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Flight In September


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#1 cozumelwantabe

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 05:03 AM

Hi all,

Looking for your thought's on flight's, we will be coming down Sep. 8th for one week from Northern Illinois.
Our last trip was two years ago and we flew Delta with a 35 min. layover in Atlanta. We made it to the gate BEFORE our flight was scheduled to leave but they had already closed the door and would not let us on. I think we would have had plenty of time to make it, however they were 45 min's. late bringing our plane in Chicago so we started out behind the gun.

Coming down, Delta has a flight with a 55 min. layover in Atlanta, which I think would be fine but my wife is gun shy from our last trip. Our last time flying with Delta they didn't have a very good reputation, I have heard they have really improved??

Coming back, United has a flight with a 1 hr 10 min layover in Houston. However this one has me concerned because you need to get thru custom's and a friend of mine just got back from a trip to Coz., there connection was in Houston with United and it took them three hours to get thru custom's, get checked back in and get to the gate.
Now we have made it with just over an hour layover in Houston before, but that has been about 10 years ago.

AA has a flight coming down that does not look to bad, however the flight coming back has a 4 hr layover and I am concerned about AA. Anybody know the latest on AA, I heard they were having some issues??

Thoughts from all that have flown recently????

Thanks for your help!!
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#2 Carey

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:02 AM

Your chances of making it through Houston immigration, customs, bag recheck, recheck in through security and on to your gate are slim to none with a 1 hour 10 minute layover. Figure 25-60 minutes immigration, 20 minutes customs, 15 minutes at least going through security recheck. And then you still have to get to your gate.

I have that choice every time I come back to the states on United which is 3-4 times per year these days. I always pick the 3 hour 15 layover (in my case) instead of that 1 hour 15.

Choose the 4 hour layover and relax over a nice lunch upstairs at Papadeux's would be my advice. Or check and see if United has another flight leaving a bit later. I don't know much about American but since Continental and United merged, I shore ain't impressed. Cancelled flights all over the place with last second rebooks. I can't see that American could be a much worse choice and am thinking of switching over to them, as a matter of fact.
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#3 Steve

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:47 AM

I am taking that flight on Delta with the 55 minute layover in Atlanta in 8 days. I'll let you know how it goes. I was also concerned about making it to the gate on time and called the airline. They assured me that they schedule their flights corectly and I will have enough time. I also have two kids going with. As long as the flight is early or on time I think it will be fine.
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#4 Carey

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:09 AM

55 is plenty of time normally coming down. It's going back to the states that's the killer because of loooooooong immigration lines, loooooong customs lines, extremely long security recheck lines.

If you travel internationally on a yearly or more basis, I can't recommend highly enough signing up for the Global Entry Trusted Traveler program. You can sign up and pay online and they do a background check on you so if you have a criminal record, don't bother to apply. Costs around $100 and it's a one time fee I believe. I've never been hit up again in 3 years anyway.

Once you're cleared in the system, you have to make an appointment online when you can be at one of their airport offices. I did my appointment during one of those 3 hour 15 minute layovers in Houston. The global entry office there is actually right outside the door to the street that is by where you recheck your bags coming into the country after customs. In otherwords, it's in the non secure area of the Houston International Terminal at the arrivals/street level.

Takes about 15 minutes. They take your finger prints and scan them, show you how to use the 'chine, put a labelled number in the back of your passport and you're on your way.

Now when I arrive in Houston from CZM, I go to the immigration area, scan my passport, press my fingers on the pad for ID, fill out the customs form on line (don't have to do it by hand on the plane) and I'm done in under 5 minutes. If I don't have checked luggage, I can take a side door that bypasses the whole customs shebang which speeds things up by another 15 minutes. If I have checked baggage, there is a special line to the far right and never anyone in it.

I was told on our last trip in two weeks ago from Houston that by September many airports will also have instituted the Trusted Traveler for security check in. You have to enter your Global Entry number with your airline profile and then, supposedly, Trusted Traveler shows up on your boarding pass and when you get to the security check in guy that looks at your passport, he/she sees this and sends you to a special line.
Which, first of all, will be very short. Secondly, no laptops out of bag, no jacket or belt or shoe removal, no bag of liquids and gels on display. I hope it includes not running you through the I See You Nekked Machine. Will report on this at the end of August when I'll be coming back from another short trip.
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#5 cdlu

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:39 AM

I fly AA every trip to Cozumel and have had no problems. The only difference I see is maybe a few less choices than before; but they still have the flight I always choose. If you choose AA with the connection at DFW, better get your ticket now; the DFW to CZM flight fills up fast.
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#6 Kandy

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:30 AM

I'm with Carey. First, don't even think about an hour and 15 minutes to make a connection in Houston. In all the years I've been traveling to and from Cozumel, only one time have I gotten through Immigration and Customs quickly, and I didn't have a connection to make in another terminal! My recommendation is no less than 2 hours between flights.

Also, the Trusted Traveler Program (GOES) is what I was going to recommend. The $100 fee is good for 5 years. I'm not sure if there is a reduced fee after that or just what will happen. I'll find out when I get there, though, because it's the best thing ever! AND, it is rumored that it will be in Cancun soon. That will definitely make me think twice about flying into Cancun! After getting through Immigration and Customs there quickly, it's nothing to catch Mayair and cross the water!
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#7 mstevens

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:41 AM

We recently did make it through Houston IAH with a 70-minute layover, twice. I'm not saying we had much of a wait at the gate, since we didn't, but we did make it before they started boarding.

