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Turks and Caicos airport: Still a hassle getting through security?

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Jul 8th, 2012, 05:39 AM
  #1
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Turks and Caicos airport: Still a hassle getting through security?

We are planning a trip with my 84-year-old MIL. She has very limited mobility. Last year, when we visited T&C, it took us almost two hours to get through security on the day of departure. Has that changed or is it still a problem? Thanks for your help!
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Jul 8th, 2012, 06:03 AM
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Depends on day & Time of year...
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Jul 8th, 2012, 07:04 AM
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Avoid Saturday's.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 08:13 AM
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Thanks! Appreciate the responses!
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Jul 8th, 2012, 01:54 PM
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Avoiding Saturdays is great advice. You can also contact the airline's ground handlers in advance to request special meet and assistance when traveling with someone who needs extra assistance. Which airline are you on?
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Jul 8th, 2012, 05:27 PM
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it's a huge hassle! we traveled recently on a saturday (6/30) and returned on a saturday 7/7 -- def avoid saturdays!! we have 3 small kids with us and leaving the the 7th was just awful. the printers broke down in the airport, no lights for a bit (didnt matter so much b/c it was midday) and no air conditioning in ithe airport. makes me never want to travel there again...good luck. i agree with asking in advance for assistance from the airline and having someone meet you when you de-plane with a wheelchair if your MIL needs one.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 05:57 PM
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There actually is a/c in teh airport...just not strong enough
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Jul 8th, 2012, 07:24 PM
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I was there in May. Arrived on Sunday Memorial Day Weekend and flew home on Thursday.
AA via Miami. Customs was a breeze on arrival and security was easy on departure. The line to check in was terrible so we were glad we carried our luggage on rather than checking and checked in online at the hotel to save all of that. We had a lot of time to kill but probably just lucked out with days we traveled. Airport has AC but it was a little warm especially in travel jeans. Get a seat by the fan once you clear security.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Actually, the island had an island-wide power outage until about 12:30 yesterday (7/7), Pretty unusual, but it did make things very difficult at the airport.
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Jul 9th, 2012, 06:48 AM
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definitely make arrangements for the wheel chair. i have done this several times traveling with my best friends mom. it's free!! & they are very very nice about it. bff's mom can walk but quite slowly & can not stand for long periods. we do this at both ends of the trip - she is much less exhausted this way.
not to mention they'll take you through parts of airports you can't normally access & usually to the front of all lines. good luck.
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Jul 9th, 2012, 07:39 AM
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one more comment -- getting through immigration when we arrived was tad painful. as far as i could tell, ONE plane which was ours (United Airlines flight) had landed. The line took forever and i realize it takes those immigration people time to check and stamp each passport for each and every member in the party. ALSO, make sure you use proper colored ink on plane to fill out any forms. my husband mistakenly used black ink when he should have used blue ink (could have been other way around cannot remember now) and the woman who checks the form said to us something along the lines of: "this is an official govt document, you must now re-do the form using correct ink color" What a huge pain! there were 5 of us in our party. maybe check out Jamaica as possibility? Their airport has been totally modernized although arrival can be tough with HUGE lines to get through immigration. I would say the day of travel is crucial factor here too. The new sangster terminal (for departures) is very modern and clean and comfortable and VERY air conditioned. I have a hard time believing that the TCI airport has A/C.
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Jul 9th, 2012, 07:52 AM
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the TCI airport should consider investing in back up generators so poor travelers dont have to stand around sweating in 90 degree heat in the dark and no air conditioning. if you think about it, if the airline cannot print BOARDING PASSES due to a power outage then the risks are that everyone misses their flights. With the sheer amount of families who travel to this island spending an average of 10k for a week, you would think they could get their heads around this. TCI airport officials seriously need to consider creating a more modernized airport. bottom line: arriving felt like a zoo and so did departing.
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Jul 9th, 2012, 12:08 PM
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dianne1217,

Thanks so much. We are already booked into TCI, same place we visited last year. We had a great vacation, but felt so stressed on the way home that we thought about visiting a different island.

It seems strange that Turks hasn't found a way around the airport problems, since it's becoming an increasingly popular destination for Americans, Canadians, and other travellers.

BTW, we used to live in Jamaica part-time, so we know and love the island, but it's not a good match for my MIL.
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Jul 9th, 2012, 01:09 PM
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Weadles: my pleasure. i recommend too that you take extra pre-caution and use hand sanitizer often while you are there. Pack some in your carry on and suit case. the norovirus which is severe GI sickness is potential threat on this island. maybe consider packing anti-biotic like cipro and/or checking with MIL's doctor as to what medications might be good to bring along with you. also mosquito repellent and bug spray to spray the room. better safe than sorry!
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Jul 9th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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Thanks, dianne 1217. We travel frequently, so hand sanitizer is always in my bag. So is cipro, but only in case of a parasitic infection. As for norovirus? While I feel very sorry for those who suffered through it, my understanding is you can get it anywhere that a large crowd gathers- from a cruise to a conference. I got it two years ago in Boston. So did everyone else at our hotel! Not fun stuff, but you just deal with it and hope for the best.
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Jul 9th, 2012, 05:13 PM
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FYI They are expanding the airport, building a new terminal, they just completed expanding the runway, and bringing in new technology.

You have to give them kudos for being a new destination, popular only within the last couple of years.

They new terminal is scheduled to complete in about 18 months. Of course, things take longer on an island.

Another thing to think about, no matter how much chaos it seems, every person will get on the plane no matter what, even if they have to do everyone manually.

A generator to run the airport? It would have to be the size of the airport. Provo rarely looses power, mainly during a hurricane, and when it does, hospitals and airports are first to get it.

Funny thing, we had a major power outage in Virginia (2 million people without!) last weekend, some just finally got power yesterday.

So for an island to loose power and restore it within 3 hours is actually quite amazing.

Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. Call it an adventure!
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Jul 9th, 2012, 07:52 PM
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That's good news, Blamona! The island is a really special place, but the airport gives the wrong impression, especially those security lines on the day of a Saturday departure!!

On another subject... I've been following the story of the massive electrical outage in Virginia. Really frightening. Hope everybody in your family is OK.
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Jul 12th, 2012, 09:39 AM
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Just returned from T&C. We arrive on a Thursday and departed on a Tuesday and had no problem.
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Jul 12th, 2012, 10:50 AM
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Hello, Weadles,
Where are you staying?
We are thinking about a trip to Provo & trying to figure out where to stay on Grace Bay Beach.
Any recs?

Have a wonderful trip!
When do you leave? Not on a Saturday, I hope!

OB1
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Jul 12th, 2012, 04:06 PM
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Ocean, what's your budget?
Weadles stayed at West Bay Club and loved it. It's one of my favorites too. You do have to have a car staying there to get to the best restaurants, but everything is only 5 minutes away. (taxi are extremely expensive)

I just got an email from them offering 4th and 7th nights free. Tons of luxury for the price point.

Send them an email directly for the promotion:

http://thewestbayclub.com/contact-us.html
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