Jamaica - Club Mobay. Customs.

Old Aug 6, 18, 2:45 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 7
Jamaica - Club Mobay. Customs.

Hi there!
I will be going on my honeymoon in December (traveling from JFK to Montego Bay). We are very inexperienced travelers - I've only flown a couple times and neither of us have flown international. I read about Club Mobay - I think it would definitely be worth it for our arrival, but have seen people seem indifferent regarding departure. What exactly are the perks for departure - does it save time going through security?

Also, please let me know anything to be prepared for while traveling internationally. I've only gone though basic security checks, but I understand there will also be a customs check as well.

Thank you for any help!
Liz
simplysmiledear is offline  
Old Aug 7, 18, 3:15 pm
  #2  
hln
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 104
Club Mobay

Yes, I think Club Mobay is a good idea. They will help you to get through customs more quickly
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Old Aug 24, 18, 7:56 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Glen Oaks, NY
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Club MoBay has it's own line through security and is usually shorter. The lounge is air-conditioned (airport is not), free finger food and alcohol while you wait for your flight. Comfortable seating and a nice view.
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Old Aug 27, 18, 12:11 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: ROC
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Arrival at MBJ:
We've never done Club Mo Bay for our arrival. We figure at least we made it to Jamaica. If we have to wait in the Immigration line then so be it (we just might get to our resort a little bit later).

For our arrival into MBJ a few weeks ago, we waited about 30 minutes in the Immigration line. Sometimes it's much faster & sometimes it's longer. Just depends on how many other flights have landed around when you land.

After Immigration, you get your luggage. At MBJ, the airport workers tend to take suitcases off of the conveyor & set them close by. So, don't be alarmed if you don't see your suitcases going round & round -- check off to the side. And, quite often, the belt # they tell you ends up changing. So, you sometimes have to scout around & check other belts.

After getting your luggage, you then go to a "Nothing to Declare" Customs line. This should only take a few seconds to a few minutes in line. Here's where you hand in the forms you filled out on the plane. We've never been asked questions here.

Then, you turn left & go to your resort's lounge & you can stop thinking about things -- phew, made it !! :-)

Departure from MBJ:
However, we always do the Club for our departure. Generally speaking, their security line is MUCH shorter than the regular line. That can mean the difference between making your flight out or not !! (been there, done that -- had close calls where the Club security line made the difference !!!). And/or having the time to eat or shop, or not.

When you're leaving MBJ, it can be quite hectic.

When we get out of our shuttle from the resort back at MBJ, we always pay a baggage person to take us right where we need to go (they are always right there - they load up lots of luggage & drop everyone off at their airline). There are a million lines so it's not always obvious where you need to line up, even once you see the signs for your airline.

You have to 1st wait in lines to check in & print your boarding passes at a kiosk (if you haven't already checked in & printed your boarding passes at the resort).

Then you get in line for the ticket counter to hand over your checked luggage.

If you're flying coach, the lines for the ticket counter can be quite long (which can take a long time).

Then, after the kiosk & ticket counter, you then go all the way to the end of the ticket counters to go through security. Club Mo Bay has a booth/sign, so you go there before you even get into the security area, and they direct you to the Club Mo Bay line.

At either security line, you take off shoes & take out liquids & laptops just like in the U.S. If you have TSA PreCheck, that does not help you in Jamaica (or Mexico, etc....).

Then, at this point, if you have time, you are free !! You can eat or shop, or just go to your gate.

If you have Club Mo Bay, you can go right to the Club (near Gate 12). You go downstairs & check in (though, they just opened an upstairs section, behind the elevator -- that was full when we were there).

All the food you see in cases & all drinks (non-alcohol & alcohol) are included (be sure to tip your servers, though).

We always order food from the Margaritaville menu they have down there & someone brings your food to you. You can use your c.c. or pay USD cash.

The Club has gotten quite popular & is always busy now. And, they never seem to have all the rooms open like they used to. But, it still beats sitting at the gate.

The "new" end of the airport (gates 9-19) is air conditioned, but not great. The old side (gates 1-8) can be HOT. The Club is usually cooler than the terminals.

There is a Departure board in the Club, so you can keep an eye out for your gate (they don't always know your gate when you check in, especially if you're pretty early getting to MBJ).

There are also announcements over a loudspeaker at the Club, when flights are boarding. You usually start boarding about 50 minutes or so before the departure time.

Something else to consider.........you never know what traffic, accidents, flooding it it's been raining, etc.... you might encounter on your way back to the airport. So, that could cause a big delay in getting to MBJ. Again, that's where the Club's security line could be a big time saver.

OK, sorry this has gotten so long !! I just wanted to give you some detail since you have never been there before. In summary, for us, doing the departure Club is $60 ($30 each) for peace of mind & not having to feel rushed.

Either way, I hope you have a great honeymoon !!

Jackie
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Old Aug 27, 18, 2:54 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Swear by Club Mobay! Use it regularly. Using it over Labor day weekend and paid for the inbound assistance and all the difference that it makes. However, if you are departing in business/first, you might not want to pay for it on the return as your airline (like mine, Caribbean Airlines) gives free entry into the club including all its perks like expedited TSA type line.
worldspan is offline  
Old Mar 20, 19, 7:20 am
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: atl, ga, us
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If you use Club Mobay on return, how early should you get t the airport?
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Old Jun 14, 19, 2:29 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Glen Oaks, NY
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Originally Posted by trey View Post
If you use Club Mobay on return, how early should you get t the airport?
I would still use the 3 hour rule. This does not get you through faster at check-in, only the security line.
GailG is offline  
Old Jul 8, 19, 3:24 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 38
Hi, we are flying Delta First out of MBJ but is actually booked as Virgin Upper Class, which I believe includes access to the MoBay Lounge. When we arrived last week we didn’t have any kind of access to MoBay so I guess it’s just a departure agreement?

