Some brief information on traveling into the Grand Bahama Island, largely specific to US citizens visiting.
- The airport you'll by flying into for Freeport or the Grand Bahama Island is the Grand Bahama International Airport, which has a airport code of FPO.
- They speak English in the Bahamas, so don't worry there.
- A lot of the flights into Freeport, if not all of them, are on regional jets. On my trip, we flew in on American Eagle from Miami on a prop plan.
- This is not some Chicago O'Hare of JFK; there are no gateways. When your plane lands, it will taxi very close to the terminal, which isn't that big. You'll walk down your plane's stairs, and then walk over to the ramp to walk into the terminal. It's a very simple affair.
Customs Entering Freeport:
- The airline will likely present you a card before boarding that you can fill out. You'll need to give this to the agent when entering the Bahamas.
- They'll give you part of the form back with an entry stamp. Don't lose this form, as they'll want it when you leave.
- There really isn't anything in the way of bag searches. Simple and to the point.
- Once you clear customs and immigration, you walk out two double doors and are confronted with a stand for the Our Lucaya resort, some rental centers, and a taxi stand. It' all pretty simple.
Returning to the US:
- Freeport is actually one of the few places in the world with a US Customs and Immigration pre-clearance facility. Basically, you clear customs and "re-enter" the United States in Freeport, and so when you arrive in Miami (or wherever), you're able to go straight to the terminal rather than go through that customs zoo.
- This can be done because Freeport has a "terminal" dedicated just to US-bound flights.
- Because you clear customs in the Bahamas, it's important to remember that even though it's a small airport, you need to give yourself time to do customs. The absolute cut-off for my American Eagle flight was 50 minutes before departure.
- Finally, just a comment on American Airlines / American Eagle in The Bahamas - no one would pick up the phone. It was terribly frustrating, especially since I couldn't get through to the US desk.
Anyway, hopefully this information can be useful to those who might be wondering how the process of entering and exiting Freeport will work.