Cruise Passengers Flock To Airline Counter At Port Of Miami
By Kristen Fidh
About 2,000 Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines passengers each week take advantage of a program that delivers their luggage directly from the Port of Miami to American Airlines, the airline said.
The program, which began in January, allows disembarking passengers to check in their luggage and get boarding passes at the seaport, saving them the chore of transporting their luggage and waiting in lines at Miami International, said American spokeswoman Martha Pantin.
"The process is seamless for passengers not having to worry about lugging their bags through the airport and waiting in lines," Ms. Pantin said. "When they get to the airport, they breeze through security and check in at the gate."
She said the airline checks in 500 to 700 passengers per ship.
Lauren Stover of the US Transportation Security Administration said her department works with Miami-Dade police, the US Coast Guard and the US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection to screen luggage at the port.
"It reduces the congestion of people at the airport with bags, and it enables them to get to their destinations hassle-free with the same level of security," Ms. Stover said.
American Airlines provides the service at no additional cost to passengers, Ms. Pantin said.
Royal Caribbean is not involved in the management of the program, a spokesman said, adding that it merely gave approval for American Airlines to set up operations for the program in its terminal space.
Ms. Stover said there have been no major problems with the program and that the Transportation Security Administration is pleased with its results.
American is the only airline has been approved for the program, Ms. Stover said, although others have expressed interest in initiating a similar one.