Is a 60-minute layover at FLL with customs enough?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

60-minute Layover at FLL with Customs

If you’re traveling internationally and have a connecting flight through Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), you may be wondering if a 60-minute layover is enough time to clear customs and catch your next flight. While it’s possible to make the connection in that amount of time, it’s important to understand the customs process at FLL and be prepared for potential delays.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at FLL’s immigration and customs procedures, factors that can affect your layover time, and tips for a smooth customs experience. We’ll also discuss the consequences of missing your connecting flight and alternatives to a short layover at FLL.

Understanding the Customs Process at FLL

Before we dive into the specifics of FLL’s customs procedures, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how customs works in the United States. When you arrive in the U.S. from another country, you’ll need to go through immigration, which involves presenting your passport and visa (if required) to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. The officer will ask you a series of questions about your trip and may also take your fingerprints and photograph.

After immigration, you’ll move on to customs, where you’ll declare any items you’re bringing into the country that need to be taxed or regulated. This could include things like alcohol, tobacco, or large amounts of cash. You’ll then be released into the U.S. and can continue on to your connecting flight (if you have one) or exit the airport.

FLL’s Immigration and Customs Procedures

At FLL, the immigration and customs process is fairly straightforward. After you disembark from your international flight, you’ll follow signs for immigration and customs. You’ll need to present your passport, visa (if required), and customs declaration form to a CBP officer.

Once you’ve cleared immigration, you’ll collect your luggage and proceed to customs. If you have nothing to declare, you can use the green "Nothing to Declare" lane. If you need to declare something, you’ll need to use the red "Declare" lane and speak to a CBP officer.

After clearing customs, you’ll exit the secure area and follow signs to your connecting flight (if you have one) or to the airport exit.

Preparing for a Short Layover at FLL

If you have a 60-minute layover at FLL with customs, it’s important to be prepared before you arrive. Make sure you have all of your necessary documents (passport, visa, customs declaration form) easily accessible and double-check that you’re not bringing anything into the country that needs to be declared.

If possible, try to pack light and avoid checking luggage. This will save you time waiting for your bags at baggage claim and ensure that you can move quickly through customs.

Factors That Can Affect Your Layover Time

Even if you’re well-prepared, there are a number of factors that can affect how long it takes to clear customs at FLL. These include:

  • The number of other international flights arriving at the same time as yours
  • The number of CBP officers on duty
  • The complexity of your travel plans (e.g. multiple flights, different airlines)
  • Whether or not you need to collect and re-check your luggage

When planning a short layover at FLL, it’s important to keep these factors in mind and allow for extra time if possible.

Tips for a Smooth Customs Experience at FLL

To help ensure a smooth customs experience at FLL, consider the following tips:

  • Use the Mobile Passport Control app to speed up your immigration process
  • Follow all instructions from CBP officers and answer their questions truthfully
  • Have all necessary documents (passport, visa, customs declaration form) easily accessible
  • Avoid bringing any items into the country that need to be declared
  • Use the green "Nothing to Declare" lane if possible
  • If you have a connecting flight, check the departure gate and boarding time before leaving customs

Arriving at FLL: What to Expect

When you arrive at FLL, you’ll follow signs for immigration and customs. If you’re using the Mobile Passport Control app, you’ll be able to skip the regular immigration lines and go straight to a designated Mobile Passport Control line.

After clearing customs, you’ll exit the secure area and follow signs to your connecting flight (if you have one) or to the airport exit. If you have a connecting flight, make sure to check the departure gate and boarding time before leaving customs.

The customs area at FLL is well-marked and easy to navigate. You’ll first go through immigration, where you’ll present your passport and visa (if required) to a CBP officer. After immigration, you’ll collect your luggage and proceed to customs.

If you have nothing to declare, you can use the green "Nothing to Declare" lane. If you need to declare something, you’ll need to use the red "Declare" lane and speak to a CBP officer.

Exiting Customs and Heading to Your Next Flight

After clearing customs, you’ll exit the secure area and follow signs to your connecting flight (if you have one) or to the airport exit. If you have a connecting flight, make sure to check the departure gate and boarding time before leaving customs.

Consequences of Missing Your Connecting Flight

If you miss your connecting flight due to delays at customs, you may need to book a new flight and potentially incur additional expenses. Depending on the reason for the delay, you may be able to receive compensation from the airline, but this can be a lengthy and complicated process.

Alternatives to a Short Layover at FLL

If you’re concerned about making a short layover at FLL with customs, there are a few alternatives to consider. These include:

  • Booking a longer layover (e.g. 2+ hours) to allow for potential delays at customs
  • Flying through a different airport with faster customs processing times
  • Booking a direct flight to your final destination

Conclusion: Is a 60-minute Layover at FLL Enough?

While it’s possible to make a 60-minute layover at FLL with customs, it’s important to be prepared for potential delays and understand the customs process. By following the tips outlined in this article and allowing for extra time, you can increase your chances of making your connecting flight. However, if you’re concerned about making the connection, it may be wise to consider alternative options.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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