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Clearing Customs in Bogota with Connecting Flight

St. Croix
Level Contributor
11 posts
8 reviews
Clearing Customs in Bogota with Connecting Flight

We are flying to Cali through Bogota on Avianca. This is the first time we are not arriving nonstop into Cali. We have 1 hr and 15 minutes for our connection to Cali. The arrival is at 9:50 PM on a Friday. I assume that since Bogota is out entry into Colombia we will need to clear checked bags through customs before giving them back to Avianca to send onto Cali. The flight from Bogota to Cali is domestic, so I there would be no expectation that they would be cleared in Cali. I would like to hear from those who have recently flown to a Colombia city via connecting in Bogota. Do you suspect that 1hr15min will suffice to make the connecting flight? Thanks!

6 replies to this topic
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
1,631 posts
111 reviews
1. Re: Clearing Customs in Bogota with Connecting Flight

The last two times I have arrived internationally into Bogota El Dorado airport, in the later evening hours, the line to clear immigration and passport control was very long and very slow. Once you clear immigration and you are admitted into Colombia, the rest of the process -- getting your bag, going through customs, getting to your next flight -- will move quickly, especially relative to clearing immigration. But given how slow the line has been for clearing immigration, I don't know if one hour and 15 minutes is enough from when your Bogota plane lands until you Cali plane departs.

St. Croix
Level Contributor
11 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Clearing Customs in Bogota with Connecting Flight

Thanks for your reply. The arriving flight into Bogota also has a less than agreeable on time performance. We usually fly into Cali directly from Miami in the late evenings and even in Cali the Immigration line is long, so I would expect the same or longer in Bogota. Haven't been admitted into Colombia through Bogota since 2000. My memory of the process is of long lines, so I am definitely concerned. Avianca apparently believes the connection time is adequate. They will not change the itinerary to a later connection with a fee, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see. If we miss the connection, there is still one more flight to Cali a half our later. Thanks.

Level Contributor
4,907 posts
197 reviews
3. Re: Clearing Customs in Bogota with Connecting Flight

If your flight is one ticket then your bags will be checked through to Cali even though immigration will be completed in Bogota.

The airport is a lot more efficient than it used to be, although your time is still tight especially if your flight is delayed, although at least there is a later flight so they will put you on that if there are delays.

Edited: 12 June 2018, 01:05
Cali, Colombia
Level Contributor
701 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: Clearing Customs in Bogota with Connecting Flight

That's a very tight connection. I would never book our family like that. I prefer 2 or 3 hours. And arriving in a country where you need to go thru Immigration. Not in any country. If you are lucky, you and your luggage will make it onto your connecting flight.

NOTE: If you misconnect, find someone from Avianca and tell them, "I misconnected, please help me". If you are very lucky, you arrived early enough that the flight after yours is still available for boarding and has available seats and they will put you on that flight. If not, you can sleep in El Dorado Airport. Lots of people will be sleeping there between flights. Safe and no problems. If you are VERY courteous and friendly, they might put you up in a hotel near the airport until the flight you are scheduled on the following morning.

Enjoy your trip!

Chino Hills...
Level Contributor
7 posts
7 reviews
5. Re: Clearing Customs in Bogota with Connecting Flight

Our family of 11 (7 adults and 4 children) will be arriving at Bogota airport at 5:25 AM with Avianca in December. We want to fly to Cartagena on the same day and trying to decide whether it is better to choose another Avianca flight to Cartagena or LATAM and amount of time to give to safely get through immigration, get our checked baggage from the international flight and catch the domestic flight to Cartagena. The domestic flight will be on a different ticket since I have already booked the international flight with Avianca. Since we are a large family, I don’t want to risk missing the domestic flight since it may be hard to get on another flight. Avianca has 9:25AM and 10:15AM flights for around 209 USD. LATAM has a 10:54AM flight for 188 USD and 11:40 AM flight for 168 USDz. Is it better to use the same airline Avianca for international and domestic flight in case there is a delay with the international flight? Or is there plenty of time for connection and would be ok to take LATAM? Would appreciate any input you have on this. Thank you in advance for your time!

1 post
6. Re: Clearing Customs in Bogota with Connecting Flight

if you use the same airline for international and domestic, they will check your bags through to your final destination. You would still have to clear customs, but it is, usually, less of a hassle to re-check them w/ the same airline.

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