In an effort to mitigate the impact of growing passenger traffic and COVID-19 protocols, key stakeholders at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) have finalized plans to ensure that passengers can be safely and efficiently processed through the airport during what promises to be a busy upcoming summer travel season.
Nassau has been selected as a homeport for two cruise lines beginning this month. Following the first 7-day cruise, approximately 900 passengers will be departing Nassau for the United States on Saturday, June 19th, 2021. The airport anticipates heavy arrivals and departures of cruise passengers every Saturday and Sunday thereafter, and for this number to grow to 3,500 passengers each weekend by July.
In addition, summer projections for land-based passenger arrivals and departures at LPIA indicate steady recovery from the pandemic, with a potential additional 4500 passengers between Saturday and Sunday.
“We are fortunate that our largest source market, the United States, has been very successful with their vaccine distribution and there is significant pent-up demand for travel given the challenges and restrictions of the past year living with COVID-19. People are ready to travel and month by month we are seeing improvements in our passenger numbers.” said Vernice Walkine, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nassau Airport Development Company Ltd.
“During this busy summer travel period we wish to assure the travelling public that their safety is our paramount concern. Our overall objective is to make certain that a high level of efficiency prevails in the terminals coupled with excellent customer service resulting in a positive experience for our passengers,” she continued.
As the airport supports Nassau as a home cruise port and manages its recovering land passenger base, LPIA is offering the following tips to local passengers planning to travel this summer.
- Given the volume of passengers that will be commencing cruises in Nassau, if possible, avoid travel on Saturday and Sunday and choose a slower day to begin and end your vacation or business trip. Also, consider travel during off peak times and look for flights either before 9:00am or after 2:00pm, which is a peak travel period at the airport.
- When travelling to the US, particularly on peak days and times, ensure that you are at the airport 3 to 3.5 hours ahead of your scheduled flight departure time. Given the impact of COVID-19, passenger processing is slower and more complex.
- Whether you are vaccinated or not, a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR or Rapid Antigen) and completed Attestation form (found on LPIA’s website at www.nassaulpia.com) is needed for all persons travelling to the United States. This will be required for check in with your airline and tests should be completed prior to arrival at the airport.
- For travel within The Bahamas, a negative COVID-19 (PCR Test) is required if you are not fully vaccinated (two shots with the last shot given more than two weeks prior to travel) along with a Bahamas Health VISA for domestic check in.
- Checked luggage should be taken to your airline counter. Very Important: Please remove old luggage tags prior to placing a new luggage tag for your destination. If you are travelling to the United States, once you present your checked bag(s) to your airline, an image of your bag(s) will appear on the airline counter video screen to confirm each bag is checked in for your flight.
- Checked luggage should be taken to your airline counter. Very Important: Please remove old luggage tags prior to placing a new luggage tag for your destination. Your airline should tag your checked luggage to your boarding pass. For persons travelling to the United States, please ensure you see an image of your checked bag(s) on the tablet screen at the airline counter.
- After check-in, passengers travelling to the US may be directed by an airport ambassador to wait briefly in the airport’s Summer Garden Lounge prior to proceeding to airport security screening and United States Customs for processing. This wait is to allow passengers to be processed in order of scheduled departure time. The lounge is a beautiful and comfortable outdoor space with amenities like food and beverage, WIFI, entertainment and limited shopping.
- Passengers should have their passport and boarding pass available to enter the security screening process. Passengers will be required to remove jackets, belts, shoes and empty pockets, and remove laptops from carry-on luggage for the security screening process.
- As LPIA is a US Pre-Clearance facility, each passenger will undergo inspection by a United States Customs & Border Protection Officer prior to leaving Nassau. Bahamians need a valid passport and police record or US VISA for travel. Family members living in the same household can be inspected together.
- Once these formalities are done, you may proceed to your airline gate or enjoy the shopping and dining amenities available in the U.S. Departures Lounge. All gates are within a three-minute walk from anywhere in the US or Domestic/International Departure Lounge.
- Upon your return or arrival to Nassau, remember you will need a Bahamas Health Visa and a negative COVID-19 PCR test for entry to the country if you are not fully vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated, then you will need the Bahamas Health Visa and proof of your vaccination. These are to be presented to Bahamas Immigration along with your passport for admittance to The Bahamas
- This summer, returning residents will now have two additional options to complete their Bahamas Customs declaration forms and pay duties or claim exemptions. This is in addition to the current process of presenting a completed C17 Customs Declaration form to a Bahamas Customs officer for assessment.
Returning residents should consider downloading and using the new Bahamas Customs Exempt App to fill out their declaration electronically, upload their receipts
and pay customs duties and/or claim exemption online prior to arrival in Nassau. Once luggage is collected, returning residents then only need to proceed to a
customs officer for baggage inspection. Bahamas Customs also has kiosks available at the airport that perform the same services as the App and allows for
credit/debit card payments online or cash payments at the airport.