Cruise passengers can now ditch long customs lines using an app at this South Florida port

A mobile app designed to speed travelers’ entry into the U.S. can now be used at Port Everglades — making the Fort Lauderdale seaport the first in the nation to offer the service.

The app, Mobile Passport Control, is available for iPhone and Android devices, and is in use at airports throughout the U.S., including Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport. Cruise passengers at Port Everglades can use it beginning today, the port said in a news release.

Busy Port Everglades has a new way to help travelers sail through customs lines. (Provided)
Busy Port Everglades has a new way to help travelers sail through customs lines. (Provided)

The app’s availability for travelers comes on the eve of the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, taking up residence at Port Everglades.

Here’s how the app works, according to its website:

• Travelers download the app and complete a profile for themselves. They also can add profiles for family members. That information is encrypted and shared only with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

• Before leaving the cruise ship, the user enters the information they would have written on a customs form into the app by answering a few questions.

• The app generates a barcode, which the user can take to a specific Mobile Passport Control office after leaving the ship. A customs officer will scan the barcode, and the traveler will be able to head on their way.

In addition to the app, Port Everglades also recently finished testing Automated Passport Control kiosks in its cruise terminals. Similar to the way the app works, travelers can use the kiosks to fill out their biographical information and customs declarations before heading to a customs line.

“Through our partnership with Port Everglades, we have worked together to bring new technology and procedures to the cruise ship processing environment,” Jorge Roig, Customs port director at Port Everglades, said in a news release. “The addition of the Mobile Passport App and Automated Passport Control Kiosk to the cruise ship environment will bring added benefits to all those that utilize the program and will assist CBP in the completion of its mission of keeping maritime travel safe.”

 

 

 

 

 

Hurricane Matthew prompts Tri-Rail shutdown for Thursday, Friday

(Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
(Palm Beach Post staff file photo)

Tri-Rail will suspend its service after the final trains run tonight because of Hurricane Matthew, Tri-Rail spokesperson Bonnie Arnold said Wednesday.

The commuter rail service also will be shut down Thursday and Friday, and possibly Saturday and Sunday, Arnold said.

The decision on whether to reopen the rail line this weekend will depend on the extent of damage along the corridor and to rail crossing arms, she added.

The crossing arms themselves can take “a good 12 hours to fix,” Arnold noted.

The last southbound train tonight leaves Tri-Rail’s Mangonia Park station at 8:40 p.m. The last northbound train arrives in Mangonia Park about 11:35 p.m.

Check back for more updates.

More coverage of Hurricane Matthew:

When do I put up my hurricane shutters?

Dozens of flights cancelled and delayed in South Florida

The latest from The Post’s weather reporter, Kim Miller

Make sure you have your hurricane supplies

Which Palm Beach County gas stations can pump without power?

Hurricane Matthew: American, Allegiant cancel flights; Fort Lauderdale to suspend flights

Surf and wind from Hurricane Matthew crash on the waterfront in Baracoa, Cuba, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Surf and wind from Hurricane Matthew crash on the waterfront in Baracoa, Cuba, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

UPDATE: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will suspend flights no later than 10:30 a.m. Thursday, according to the airport’s website.

UPDATE: American and Allegiant airlines have canceled some flights as Florida braces for Hurricane Matthew.

In addition, a JetBlue spokesperson said the airline will begin rolling out cancellations for Thursday and Friday flights in some Florida cities starting Wednesday night. To see if your flight has been canceled, go to http://www.jetblue.com.

American Airlines has canceled all flights scheduled to arrive at South Florida airports Thursday, the company said Wednesday.

All American flights into Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach International Airport are canceled; in addition, American Airlines will have limited departures from those three airports until noon tomorrow, with departures after noon canceled.

COMPLETE LIST OF SHELTERS, EMERGENCY RESOURCES

The airline plans to resume reduced operations to the three airports beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, the company said, with flights should be fully operational by noon that day.

In addition to the flights canceled by American, Allegiant has canceled the following flights scheduled to arrive or depart Fort Lauderdale on Thursday:

• To Fort Lauderdale: 1204 from Asheville, N.C.; 1711 from Ogdensburg, N.Y.; 1703 from Lexington, Ky.; 1701 from Plattsburgh, N.Y.; 1721 from Syracuse, N.Y.; 1719 from Columbus/Rickenbacker, Ohio; 1217 from Knoxville, Tenn.

• From Fort Lauderdale: 1205 to Asheville, N.C.; 1710 to Ogdensburg, N.Y.; 1702 to Lexington, Ky.; 1700 to Plattsburgh, N.Y.; 1720 to Syracuse, N.Y.; 1718 to Columbus/Rickbenbacker, Ohio; 1216 to Knoxville, Tenn.

Allegiant also has canceled a slew of flights into and out of Orlando and Sanford. Click here for the full list.

American Airlines and Allegiant — along with many other carriers — has issued travel waivers for its South Florida flights affected by Hurricane Matthew. Click here for more information.

American Airlines also has canceled its flights into and out of Orlando International Airport after 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the company said. American flights will be canceled through Friday, with limited service beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, the company said.

At Jacksonville International Airport, American Airlines will have limited operations beginning Friday morning, with all American flights into and out of that airport canceled for the rest of the day and resuming Saturday.

Dozens of other flights into the area were canceled Wednesday.

Palm Beach International Airport had five delays and one cancellation as of Wednesday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.

The site also reported there were 27 delays and 47 cancellations at Miami International Airport.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport reported via Twitter that it had 20 delays and 40 cancellations as of Wednesday.

For Thursday, FlightAware shows, as of Wednesday:

• 436 cancellations at Miami International Airport

• 131 cancellations at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

• 39 cancellations at Palm Beach International Airport

Before heading to the airport, check with your airline’s website to see if your flight has been canceled or delayed.

South Florida airport websites:

Palm Beach International Airport

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

Miami International Airport

Check back for more updates.

More coverage of Hurricane Matthew:

The latest from The Post’s weather reporter, Kim Miller

Make sure you have your hurricane supplies

Which Palm Beach County gas stations can pump without power?

‘Bloodline’ cancellation a blow to Florida’s film industry

Florida’s film industry said Thursday it was “saddened” that Netflix has pulled the plug on ‘Bloodline,’ adding that the show has been a “tremendous post card” for South Florida.

Kyle Chandler and Ben Mendelsohn in "Bloodline." CONTRIBUTED BY NETFLIX
Kyle Chandler and Ben Mendelsohn in “Bloodline.” CONTRIBUTED BY NETFLIX

In a statement posted on Twitter, Film Florida President Kelly Paige said  the show has been a boon for both the state’s tourism industry and the South Florida economy.

“We are saddened that Netflix announced the cancellation of Bloodline after Season 3,” Paige said. “Bloodline has brought riveting television to viewers while being a tremendous post card for the Florida Keys and South Florida region.”

The economic impact of the show’s first season and the tourists that it brought to South Florida totaled roughly $95 million, according to Film Florida. Season 1 resulted in more than 1,700 jobs and $9.4 million in state and local taxes, the organization added.

The show, which starred “Friday Night Lights” star Kyle Chandler and “Star Wars: Rogue One” star Ben Mendelsohn, is set to premiere its third season next year on the streaming service.

Florida’s film industry has struggled to compete with other states, including Georgia, where leaders have launched a strong tax incentive program to entice production companies to come to their state.