The complete chaos in immigration at Las Americas SDQ airport

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MariaRubia

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Flying out of SDQ yesterday we had to wait in line for 2 hours, no I'm not joking, 2 hours to be stamped out. Many many people in the line were saying they were about to miss their flights, I imagine a lot of people actually did. Rude staff, passengers were screaming for help and the staff were basically just telling them to get back in line and shut up. Evidently the computers were on a go-slow. This is an atrocious way to treat travellers, for a country that is so pro tourism they seriously need to get the migration system working.

The part I didn't understand is that in Punta Cana almost everyone can use the self-scanners, but in Santo Domingo this is only for Dominicans, and most of them were being rejected.
 

irishpaddy

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I had a similar experience flying out Wednesday night ...it seemed to be a change of shift ........passengers were left waiting and waiting
 

MariaRubia

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I was told that the issue was the computers weren't working properly. And when we got to the front, I went through, my bf was kept waiting, and I was on the other side watching the immigration officer's screen. And she kept repeating some steps, and it kept coming up with a red cross in a box, she did it over and over again, and finally it came up with a tick. The lines also moved quite quickly, then stopped for 10-15 mins, then started moving quickly again. So I think it probably was an IT issue, the system completely froze for a while, then came up again, then went down.

A lot of people must have missed their flights, also the airport will suffer as nobody will be hanging around buying food or shopping in the duty free shops. And the airlines will obviously have to wait if there are 50 people who show up late for a flight, so it is a serious issue.
 
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josh2203

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So I think it probably was an IT issue, the system completely froze for a while, then came up again, then went down.
If/when the overstay fee has to be paid by card, I would like to know what would that kind of an outage affect that process? As far as I know, in that case, the migration IT would have to communicate to other systems the card payment details, so even more complicated than just staying within the migration IT system.
 
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MariaRubia

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If/when the overstay fee has to be paid by card, I would like to know what would that kind of an outage affect that process? As far as I know, in that case, the migration IT would have to communicate to other systems the card payment details, so even more complicated than just staying within the migration IT system.

It did have to be paid by card, supposedly, yesterday. I was reading the sign that said it had to be paid in card with no exceptions, watching a guy hand a bunch of notes over to pay it. So I don't think that rule is going to stick.
 
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NALs

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Jan 20, 2003
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Flying out of SDQ yesterday we had to wait in line for 2 hours, no I'm not joking, 2 hours to be stamped out. Many many people in the line were saying they were about to miss their flights, I imagine a lot of people actually did. Rude staff, passengers were screaming for help and the staff were basically just telling them to get back in line and shut up. Evidently the computers were on a go-slow. This is an atrocious way to treat travellers, for a country that is so pro tourism they seriously need to get the migration system working.

The part I didn't understand is that in Punta Cana almost everyone can use the self-scanners, but in Santo Domingo this is only for Dominicans, and most of them were being rejected.
They are different. Las Américas and Cibao have a government placed system while Punta Cana bought its own system (more modern than the Dominican government ones.) It’s connected to Migración, but still different.

Also, there are so few Dominicans that go through Punta Cana compared to the numbers that go through Las Américas and Cibao that if it was limited to Dominicans only, it would be quite empty most of the time.

Foreigners that go through Cibao is relatively a minority when Dominicans make up something like 80-90% of passengers. In Las Américas Dominicans are between 50-60% of passengers. In Punta Cana Dominicans are less than 10%, perhaps less than 5%.
 
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USA DOC

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It did have to be paid by card, supposedly, yesterday. I was reading the sign that said it had to be paid in card with no exceptions, watching a guy hand a bunch of notes over to pay it. So I don't think that rule is going to stick.
I think now if you pay cash... you will get a big discount.........
 

MariaRubia

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beforeboarding.com

We were flying in Business, so we had lounge access for the Sky lounge. If we had used Before Boarding.com how would that have helped? Do they have a fast-track way through the airport. We did ask if there was a fast-track for business-class passengers and were told there wasn't.
 

MariaRubia

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Oh, I've just read and realised that I completely messed up, at least I think I did. We were given a little piece of paper that said welcome to Sky The Lounge. But now when I read on BeforeBoarding's website, it says that after check-in we have to go to their special desk and we will be escorted through security and immigration and taken to the lounge. Which would have saved 2 hours of waiting in line. FFS. I guess I will know for next time.
 
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quaqualita

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We were flying in Business, so we had lounge access for the Sky lounge. If we had used Before Boarding.com how would that have helped? Do they have a fast-track way through the airport. We did ask if there was a fast-track for business-class passengers and were told there wasn't.
Yes, with Before Boarding .com you skip all lines, at check in, immigration, security and you have lounge access with free drinks and food for Departure and / or Arrival. On Arrival they even fetch the luggage for you while you wait in a nice room sipping cocktails or coffee. Highly recommended. It comes for free with some credit cards or medical insurance plans, so it might be worth to check if it's included in yours. Otherwise, a bit pricey, but might be still worth it when lines are so long.
 

johne

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I got to Las Americas at 2:30 am this morning. The lines for check-in were indescribable but had no effect on me as I had no checked baggage and have been using self scanning since day one. (No, I am not Dominican). My check- in took less than 5 minutes. The 5:30am flight to JFK arrived 20 minutes early.
 
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NanSanPedro

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I got to Las Americas at 2:30 am this morning. The lines for check-in were indescribable but had no effect on me as I had no checked baggage and have been using self scanning since day one. (No, I am not Dominican). My check- in took less than 5 minutes. The 5:30am flight to JFK arrived 20 minutes early.
Johne, can you explain self scanning a bit more? Do you scan your passport or the boarding pass on your phone?

Thanks
 
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Big

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We were flying in Business, so we had lounge access for the Sky lounge. If we had used Before Boarding.com how would that have helped? Do they have a fast-track way through the airport. We did ask if there was a fast-track for business-class passengers and were told there wasn't.
preboarding brings an immigration agent to the lounge.
 

johne

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Jun 28, 2003
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Johne, can you explain self scanning a bit more? Do you scan your passport or the boarding pass on your phone?

Thanks
Its a free standing machine with a screen prompt. Yes, you scan your passport and confirm questions about your identity. All based on the reservation and confirmation number that you received from Jet Blue previously. If you are not checking bags you are free of the check-in lines and you proceed to the security check-in and immigration with your boarding pass.
 

JD Jones

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I got to Las Americas at 2:30 am this morning. The lines for check-in were indescribable but had no effect on me as I had no checked baggage and have been using self scanning since day one. (No, I am not Dominican). My check- in took less than 5 minutes. The 5:30am flight to JFK arrived 20 minutes early.
I have never flown north with more than my trusty carry-on. It makes life so much simpler.

I'm guessing you select your seat on the airline website as well.
 
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Big

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I have never flown north with more than my trusty carry-on. It makes life so much simpler.

I'm guessing you select your seat on the airline website as well.
Jd we are cut from different cloth for sure. I am part woman. I am a shoe guy and have an outfit for every occasion. I also am a product guy. Skin, soap gel etc. Large checked bag, carry on and a carry on brief case.
 
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