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  1. #1
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    Default Arriving into POP with LARGE amount of luggage - how to avoid problems?

    I'm posting these questions for a member, any help is appreciated.



    I will be landing in the POP airport in the next few days with my parents.

    I am arriving to stay for a few years, my parents are just coming for the trip and my wedding.

    We will have a total of 8 LARGE suitcases’, 2 large size carryon each (total of 6 carry on items) and my LARGE wedding dress garment bag.

    I Would like to know if there are any tips to avoiding excessive amounts of searching and delays at the airport since we have so many things.

    One of the suitcases is filled with books and school supplies for a local school.

    Most of the suitcases are shoes and clothes.

    Any electronics (IPOD docking player, laptop, DJ mixer,wood working tool) are all mine and pre-owned.

    My laptop & DJ Mixer will be in my backpack (carry-on)

    There are a few household items for the kitchen, yard, bathroom etc, but they are all packed under all the clothes.

    Is there any reason that we should rightfully be charged for any of this?

    Is there some sort of limit/ allowance on what I can bring into the country since I am relocating? I do not have my work visa issued yet, but a letter of employment from a local company. Would that make any difference?

    As well it will be evident we are carrying many things for the wedding (i.e. the huge garment bag with wedding dress, 1 full carryon bag with wedding decorations and items, and many wedding items in the suitcases).

    Any advice/ tips on how to proceed in a manner that will make everything as smooth as possible when arriving? Not having to pay any fees or bribes? Would it count for positive to show my letter from my employer and explain I am relocating as well as getting married in the country?

  2. #2
    DR1
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    When we came last October there were 5 of us. We had 10 large suitcases, 5 carry-ons, a car seat, plus 2 laptops in the carry-ons (we had brought our old one along to give to a cousin) and a walker for my mother-in-law (which AA checked for free). We did what we always do. Speak a lot of English to each other about how long the flight was and how tired we are (without being loud about it), don't make eye contact, look a little confused at everything (like when they ask for your baggage tickets to make sure they're your suitcases, dig them out, look puzzled and say "these???"), and they'll wave you right through. This is assuming that none of you look Dominican. If there's a very Dominican looking person with you, sometimes it's best for them to be at the very back of the group, and just follow after you've been waved on, or go through alone with a suitcase with only clothes in it.

    My husband calls me "Tourist Theresa" when we do that

    It's probably been 20-25 years since we have been stopped at the airport. Believe me, it's not fun when it happens. We've had all our luggage literally emptied and gone through. Then they choose what they want to be difficult about, pack it in a box, and hold it ransom until you pay what they come up with.

    Throughout the year we buy suitcases at yard sales and thrift stores that we sanitize and fill with our 'give-away' stuff. We just leave the suitcases there when we come back home.

  3. #3
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    The biggest tip to clear customs in POP without problems is to know that they look much more carefully at luggage from scheduled air flights than they do at bags from tourist charters.

    When I moved to the DR, I also arrived with a large number of bags. My original arrival date was Sept 14, 2001 with a flight out of JFK. Obviously, that flight was cancelled since JFK was closed for a while after 9-11.

    I ended up flying to POP from Toronto on a charter. Customs never looked at my bags at all. I think, generally, they tend to look much harder at passengers on regular flights as opposed to those on charters - who are generally really tourists and not returning Dominicans or prospective expats.

  4. #4
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    i never had my luggage looked at in DR. not even once.
    my best trick is to look sick. i manage that easily as i have motion sickness and i look (and feel) like i am about to throw up at the customs people. no one ever wants that.
    seriously now. it may be good to play the wedding card. i did so when i moved to DR with 42kg of luggage on a charter flight allowing only 20kg. that was on UK side - i said i was going to get married and got extra luggage in free as a wedding gift. bless the girl at check in!
    it may work in POP as well. if they ever stop those folks let the bride get blurry eyed and sentimental.

  5. #5
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    I think the VIP service at POP is options they pick up your luggage for you while you wait at a lounge having a beer and bring it out for you sorry I do not have their @mail or website

  6. #6
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    The one thing I see in the OP that "won't fly" is the bit about 2 large carry-ons each. Airlines are getting pretty strict about the size of carry on bags, and even if they let you push the limit with one, the second carry on is a "personal item". About the most you will get away with on that one is a large laptop case. If they reject your carry on, you will have to check that too, and with as many large bags as you are already taking, your excess baggage charges could get extremely high, and in fact they may not allow it all. I honestly think you may have more problems with the airline than with customs.

  7. #7
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    Those sound like good tips to me! The tourist card usually works well.I have never travelled with so much luggage myself, I would also think they pay more attention to such a large amount of luggage.

    I would assume the OP has already checked with their airlines as to the requirments. It sounds like they are mainly enquiring as to the customs side in the Dominican Republic.

    I'm pretty sure for people relocating or moving to the country, I have read here on DR1 there is some additonal sort of allowence of personal items? But that may be only if you already have a visa. Maybe someone else with more knowledge than me could clear that up?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncle226 View Post
    I think the VIP service at POP is options they pick up your luggage for you while you wait at a lounge having a beer and bring it out for you sorry I do not have their @mail or website
    I have never heard of this service! That would be great! I would like to look into that for when I fly next!!!

    But how can you be sure that if you give them your luggage tags and go out and wait for your stuff, that no one is going to stop and go through your bags?

    At least if you are with your bags you can see them be searched if it were to happen!

  9. #9
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    I have not used the service but my friend has they bring your luggage to the VIP lounge and walk you out to your car or taxi

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncle226 View Post
    I have not used the service but my friend has they bring your luggage to the VIP lounge and walk you out to your car or taxi
    Could you possibly get in touch with your friend and find out how to book this and how much it cost? Thanks!

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