Do we still check in at Delta then proceed to the MoBay security line as the quickest way through?
dadio77 is offline  
Old Jul 22, 19, 12:05 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
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I never bother with Club Mobay on arrival and I know it takes longer. Often, it's hurry up and wait anyway because our driver isn't quite there yet.

On departure, I use Priority Pass and get in the shorter security line anyway before going to the lounge.
Busymann is offline  
Old Jul 26, 19, 4:27 am
  #10  
 
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As I understand it, on arrival Priority Pass will get you into Club MoBay, but will not get you the expedited meet and greet customs service. Are the arrivals at MBJ the clusterf*ck that I've read? We arrive on a Saturday in January, and to begin my ten day vacation in a more relaxed mode (I don't like lines) I may splurge for the service.

On departure I understand that you can use Priority Pass to go through the Club MoBay security line, but that you may be denied access to the lounge due to capacity control. Elsewhere I read that for $5 you can prebook a confirmed access to the lounge with Priority Pass.

Anyone confirm?
dwcatty is offline  
Old Jul 26, 19, 4:31 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by dwcatty View Post
As I understand it, on arrival Priority Pass will get you into Club MoBay, but will not get you the expedited meet and greet customs service. Are the arrivals at MBJ the clusterf*ck that I've read? We arrive on a Saturday in January, and to begin my ten day vacation in a more relaxed mode (I don't like lines) I may splurge for the service.

On departure I understand that you can use Priority Pass to go through the Club MoBay security line, but that you may be denied access to the lounge due to capacity control. Elsewhere I read that for $5 you can prebook a confirmed access to the lounge with Priority Pass.

Anyone confirm?
The comment above yours....

I never heard of $5 prebooking. Also, all lounges have capacity control.

Arrivals do suck but they aren't much different than other countries. Personally, I wasn't spending that amount just to breeze through customs. It's too high.
Busymann is offline  
Old Jul 27, 19, 2:32 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Originally Posted by dwcatty View Post
As I understand it, on arrival Priority Pass will get you into Club MoBay, but will not get you the expedited meet and greet customs service. Are the arrivals at MBJ the clusterf*ck that I've read? We arrive on a Saturday in January, and to begin my ten day vacation in a more relaxed mode (I don't like lines) I may splurge for the service.

On departure I understand that you can use Priority Pass to go through the Club MoBay security line, but that you may be denied access to the lounge due to capacity control. Elsewhere I read that for $5 you can prebook a confirmed access to the lounge with Priority Pass.

Anyone confirm?
that's right, priority pass is for the lounge only on arrival - the meet and greet line is much shorter but not worth the cost IMO - the regular line was around 20 mins but I guess it all depends on your time of arrival. We arrived lunchtime on a Friday (5th July so busy due to Independence Day travellers).

We used it on departure as the regular line was busy (note off the back of my own post earlier - despite travelling Virgin UC as it was a Delta flight, we did not have access to MoBay!), using our DragonPass for access and getting through quickly. If you're not paying, or paying a small fee then it was worth it. The lounge itself is OK, it is quite small so I can see there may be capacity issues, so the $5 may be worth it to guarantee access.
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Old Jul 27, 19, 2:57 am
  #13  
 
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Thank you both for your replies. I'll see how I feel in a few months about splurging for the arrival access. I like what I've read in reviews and reports from people who have used the service, so it really comes down to the cost benefit ratio. The $5 'processing fee' to guarantee access on departure sounds like a winner. Since my Priority Pass comes as a credit card perk two drinks will more than offset the fee. Thanks again.
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dwcatty is offline  
Old Oct 21, 19, 12:13 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 7
We arrived at MBJ, for the first time, about a week ago. Only flight arrival at the time, wait would've only been a few minutes. We had purchased Club MoBay, and breezed right by. There was value to it, especially for first timers. Maybe not the price we paid, but added peace of mind.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 9:39 pm
  #15  
 
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I have used Club MoBay for arrivals a few times. Most recently it might have saved me 5 minutes, but last spring it saved us well over an hour, if not more! The lineup was almost back to the airplane. I have seen both scenarios.

I will typically wait until a week before and check the arrivals at MBJ. If there are a number of flights arriving within an hour or so of my arrival, I will book Club Mobay, but if arrivals are light, I will risk it. I typically fly down in business class (thanks to upgrades) so getting off the plane first helps. If you are at the back of the plane, it may be more beneficial to get Club MoBay.

The MoBay agent will bring you to a separate immigration area and will help expedite immigration. They will also help with your bags and will bring you to the front of the line in customs.

I have never been to the arrivals lounge (Sandals has their own lounge).

I always end up changing my hotel departure to arrive at the airport no earlier than 90 mins before my flight. I have priority check-in, and with the Club MoBay security entrance I can typically check-in and be through security in 15 minutes. I would rather spend another 90 mins at the resort than in the departure lounge.

Departure lounge is an ok place to wait for your flight, better than waiting by the gate. The food is ok, and drinks are good, but by that point I really do not need another drink.

Departure lounge was recently renovated and was in good shape on my last visit in November.
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