Once was with my dad who needed a wheelchair and had to wait forever for it to arrive. The other was my busted-up wife after she got mugged and was also using a wheelchair. My son and I got through well before my parents, by the way, so it was not the wheelchair that sped the process along.

The secret is to sign up for Global Entry. In return for a USD$100 nonrefundable application fee, a bunch of online forms, and an inconvenient in-person interview with CBP, qualified individuals can use the extremely fast Global Entry kiosks when entering the country for 5 years before renewing. This means not only no standing in the Border Control line, but also a special line for exiting baggage claim through Customs. They're rolling out a "TSA Trusted Traveler" pre-screening program that could be pretty helpful as well. The program is not limited to US citizens and is explicitly available to citizens of Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Korea. If you have a criminal record or have been in trouble with CBP in the past, don't waste your $100.
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#8 mstevens

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:46 AM

Trusted Traveler Program (GOES)


The trusted traveler program is called Global Entry. GOES is just the name of the online application system, Global Online Enrollment System.

it is rumored that it will be in Cancun soon.


Do they actually do US Customs and Immigration right in Cancun? If they do but don't offer Global Entry then that would certainly be a pain. However, if they don't have US CBP officers stationed in Cancun then Global Entry won't be of any help there in any event. One would still have to go through the Customs and Immigration process somewhere, whether in Cancun or in the US.
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#9 Carey

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:14 AM

I just checked the website to see if they had info yet on the fee after 5 years (they don't yet) but in the FAQ's it says that Canadians and Mexicans can enroll in the program also!
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#10 MarkC

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:43 PM

I did continental from DFW to CZM via IAH (houston). return trip - 1 hour layover. Not enough time. flight was delayed into houston and I ran like OJ Simpson in a hertz commercial trying to get from the intl terminal to the domestic. the lady was just taking her hands off the “delayed” sign she put up, but had there not been that delay, we woulda missed the connection.

AA flights DFW to CZM have been perfect.

Sun Country is not flying in sept 2012, but in the months they do fly from DFW to CZM has been perfect.

I think your best bet to avoid issues is to fly AA thru DFW.

Miami, Atlanta and houston IMO all suck as connection points.
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#11 cdg85705

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 01:43 PM

Global Entry is the way to go for international travel. Houston only takes me 15 minutes to get through because I have to stop at the Agriculture dept to "talk about the cat".
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#12 cozumelwantabe

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:53 AM

Thanks for all of your thoughts and suggestions.....

I wouldn't mind flying into Cancun and take Maya Air, but our plane (if on time) would not get into Cun until noon and the Maya air flight leaves at 1 and or 4.

Coming back thru Cun could be an option, as I see Maya Air has a flight at 9, plenty of time to catch the 12:30 flight.

If I wanted to ferry accross going back which ferry would I need to take?? Do they have a 8:00 A.M. ferry?
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#13 cvchief

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 07:23 AM

AND, it is rumored that it will be in Cancun soon. That will definitely make me think twice about flying into Cancun! After getting through Immigration and Customs there quickly, it's nothing to catch Mayair and cross the water!


Seriously in Cancun? That would be sweet!
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#14 Carey

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 07:31 AM

There's not going to be any US immigration and customs agents on Mexican soil I can GU Guarantee you that! But maybe Mexico is starting to think about setting up a reciprocal program with the US with things like kiosks for Global Entry people.

I say this because I see that Mexican nationals can also now apply for Global Entry cards that work for entry to the US. Canadians also.
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#15 cvchief

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 07:34 AM

THAT would still be sweet.
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#16 MarkC

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:09 AM

Does anyone know the cost of this ? It is not on their website, or they've made it very hard to find.
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“Corona con lima, Corona with lime... Todo el tiempo, hey all of the time... Con mucho gusto, I’m havin such a good time... Corona con lima, Corona with lime...”

#17 MarkC

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:14 AM

never mind - i found it lol dang
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“Corona con lima, Corona with lime... Todo el tiempo, hey all of the time... Con mucho gusto, I’m havin such a good time... Corona con lima, Corona with lime...”

#18 DanB

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 11:58 AM

Anybody have any experience of returning United thru Charlotte? They have had the best prices from Detroit to Coz/Cancun for a couple months now.
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#19 cozdude

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:43 AM

Late to this discussion, obviously, but going through Charlotte (USAir) is my preferred route from Boston. I've had issues with American and DFW, but never with CLT. Also, after having been burned once by a 1 hr 7 min layover time, I ALWAYS give myself a minimum of 2 hours, preferably 2.5 hours for layovers, both going down and back. We got stuck in DFW once after having a delay on the Boston end and lost a whole day in CZM because of it -- because (a) I hadn't built in enough layover time, and (B) the last AA flight out of DFW to CZM was at like 11:30am (back then, anyway; maybe that's changed).
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#20 cvchief

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:24 AM

Did I see you can do a direct, non-stop from Boston to Cancun on Jet Blue?
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