MIA to FLL -- reasonable transfer time

Old Nov 7, 18, 10:39 am
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MIA to FLL -- reasonable transfer time

Can't decide whether this is an AA related question, Allegiant or TriRail! So let's start here.

My incoming flight on AA from GCM is scheduled to arrive at 4:52 PM on President's day (Monday) in February which I called South Florida RTA Tri-Rail about and was advised was not considered a major holiday so the trains will keep the "Weekday" schedules on that Monday. Is it reasonable for me to expect to complete immigration and take either the 6:20 PM train departure from MIA airport which arrives FLL airport at 6:58 PM for a domestic flight on Allegiant departing at 8:36 PM, or a 6:50 PM train from MIA Airport which arrives FLL airport at 7:28 PM which I imagine will still be OK since I will have my boarding pass printed out in advance and no checked bags?

I understand there is no pre-clearance at GCM origin so I will have to complete immigration in MIA.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 10:57 am
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For MIA I always allow (assuming otherwise on time) 20 minutes for there being no gate available, 20 minutes for the 3 miles to immigration, 5 minutes for Global Entry if that, and then if you have a bag and are not in J (or even if you are) 4 or 5 days for the bag to arrive. But you have no checked bag so unless you are without Global Entry it should still be less than two hours. They do have automated passport readers for e-passports and I think there is some kind of app so check that out.

I only fly through MIA without luggage and have GE but I still will not book a connection under 4 hours.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 11:22 am
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Greetings from a fellow Tri Railer.

Assuming you are on time. Yes, IMO you should make the 620P train, however this all sounds very tight. Especially since the Tri Rail doesnt go to the FLL airport itself. You have to get on a bus from FLL Airport station to take you to the airport. That can take upwards of 15 to 20 mins extra. And do you have TSA? Does Alegiant participate in TSA? If not, you run the risk of long lines at FLL, and Feb is high season in FLL.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 11:38 am
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Making this is going be dependent upon the OP having GE and/or Allegiant participating in PreCheck. Its possible but lots could go wrong least of which Tri Rail doesn't always run on time. I think Allegiant has a use it or lose it policy so the OP needs to be prepared to buy a new ticket if Allegiant won't put him on standby for a subsequent flight.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 12:08 pm
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This is all about risk tolerance. Given that it is not a connection, the risk of a no show is on OP. That will mean purchasing a new ticket, possibly on some other carrier, and depending on destination, a hotel and meals. So, one really needs to look at the downside costs more than whether an ontime transfer is doable.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 12:28 pm
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If you miss the first train you could just take an Uber or Lyft between the two airports. By 6:30 there's a pretty good chance that they'll have cleaned up the half dozen wrecks on I-95 that are the normal result of rush hour traffic that is composed of a 50/50 mix of South Florida idiots driving 100 mph and NY/NJ blue hairs driving 45 mph so the drive time might be reasonable.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 3:02 pm
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As others have said, pre-check is a must. FLL security seems to be the slowest (though not busiest) of MIA, FLL and PBI. In fact, I prefer to fly out of MIA rather than FLL as my door-to-gate time is usually better - and I live in PBI!

Immigration at MIA is actually pretty fast IME, especially if you have the mobile app and are a US resident. The walk to immigration can be very long, though, and baggage claim is a zoo. Mobile app and carry on are your friends at MIA.

Also, Tri-Rail isn't the most reliable - even for a short ride like this. It seems as though there's an accident (with motorist, pedestrian, etc) or breakdown at least once a week. The airport bus connections at FLL are pretty reliable - check their schedule - they are timed but not always exactly to each arriving train (sometimes the combine trains). Website seems to be down right now.

Uber/Lyft is hit and miss...NB 95 can still be jammed even in the express lanes at this time especially if an accident.

I would definitely recommend the longest connection possible.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 4:27 pm
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As a South Florida resident and frequent commuter to the Caribbean, this journey seems fraught with peril. If everything goes smoothly, I agree with everyone else that this is possible. However, typical delays in the incoming flight, MIA customs, rail, and FLL in general provide a lot of independent break-points that can cause you to miss the connection. In short, a lot of separate variables will have to go right for this to work. If you have already purchased the tickets, my recommendation would be to use an app like Waze to check the anticipated commute time after you have landed, and if the drive time appears reasonable, then jump in an Uber as your first option.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 4:44 pm
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MKe sure you use Mobile Passport app when you arrive in MIA if you are US citizen and donít have Global Entry.
And donít rely on public transit. Just take Uber or Lyft. It will be cheaper than missing your flight. You should be ok.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 4:47 pm
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Exclamation Why take the train?

Why even bother with the train? I am taking the transfer tomorrow (Nov 9) with a prepaid transfer for $13/per. Door to door service and they handle the bags!
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Old Nov 7, 18, 5:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Antonio8069 View Post
Why even bother with the train? I am taking the transfer tomorrow (Nov 9) with a prepaid transfer for $13/per. Door to door service and they handle the bags!
Unless you are well acquainted with the shuttle service you have chosen, do not do this. If it's Super Shuttle, better to walk.

