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Thread: San Juan Airport

  1. #1
    SBHGal is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jul 2017 Posts: 30

    San Juan Airport

    Hello,
    American keeps cancelling our flights so we decided to switch to JetBlue for SJU to Phl.
    We will arrive through Tradewinds around 10:35am and our flight leaves at 12:45pm. We have TSA Precheck.

    can someone explain the process at the airport to us after we land? I want to make sure we are efficient.
    we have two small kids that will need to eat something, and we are also checking two bags. Have things opened up at the airport as far as restaurants? Would love to eat at the Tradewinds lounge away from the crowds but might not have enough time.

  2. #2
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,931

    Re: San Juan Airport

    Quote Originally Posted by SBHGal View Post
    Hello,
    American keeps cancelling our flights so we decided to switch to JetBlue for SJU to Phl.
    We will arrive through Tradewinds around 10:35am and our flight leaves at 12:45pm. We have TSA Precheck.

    can someone explain the process at the airport to us after we land?
    we have two small kids that will need to eat something, and we are also checking two bags. Would love to eat at the Tradewinds lounge away from the crowds but might not have enough time.

    First you will need to spring for VIP arrivals and the TW rep will meet you at your arrival gate and grab your bag tags, and then your bags. Take a photo at home, so they know what they are looking for.

    They will take you to the TW lounge passing a couple of sandwich places. Check on this as things apparently have changed drastically in SJU with concessions. There is a security check by the lounge dedicated to TW right by the elevator to the tarmac. Precheck is not needed. I'd pack a lunch for the kids!
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  3. #3
    SBHGal is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jul 2017 Posts: 30

    Re: San Juan Airport

    We are doing the VIP service on our way down to SbH, the vip service does not exist on the way back.

    it’s hard to see what is open at the airport.

  4. #4
    PeterLynn is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 520

    Re: San Juan Airport

    The VIP service is built-in to the return ticket. They guide you to customs and then to the ticket counter for the flight back.

  5. #5
    cassidain is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Ailleurs Posts: 8,037

    Re: San Juan Airport

    Quote Originally Posted by SBHGal View Post
    American keeps cancelling our flights...
    Don’t I know it. American a disaster.
    Fils du Sud - Roi des Fils Verrouillés

    If I can't wear my Havaianas, I ain't goin'...ÀMHA

  6. #6
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,931

    Re: San Juan Airport

    No need for VIP on the return - the pilots help the passengers find their way.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  7. #7
    shihadehs is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2012 Posts: 1,072

    Re: San Juan Airport

    On our recent return home last Saturday the pilots did not help us find our way nor was there an agent to help guide us.
    We found our way to agriculture and then check in. The arrival customs area has changed since the last time we were there, we were in a smaller area with global entry. It was disappointing and I emailed Tradewind about it. Their reply was they were not allowed to leave customs to assist us, just there to answer questions and pull down luggage...things have changed I guess.
    Steve and Aimee

  8. #8
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,931

    Re: San Juan Airport

    Disappointing but not unexpected. Things are in flux everywhere.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  9. #9
    PeterLynn is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 520

    Re: San Juan Airport

    As I recall in our two trips using Tradewind, the first return, the agents led us to customs and then we were on our own. This past year, they led us to customs and were then at the other side to help us out. Wish it had been the other way around as we didn't know about the agricultural check-in on that first trip through SJU.

  10. #10
    shihadehs is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2012 Posts: 1,072

    Re: San Juan Airport

    Disappointing but understandable. Things were definitely in flux that day. 3 flights leaving at same time and upon check in in SBH few in line had no clue they needed a Covid test to leave. Agent had to run them across the street to pharmacy to be quickly tested.
    Tradewind is a class act.
    Steve and Aimee

  11. #11
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 7,346

    Re: San Juan Airport

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterLynn View Post
    The VIP service is built-in to the return ticket. They guide you to customs and then to the ticket counter for the flight back.
    True. It’s a Tradewind “bonus” service on SBH to SJU “leg.”

  12. #12
    Jim A is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2017 NY Posts: 971

    Re: San Juan Airport

    On the way home over 2 hours s/b plenty of time at that time of the day. Our flight a couple of weeks ago was a little earlier (I think we arrived at SJU at 9:30). We were thru Customs/Immigration in no time - as usual only the 8 people on our flight were there. Our checked bags were waiting for us before we could even walk to their private customs line. They led us to the elevator after we were OK'd and we knew our way from there (or you can follow signs). We hung out for a while at the Tradewind lounge because we brought a sandwich from the bakery with us. We kept our eye on the JB security line (we had even more space/speed which helped a little but the line wasn't long) from up above and probably left the lounge about an hour before our boarding time which turned out to be earlier than we needed to, so we walked around the terminal for a while to waste time after getting to our gate. Finding something to eat at SJU is a little harder than in the past but I didn't see an issue at all. If you are fine with the Tradewind snacks (or bring a sandwich) you don't even have to worry about it. There were plenty of places to get food by the Jet Blue gate (a small place right next to the gate and a few others around the corner) at SJU so there are indeed food places open in that terminal. They may not have been gourmet establishments of course, but it's an Airport and food was indeed available.

    Two notes:

    1) make sure you have your JetBlue boarding pass to show after you enter the airport. This will allow you to bypass the health screening and go right to the TW lounge.

