Sunday, February 08, 2015

A Compliment for Miami International Airport … by gimleteye

After a 16 hour flight from Doha, Qatar I can report a miracle: an arrival at MIA, moving through passport control, baggage, immigration and customs in record time. In fact, thanks to Qatar Airline's baggage handling, I was able to retrieve luggage faster than I ever did on any American Airlines flight.

I've been flying internationally from MIA for thirty years and have experienced every phase of the airport trying to deal with outdated facilities, baggage retrieval difficulties, growth, and massive, teeth-pulling, hair-wrenching delays at immigration control. And that was BEFORE 9/11. 

After 9/11, MIA was the worst airport in the nation for handling its international customers. (Who can forget the Bush White House letting the Saudis fly away after 9/11 for free, while the rest of the nation was trapped? But I digress…)

Here is my update, and even if it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it's worth a compliment to MIA.

Travelers used to walk a mile to get to immigration control. On this trip, our plane taxied (at the early side of rush hour), passengers disembarked, and straight up to the people mover (still 1990's technology, but you can't ask for perfection where so many lobbyists are involved), to the escalator straight to passport control and then to baggage claim.

The kiosks for citizens with pre-screened entry cards worked smoothly. No spitting out passports or missing fingerprints. Then sped through immigration with our printed form.

Qatar Airways delivered my luggage quickly. Customs simply scanned the declaration form and the printout from the kiosk and off to the taxi stand.

The taxi driver, by the way, had a machine that could take a credit card! (That's what Uber has done. But the driver hadn't read the manual how to use it. Seriously. We paid cash. So Miami.)

Maybe it was just our lucky day, but I'm practically giddy. Now if American Airlines could only get its act together.


Anonymous said...

I like MIA and feel it gets a bad rap.

And Global Entry is a must for anyone that travels internationally even just once a year. $100, last 5 years and is a simple 10 minute process at the airport after you schedule an appt.

Anonymous said...

that Chihuahua pic made my morning
love it

Anonymous said...

American Airlines is the garbage airline of the nation. Maybe they upgrade their planes, but the squeeze you so tight you can't breathe. There were two sneezers on either side of me coming down from NYC, the ventilation was bad, and sure enough I got deathly ill. I wonder if American Airline execs ever fly coach class in their own planes?