Yes it’s the best case scenario in all fairness!
I actually feel I may have screwed up on the flight booking. There are two Virgin flights out of MAN per day and I booked the later one.
This summer I booked the earlier one and we arrived at an empty immigration hall. Although I was in Upper Class, Premium Economy gets out first, so there was a bit of a line. This time I’m going PE and I have the seat right by the door!
We get the early one and have never arrived to an empty immigration hall. It might depend on the time of year though.
Having only had hand luggage on my previous two trips I was / am kinda looking forward to not doing so this time. It’s slightly annoying dragging the suitcase around the airport.
I think I have a better sense of the sequencing for getting your bag on the DME by leaving it on the carousel, which I’m tempted to do.
You still have to collect your bag to get through customs.
Then you can drop it back on the carousel before heading to the train to the main terminal building.
And then you’ll need to go to the DME desk to hand over the luggage receipts so they can collect it / them for you.
But customs doesn’t have the crazy lines passport control has, right?
Right. But everyone has to go through, and it means waiting for your bags to come off. You could be first through immigration and be waiting for your bags for 45 minutes.
Just trying to manage your expectations here.
Allegedly Premium Economy gives your bags priority unloading. So that might help.
Hmm. I’ll have to decide which annoys me more: waiting for bags or lugging them around!
Lugging them around would be worse for me. YMMV, though.
That’s right. customs is different from passport control. It’s what takes so long. Passport control is going to automation (don’t know if it is at MCO yet, though).
One bag in the past, one bag now, one bag forever!!
That will never be me. My CPAP machine alone takes up half my suitcase. My diabetes stuff and medicines takes up the rest. (Okay, I have small suitcases, but still).
Well, you can’t help that, then!
When the kids were little & we had a nanny, we had so much luggage that we actually had to do a count at the airport. And still, twice we left luggage, once because we counted the car seat(s).
So to be able to be done with all that was a huge relief. I learned to bundle pack and it’s kind of amazing how much stuff you can get in a carryon. In fact, my daughter demonstrated bundle wrapping at school for a class assignment when she was in the 6th grade. That’s how amazing the technique is!
if you’re checking a bag, you can easily go overweight with a small suitcase, though, so you do have to watch out for that.
I also know engineering-approved ways to fold shirts. I guess I’ve looked at packing like I look at touring- if you apply some sound scientific principles, it can make a world of difference.
I am very efficient when packing, and I make a LOT fit in my two small suitcases. However, I will probably never need to worry about carry-ons on a plane because DH will not fly. Sigh.
The passport control was automated 2 years ago at MCO. The problem is that each passport has to be scanned, then every finger print scanned, all for every family member.
Just about every other group at the machines needed help when we went through.
Then, having done all that, we were then asked to stand behind a specific immigration manned desk until called forward. Each passport was then scanned again and the official then checked the passport against the screen, and took a photo.
Hopefully it’s somewhat slicker now. It seemed the process took just as long, it’s just that the actual immigration officials don’t have to do the fingerprint scanning.
Definitely didn’t have that in June. The immigration hall we were in looked like it was being refurbished or was new and half built.
Just one giant queue, then directed to a desk for scanning and a mercifully quick “what’s the purpose of your visit?” type thing.
I thought the process was very slick in Toronto, which is actually my favorite port of entry now. But I’m sure that’s mostly business travelers, or it seems that way to me. Not a lot of infrequent travelers or kids. There are probably a lot of both in MCO.
It was a good place to do customs, too. I was over the duty-free limit and had to pay. So I was not going to make it to my connection in time. But my luggage is checked through to Denver- meaning they’d have had to get it off the plane (since I wasn’t on it) which would delay the entire flight. So they waved me through and I didn’t have to pay anything.
We still left late because someone else couldn’t get through customs, but at least it wasn’t me.