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Getting domestic connections in the US

19 Oct 2008 kate1987 said

kate1987
I am thinking of going to the US next year and i was wondering when i do get a domestic connection in LA or something what happens with immigration etc? I am going to be flying in from the Sydney..
  • 19 Oct 2008 princess19 said

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    Basically what happens when you fly into the US from outside the country:

    Whatever US location your plane first lands in you have to get off the plane, go through Immigration and customs line #1, collect your bags, and go through Immigration and customs line #2 ( this is where they want to know what youre bringing into the country and potentially check your bag for prohibited items). If the airport you are flying into is your final desination, then proceed to ground transportation and have fun =)

    If this airport isnt your final desination ( which is ALWAYS the case for me….)you have to make a domestic connection. Sometimes the airlines are nice and have a bag recheck right before you enter the airport , where they take your bag and just check it onto another flight with no hassle. If you arent as fortunate ( this happened to me over the summer… Iberia from Tel Aviv to Chicago and then I was flying Delta home)then you have to drag your bag through the airport , get in the regualar check in line, beg them not to charge you for your bag because you are coming off an international flight (usually they waive the fee if you show your previous plane ticket), get reticketed and then go through security again.

    Depending on the airport the security line can be super easy ( like my home airport- for some reaosn theyre super efficent and i almost NEVER have to wait in a long line) or it can take FOREVER ( like in Ohare or Newark….). In order to get through this line you have to have an ID and boarding pass, take off your shoes, take your laptop out of the bag and discard any liquids not in a clear ziplock bag ( and you only get one of these bags)

    Depending on what airport you are flying into I would leave several hours to complete this process. You never know. I had a 2 hour connection from Tokyo to Dallas then home this summer. As a US citizen this is usually enough time to get through… however on this day they misplaced my suitcase and took 30 minutes to find it. I left customs with 15 minutes to spare to make my connection, RAN through the airport and made it as they were boarding my flight. If you arent a US citizen i would recommend 3-4 hours for this process ( you can usually make it in 2-2 1/2, but that dosent allow for any delays or problems you may run into…. )

  • 20 Oct 2008 kate1987 said

    kate1987
    quote:
    Originally posted by TazzieDevil83:
    Hi Kate1987

    I think I am answering this question right. Please let me know if this isnt what you mean.

    I flew into America last year and then had some domestic connecting flights.
    Once you have passed customs coming into America from your international flight then any domestic connections are the same as flying domestically here. Just show id when checking in for the flight and go through the metal detectors and you are fine.
    They do seem a little stricter in America with things such as you have to take your shoes off when you go through the metal detectors but the all the airport and customs staff I dealt with were friendly and nothing seemed to take too long and I dont mind doing a little extra to make sure we are all safe Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->
    Hope that helps



    It helps alot! thanks!!

  • 20 Oct 2008 kate1987 said

    kate1987
    quote:
    Originally posted by princess19:
    Basically what happens when you fly into the US from outside the country:

    Whatever US location your plane first lands in you have to get off the plane, go through Immigration and customs line #1, collect your bags, and go through Immigration and customs line #2 ( this is where they want to know what youre bringing into the country and potentially check your bag for prohibited items). If the airport you are flying into is your final desination, then proceed to ground transportation and have fun =)

    If this airport isnt your final desination ( which is ALWAYS the case for me….)you have to make a domestic connection. Sometimes the airlines are nice and have a bag recheck right before you enter the airport , where they take your bag and just check it onto another flight with no hassle. If you arent as fortunate ( this happened to me over the summer… Iberia from Tel Aviv to Chicago and then I was flying Delta home)then you have to drag your bag through the airport , get in the regualar check in line, beg them not to charge you for your bag because you are coming off an international flight (usually they waive the fee if you show your previous plane ticket), get reticketed and then go through security again.

    Depending on the airport the security line can be super easy ( like my home airport- for some reaosn theyre super efficent and i almost NEVER have to wait in a long line) or it can take FOREVER ( like in Ohare or Newark….). In order to get through this line you have to have an ID and boarding pass, take off your shoes, take your laptop out of the bag and discard any liquids not in a clear ziplock bag ( and you only get one of these bags)

    Depending on what airport you are flying into I would leave several hours to complete this process. You never know. I had a 2 hour connection from Tokyo to Dallas then home this summer. As a US citizen this is usually enough time to get through… however on this day they misplaced my suitcase and took 30 minutes to find it. I left customs with 15 minutes to spare to make my connection, RAN through the airport and made it as they were boarding my flight. If you arent a US citizen i would recommend 3-4 hours for this process ( you can usually make it in 2-2 1/2, but that dosent allow for any delays or problems you may run into…. )



    Thank you so much for the info! Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 20 Oct 2008 Jess said

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    Ok another question, if your conecting flight is the same company, for eg. Im flying melbourne to LAX, an hour stopover and LAX to JFK all with QANTAS do I have to re-check in? Or do I just put my bag on the carousel and wiat to board the next flight? I know they will prob tell me at the airport but Im starting to stress only 6 days to go! Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 22 Oct 2008 lexi said

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    ta thnks I was getting a little concerned about all of this but apparently 2 hours is te minimum amount of time needed to get through all of this so i may have to move fast but hopefully it will all work out

  • 22 Oct 2008 Katie said

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    hey jess,

    i am flying the same melb – lax, lax to jfk all with qantas. except i have a six hour wait in lax. i asked my travel agent if she could make it any less except she told me by the time i clear customs (probly min 2-3 hrs) and get my bag and re-check in (another 1-2hrs) i really want have that long, and thats with no delays at all.

    so not wanting to stresss you out at all, but one hour i dont think is even enough to clear customs if everything goes perfectly to plan, let alone if anything else happens or if you have to recheck yourself in!

    hope that is of some help!

    Katie

  • 22 Oct 2008 lexi said

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    man 6 hours your lucky I fly from cairns to japan (stay overnight) japan to detroit I have 2 hours to clear customs, collect my bags, checkin, and get to the domestic terminal for New Orleans I am totally screwed when i tried to get another flight apparently there were none until the next day which is when my tour starts very crap I think. I will have to wear my running shoes.

  • 22 Oct 2008 Katie said

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    LOL you will definately need your running shoes on to get it done in 2 hrs and i think jess will need her running shoes and maybe a miracle as well to get it done an hour??

  • 22 Oct 2008 cdm115 said

    cdm115

    When I’ve flown with the same carrier (BA and Alitalia) with an international connection I didn’t have to re-check for the second flight. However, dependnig on how the times work (if your flight starts more then 24 hours before the connecting flight) then you might have to check-in for the second flight.

    If you go to tsa.gov it’s the site for the airport security in the US, they do have a link on it where you can look and see how the security lines are in the US airports at different times of the day. Generally the security lines in the US run under 10 minutes, in my experience. If security lines do get really bad (my sister had this happen in Vegas), the airline might hold a flight since too many people are stuck on line to bother sending the flight out.

  • 23 Oct 2008 Jess said

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    Hi I checked this with my travel agent when I booked and she said it’s a connecting flight so i dont have to check-in again. I hope it works out….

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