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Montego Bay Arrival Information

Upon arrival at Montego Bay's Sangster International Airport, visitors to the island are often surprised to find it's a modern, up to date airport.  And, why not?  Montego Bay (nicknamed "MoBay" by locals and visitors alike) is a city of approximately 135,000 people, but it has more than 1,750,000 arriving visitors each year -- and the majority of those fly into this bustling airport.  It's Jamaica's primary airport for arriving tourists from all over the world.

The airport is served by about ten major international airlines and has regular connections to most of the larger cities in the United States, some cities in Canada and Mexico, many of the European countries and other Caribbean islands.  It also has one scheduled inter-island scheduled airline and a number of smaller air charter airlines.

MoBay Airport's Terminal Building

Until recently, MoBay did not have jetways, so each airplane was serviced by stairways that were moved into position at the plane.  Now, there are a total of nineteen gates, on two concourses, all with modern jetways.  Once you deplane, follow the signs and other arriving passengers to the main Immigration Hall.

Clearing Jamaican Immigration

Upon entering the Immigration Hall, there are a number of "lanes" that line up in front of the Immigration Officers.  Most likely, an Immigration Officer will direct you to enter a maze -- whichever one has the shortest line of people waiting -- so don't be impatient and simply follow the Immigration Officer's instructions.  The immigration clearance takes only a few minutes.  You should have already received a Jamaican Immigration Card (and a Jamaican Customs Declaration form) on the plane and filled it out.  When it is your turn to clear immigration, simply step up to the Immigration Officer's booth and present your Immigration Card, along with your passport or other required travel documentation and you will be quickly cleared.  Retain your Jamaican Immigration Card, as you will be required to surrender it when you depart the country.

Jamaica Passport & Visa Requirements

Many countries, including the United States, now require passports for returning travelers to reenter that country.  In addition, most visitors to Jamaica will need a valid passport to enter Jamaica.  (For more information about passport and visa requirements for visitors to Jamaica from an individual country, please access the Consulate General of Jamaica, New York web site.)  If you are in doubt, check with your local professional travel agent prior to traveling. 

(If you don't already have a passport, you will need to have a copy of your original birth certificate -- with the raised seal -- and one document that contains a picture ID -- a drivers license will be sufficient.  If you are in doubt, check with your local professional travel agent prior to traveling.)

Clearing Jamaican Customs

Go down the stairs and if you have checked luggage, you can retrieve it from the appropriate carousel. When you have your luggage and are ready, proceed to the Customs Hall inspection desks.  Customs lines are identified by: a) Nothing to declare; b) Passengers with Items to declare, and c) Special Passengers, Wheelchair Passengers and Unaccompanied Minors.

Customs inspection is usually cursory, but do be aware that the inspector can require you to open your bags and there is no recourse.  Remember, you are the visitor to the island and your rights are those that are allowed by the country of Jamaica. You will need to present the Jamaican customs declaration form to the customs inspector and follow the officer's instructions.

Once the Customs inspector completes your clearance, exit the Customs Hall and you will find yourself in the Transportation Hall.  This is where the TimAir Desk and all of the hotel check-in desks and rental car desks are located. 

You are almost done at this point!

Arriving TimAir Passenger Information

If you are planning to fly on TimAir, immediately upon entering the Transportation Hall look for the TimAir Representative.  He will be located at desk Number 6, the TimAir Desk.  The desk is located immediately to your left-front as you enter the Hall.  It has a TIMAIR sign above it.  Just identify yourself to the representative and he will arrange for you to be taken to the TimAir check-in counter in the main terminal building.

You should also check in at the arrival desk for your hotel or resort.  The TimAir representative will be happy to help you find the appropriate desk, prior to going to the TimAir Limited  check-in counter.

At the TimAir counter simply check in with the counter agent.   If you are planning to fly round trip, you need to let the counter agent know what date and time you want your charter plane to be scheduled to fly you back to MoBay.  (If your plans should later change, your hotel or resort tour desk can contact TimAir Limited to change the schedule for you.)

Your baggage will be weighed at check in for the aircraft weight and balance computation, to ensure that the aircraft is safely loaded for flight.  Then it's time to proceed out to your waiting TimAir plane. You will be escorted out to the plane by a TimAir Limited staff member and the ground crew will take your luggage out on the tarmac and load it.  Your pilot will have you (and the members of your party) enter the plane and take your seats.  He will request that you buckle your seat belt and see that you are aware of the location of exits and safety equipment.  You should pay close attention and comply with his instructions.

(Note: Unfortunately, space is at a premium, so currently there are no flight attendants aboard the TimAir planes!  Therefore, there will be no beverage service while your charter plane is in flight!  Thank you!)

Arriving At your Vacation Destination

Flights to most of TimAir's Jamaican destinations are relatively short -- flying time from MoBay to Negril is a mere fourteen minutes from takeoff roll until touchdown.  Upon landing, your pilot will taxi to the terminal area and give you the all-clear to deplane. Your bags will be unloaded for you and taken outside the airplane to the parking area.

While most all inclusive resorts usually provide airport transfers, you may want to go ahead and utilize one of the waiting taxis to get to your destination resort, hotel or villa.  Depending on your destination, it is often quicker to use these taxis than to have the provided transportation pick you up.  Just make certain that the taxi you choose has a red JUTA (Jamaica Union of Travelers Association) license tag.  Also be sure to negotiate the taxi fare to your destination BEFORE you ever enter the vehicle!

Okay -- NOW you're done -- and you're NOW ready to enjoy your tropical Jamaican vacation!

TimAir Limited
Sangster International Airport
Montego Bay, Jamaica, W.I.
Phone 876-952-2516
Phone 876-979-1114
Fax 876-979-1113
Negril - 876-957-5374
E-Mail:  timair@usa.net
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May not be copied without express permission