I seem to remember being able to check in our luggage for our late afternoon flight when we sailed into San Juan in 1997. Do they still have that? We want to spend a few hours in Old San Juan before we go to the airport and not have to lug around our luggage. Thanks
From what I've heard the airlines are no longer doing that for security reasons, will find out soon, cruising over New Years and I have a feeling I will have a later flight and wondering what we will do with luggage??? It was especially nice when flying out of San Juan to have the luggage go ahead and to a tour, so I think now you just have to take the luggage with you on the tour bus, not a lot of fun I've also heard that you can't go to the airport and check it in there unless your flight is 4 hours or less, so things have definately changed since 9-11, but it the price we have to pay to be safe.
There is a guarded luggage holding room at the SJU airport. I believe it's in Terminal B.
That would require one member of your party cabbing it to the airport and checking the luggage into the holding room. The cabfare is about $18 from the piers to the airport, so it's not an inexpensive option, but you don't want to be bag-dragging on what would otherwise be a fun day.
Check out the features archives for a piece called "Bienvenidos a San Juan" for a walking tour of the Old City.
I was in Washington, DC last week and when I flew home, the airline, at the last minute, cancelled my noon flight to Miami and booked me on a flight leaving at 5:00PM. There was absolutely no problem with early luggage checkin. We even checked in curbside. I noticed that luggage was taken into a separate, closed room where it was inspected. Of course, thie was BWI and not San Juan but imagine that the rules are the same wherever in the US.
We just returned from San Juan on Saturday. Things have definitely changed in that airport. We arrived at 10:30 am for a flight on US Air to Philadelphia leaving at 3 PM and just made it before the doors were closed. First, we had to stand in line for 2 1/2 hours just to get to the check-in desk after first going through the agricultural inspection. When we checked in, they requested we keep our luggage (and they kept our boarding passes) until we underwent a wand security check, then waited in line for 2 hours to be admitted to a room where we had to unlock our luggage and remove EVERYTHING for inspection, including jewel cases, personal bath bags, etc. while they checked with rubber gloves on. Only I was admitted into the closed room to observe. My husband had to remain outside. They then instructed me to repack it all. We had 3 suitcases returning from a 14 day cruise. The inspector then handed us our boarding passes. After going through security for our hand luggage, we ran to the gate, only to be stopped by the gate agent. She said we had an "s" on our boarding pass and would have to undergo a physical search of our carry-ons before we could board the plane. The plane delayed take-off for 45 minutes and then closed the doors to a formerly sold-out flight which had many, many empty seats due to the airport security checks. Not all people were checked. Unforturnately, we are in our 70's and the 5 hours of standing without food, drink or bathroom break was truly a test of survival. All of the people were either on the US Air 3pm flight of 5pm flight. I have since heard that Delta was going through the same situation on the other side of the terminal.
This rigorous check must be ongoing because 1 week before we docked, the cruise line cancelled our tour of San Juan which originally stated anyone flying after 2pm would be eligible, to anyone flying out of San Juan after 7pm would be eligible to take this San Juan tour. It will be a long time before we book a cruise beginning or ending in San Juan....and, oh by the way, the inspectors were rude, crude and nasty not polite and professional. They acted like dictators. A horrible experience.
Sorry this was so long (and I only wrote about the highlights.)
Carole Dunham wrote:
> I was in Washington, DC last week and when I flew home, the
> airline, at the last minute, cancelled my noon flight to
> Miami and booked me on a flight leaving at 5:00PM. There was
> absolutely no problem with early luggage checkin. We even
> checked in curbside. I noticed that luggage was taken into a
> separate, closed room where it was inspected. Of course, thie
> was BWI and not San Juan but imagine that the rules are the
> same wherever in the US.