Home | Dominican Republic | Write a Review | Blog | Advertise

BEAWARE leaving Punta Cana!


Yesterday upon check in for our flight from PUJ(Punta Cana) to YHZ(Halifax), we watched the check in attendant weigh our luggage, one bag weighed 27.6 pounds (top light) while the bottom light was in KGS, our other bag weighed 32.7 pounds. The attendent turned to me & said we were 10 pounds overweight. I laughed at him & he said he wanted $4 US per KG that we were over. I told him we were allowed 20 KG each which was approximately 44 pounds per bag & told him we were underweight as there were two of us. He said “you not going to pay” I said I certianly am not! He laughed & said OK & he then asked for the departure money and sent us through with no problem. We stood there waiting for our friends who were behind us.

Our friends went through, gave him their tickets, ID"s & 20.00 each for departure tax. He pocketed the money, checked their ID’s & then asked for the departure money two minutes later they told him he put it in his pocket. He argued with them & said he didn’t & then he seen us watching & magicly found it in his pocket.

Be careful & hold on to your departure money till they ask for it. Watch the scales for your weight of your luggage. lbs & KGs are clearly marked, beaware!

Put your paper money in your pocket going through customs people are having money stolen out of their wallets while its in the xray machine loose in the bin.

Be Safe!
Happy Travels!


I made sure I watched the scales when we left… the VIP rep was watching as well… and said OH you are fine …nothing to worry about… we were 1.2 KG under…



Did it change since November?

We did not hand any money to the guy who checked our luggage.

We handed it to a guy at a counter in the waiting area. He took the $20 then stamped our boarding passes and away we went.


Well Lillybelle,

I guess it did change. We paid the check in person our 20. US PP & then gave another chap our blue form filled out as we headed for the customs machine & the to the plane.

I guess they’ll be doing more changes as time goes by.

Happy travels!


We left on the 21st and paid NOBODY!!

I will say that my experience leaving Punta Cana was the worst experience in any airport. I have traveled all over the world and have 115K miles with United and 78K with American and never cared to keep track of other airlines (this to preface my experience).

We stood in line after line after line (and I have to be careful here because most of the time is was not “lines” but more like masses of people) for more than 2 hours in the heat with no water for my children. When we had to run to the plane that was already loading, they looked at us like we were causing the whole issue.

NOT…we arrived at the airport at noon for a flight at 2:15. Well, every other resort had people coming in at noon as well and there were literally hundreds (if not more than a thousand) people waiting to get through the damn customs check.

This experience alone is almost enough to make me not want to go back to Punta Cana.

Review on the Paradisus Punta Cana coming soon…


For the record:

We Canadians get our Tourist Card included with our package. Where the Americans & UK’ers do not, they have to pay $10.US and have to fill it out. The UK’ers & Americans get their departure tax included in their package & we Canadians have to pay our own $20. US departure tax.

That is why you didn’t have to pay the clerk.

Can anyone tell me why all the US flights out of Punta Cana eg: Pace Airlines, Americian Airlines etc. get a manual check of their suitcase while in line for boarding? They actually open their luggage & go threw it with gloves on! ODD! I thought.

Happy Travels!



Us UK’ers do have to pay departure tax, or at least I have the past times I have been through POP airport.

As for the airline going through the suitcases it is possibly to check for 151 Rum as it has failed flamable testing and is not safe to take on planes as it can “self conbust”!!! I know we are not allowed to bring it back to the UK so could be the same for the USA?


We got home on Thursday flying Air Canada, and we gave our 20 to the Air Canada representative at the ticket booth. Does every carrier have different rules for collecting the money? Strange things go on there and they are getting away with bloody murder. I don’t understand why the carriers are letting this happen. And I don’t understand why some officials in the Dominican are not doing something about it. It will turn people off of the Dominican and when a friend tells a friend who tells a friend, it can cause a lot of damage. They should start paying attention to what is happening and what is being said.

We heard from some fellow travelers who were having problems with the air port people. I think it is a sad state of affairs. I think that if it were to happen to us, we might think twice about going back. So far so good after 15 years.


Sorry missnaughty, Maybe its just some of your carriers that pay the departure for you! I just assumed they did it UK wide. Hum!!

noma, about the 151 proof rum, why would it be ok for Canadians to bring it back to canada on a flight & not the US. It doesn’t make sence. Whats good for 1 should be across the board! Same as the mamajuana, on this board they were saying customs took it, others brought ir through.

Why does everyone have different rules? Can’t they get together on something! lol!

Happy Travels!


Hi there,

I just returned from the Dominican and it was explained to us that taking 151 back to Canada was not allowed. Kaboom! They said so to avoid possible embarrassment at the airport not to try.

I hope this provides some clarification.


It seems the only thing consistent is the inconsistencies!! We asked abou the 151 rum and our tour rep told us it was OK to bring it back. We came back through Puerto Plata, maybe Punta Cana is different. At the Puerto Plata airport you pay your departure tax in the departure lounge.


Good grief - You are right about inconsistencies! We actually came back through Puerto Plata and were warned both during our ride to the Victoria and then during departure from the Victoria by our Signature Vacation rep - Do not try and take 151 back. Yikes! Who do you listen too?


We got back Saturday at 2am (when flight arrived)
Our group (45 ppl) didn’t have a problem leaving Punta Cana. I cautioned a few in our group and I made sure to watch the scale.


We just came back from Punta Cana. We flew USAir and the line was short. All of the American Airline lines were so long they wrapped around the front of the airport. We also did NOT pay any departure fee. I double checked when I returned and noticed that this was not included in our package.

Another thing to watch out for in the airport: The baggage handlers are very, very agressive. They insist on taking your bags and charge “$4 per bag” to wheel it 40 feet to the check in area. When we arrived at the airport from our hotel, the handlers took our bags out of the storage area under the bus and started carrying them to the check in area. I politely told him “No, gracias” and took my bag back. At this point, it was almost a tug of war! I was very adamant and told him again “NO! GRACIAS!” and pulled my bag from his grasp. My friend wasnt so lucky. He wheeeled hers to the check in area, even after she too, declined numerous times. When he demanded $4 per bag, she refused to pay. At this point, he probably realized that while he was arguing with her, he could be swindling someone else and he left.


Will we ever be able to have the same rules? A plane is a plane isn’t it? Whether it flies to USA, UK Canada etc. If 151 is a bomb, it will be on all planes right?

Wouldn’t it be alot easier for the airport people to have 1 set of rules for all planes coming & going?

Hell, we are all tourists & should be treated the same.

Happy Travels!


We have witnessed the luggage search of U.S. passengers both in March 2005 and March 2006. Apparently, it is a US requirement for security purposes. As for the luggage charge for overweight, everyone around us were being charged for it. But we were not… maybe because I wouldn’t stop loudly commenting about it to my husband, pointing to him the paying passengers and the scale, and asking him to make sure he checked it out and not let them take the luggage off before he could see the weight for himself. I clearly showed them that we were aware of the situation, and fortunately it worked!
But wasn’t a letter written to the authorities by moderators of this forum, last year? Did they receive an answer?