Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1

    Default question about Atlanta airport connection

    We will be staying at CSA in October and will change planes at the Atlanta airport on our return to the US. Is a two hour layover enough time to go through immigration and make a connecting flight? We will not be checking any baggage.

    If we don't take the two hour layover, the next option is a four hour layover.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2


    I'd play it safe and do the 4 hour layover. Atlanta is a very busy and huge airport. Customs and immigration can take some time to get through and then it seems like you go to the other end of the world to get on your domestic flight.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  3. #3


    Everything about this is guesswork. If all goes well then it probably will be fine. However there are a LOT of variables involved. Mainly... will your flight from Sangster to Atlanta leave MoBay on time? How long will the lines be for Immigration? How long will it take to reclaim your baggage? Will it be quick getting through Customs? You then have to re-check your luggage so it depends how long it takes you to do that. Then you have go back through the TSA security lines to get to your departure gate area. Lots of variables.

    We have missed flights with two hours between due to delays in the things I have mentioned above, but we have also made it with time to spare with the same two hours. Hard to predict! We avoid connections when possible for this reason, but when we have to have a connection we have begun to lean toward the longer layover. We do this these days because we find it far more relaxing to have time to kill (decent meal and a couple of drinks, browse the shops, sit and read) than to have a stressful mad dash to make it all work.

    More times than not, 2 hours works... but with no guarantees.
    Best of luck and have a great trip!

  4. #4


    You should be fine. When you come back to Atlanta you will arrive direct into the International terminal and will most likely clear customs with approx 40 minutes. Then you can jump the tram to your exit terminal and you will most likely have about 30 minutes to chill before boarding.

    Enjoy your CSA trip, I am jealous, still 259 days on my countdown to April 2012

  5. #5


    Shouldn't be a problem.....if you wear shoes you can walk in just in case you really need to move fast thru the terminals (i.e. you have the last gate in the terminal for your connecting flight - that can be a long walk).

  6. #6


    Took us almost three years last year, but we had checked luggage and there was construction going on everywhere. I would not chance it. We have a three a hour layover next month coming back and figure that will give me just enough time to get a snack.

  7. #7


    In my experience, ATL is fairly efficient, in general. In May of 2010, we were able to clear immigration and customs in time to WALK to our connecting gate home, which was welcome after the flight from MoBay. If you're in a pinch, the tram is VERY quick.

    If I could offer one suggestion, pay special attention to the overheads in baggage reclaim (if you change your mind and have baggage). For some reason, I selected the wrong flight of two from MoBay when trying to find our luggage... and yet we STILL had plenty of time in our 1:45 layover. Two hours should be good, especially in the absence of baggage.

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"

  8. #8


    Two hours will probably be enough, but you might be cutting it close. It just all depends--if you leave on time from MBJ and how long the line in customs is, etc. Not checking bags will save you some time though. I like more than two hours, but we are going to take a risk for our CSA October trip and do a 2 hour layover. I guess it depends on how much of a disruption it would be for you if missed that flight.

  9. #9


    Atlanta is a HUGE airport but I think you can make it in 2 hours!

  10. #10


    We changed planes in Atlanta in April and had about a 2 1/2 hour layover and it was more than enough time and we had luggage. We had plenty of time to eat supper before our next flight.

  11. #11


    We just did this trip. We had a two hour layover time in Atlanta that would have been just fine but our plane left about 45 minutes late from Montego Bay. Immigrations in Atlanta ran very smoothly and we made it through quickly only to find that the trains running in the airport were not working. We had to sprint and run like crazy to make our flight. Barely! If your plane leaves Montego Bay on time, you will have no problems mon.

  12. #12


    I travel regularly on business, including internationally, and ATL is a frequent connection point. In my opinion, 2 hours is just about perfect. Is it guaranteed you'll make your connection? Nope. But I think 4 hours would be really excessive.

    Your plan to have no checked baggage is a huge factor. You won't have to wait for your checked baggage to arrive on the conveyer, and you won't have to wait in line to recheck it after customs. That will save you considerable time. While ATL is a big airport, the trains are frequent and quick. I'd estimate that as long as you can walk at a reasonable pace, you can get from any gate to any other gate in no more than 15 minutes. I think your arriving flight could be 1 hour late and you'd still have a good chance of making your connection.

    Let's face it....air travel these days sucks. There is always a chance of a significant delay and a missed connection. Every frequent traveler has a horror story (or several.) Every airline, every airport, no matter how long the layover time,...somebody's had a disaster experience they'll tell you about. But after dozens of ATL connections, I would book a two hour connection without hesitation. The only reason I'd go for the 4 hour connection is if a missed connection would have disastrous consequences. You'll have to weigh the consequences against twiddling your thumbs in an airport for half a day. Personally, I find 4 hours waiting in an airport in the midst of a long travel day pretty undesireable.

    Just one traveler's opinion.

    Hope that helps.

  13. #13


    We've flown back and forht to Jamaica many times and usually go through Atlanta. Two hours should be enough time to get though immigration and customs. Just remember, if you pick up any booze at the airport in Mobay, you'll have to put it in your checked lugage at Atlanta. That can take a minute or two.

  14. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by HAWGFAN View Post
    Took us almost three years last year, but we had checked luggage and there was construction going on everywhere. I would not chance it. We have a three a hour layover next month coming back and figure that will give me just enough time to get a snack.
    THREE YEARS!, now that's a layover.

  15. #15


    Thanks everyone. Looks like the decision has been made for me.....when I called the airline to book the two hour layover, it was no longer an option. The flight was way overbooked. So four hours it is.....may work out better anyway since we really do need to get home that day and don't want to risk getting stuck in ATL.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts