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Problems at airport (POP)?


#1

I was reading another DR message board saw several posts about people being harassed at the airport when trying to leave. Generally the idea is that the people checking your passport and allowing you to leave the country want a bribe, and if you don’t give it to them they pull you out of line, send you to a room and make life difficult.

I don’t want to deal with this crap! Please tell me the things I’m reading are the rarity and that most people breeze through customs as long as they have their paperwork, right?


#2

I personally have never heard of this happening in the DR but in saying that I suppose it could happen. But it could also happen at any airport in the world I would think excluding maybe two or three. The DR economy depends a great deal on tourism and for this to happen would if it were true development, tourism and employment would suffer greatly and I’m positive the DR government would not want that to happen. :sunglasses:


#3

My wife and gone through POP airport 4 times the last 4 years and have never had a problem at departure. But be warned! You will have your checked baggage opened and looked at very thoroughly.Last year the fellow saw 3 bottles of brugal rum in each of our suitcases and he just smiled and said"That’s good, very good drink" anf off we went to check-in, no problems at all.
PS Don’t foget to keep the tourist card you purchase on arrival.It has to be handed back upon departure.Some people in line didn’t have theirs and I don’t know what happened but they appeared quite upset as we went to the waiting area.


#4

[quote author=loosehead1 board=general thread=1152708723 post=1153145648]My wife and gone through POP airport 4 times the last 4 years and have never had a problem at departure. But be warned! You will have your checked baggage opened and looked at very thoroughly.Last year the fellow saw 3 bottles of brugal rum in each of our suitcases and he just smiled and said"That’s good, very good drink" anf off we went to check-in, no problems at all.
PS Don’t foget to keep the tourist card you purchase on arrival.It has to be handed back upon departure.Some people in line didn’t have theirs and I don’t know what happened but they appeared quite upset as we went to the waiting area.[/quote]

I have NEVER had my checked luggage looked at. In fact, they hardly even look at our carry on. You guys must look suspicious or something LOL.

Rose


#5

We returned from the DR in June of this year. No problems departing the airport - there are a lot of different lines and it does take a while. They do have dogs go by and sniff the luggage and are SUPPOSED to open each suitcase and look through it. However, they didn’t open any of ours, just waved us through. I think it depends on the time of day and length of line behind you.

As far as the tourist card - we did NOT keep it. You buy it for $10 upon arrival and they collect it 10 yards later before you pick up your luggage. We all worried about this the entire trip. But, when we returned to the airport, we did not need it and our Apple rep told us that was the procedure. So, don’t know if this just changed, if it depends on your country, or if it is something exclusvie to Apple vacationers but we did NOT keep the tourist card.

I did not see or hear of any difficulties at all in the airport.


#6

Yes, there is a new Tourist Visa system in place (or, at least in Santo Domingo).
Upon arrival you hand over $10 US cash per person to pay for your tourist visa. In return you get a very small card. After passing through immigration you hand the entire card over to the immigration official collecting them, and you get nothing back. No stub to keep track of, nothing to present at departure … just continue on to collect your luggage and start your vacation. :wink:


#7

If a 63 year old retired teacher looks suspicious, then I’m the guy.Would the baggage search be because we are not travelling with a group? Maybe that’s it. But we were definitely asked for our ticket stub that was handed back to us when we arrived at the airport a month earlier. We are going back to Sosua next Feb and Mar. and I am certainly going to note exactly what happens at the airport. There sure seems to be a lack of consistency there.


#8

Well there ya go. Everybody knows you can’t trust those school teachers LOL ::).

We usually travel on our own without a group too, so I don’t think that could be it…we were still flying on a charter so they may not have known the difference either…very strange. You must be a shifty looking 63 year old school teacher :). (I do hope you realize that I am joking about the “shiftiness” thing).

If you don’t mind my asking, what country are you travelling from? It shouldn’t make a difference on searching your bags but it might (?) about the tourist card.

Rose

Ahhhhhh. I just read the thread that I think you are referring to, cork2win. I think if we look a little closer at the personalities involved we might have an idea why they are running into trouble…


#9

I was pretty shifty back in my rugby playing days but that was quite a while ago. Actually every person in line in front of and behind us had his/her checked luggage opened and thoroughly searched. We travel on Continental from Toronto through Newark and the other people in the line were not necessarily on our flight. Anyway it’s interesting reading other people’s thoughts on this.
I don’t know what you’re getting at speaking about personalities but the baggage check was really no trouble. No matter who you were they checked all the baggage that afternoon. I’ve got nothing to hide so it’s no big deal


#10

I think Rose is referring to “the personalities” on ‘the other forum’.

We’ve never had a problem coming or going. Tourist card bought for $10 then handed in thirty seconds later. Blue tourist forms were wanted on the way out as well as on the way in. If you’re an independent traveller, try and get one to fill in on the plane rather than queue to fill them in at PoP airport. Likewise, tourist cards, $10 and a massive queue in the heat, on arrival or £7.50 from the DR Embassy in the UK. Not a good exchange rate, probably going to have to send passports so a Recorded Delivery charge too, but when you get to PoP, straight through to baggage re-claim and then out to your cab. If you’re on a bus to your hotel, it really doesn’t matter as you’ve got to wait for everyone else anyway.

My 100th post, a small milestone reached… although some may feel that 95% of them were rubbish, still, that left seven good ones! :-X


#11

Good response, Keith. I thought I might be losing my mind but my wife and I had to hand in stubs that were given to us upon our arrival. I’m going to note exactly what happens upon our arrival and departure next year. Congrats on your 100th post, you are probably a good source of info on the DR or maybe someone who really needs a life. I suspect the former.
PS. Took my rugby team to The Isle of Man a few years ago. A marvellous experience that former students still speak to me about.
Vive the TT


#12

Hi Loosehead1,

The “personalities” I was referring to are the people who posted on another forum which prompted the OP to post here. No offense intended.

I really have no problem with people opening and looking in my bags (while I am there), it’s the getting the dang bag closed again afterwards :).

Rose


#13

Morning all, having just returned from the DR the procedure is…you either buy on arrival a tourist card , or pre-purchase one which along with a blue tourist card is handed in to immigration and you receive nothing back. On departure you have to hand in another blue ticket. I saw no checked bags being opened, and it was very busy at the time.
BTW Keith you do not have to send your passport to the Embassy to pre-purchase a visa, a photocopy of the photo page will do.

Regards Ray


#14

Last year when we were in POP we noticed that passengers going back to the States had all their luggage hand searched (and many items confiscated) but passengers returning to Canada just had their hand luggage checked. A bit disturbing really!


#15

You may have hit the nail on the head,Eb.Even though our destination was Toronto, we were going to Newark to change planes. A young couple in front of us in the line this past Jan. had a pile of Mamajuana in their bags and every bit of it was confiscated, much to their consternation. They were going to Calgary through a US airport. I’m going to pay close attention this winter and see if I can figure out what’s happening.


#16

It is my understanding, and I could be wrong, that the U.S. has their own customs and immiration officers working at the airports in the DR. Not unlike Canadian international airports where you are inspected by U.S. officials before you ever get on the plane.

Indeed, this may be the answer to the mystery.

Rose


#17

Nice theory, buuuuuutttt … my friend and I are both Americans. We flew into and out of Santo Domingo in May with two large suitcases each, and a large carry-on, each (we were hauling lots of donations).
We were never stopped, questioned, or searched coming into to country, nor where we stopped, questioned, or searched going home … and we each had 3x the legal limit of rum in our carry-ons on the way home, one bottle of which was even 151 (something that is rummored to be a “no-no” … granted we didn’t really know we had it … we just thought we were buying white rum). And you’d think we even looked suspicious with bulging, clinking carry-ons, and leaning over sideways due to the weight of our bags … but no one gave us a second glance???


#18

Then it comes back to loosehead1’s sinister looks LOL.

Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of Dominican, American or Canadian custom’s officers???

Rose


#19

The mystery continues.Who knows what lurks in the minds of Dominican customs officials.


#20

Gee Rose, I just repeated what you said.I should check the replies more carefully before I reply.I’d like to read more Dominican airport stories on this thread. Keep them coming,everyone.