VIP Lounge with swimming pool at Punta Cana International Airport, Terminal B. Photo belongs to Punta Cana Airport.
On December 1, 2016 the United States and the Dominican Republic signed an agreement to put in place U.S. Customs and Border protection Pre-clearance at Punta Cana International Airport. The agreement was made in order to increase security and to make travel for the millions of American tourists who visit the Dominican Republic as smooth and fast as possible.
With Pre-clearance on the ground in Punta Cana, U.S. travelers (and tourists of other nationalities traveling from the Dominican Republic to the United States) would have to go through U.S. immigration and clear customs before boarding their flight to the United States. When arriving at their final destination in the U.S., travelers would then be able to continue on much faster as they have already cleared customs and would be able to essentially just grab their luggage at the U.S. airport and go.
“CBP has made expanding Preclearance a priority as it benefits everyone involved—our countries, the airport, the airlines and most importantly the traveler. For travelers, Preclearance means reduced wait times, quicker connections to U.S. domestic flights and the ability to get your bags and go after landing,” said CBP Deputy Commissioner Kevin McAleenan in 2016.
Recent news articles have reported that Punta Cana Airport will be launching the Pre-clearance services in 2020 and will be implementing Auto Gates for travelers arriving to Punta Cana from the United States, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom and France who carry a biometric passport. The Auto Gates will allow travelers to go through passport control upon arrival at Punta Cana Airport in less than 10 seconds, keeping the flow of passengers moving thought the airport at a swift pace.
“We are continuing to enhance the time travelers’ spend in our airport with the additions of the new Auto Passport Control for all arrivals, Pre-Clearance for all direct departing flights to the US and our silent policy in our terminals,” said Rafael Alberto Smith, Director of Operations at Punta Cana International Airport.
Punta Cana International Airport is the leading airport in the Dominican Republic with direct flights from more than 26 countries, 64 cities and 90 airports worldwide. Most passengers traveling to the Dominican Republic will pass through this airport, which is located on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic. From Punta Cana Airport, tourists can reach their hotels, resorts and vacation rental villas in Punta Cana within 30-minutes, La Romana in less than 1 hour and Santo Domingo in about 3 hours.
Punta Cana airport has expanded a lot in recent years and plenty of improvement have continuously been made. The airport used to be just a palm-leafed building and one runway, but today it is similar to many international airports. There are 2 terminals for general flights and one FBO terminal for private planes, helicopters and executive jets.
Punta Cana Airport also has VIP lounges at all terminals and it is the only airport in the Caribbean with a swimming pool! Travelers departing from terminal B and with access to the VIP lounge can enjoy a dip in the outdoor swimming pool that overlooks the runway.
Effective June 2019, airline announcements were no longer made throughout the airport in order to reduce the noise level and give passengers a more comfortable experience while waiting to board their flight. Instead, airline announcements are posted on various screens located throughout the airport.
Facilities at Punta Cana Airport also include a food court where passengers can eat and drink from places such as Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Sushi Delight, Nathan’s, Asian Cuisine, Sky Bar and more. For those looking to do a little last-minute shopping, there are plenty of duty-free shops and boutiques available, including Victoria’s Secret, Hard Rock Store, Bath & Body Works, and more.
For more information about Punta Cana International Airport, please visit www.puntacanainternationalairport.com
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