Check-in moves to new hall as airport work continues

| 23/02/2018 | 70 Comments

(CNS): Most airline check-in desks at Owen Roberts International Airport will move to the new hall today, officials from the airport have said. In the latest update from the Cayman Islands Airports Authority as the redevelopment gathers pace, officials warned of congestion this weekend during the peak times in the middle of the day and urged passengers to check in early. Although renovation work has now begun in the old check-in area, some Cayman Airways flights will still be processed at their current counters, the airport stated.

Officials said the congestion in the new hall would probably be at is worst between 11am and 3pm, so passengers are being asked to arrive for their flights three hours before departure. But it will be a balancing act for the airport, as they said any earlier than three hours could see passengers asked to return because holding space inside the new check-in hall will be limited. Priority will be given to those passengers departing within the three-hour window.

“This time window also applies at the security checkpoint, as passengers may only be allowed to join the security line once they are within the three-hour window. This process has been put in place to help control the flow of passengers and alleviate congestion inside the departures hall,” officials explained as they apologized for the anticipated inconvenience.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Have just experienced it. It sucks. Besides the construction going on… Long long passageway to security where you used to be able to step outside before going through (for that last smoke or to finish your yogurt breakfast). Nope, turn around and traipse all the way back… oh never mind….
    It’s just a shame that the ‘architects’ that designed it didn’t take a few trips to several award winning airports for some ideas.
    I wish I could have been involved or at least been given an opportunity to make suggestions and give ideas. (I have extensive travel experience. That is what I live for and the only reason I have a pay for my next trip!!)

  2. An Unimpressed Youth says:

    While I understand the frustration and confusion caused by the new airport expansion works, (That arrive 3 hours before, but that might be too early so we’ll send you away again crap is ridiculous…) I feel as if people might be overlooking the benefits of the completed project. The disruption is an unfortunate price to pay for smoother air travel in and out of the country for years to come. How long did the last airport expansion serve the islands for? Larger airport means more visitors, more jobs and a boost the the stay over tourist market. Frustrating, but worth it. The airport was in desperate need of some TLC.

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. JTB says:

    It was certainly a bold move entrusting the management of such a large scale project to people who had clearly demonstrated that they weren’t capable of managing a car park.

    • Kadafe says:

      FYI the project is managed by the Major Projects Office (Public Works). It will be over soon babies. Deal with it.

  4. Soldier Crab says:

    I don’t know about the other airlines, but CAL never, ever, has enough staff on duty to man the check-in desks.
    Why do they have ‘Fast Bag Drop’, ‘Cayman Brac & Little Cayman’ designated desks with no staff behind them?

    On another topic:when and if the current structural works are finished, are there to be a Domestic Arrivals and Departures areas, separate from the international sections? If not, why not? This new, highly touted, arrangement to ‘pre-clear’ passengers in Miami will fall flat on it’s face when those same passengers have to spend time convincing Immigration and Customs that they should be allowed to walk straight through; for this to work they should be directed through a domestic arrivals door just as passengers from the Brac and LYB.

  5. Anonymous says:

    So I have to arrive at least 3 hours before but I might be turned away because 3 hours is too early so ummm when am I supposed to arrive?

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      You need to check in three hours before your international flight which means arriving three hours before that but within the three hour holding window … oh, wait, I see the problem now.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why is that all Airlines except for American/Southwest and British have Caymanians working there? Does the Immigration Law allow an exemption for permits for these airlines?

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing against the non Caymanians working at the airport but it is a disgrace that they are allowed to work in these front-line jobs. I doubt that you would visit too many other countries’ airports(except Miami) and hear non natives on the public address system not even able to give out boarding calls correctly. Then there are the “security” ladies that are never off their cell phones

  7. Anonymous says:

    The Customs area is a joke. There are four belts there and only one working which appears to be in dis-repair. Why can’t they get the other belts going? I flew in on American last week and two flights arriving after us received their bags before we did..What’s up with that? Is American baggage handling that bad or is there some type of rinky dink system set out by the CIAA to offload bags.

  8. Rodney Barnett says:

    Why on earth would anyone think that the construction and changeover to the so called new airport would work? Or even work smoothly because of good planning? Nothing, and I mean nothing the CIG does is done well, on time or on budget.

