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US Customs Declaration Forms

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I'll leave the rest of my complaints about my flight home to JFK from Barcelona today because they probably are trivial as a matter of fact, they are trivial. However, this one isn't.

For years, I have wondered why airlines do not give out the US Customs Declaration forms on international flights requiring them to the United States at check in After all, they are hardly secure documents. They are all over the table at least at JFK. If they distributed the customs declaration form at check in, you would have a few minutes to fill it out, slip it in with your passport and be done with it rather than having to find a writing surface in the cramped coach section of an airplane.

Anyway on today's flight on AA from Barcelona to JFK, about an hour and a half before landing it suddenly dawned on me that no customs declaration forms had been distributed or I thought I might have slept through it. So as the fa came down to serve the slice of pizza they give you on AA international flights an hour out of JFK, I asked for a customs declaration form. He handed me one and I noticed it was in Spanish. (Apparently they had not issued any in coach). I said, no, I can't read this. Please give me the regular one in English. I was then astounded to be told there were none available in English. This is a US carrier. How could they not have any customs declaration forms in English? He said well I could either look in the flight magazine to figure out what was being asked, guess at what was being asked as the words are similar, or wait till I got to JFK and pick one up there. I chose the later and it was a mess with all the people trying to grab a customs declaration form in English.

Just doesn't make any sense to me how this can happen (and was told by some others it was that way on all the Barcelona flights!). Anybody with an answer?

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