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Thread: Trip to Sosua completely ruined by terrible experience at the airport

  1. #1
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    Default Trip to Sosua completely ruined by terrible experience at the airport

    I just had an extremely bad experience at the Puerto Plata airport that completely overshadowed my positive trip to Sosua. I got to the airport about 3 hours before my flight and had no problems getting my boarding passes. The problems started when I went to security. After going through the x-ray machines, I was told that they needed to search my bags. At first they started pulling out a bunch of random liquids from my 1 quart bag and told me that it couldn't fly. Then they pulled out my tweezers, nail clippers, and TSA-approved scissors. After that it was my razor blade cartridges. Finally, it was my travel umbrella. I told them that it was all allowed and that I had been flying all month (with the JetBlue AYCJ pass) and had been to the DR before. They put the liquids back but said that nothing else could fly. I got mildly upset and asked for a supervisor. Some guy in a uniform came out and said that it was not allowed. They told me I could give it to them or check it. I went out and bought a small bag and went back to the ticket counter. I had a duffel bag and a backpack with me (both were carry-ons). When I tried to check the bag I bought, they refused and said that I could only check my backpack which I found very odd. I can only assume that they felt it probably had more valuable stuff than the duffel. I wound up giving the stuff to a woman cleaning at the airport. I went back to security where they acted like they didn't know me and searched my bags again. As soon as they finished, a guy appeared in jeans and a muscle-shirt and demanded to see my passport. He asked me if I spoke Spanish and I told him very little. He started asking all sorts of questions in Spanish. I was able to answer most of them. He told me to sit down and wait. A few minutes later another guy showed up in jeans and a t-shirt and told me to follow him. He brought me to some back area of the airport where I was brought to a detention area and told to sit. A bunch of guys were there (all in jeans and t-shirts) who stared at me while my passport was passed around to a bunch of people and many photocopies were made. Another American was brought in. He was also made to sit and had his passport passed around and photocopied as well. He tried to ask what was going on and was told that they didn't speak English. I sat there pretty quietly debating whether to send a mass-email for people to call the embassy, but they never took their eyes off me and I didn't want to pull out my phone in front of them. We were then told that we were going to be brought to the hospital to get x-rayed by some guy who came out of an office and spoke a little English. The other guy went absolutely nuts and started screaming and yelling. The guy with the office then suddenly announced that we could go. We were both marched outside of the airport back to the front of security where there was a line at that point. After we waited and got to the front of the line, a bunch of guys suddenly came up to us and demanded to see our passports. We were then pulled out of the line over to the side and told that we were being held again. A 3rd American was brought over as well. We were told to wait and once again nobody would answer any questions. The guy with the office who spoke some English came out and started asking us all sorts of questions about why we were there, how many times had we been to the DR, how long were we there, etc.. We all told him how we were doing the AYJC thing and answered his questions. We were then told we could go. I went through security where once again the same people tried to pull the liquids out of my bag, but then one of the guys said it was ok and I was allowed to move on. I went to the gate where some guy in a military uniform came over and stood 10 feet from me and stared blatantly at me while talking on a phone for about 20 minutes (until they started boarding). I thoroughly checked my bags to make sure nothing was planted while I waited. When boarding started, I practically ran up there. Before I even gave them my ticket, the people doing the "random" screening on the jet-way pointed at me and told me that they needed to search my bags. After they did that, I was stopped again on the jet-way by people in uniform who told me that they needed to see my passport. They studied it and then let me get on the plane. I was extremely glad to get out of there and will probably never go back as a result of this experience. Even though I probably only said 3 sentences and was very polite about them taking the stuff out of my bag even though it was TSA allowed, I can only assume that was why I had this "experience". I saw other people get stuff taken out of their bags and read afterwards about how they are known for this there, especially with batteries and to a lesser-degree, perfumes and colognes. Up until that point, I had enjoyed Sosua, Puerto Plata City, and Cabarete, but I will probably never go back to the DR again because of this.

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    So all 3 of you guys were on the all you can jet passes? Were you guys friends or just met after being detained?

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    Quote Originally Posted by badpiece33 View Post
    So all 3 of you guys were on the all you can jet passes? Were you guys friends or just met after being detained?
    None of us knew each other. From what I could tell, the only non-Dominicans on the flight were AYCJ passengers. There were probably about 10 of us.

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    Extremely tight drug search going on. More likely there were intelligence reports somebody with your profile would attempt to cross drugs to the USA. I would go crazy if I were you but glad everything went out OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtremeR View Post
    Extremely tight drug search going on. More likely there were intelligence reports somebody with your profile would attempt to cross drugs to the USA. .
    For sure it had to be something like that. People in authority here tend to act that way to show off. Too bad it was you're turn.

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    Of course you looked suspicious... being at the airport 3 hours in advance of your flight? Who does that!?

    Next time, get there 30 minutes in advance. They won't have as much time to f*** with you!

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    I don't believe for a second the authorities at airports-or anywhere else-randomly pick some poor schleb out of a group and rake him over the coals for 3 hours.

    I suspect the xray was to look for drugs up your butt or in your stomach. Feel fortunate they didn't do an anal probe.

    I figure you must fit the physical profile of smugglers or mules.

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    The whole detainment thing was personally very scary, but I am also very ****ed how they refused to let me fly with stuff like an umbrella and those Gilette razor blade cartridges are not cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by westmc View Post
    The whole detainment thing was personally very scary, but I am also very ****ed how they refused to let me fly with stuff like an umbrella and those Gilette razor blade cartridges are not cheap.
    Were they the Fusion blades? I have had them taken and also an umbrella. There are several threads where others have also had the same items taken from them so don't take it personal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbird View Post
    Were they the Fusion blades? I have had them taken and also an umbrella. There are several threads where others have also had the same items taken from them so don't take it personal.
    You know there is a stand somewhere that specializes in almost new umbrellas and Fusion blades......

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