    It’s the Cayman way.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Let’s hope the kiosks aren’t maintained by he same people who maintain the parking tickets machines. They have never worked since they were installed. If you want a Cayman Island airport tradition this is it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Chh when unna leaving mia unna gah b deh 3 hrs b4 depature so tek it ezz give them a chance to upgrade

  11. Anonymous says:

    When its finished we will have a new LOOKING airport with just the same old congestion and frustration. As it will still be almost the same size.
    They should have built a completly new airport furhter to the east and opened it when it was ready.

    • Anonymous says:

      Check your details. How much were you willing to contribute in taxes over the next 20/25 years to build a completely new airport?

      • Anonymous says:

        @10:35 am Don’t be such a smart a$$. No one pays taxes here. If one has no brain no amount of money would help him to produce anything valuable.

        • Anonymous says:

          @8:48am Don’t be such a dumb a$$. Everyone pays taxes here. How do you think Government gets money – it’s called duty….

      • Jotnar says:

        As opposed to paying $280m for a cruise ship pier…?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why can the Airport Authority not put a machine to pay for parking in the checkin area? Many of us have to use the short term parking to help elderly or infirm relatives checkin but then have to walk across many lanes or traffic to the complete opposite side of the new airport just to pay for parking. Ridiculously bad planning.

    • Anonymous says:

      And why is the lot immediately across from arrivals reserved for airport staff. This is ridiculous. That should be short term parking and staff should be parking much further away. The best way to encourage people to use short term parking when they are collecting arriving passengers is to have lots of close convenient short term parking. There is no way staff parking should be this close to the terminal.

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re exactly right . I worked at the Miami airport and when I parked in the employee parking , I had to take a shuttle to the terminal .

      • Anonymous says:

        Think about parking at the main government building, too. The mentality from government is that in regards to daily convenience, it’s staff first and customers second. Yes, staff have to park there everyday and customers only whenever they have business, but it speaks volumes that places like the airport and government building operate in this manner.

      • Anonymous says:

        exactly. every business in the USA designates parking spots for employees in a farthest corner of a parking lot.

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s all about customer service. In the private sector you don’t see Foster’s reserving the parking next to the building for staff. Government just doesn’t understand who is serving who.

    • Kadafe says:

      Fair comment, its a bit delayed but in the works.

  13. SKEPTICAL says:

    Arrive three hours early for a one hour flight, PLUS as much as an hour to clear Immigration/Customs in Miami – FIVE hours traveling time – half a day! Who are the largest number of people affected by queues at Immigration on arrival, and now lost time on departure – TOURISTS. Who on Earth did the logistical planning for completing these critical areas during the redevelopment with a view to having the least disruption and inconvenience….

  14. Mr.D says:

    Our government should incorporate the lookout tower that is left into the new design of Owen Roberts Airport.It would be a great historical symbol of Caymanian Architechture.

    • Anonymous says:

      The ancient tee-pee style was reinvented by architect Andrew Geller when he built an A-Frame house in Long Island in 1957. The structure is cheap to build and the sharply sloping roof is designed to handle the accumulation of heavy snow. ‘Not sure how heavy the snowfall is at Owen Roberts, nor how it represents Cayman historical architecture, but the waving tower does enjoy the fond nostalgia of many Caymanians.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Horrible design and why so many Filipino’s, Jamaicans and Indians working security? Why cant I get a “pat down” by a “Born Caymanian? Its the easiest job on the planet!

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, first they have to show up.

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Maybe they can’t find Caymanians who are prepared to work for the wage on offer.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe the wage on offer is so low that only single workers with no local family to support, no home, and no vehicle to pay for, living 5 to a room in unlawful and squalid conditions can afford to accept it.

        • alaw says:

          it seems like we could use a lesson or two from the Filipinos on making life on low wages

        • Jotnar says:

          This is the bit of the argument I never understand – if you have a family to support and are unemployed, surely you should take any job you can get rather than remain unemployed and collect from NWDA?

          • Anonymous says:

            Once your employer makes the deductions to cover health insurance for kids etc.and deducts 5% to pension, some minimum wage workers can actually end up owing their employers money at the end of the week, in particular if hours are limited.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you!

