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echo
01-23-2011, 05:31 PM
Thought I would post my question here as opposed to the travel forum...can anyone comment on the time required to navigate throught Nassau's airport on the way to and from Cat Island? On the way there, is 3 hours enough time?..and coming back would 2 hours get me through with enough time to connect? If I recall on my last trip to Cat about 4 years ago, getting through customs in Nassua was quick and without problems or delays, but I've read plenty of horror stories from others. Getting to the out islands from the western US is a real PITA.

Spiral
01-24-2011, 08:27 AM
You're more than fine with three hours when you get there, the two hours departure day should be ok too, but alot of that depends on how many other flights are leaving the same time too. Sometimes you get to the front of the airport and you think "oh no" with all the people but once you get through that initial line things move quicker. Still try and rush through it as quickly as you can though just to be safe.

They remodeled the airport a couple years ago and since then things seem to run alot smoother when you depart Nassau, maybe it's just me but that's been my experience anyway.

Just don't expect people to be moving very fast, or as fast as you'd want them too because it won't happen lol. It's the Bahamas mon!

Nassau Frank
01-24-2011, 09:23 AM
Couple of things...
Pick your seat on the arrival aircraft smartly - by the door so you're out first. Haul ass to the Immigration hall. Have your Immigration card filled out before you get into the hall. go thru Imm and into the customs hall and get your bags and go to the far Customs line - sign says tourist (visitors?) with nothing to declare. Don't stand in line with bahamians.
When you come out the doors turn right and go to the next terminal - 2-3 min hustle walk- for the flight to Cat Island. Make sure your airline - not charter- is in the main terminal not general aviation. You'll have to re check your bags and have your carry on inspected, too.

Coming back is tight - depending on carrier and time of day as US customs and immigration can be slow. If there's 4 or 5 big planes going out at the same time, you may have a problem.

The new terminal is to open in a couple of months which will add more distance from arrival to departure and take more time in the beginning. Instead of coming thru Nassau - can you go from Lauderdale? The airport hasn't changed in 10 years or so- just the new US arrival/departure terminal will change when it opens.

Rip some lips

echo
01-24-2011, 07:19 PM
Thanks for the responses. I tried to make this work by going through FLL but the deal I got was a package out of Nassau. The way it looks now I might just get the later return flight from Cat to Nassau and overnight at Orange Hill Inn and get an early start the next morning back to the states. The part I'm finding really hard to believe is to get there it looks like I'll go through Denver to Newark and have to overnight there and get a flight the next morning direct from Newark; get in NAS at about 11:30AM and get the afternoon flight out to Cat. I need some rum punch right now just thinking about these travel logistics!!

Spiral
01-25-2011, 08:35 AM
Echo if it makes you feel any better I wish I had your problems. This year will be the first in the last 7 that we aren't going down. I'm seriously jonesin'.

Try a coconut rum and pineapple juice, those work good too :)

Spiral
01-28-2011, 12:35 PM
Echo-

One other piece of advice. You can take reels loaded with fly lines, fly boxes, monofilament spools etc in your carry on to get down there. no problems.

But coming back, don't have it on your person. Has to go in checked bags. I usually take my spool off and carry the expensive part of the spool with me in my carry on and put the spools and line in checked. If you don't, you will be stuck.

Boxes of flies same thing. They won't let you carry them on to go back into the states. Nassau airport seems to really be tight about this. ANd the problem is once you get to that point they tell you, you've already checked your other bags so what can you do..........

I had to "give away" 6-8 dozen flies my first year by not knowing. They guy behind me who hadnt checked his bag yet made out let me tell you. Still not happy.

MarkZ
01-28-2011, 03:44 PM
Echo-

One other piece of advice. You can take reels loaded with fly lines, fly boxes, monofilament spools etc in your carry on to get down there. no problems.

But coming back, don't have it on your person. Has to go in checked bags.

I just came back through Nassau a few weeks ago and didn't have a problem with reels or flies in a carry on. Has this happened to anyone else?

echo
01-28-2011, 06:34 PM
The stories I've heard seem to reinforce that Bahamian customs is "consistently inconsistent". I'll probably just check everything both ways.

Nassau Frank
01-31-2011, 12:56 AM
The new US departure lounge is set to open in March. note that you deal with Bahamian customs only when you enter- not exit the country. Once you check in , you go thru a ticket /ID check and then your luggage goes on a conveyer belt- thru a screener and to the plane. you go thru the same checks as on a US flight. Their proceedures are mandated by the TDA for screening. You then pre-clear US immigration/ customs by US officers before you get into the lounge area of the terminal.

Spiral
01-31-2011, 09:33 AM
I just came back through Nassau a few weeks ago and didn't have a problem with reels or flies in a carry on. Has this happened to anyone else?

Wow. I hope this is the case into the future that would be great.

I'll still take my spools off and check them, and keep the more expensive reel with me. If a bag got lost, I figure losing just the spool and line is alot less expensive than the reel itself.

Edit: and "consistently inconsitent" is a great description!


.

Nassau Frank
01-31-2011, 11:14 AM
I check everything except the rods; probably checking the spools and keeping the reel makes sense. Of course one with out the other is a problem.
Check the TDA guidelines and hope for the best. We are a nation of pirates, remember.

Spiral
01-31-2011, 03:05 PM
Frank,

I keep all the important stuff on me in carry on going down so when I'm there I have it. I lost a bag in Nassau once too. If you can believe, it showed up two days later in the back of a pickup truck where I was staying in Andros. And the people were hardly "with the airline" lol.

Anyway, figuring I take several expensive saltwater reels with me......if I am going to lose them on the way home I'd rather just replace the spools and line than the whole thing. Check out the differences in prices between the whole reel versus just the spare spool. It's enough to change anyone's view on checking stuff in my opinion.

Nassau Frank
02-01-2011, 02:21 PM
in local parlance, tru dat

Swalt
02-06-2011, 04:33 PM
On the way down to Inagua last November they wouldn't let my lined reels through the TSA equivalent check point to get into the the terminal for the flight to Inagua. First time in 8 trips I have had a problem going down. You never know what they will do.