor for things not going smoothly, whereas I presume they never will)

Sorry for the long Q's, I'm an OCD traveller and like to have everything planned as I don't enjoy flying and like to avoid any unnecessary panic.

Thanks in advance for your help, it's really appreciated!

Canada
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1. Re: 2 questions

As far as I can tell (and I might have misread)

Unless AA has special arrangements for American flights at POP - which does not seem to be the case from a brief search - you will clear Immigration and Customs at MIA, before your flight to JFK. Then you arrive at JFK as a domestic arrival. This is the situation for all of the USA and Canada. The first arrival airport is where you do formalities.

A flight between JFK and Buffalo will involve nothing except security, and an ID check at check-in and boarding.

A one hour connection in MIA seems VERY tight, UNLESS as I say - there has been some form of pre-clearance at POP. (As far as I'm aware this only exists at some Canadian airports and Dublin, Ireland, but I am open to correction) If you do have to do Arrival formalities at MIA I would be a bit worried about one hour.

London, United...
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2. Re: 2 questions

If clearing at Miami, then one hour is problematic. It's doable, I saw them screaming for people on connections and trying to get them through, but that's not one I would fancy doing to be honest, unless there is something in place to avoid the scrum.

Nottinghamshire...
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3. Re: 2 questions

Would you suggest contacting AA to ask about this?

The tickets are as part of a package holiday, so I didn't have any options in terms of flights to choose from (a days worth of stopover time would have been more my style- time to venture out into MIA and for me not to have a panic attack!). The tickets are no refunds/no changes...so I'm not sure what recourse I would actually have if it was the case and the connection time was too short.

My boyf is assuming the flight will be full of people doing the same connection, but I don't think this will necessarily be the case, and even if it is, the other Pax' would more likely be US citizens.

London, United...
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4. Re: 2 questions

If you miss it due to them, don't worry, they have to put you on the next flight with available seats, they also have to pay for accommodation and meals if all on one ticket and you have to stay in Miami.

If it's booked, just don't stress. However, be fast off the plane and listen out for announcements when you hit the immigration scrum.

DC
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5. Re: 2 questions

MIA is a pretty disfunctional airport. If you don't do preclearance at POP (check this), then you and your bags are on a very tight schedule.

San Diego
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for San Diego
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6. Re: 2 questions

1 hour is an impossible connection time if you have to do immigration and customs and a security check before your next flight!! It is not a matter of you just wanting to change the flight because you changed your mind about something. It is a matter of the connection being impossible UNLESS there is some sort of pre clearance in the Dominican Republic.

Dublin, Ireland
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7. Re: 2 questions

Punta Cana was supposed to have Pre-clearance in place by July 2013 but afaik this has not happened yet.

Miami has a bad rap for Immigration delays but AA should be able to put you on a later available flight should you miss your connection.

Do bear in mind that they will not bump someone to accommodate you . I would be speaking with my travel agent about alternative flights.

Nottinghamshire...
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8. Re: 2 questions

I booked via Orbitz.com, so will need to contact their Customer Service I guess.

Have just checked our flight details on AA's website.

We are supposed to land at Miami from JFK at 10.45am and then be on the Mia>POP by 11.35am. I'm assuming that is absolutely absurd and not going to happen in a month of Sundays?

The return journey has us landing in MIA at 5pm and the MIA>JFK flight leaving at 7.10PM, which I'm guessing as long as they transfer our luggage between plans, is possible if not likely?

Romford, United...
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9. Re: 2 questions

You say in a few weeks so I'm guessing that your return flight via MIA is going to be close to the holidays? so Miami will be more chaotic than usual and at the best of times would've thought one hour nigh on impossible but factor in the x-mas rush and you've got a problem-good news if you don't make your connection AA should be able to rebook you onto the next flight free of charge subject to there being available seats

Africandaisy-you can add Shannon,Bermuda and Bahamas??? to your list

Lewes, United...
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for Road Trips
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10. Re: 2 questions

I think you need to check all those flight connections, especially as you booked through a third party, even if you're on just one ticket all the way. Regarding the pre clearance in DR, you might want to check on the Puerto Plata forum if nobody here has very recent info on that leg.

Also, you hint that you travel over land from Buffalo to Niagara Falls, Canadian side. To return to the USA by land, even if you have an ESTA you are likely to need to fill in the old I-94 visa waiver forms as ESTAs only apply to arrivals into the USA by air. You will also need to pay a (from memory, US$6) fee per person.

SWT