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Punta Cana Airport nightmare

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Montreal, Canada
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85 posts
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Punta Cana Airport nightmare

We left Punta Cana airport yesterday, Dec. 12th. It was a horrible experience. We have traveled to Punta Cana many times, last year same time with no problems. This time was a nightmare.

So many planes leaving around the same time. Among them three flights (Sunwing) leaving at the same time... Montreal, Toronto and Quebec City...all around 4:30... total chaos at the baggage check in and again at both custom line ups. Took 2 hours standing in line! We had purchased the Elite Plus package which normally makes check in much faster, but there was one line for Elite Plus for all three planes... it took the same amount of time as the other lines. We were not happy! And then to line up again for both the carry-on check (and pat down) and again at the custom desk. We barely made it on time to board the plane!! They need more check in counters, more customs agents etc. for the amount of traffic that is ever-growing. Might just think of another destination next year.

Silver Spring...
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for Dominican Republic
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1. Re: Punta Cana Airport nightmare

Let's see: it was busy, you had to wait in line, you made your flight. Nightmare, horrible. Adjective choice is a bit off.

You've just described MIA, DCA, BOS, JFK and many other busy airports. Can't agree with the adjectives.

Morristown, New...
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2. Re: Punta Cana Airport nightmare

It doesn't sound like fun, but I sorta have to agree with the previous response. Where was the nightmare part? That you had to wait in line a few times? Yep... that happens at airports. Also, sounds like a lot of your troubles were the fault of Sunwing. Perhaps, rather than look for a different destination, consider a different travel provider?

New Brunswick...
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3. Re: Punta Cana Airport nightmare

Have to agree with the above two posts. I also see you are from Montreal. Well we have had long lines and waits when we fly through Montreal and this has been 1st class with Air Canada!

Not sure why anyone would expect things to run smoother and faster at a '3rd world' country airport when they can't get their acts together at most major airports in the US or Canada.

Toronto, Canada
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for Punta Cana
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4. Re: Punta Cana Airport nightmare

If you get to the airport earlier, you'll have fewer people standing in line in front of you at check-in, and probably fewer in front of you at customs. On Monday, the airport was very busy, with 7 planes at a time at the gate, including some large ones heading to Europe, and it was pretty much standing room only in the terminal. We arrived at the Westjet counter before it opened. It took about 20 minutes for us to check-in, get through customs and to the terminal.

Then again, it seems that Westjet has more check-in agents per flight, and if you have your seats pre-selected, it's very quick. Our only issue was a flight delay, because of de-icing in Toronto.

Mark

Canada
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853 posts
11 reviews
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5. Re: Punta Cana Airport nightmare

One thing that I do agree with the OP about is Elite Plus (which is as high as you go with Sunwing) shouldn't have taken as long as the regular lines to check-in. It means you're paying for priority check-in and not getting it.

Sag Harbor, New York
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6. Re: Punta Cana Airport nightmare

Yup. Sounds like JFK. That's why we get there 3 hrs before. Can't trust the timeframe. A shame to avoid a destination you love because of stuff happening. Definitely complain to sun wing as it sounds like their good up.

Morristown, New...
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7. Re: Punta Cana Airport nightmare

I agree with ryguy2008 that if you pay for special service you should receive it... no question about it. That's a complaint to direct to Sunwing. But, it's still.... not a nightmare.

Los Angeles...
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8. Re: Punta Cana Airport nightmare

man i love this airport... love being there and sippin on drinks..

if you are ever running late, just let someone know.. they will grab someone who can take you past the lines if your plane is departing soon and you have a long line ahead of you.

United Kingdom
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9. Re: Punta Cana Airport nightmare

On trip advisor, members are allowed to give a view on what happened during their travels. That is what it is all about. Their wording was not what I would have chosen, but hey it is an opinion. We should all accept it and move on.

Montreal, Canada
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85 posts
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10. Re: Punta Cana Airport nightmare

Ok, I agree "nightmare" is too strong. Frustrating would be more accurate. But when you are at an AI the bus picks you up at a certain time, for us it was 12:30 for the 4:20 flight which is plenty of advance time.

Got to the Airport at 1:40. At 3:50 we were boarding the bus to take us to the plane. I too love Punta Cana Airport, have been there 5 times. This was the first time that it took so long to get through. Of course I made it to the plane, this is not the issue. Yes Sunwing is to blame but I also believe that there is a problem with a growing number of hotels and tourists and therefore planes that the airport needs to schedule and manage. There is always a collaboration/communication between the airport and the carrier. Montreal airport has an efficient customs area and I have NEVER had such a problem...yes, huge line ups but flows very well.

Just say'n.