    2) For some reason the JB security line closed for about 30 minutes or so. Luckily for us it was before we need to go thru so it wasn't an issue. I'm not sure why because there seemed to be flights leaving before us but no one seemed too concerned and it opened back up long before we needed to go thru.

  13. #13
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,931

    Re: San Juan Airport

    Another thought/tip - don’t try to take your sandwich or other food through the USDA check!
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  14. #14
    Jim A is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2017 NY Posts: 971

    Re: San Juan Airport

    They never ask us. We always did it because we usually go thru SXM so it is never an issue. The few times we went thru SJU we have done it as well and have not yet had a problem. But, you are 100% correct and I should have stated that. But I'm a crazy guy, I didn't tell him I smuggled a few euros and "trinkets" back from St Barth either

  15. #15
    shihadehs is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2012 Posts: 1,072

    Re: San Juan Airport

    We never thought to use the Tradewind lounge on way home. Guess we wanted to make sure we got through security in time. In hindsight we should have done that last week. There is not much past security in American terminal. The Margarita grill bar was not open yet but looked like it was opening for lunch crowd.
    Steve and Aimee

  16. #16
    Eve is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2008 Boston Posts: 8,519

    Re: San Juan Airport

    Quote Originally Posted by shihadehs View Post
    On our recent return home last Saturday the pilots did not help us find our way nor was there an agent to help guide us.
    We found our way to agriculture and then check in. The arrival customs area has changed since the last time we were there, we were in a smaller area with global entry. It was disappointing and I emailed Tradewind about it. Their reply was they were not allowed to leave customs to assist us, just there to answer questions and pull down luggage...things have changed I guess.
    the excuse was that their regular arrival area was under repair. So they sent us to the old arrival hall

  17. #17
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,931

    Re: San Juan Airport

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim A View Post
    But I'm a crazy guy, I didn't tell him I smuggled a few euros and "trinkets" back from St Barth either
    As long as those trinkets don't add up to $800 per person, you are not being too crazy!
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  18. #18
    Eve is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2008 Boston Posts: 8,519

    Re: San Juan Airport

    We just did this a few weeks ago. Definitely hang out in the Tradewinds lounge. And head to security about 2 hours before the flight.
    But BIG ISSUE!!! Once you get through security to the JB gates, there is basically no food open. Dominos is all that there was. There are more choices in the other terminal you roam around lost in trying to find your way to the Tradewinds/Jet Blue terminal because no one from Tradewinds will get you there like they used to.
    And I am pretty sure if you try to bring food through immigration, it won’t work so well. So plan your sealed food accordingly

  19. #19
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,931

    Re: San Juan Airport

    If you are a member of Priority Pass there is this option for a bite and a place to sit inside of security.

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    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  20. #20
    shihadehs is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2012 Posts: 1,072

    Re: San Juan Airport

    That’s where we ended up the other day. They had choice of omelet or pancakes. Plus a variety of drinks. Small but quiet and clean. And it was in terminal near American.
    Steve and Aimee

  21. #21
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,931

    Re: San Juan Airport

    Quote Originally Posted by shihadehs View Post
    That’s where we ended up the other day. They had choice of omelet or pancakes. Plus a variety of drinks. Small but quiet and clean. And it was in terminal near American.
    There is also one in Terminal A
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  22. #22
    SBHGal is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jul 2017 Posts: 30

    Re: San Juan Airport

    Could we purchase food at the airport prior to going through security and then bring it here to the lounge?

    tradewinds rep said there’s a sandwich shop but that’s before security. Makes no sense there would be less food after security!

    what kind of food can we bring that security/agriculture won’t take from us?

    we will eat a large breakfast but we get there at 10:30am for a flight at 12:45pm. So I’d prefer to eat closer to the dept at least the kids, so we don’t have to eat on the plane!

  23. #23
    Trinigerl is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Apr 2007 Trinidad/Houston Posts: 129

    Re: San Juan Airport

    You can bring in any food, except pork, no pork products. You can declare what items you bring into the USA on your customs form.

  24. #24
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,931

    Re: San Juan Airport

    I seem to remember the TSA agents telling people that they can't bring any food through security. Do I have that wrong? I know you can't bring any fruits and vegtables from SBH through the USDA check.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  25. #25

  26. #26
    Trinigerl is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Apr 2007 Trinidad/Houston Posts: 129

    Re: San Juan Airport

    You are not allowed to bring into the USA fruits and vegetables nor any pork products. We bring cook food from Trinidad. Also we bring cheese. can sardines and some other stuff from Spain . We usually declare it on our customs form .

  27. #27
    Izzy is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2016 Posts: 939

    Re: San Juan Airport


  28. #28
    Jim A is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2017 NY Posts: 971

    Re: San Juan Airport

    Quote Originally Posted by JEK View Post
    As long as those trinkets don't add up to $800 per person, you are not being too crazy!
    I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me...

  29. #29
    shihadehs is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2012 Posts: 1,072

    Re: San Juan Airport

    We never filled out a customs form
    Steve and Aimee

  30. #30
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,931

    Re: San Juan Airport

    Quote Originally Posted by shihadehs View Post
    We never filled out a customs form
    You can't get back in if you don't! Even on Global Entry you have to declare you have nothing to declare and print out the form.

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    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

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