Departing From Montego Bay Airport (Without Ruining Your Vacation in the End)

Departing from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay can be a breeze, as long as you have the right information on hand. Long haul travelling can be stressful. Therefore it pays to be prepared with some useful airport tips that will help make your exit from Jamaica easier.
Departing From Montego Bay Airport
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Montego Bay airport is the busiest international airport in Jamaica, welcoming over 3 million passengers each year.

Despite the delightful Caribbean atmosphere of the airport, navigating it without knowing what to expect can be nerve-wrecking.

Read on for the ultimate guide to Montego Bay Airport that will get you out of Jamaica without any hiccups.

Which Airport is Located in Montego Bay?

Donald Sangster International Airport (code: MBJ) is the official name of the airport in Montego Bay.

How Far is the Airport from Montego Bay?

The distance from the airport to Montego Bay is 6.4km. It takes about 10 minutes to drive to Montego Bay from the airport via the Albion Road.

How Do You Get To Montego Bay Airport?

Most travelers get to Montego Bay airport using private transportation, small buses, or route taxis. Moreover, many all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica will provide transportation to the airport free of charge as part of their package.

It is important to have transportation to the airport arranged beforehand. This is because traffic is always busy on any route to the airport due to the fact that flights are constantly arriving and departing all day, and travelers are being transported to their destinations.

Is Sangster Airport in Montego Bay Busy?

July is the busiest month for Sangster Airport in Montego Bay. This is because July coincides with many holidays, such as school holidays.

The other busy months for arrivals are: March, June, August, and December.

Sangster Airport is least busy in September, October and November as these months typically see the fewest number of arrivals.

How Early Should I Get to Montego Bay Airport?

It is recommended that you get to Montego Bay Airport at least 3 hours prior to your scheduled departure time.

This especially applies for afternoon departures as mid-afternoon is normally the peak departure time on any day.

How Long Does It Take to Get Through Customs in Montego Bay?

It takes about 2 hours to get through customs in Montego Bay.

The biggest delay when departing from Montego Bay airport is when checking in your luggage with your airline. These lines can be very long, especially after 12pm. And then you will need to clear with security, which can also take a while.

Consider using Club MoBay which will fast-track you through security as they have their own security line.

Do You Clear U.S. Customs in Montego Bay?

No, there is no US Customs desk at Montego Bay airport. If your return flight is from Montego Bay, you will need to clear US Customs in the United States.

Upon landing in the US, you will first go through US immigration, and then claim your luggage if you checked any bags. Next, you will have to clear US customs, and then recheck your checked baggage.

If flying to another destination, you will need to go back through TSA security screening before boarding the plane.

What Is Not Allowed by Montego Bay Customs?

For travelers leaving Jamaica, certain items have restrictions or are forbidden from being carried out of the country.

These include:

  • Illegal drugs
  • Knives and deadly weapons
  • Jamaican currency
  • Counterfeit currency
  • Counterfeit goods
  • Pornographic or offensive material

Does Montego Bay Airport Have Duty Free?

Yes, Montego Bay Airport has a several duty free shops:

  • Bijoux – Jewelry
  • Aldeasa – Liquor, Perfume, Tobacco and Sunglasses
  • The Xtra-ordinary Store – Cigars and fine Liquors
  • Chulani Jewelers – Jewelry

What Is the Duty Free Allowance at Montego Bay Airport?

Customs at Montego Bay Airport allows visitors to bring in a fixed amount of personal goods without having to pay duty taxes on them.

These are:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 230g of tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages and 1 liter of wine
  • 150ml of perfume or 340ml of eau de toilette

However, certain goods are strictly forbidden while others require permission or licenses to bring in. These include some duty-free goods, such as those purchased during your flight to Jamaica.

What Shops Are in Montego Bay Airport?

Montego Bay Airport offers an excellent array of shopping opportunities. Each shop offers a tailored product range, including Specialty items, Designer brands and Duty-Free shopping.