          • Anonymous says:

            Jotnar – I think the assumption is that you’re better off collecting from NAU while going to NWDA and looking for a better paying job than locking yourself into an ‘underpaying’ job. This is the challenge/beauty of over-employment. Good Caymanian employees can choose where they work so if the employer/public wants Caymanian employees they have to pay good wages for them. Its why some employers are ‘full’ of Caymanians, and others end up starting conversations like this.

            (‘Underpaying’ for your personal situation.)

      • alaw says:

        for every Caymanian that is not prepared there is two non Caymanian waiting

    • Diogenes says:

      Is this really a pressing issue? (pun intended)
      Are Caymanian hands softer or something?
      At the end of the day does it matter if you don’t know the entire genealogical history of the person patting you down because they weren’t born on this 2×4 island?
      Of all the things to complain about that is what you say, let me ask you a question how many Caymanians do you think grow up and aspire to deal with asshats like you on a regular basis, patting down travelers and reminding women to dump out their over-sized lotions? That isn’t exactly a thrilling and rewarding career, of course clearly you are one who wants our people to settle for any old job. If you want to know where the “Born Caymanians” are, some of us aspire to more than scanning luggage.

      What high aspirations you have for our people

      • Tut alors!. says:

        Diogenes – might I suggest that most born Caymanians can be found in the Civil Service and we all know why.

        • Anonymous says:

          Better working conditions than the private sector?
          (With a union to back that up.) Sounds like a smart place for an employee to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t think I’ve ever heard that request.

    • Anonymous says:

      Which explains why Caymanian unemployment is a myth in a manner even a bigot like you can understand.

    • Anonymous says:

      because locals have a poor work ethic. ask any employer.

      • whayasay says:

        speak for yourself you are talking about me. we built this place before you came.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thousands of Caymanians work long and hard in every industry in Cayman. Yes just like most countries that are some who are too lazy to work but you shouldn’t judge all by a few.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then please apply for the job with the company that has the contract rather than complain.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The new facility when finished will still experience such congestion fir both arrivals and departures. The reason being simply because it was not designed to cope with those levels of traffic.

    1980’s design and decor. What can I say?

    • Fred says:

      The design is not the issue. Only having 2 x ray machines and staff to process people trying to leave departures hall when you have a large number of passengers to process because so many flights are scheduled at the same time is the issue. If the CIAA really can’t flex the slots for the airlines – or is too afraid of offending them by insisting – then they need to have enough infrastructure and staff to handle the peak volume.

    • Diogenes says:

      Seems appropriate considering it is the decade Cayman seems to be stuck in ideologically (without the great music sadly, no offense to Caymanian Artists)


  17. Anonymous says:

    Taking away the American kiosks didn’t help.

    • Count of Monte Crist-o-m-g says:

      It helps with passenger queues (the removal of the American kiosks) , and they are being replaced with Common Use Self Service kiosks, that permit any airline passenger to utilize them, regardless of which airline they are flying. They will also include the ability to print your own luggage tags, saving you time, as then you are only required to drop the luggage off to the particular airlines “bag drop” section , just like the the grown up airports! 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        That all sounds swell but it aint there.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s the issue WHEN will they be replaced. This is just another example of POOR planning. Should have been replaced same day as the AA one removed.

      • Anonymous says:

        Except that the bag drop lines have been there for ages (even before new hall opened!) But airline say not enough staff to staff them so you still have to wait in line behind the people who are not already checked in .it is an absolute circus and until staffing / training is fixed, you can build a building 10 times the size and the same problems will exist.

      • Anonymous says:

        That would be great if it were not in Cayman where we can’t even keep a parking lot kiosk working.

      • Anonymous says:

        Common Use kiosks are good. I ran into these in Jamaica arriving early for a flight and able to check in despite the airline desks being closed. Having just hand-luggage we could then go through security and wait there, instead of having to wait for airline staff and then go through a possibly busier security line/time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Took me an hour to check in last time. There were 6 kiosks and 2 were reserved for people with no bags, which 1 person used in an hour. Utterly moronic. The management of GCM needs replacing with anyone with an IQ over 50.

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