Uber with Waze so you can head around traffic is the only real way to make this short a transfer (it's not a connection and that is the whole problem) possibly doable.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 5:21 pm
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95 is generally a mess until around 8. Iíd take my chance with Tri Rail, however, the OP should check the app for delays. My real advice would be to overnight it and avoid the potential drama.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 7:39 pm
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Where are you flying to on Allegiant? My general rule with them is that I will only fly them if I don't need to be someplace. They are a disaster during any IROPS and you're flying during a peak vacation season with possibility of winter weather disruptions on other flights that could affect yours. A Plan B could be in order.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 7:46 pm
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Just noticed that the OP has a Suspended Status???
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Old Feb 24, 19, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by birdiedouble View Post
Where are you flying to on Allegiant?
Just completed the trip. Took Allegiant to FLL and then took the Tri-Rail to MIA for an AA segment to GCM. Exact same way back. Decided to take the earlier AA back to MIA. Actually was better since I simply had a tranquil dinner at MIA at a PP eligible restaurant, and did not have to rush.

Originally Posted by birdiedouble View Post
My general rule with them is that I will only fly them if I don't need to be someplace. They are a disaster during any IROPS and you're flying during a peak vacation season with possibility of winter weather disruptions on other flights that could affect yours. A Plan B could be in order.
Allegiant was the only carrier that had flights on Friday returning Monday both late evening. They were only around $99+tax one-way so I thought I'd give them a try. Also wanted to check out an LCC just for fun. I did Frontier many years back and wasn't too thrilled because they had a 2+ hour delay or something like that. But luckily everything worked this time around. The Allegiant flights were smooth, generally on-time, and not too packed (I got a row of 3 empty on my way back so I stretched out and took a nap). I cringe thinking what might have happened during IROPS. I was actually witnessing firsthand the turmoil which was happening next door with the Southwest flights that day since their gates are adjacent and all in the same area in FLL (I read after I got back that Southwest was X-ing beaucoup flights earlier this week so that's what it was). What a mess, but a benediction that Allegiant was fine that day. I kinda had a mental plan B which was "just get on whatever other carrier can get me back". Not much of a Plan B but didn't want to overthunk it. It was the President's Day holiday so I thought it would have been more chaotic, but it wasn't too bad.

P.S. Funny thing happened in GCM. While waiting to board in MIA itself at the gate I saw a band with guitars and fun stuff. I think one of them may have had on a T-Shirt which said "Jason Derulo" on the back. Now I will say that I may have seen a picture of Jason Derulo many years ago but I don't really remember, so I didn't know what he looked like at the time (although I know the name from the radio), and I wasn't thinking anything of it since I had not confirmed my Sting Ray City cruise for the next day and was anxious to get to the island. The band sat in First and I sat just behind them in Main, so when we got off in Grand Cayman I was trying to get to the Immigration line quickly so I could pick up my rental car, so somehow got in front of them. Anyways, while we're walking from the plane, the officials opened up a different line for them which they then roped off and sure enough, they roped me in with all the band members. So we're all walking to Immigration together and all the while I'm quite confused... and the Immigration hall is quite a zoo with 00s of people... then one of the guys in the band is trying to get my attention and he's telling me I need to be in the other line and I'm telling him yes, because guitar I have not and they all do, so that would be right! Well I finally managed to get separated from them ... I wish I had a ukelele or something with me so I could pretend I was with them to get through immigration faster since they took 5 min and the rest of us took an hour :-) ... but it wasn't until next morning when I was out on the Sting Ray City cruise that I was talking to a journalist who said she was there to cover the Festival ("Kaaboo" I think it was called) which was happening the two previous days. I was specifically advised by my host to go nowhere near it as traffic would be complete madness, so I stayed away. Anyways, I told the journalist that a band wearing a Jason Derulo T-shirt was on the flight and I got mixed up with them... and she said, "Yes, he performed last night... and he's actually a really good dancer!". So I kinda then finally started putting 2 and 2 together and realized... well the band was flying in to play that night, and again I presumed (why, I don't know) that Jason was already on the island and the rest of the troupe was getting in later. Anyways I still didn't think anything of it until I got back to work and was telling a colleague about it and he said so did you see Jason Derulo and I said no it was his band that I ended up in the wrong line with. Now if someone wears a Mick Jagger T-shirt obviously that doesn't mean they're Mick Jagger. Again, didn't give it more thought... but then the following day I was driving to work and I said... hmmm... I'm just speculating about all this... let's see what Jason actually looks like. So I went on Google Images... and it was THEN that I finally realized... the guy in line who was trying to tell me that I was not part of his band (!!) was in fact Jason Derulo. It took me darn near a whole week to put it all together :-)
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