Specialty Retail Shops:

  • Cellaris – Mobile Phone Accessories
  • Casa De Xaymaca – Jamaican Souvenirs
  • Coffee & Spice – Coffee and Spices
  • CoolKidz Stuff – CoolKidz Branded Clothing and Souvenirs
  • Cool Gear – CoolKidz Branded Clothing and Souvenirs
  • Flights of Fantasy – Jewelry
  • Harley Davidson – Harley Davidson Branded Clothing
  • Hard Rock Café – Apparel
  • Jamaican Heritage – Jamaican Souvenirs
  • Native Creations – Local Leather and Crafts
  • Jamaican Pirates – Jamaican Souvenirs
  • Reggae Mart – Spices and Packed Foods
  • Secure Wrap – Baggage Protection Services
  • Relay – Confectionery, News and Travel
  • Sharkeez – Clothing
  • Sun Factory – Flip Flops and Souvenirs
  • Souvenir Xpress – Jamaican Souvenirs
  • Sun Island – Jamaican Souvenirs
  • Tuff Gong Traders – Bob Marley Branded Clothing
  • Tortuga Rum Company – Liquor

What Restaurants Are in Montego Bay Airport?

Montego Bay Airport offers a wide selection of exciting full service and quick service dining options with many appetizing food and beverage offerings.

Travelers can indulge in delicious meals from a varied menu that includes island specialties, traditional favorites, and more.

  • Auntie Anne’s – Fast Food – pretzels
  • Air Margaritaville – Sit-down Restaurant
  • Cinnabon – Fast Food
  • Dairy Queen – Soft serve ice-cream treats, milkshakes, frozen yoghurt, etc.
  • Cricket’s Sports Bar
  • Domino’s Pizza – Fast Food – pizza
  • Jamaica Bobsled – Grab-‘n-Go Food
  • Island Deli – Deli
  • Moe’s – Fast Food – tacos, nachos, burritos and quesadillas
  • Quiznos – Fast Food – submarine sandwiches
  • Nathan’s – Fast Food – hot dogs
  • Starbucks
  • Wendy’s – Fast Food
  • Viva-Gourmet Market – Grab & Go Snacks

What is Club MoBay?

Club MoBay is a VIP service at the Montego Bay Airport that offers exclusive services both at arrival and departure.

Travelers who sign up for Club MoBay are treated to luxury and warm Jamaican hospitality with fast-track, personalized meet and greet services and VIP Lounges.

How Does Club MoBay Work?

Club MoBay customer care representatives meet you at the ramp and check that your immigration and customs forms are filled out correctly. They will then take you through their fast-track immigration line.

Travelers also enjoy access to the VIP lounge at Montego Bay airport, as well as phone rentals. In order to be accommodated, you will need to book the Club MoBay service at least 48 hours prior to travel.

Is Club MoBay Worth the Money?

Yes, the cost of Club MoBay is well worth the price. Club MoBay is like insurance for your Jamaican vacation. You may not need it, but if you do, you will be glad you have it.

The service allows travelers to bypass long immigration lines at Montego Bay airport, getting you into or out of Jamaica sooner.

Consider using Club MoBay if traveling in a group, especially if some are arriving/departing on separate flights.

The club representatives will meet you upon arrival at the Montego Bay airport and help you through immigration and customs. Moreover, you get to relax in the VIP lounge with TV, internet, free food, and a children’s play area until everyone in your group arrives.

Is Montego Bay Airport Safe?

Yes, Montego Bay airport is perfectly safe as there is plenty of security and people around.

Porters and other people may approach you offering either to assist with your luggage, to find you a taxi or the use of their cell phone. Just be sure to hold on to your bags and keep your valuables secured.

If you can manage to move your luggage by yourself, say so. A polite, “No, thank you,” as you continue on your way will help to avoid any hassles. Don’t let the porters move your bag even a foot or they will expect a tip. But if you think you will need help, be sure to have some small bills ready.

Also avoid having your name or resort visibly displayed on your luggage while walking through the airport. This is because some scammers may see this and call you by your name and then try to get you to go to their resort instead.

Is Montego Bay Airport Air Conditioned?

Yes, Montego Bay Airport is air conditioned. In fact, the airport was recently renovated to include a new air conditioning system in its ticketing area.

Restrooms in the ticketing and departure areas were also renovated, and the runway and terminals were extended.

Which Airlines Fly Into Montego Bay Airport from the US?

United Airlines, JetBlue and Caribbean Airlines are the airlines that fly most frequently from the United States to Montego Bay Airport.

Can You Fly Direct To Montego Bay Airport from the UK?

Yes. Direct flights to Montego Bay from London are available every day of the week. British Airways, Air Canada, Delta Air Lines, MIAT Mongolian and WestJet Airlines all offer direct flights to Montego Bay from London.

Does Virgin Fly Direct To Montego Bay Airport?

Yes. Virgin flies direct to Jamaica from London Gatwick 3 times a week, touching down at Montego Bay Airport.

Does British Airways Fly To Montego Bay Airport?

Yes. British Airways flies from London Heathrow to Montego Bay Airport, via Miami.