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colesc15

What's the earliest flight someone has made after a cruise in San Juan?

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Hey guys. We have a cruise out of San Juan in a few months and just got notification from American that our flights changed. We've sailed out of San Juan before, so we booked a 2:30 flight home. Now the latest flight American has is a 10:15 am. I remember the airport being about a 20 minute taxi ride. I'm thinking if we do self disembark and get off right at 6 (assuming everything goes smoothly) we'd maybe make it. Outside of that, not really sure what our other option is since American has no other late flights. Delta does, but we already paid about $900 a person so not dishing out money for two more tickets on another airline. 

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We did self disembark, were first in line and made it to the airport before 8. Keep in mind that our situation could not have worked out any better. If i was you, i would see what they will do about changing your flight. Any delays would be very problematic for you. 

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If you can be off the ship and in a taxi to the airport by 7:30am, I think you should be able to make it.  Don't forget to run your bags (including carry ons) through agricultural inspection before you go to the airline counter.

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47 minutes ago, MiniChunks said:

We did self disembark, were first in line and made it to the airport before 8. Keep in mind that our situation could not have worked out any better. If i was you, i would see what they will do about changing your flight. Any delays would be very problematic for you. 

Normally I'd call and have them change it, but 10:15 am is the last flight that leaves San Juan and gets us to our final destination. Not ideal at all. 

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3 hours ago, colesc15 said:

Normally I'd call and have them change it, but 10:15 am is the last flight that leaves San Juan and gets us to our final destination. Not ideal at all. 

 

My best advice then, would be to head to the self disembark lounge very early and sit somewhere near the door they let you out of. 

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Okay...I have not sailed on Royal out of San Juan, but I've done NCL twice at the same pier. Earlier this year (on a Sunday), we wandered off the ship around 6:15-6:20. There was no one else getting off the ship at that time. There was no line at customs, tons of taxis available and no lines at the airport.

 

In fact, if it wasn't for a race being held in the pier area and some road closures, we would have been able to make a 7:15 flight. As it was, we got up to the ticket counter a little before 7:00 and didn't want to do the run to the gate. 

 

Our previous cruise (in November of 2017) was the same -- got off the ship early and ran into no issues.

 

As Bob mentioned, make sure you do the Agriculture Check when you get to the airport. And if it makes you feel better, sign up for TSA PreCheck. Also, people talk about getting a porter at both the port and the airport to help them bypass the lines. Since there were no lines for us, this never came up, but it is something to keep in mind.

 

I think the problems in San Juan happen because very few people get off the ship super early to try to catch flights (and no sane person would wake up at 5:00 in the morning on their last day of vacation for fun 😀). This year we purposefully booked at 9:15 flight and I'm not concerned about it being too early. Of course, something could go wrong, but that is a risk we are willing to take. 

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Last year we made a 0930 flight and an 1130 flight. No problems. We did early walk off and took a cab. It is always a risk I am willing to take.

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I had exactly the same situation last year when sailing into San Juan after a TA cruise.  It was on AA also.  I called AA and asked them to change the flight to the following day, which they did.  I spend the night in San Juan and caught the 10:30 AM flight the next day.  

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Last Saturday we easily made a 10:30 flight out of San Juan. We left the ship at 7:15 and we were at the airport by 7:45.

 

We were on Celebrity and had a butler who helped with luggage but other self assist passengers were right behind us.

 

Use a porter when you get to the luggage area to guide you through customs. 

 

Grab a taxi instead of waiting for an Uber or Lyft 

 

We also had first class seats and TSA pre-check if those are an option

 

 

 

Edited by PhoenixCruiser
Typo

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Not sure how much you paid for your flights on American, but they will refund your money because of the schedule change.  If you are more comfortable with the Delta flight times and the cost is similar, that is what I would recommend.  

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I agree with @KsucAts about checking out getting a refund. I believe the policy (or it might be an FAA requirement) is full refund if they change your time 2 hours or more. There are probably exceptions. 

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On 12/4/2019 at 8:53 AM, colesc15 said:

Normally I'd call and have them change it, but 10:15 am is the last flight that leaves San Juan and gets us to our final destination. Not ideal at all. 

What is your final destination? 

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Our last trip out of San Juan we too had several flight time changes with AA...Ended up with a 9:45am flight back to LAX via MIA...We made it in plenty of time using self disembark....We were actually the "1st" off Adventure at 7:00am.

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In October, we did self disembark. Didn't rush at all. Went to the Deck 4 dining room after having breakfast in the Windjammer, and retrieving our luggage from our room. The line was wrapped around the dining room, and backed out the main door when we arrived. Took 10 - 15 minutes to exit the ship.

We were at the airport, sitting at our departure gate, well before 9 am. I remarked to my wife that we could have made the 9:30 flight, but we were both sure something would have gone awry had we actually done so. I think your 10:15 fight is doable, but won't leave much margin for error.



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On 12/4/2019 at 7:05 AM, MiniChunks said:

We did self disembark, were first in line and made it to the airport before 8. Keep in mind that our situation could not have worked out any better. If i was you, i would see what they will do about changing your flight. Any delays would be very problematic for you. 

 

 

 

I called American and the 10:15 was the latest they had so they allowed me to cancel for a refund. I then booked a 2:30 on delta, unfortunately it cost $400 more than what my refund is since prices have gone up so much in the last few months. 

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19 hours ago, KsucAts said:

Not sure how much you paid for your flights on American, but they will refund your money because of the schedule change.  If you are more comfortable with the Delta flight times and the cost is similar, that is what I would recommend.  

That's the route I went. Unfortunately the cheapest other flight now was $400 more than the refund since there's so few flights and I booked months ago, but I booked it anyways before they went up even more. 

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You probably could have made the flight, but the upside is now you can relax and not stress about it.

 

We fly Delta, United, AA and SW.  Haven't seen any change flights/times more than AA the past few years.  We've come to expect that any flight booked with them will change.  If it's still a few months out AA might have changed it again to something even earlier ...…….   

Edited by bouhunter

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5 hours ago, colesc15 said:

 

I called American and the 10:15 was the latest they had so they allowed me to cancel for a refund. I then booked a 2:30 on delta, unfortunately it cost $400 more than what my refund is since prices have gone up so much in the last few months. 

I never would have cancelled and paid $400 more 

You would have made 1015 with plenty room to spare 

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20 minutes ago, not-enough-cruising said:

I never would have cancelled and paid $400 more 

You would have made 1015 with plenty room to spare 

Absolutely agree !!! More than likely once there they will watch that particular flight leave and wish they had been on it.

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A few years ago we had a 1pm flight out of San Juan and we were on Adventure when it lost propulsion and we missed our flight and was stuck in Puerto Rico. Never again. It's only $400 in the grand scheme of things. With the cruise being $4,000 for two and already paid $1,900 for two round trip flights, the extra $400 is a drop in the bucket or an hour in the casino lol 

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