MIA Arrivals from BA209

Old Apr 16, 14, 8:10 am
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MIA Arrivals from BA209

Hi there,

I'm booked onto the BA209 to MIA in a couple of weeks and it's the first time for me. FT is full of stories of 4 hour waits to clear immigration etc, and I want to ask a couple of questions of the hive mind (if that's ok of course).
  1. Does being in a premium cabin get you any "priority" treatment, I'm travelling in F
  2. I'm hiring a car at the other end to drive to Naples, if I land at 18:15 is a 19:30 pick-up at all achievable?
  3. For those that have rented from Hertz at MIA before (the only one-way hire to Naples available) is it in the terminal or is there a bus ride? The Hertz website is useless on the matter, though the pick-up address isn't quite on the airport itself.

Many thanks in advance! OT
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Old Apr 16, 14, 8:19 am
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I took the 209 in F a couple of weeks back.

1) No priority treatment. However you get off the aircraft first and at the top of the jetty, there are carts that anybody can jump on the back of. We tipped the driver $5.

2) Almost certainly not. Expect to queue minimum one hour for immigration, then a wait for customs too. Fortunately I have Global Entry so bypassed the queues, but they looked horrendous . Remember though, you can put 1930 on Hertz's website and they'll keep the car for you, so I wouldn't worry.

3) There are no rental car companies on-site. They are all off-site at the Rental Car centre which is accessed by a free monorail.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 8:22 am
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1) No
2) Probably not. Once through immigration you have the asinine customs form collection process to get through.
3) It looks like Miami has a rental car centre, which is a facility that's shared by all the firms. You get there via a shuttle train from the airport.

If I was you, I'd stay near the airport overnight and drive across early the next morning.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 8:23 am
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Thank you - The buggy thing sounds interesting, do you travel through the airport much quicker by using these?

The rental car centre sounds like an adventure!

Best, OT
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Old Apr 16, 14, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by OrchardTravel View Post
Hi there,

I'm booked onto the BA209 to MIA in a couple of weeks and it's the first time for me. FT is full of stories of 4 hour waits to clear immigration etc,


Many thanks in advance! OT
Have a look on this website - http://awt.cbp.gov/ - it will give you data on past wait times and give you a better idea. Of course your wait time will depend on when you actually arrive and how late / early other flights are.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by OrchardTravel View Post
Thank you - The buggy thing sounds interesting, do you travel through the airport much quicker by using these?

The rental car centre sounds like an adventure!
No, unless you are not very fit. The BA flight comes into (typically) E8, and the passports etc are underneath D. It's not a huge walk, so if you are fast you can outpace the buggy, not least because it may be kept back until some old dears have got themselves sorted. I'm in CW and generally get to the queue before the buggy arrives. It also makes no difference to your passage - if there's an issue with MIA arrivals it isn't down to the BA service, it will be the backlog from previous services. You may be lucky, or have Global Entry but I'd assume 2 hours and be happy if it's less.

On the other hand, the car rental companies I suspect are fully aware of the issues at MIA arrivals, and will work around it.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 8:34 am
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Waiting times at MIA are a lottery. Took me two minutes for immigration and a few more for customs last time I went, but then again I seem to always be lucky. Most people on here have a lot of horror stories to tell!

Originally Posted by OrchardTravel View Post
Thank you - The buggy thing sounds interesting, do you travel through the airport much quicker by using these?

The rental car centre sounds like an adventure!

Best, OT
Never tried the buggies, but they can definitely beat the slowest of walkers

As for the rental car centre, it's not that much of an adventure, I'd actually call it very convenient compared to the previous setup. The monorail station is less than five minutes walk from customs, and the ride itself is very brief too.

I still remember the endless waiting times for shuttles from my childhood trips to MIA. Now that was an adventure!
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Old Apr 16, 14, 8:35 am
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Originally Posted by OrchardTravel View Post
The rental car centre sounds like an adventure!
They're increasingly common - you have a multi-story car park with all the car rental agency offices in one place. You check-in then are told where in the car park to go. A lot easier than having to wait for a shuttle bus to some far flung depot.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 8:51 am
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Originally Posted by csutter View Post
As for the rental car centre, it's not that much of an adventure, I'd actually call it very convenient compared to the previous setup. The monorail station is less than five minutes walk from customs, and the ride itself is very brief too.
I used it for the first time a couple of months ago. It's very civilised and very easy.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 9:39 am
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I gave up on Miami a few years ago...hideous airport. Now always use TPA, tho there's no F on that route. Just over a week ago touch down to driving out of the airport with hire car was 55 minutes.

I have heard that the new arrangements for car hire are excellent @ Miami but it's the immigration queue that always did it for me....awful. Never waited less than 2 hours not what anyone needs after a Tatl.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by OrchardTravel View Post
Hi there,


Does being in a premium cabin get you any "priority" treatment, I'm travelling in F
The BA209 is a Mid-J B747 so my experience in F was that World Traveller Plus passengers got off first
[*]I'm hiring a car at the other end to drive to Naples, if I land at 18:15 is a 19:30 pick-up at all achievable?
As others have said it is the luck of the draw. In Feb, when I travelled, there was no major delay at either immigration (5min) or customs (straight through).

[*]For those that have rented from Hertz at MIA before (the only one-way hire to Naples available) is it in the terminal or is there a bus ride? The Hertz website is useless on the matter, though the pick-up address isn't quite on the airport itself.
The rental car centre (center?) is very easy to get to using the moving walkway and then the people-mover. Lots of signs. As an aside, SFO has this set up too. Also, if you're returning to MIA, the car rental centre is sign-posted from the freeways.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 11:07 am
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MIA is one of the most challenging US airports to get through for arriving international passengers. I think the volume of Central/South American flights & Caribbean flights can"dump" 500+ passengers all at once within a brief 10-15 min time period. If your flights arrive right afterwards, then you may be out of luck. But this can happen at many large international airports including LHR/LGW. Once I waited 2 hours to clear passport control at LHR after a short-haul flight from CDG and 1.5 hours at LGW after a long-haul flight in CW with no fast track given.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 9:02 am
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Miami has a really large rental car area. All big companies are represented there. I picked up a rental car from MIA in January when I flew in from MCO
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