US Customs closing time leaves delayed passengers in Bermuda
About 20 travellers were left in Bermuda over the weekend after a flight was delayed, pushing them beyond the operating hours of US Customs at the airport.
A spokeswoman for Skyport confirmed that a United Airlines flight scheduled to depart at 2.45pm on Sunday was delayed by 3½ hours, which resulting in some people missing the 4pm closing time of US Customs.
She added that while the majority of the 104 passengers had checked in at LF Wade International Airport and were processed before 4pm, “a handful of passengers arrived after the 4pm cut-off and were subsequently rebooked on another flight”.
The spokeswoman said: “US Customs and Border Protection has at times somewhat extended its closing hour to accommodate a delayed flight at the request of the airline where possible.
“Alternatively, the airline would have its passengers check in for a known delay within the flight’s normal check-in period and wait in the departures lounge, or opt to have check-in commence at a later time and the flight’s passengers processed by CBP at the US port of arrival.”
The explanation came after a resident complained to this newspaper that he took his visiting friends to the airport at about 4pm after hearing about the delay, only to find the airport closed.
The resident said that his friends were joined by about 20 people with similar ideas who missed their flight.
He added: “You would think the Government or someone would want to make changes so this doesn’t happen.”