Friday, November 09, 2007

Arriving Miami and USA

A Cybercruisers report:

Miami Beach at Night

My first report from Miami is not was it was supposed to be. I’ll spice this “horror” story with some pictures from the first evening with Ingelin in Miami Beach.

I left our winter home at 10 pm Eastern Time on Wednesday and arrived at Miami International airport at 2:15 pm on Thursday.

Ingelin was waiting for me. I had only to go through the passport control. With all papers according to the rules, we both were convinced this should be peace of cake.

The procedure is as simple as this:

Deliver the “green” and “white” formulas together with your machine readable passport.

Have your fingerprints scanned and your face digitally photographed. A simple IT application even youngsters can create.

But what happened here? The controller used up to 8-10 minutes per person. When 60 in the lane before me, I had to send a text message to Ingelin. It might take a while.

Why did it take so long? From distance it looks like nothing was done – only talking. When coming closer to the checkpoint I realized people had to repeat the fingerprint scanning and the photographing again and again. System problems.

What I do when I have such problems? I restart my machine. But not these guys. After 2 hours and 30 minutes, we (all the foreign tourist) were told: Sorry we have Computer Problems. All machines were shut down (36 passport controls they have here) – and restarted again.

New round: Read the Passport in the magnetic stripe reader. No problems. But: Fingerprint and photo – trouble again. Now they ha to restart their machines between each yoyager.

I passed the passport control at 5:15 pm. And Ingelin picked me up.

Here I am at her veranda. Luckely to see Ingelin.

And here is Ingelin.

Some comments: You are not allowed to use your phone until you have passed the control point. What about people waiting for passengers without knowing what’s going on? For 3 hours.

Some people were very tired and sat down on the floor. OH, No. That’s forbidden.

It’s also forbidden to leave your luggage unattended. But what happens when you arrive to the Baggage Claim 3 hours after arrival? Have never in my life seen so much unattended luggage at an Airport when I finally come to the Baggage Claim Hall. And to days regulations do not allow you to lock your luggage. Scary.

What is most scary is the fact that US Authorities have implemented new procedures 100% depending on IT – and deployed it without checking the quality and stability of the application and equipment. Not to speak about basic user training. That’s so arrogant to the usual air traveller and foreign tourists I’m tempted to use the word: Terrorism.

We went for a walk to the beach. Papa is Wading at Night

Then we went to the locals favourite cafe and had a wonderful Salad.

More to come...

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Blogger .:mar said...

I have heard about these long procedures too, TorAa, sorry it took you so long. I was last in the US in 2003 and they took my pic (to be used for Halloween purposes, lol) and my fingerprints. I suppose it has to be done only once... only now I have a different (Spanish) passport: that should make all alarms make all kinds of noises!
But what a lovely evening you had with your charming daughter!! Enjoy your short stay :)

November 09, 2007 6:35 am  
Blogger Maribeth said...

I am dreading this whole process when we leave on Tuesday 11/13.
Just wanted to let you know, I will be away from my usual commenting for 2 weeks. I'll be cruising the Panama Canal and I hope to be able to Blog from there. (But you never know!) Check out starting Tuesday for two weeks and you never know what you might find!
See you when I get back.

November 09, 2007 2:26 pm  
Blogger Ginnie said...

I am SOOOOOO sorry you had to put up with this, Tor! It's quite upsetting to me. I think the USA has gotten too paranoid about everything. Sigh.

November 09, 2007 4:57 pm  
Blogger lime said...

oh tor, this is such an embarassingly bad way to welcome you to our country. i am so sorry. i hope things only get better from here on out.

November 09, 2007 6:11 pm  
Anonymous captain lifecruiser said...

Sounds like a tough arrival. We had some long lines too when we went to US, but only for about 2 hours... I really didn't like the fact of unlocked suitcases then either.

However, I'm sure it's worth it to be with your lovely Ingelin - and the beach... such a romantic place in the evening.... We want to be there! *giggles*

Have a marvelous stay :-)

November 09, 2007 6:16 pm  
Blogger Joy Des Jardins said...

So sorry about all the hassles Tor....we Americans have learned to put up with a lot....maybe too much. I fly less and less because of all the hassles....not to mention the delays at times. What great pictures of you and your beautiful Ingelin. Enjoy every minute....

November 09, 2007 6:34 pm  
Blogger A. said...

All's well that ends well they say, but what an ordeal! We had a bad delay going to Amsterdam a few months ago, but nothing like that at all.

November 09, 2007 10:18 pm  
Blogger Fleur de Lisa said...

Welcome to the U.S. and I am so sorry to hear of your delay. That is just not right to take that long and not offer people some sort of comfort.

I'm so glad you are able to visit with Ingelin. I hope you are having a wonderful time together!

November 09, 2007 11:23 pm  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

how much fun!!! Hope you soak up lots of sun while you are gone...

November 11, 2007 10:29 pm  
Anonymous shalimar said...

tor... they kept me over an hr in miami too imagine a filipina with a swiss passport

part of the fun was boris becker was kept there too
I will be here in florida for while

November 16, 2007 2:02 am  

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