May 2nd, 2011, 01:19 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,479
>>Even for visa waiver countries like most European citizen (and I assume Australians as well), one now has to electronically do the ESTA application 72 hours prior, which is new.<< Australia has had electronic visa application (ETA) for many years now and the ESTA application for the US is so easy. It lasts for 2 years & costs USD12.00 - it's a non-issue (unless you forget to apply).

>>Just boarding an international flight from your origin airport to the US usually means secondary screening, not required for flying to anywhere else<< There are several destinations outside of the US that require secondary screening.

>>Picture taken and thumbs printed. I think Japan is the only other country that requires that.<< There are other countries that require this apart from US and Japan. For instance, Kenya required all fingers printed and photo plus purchase of visa on arrival, recent visit to Jamaica also had photo and fingers printed plus it took couple hours to get through immigration.

>>Upon arrival, often, huge immigration lines at busy entry airports for visitors. 1.5 hours at LAX or JFK are fairly common.<< Same at LHR at peak times, my recent experience at MBJ was couple hours to get thru immigration.

I've also transited via the US several times to domestic US destinations and international - you have to go thru immigration and collect luggage at first point of entry into the US, same as many countries and it's been that way forever. However last visit to DFW, the immigration line was short but the customs line was unbelievably long and took forever to get through.
Odin is offline  
May 2nd, 2011, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Odin - All fair points, but you are responding with experience of various countries in the world. Of course, there are worse policies here and there all over the world. But all those I said are just for visiting ONE country, the US.

I can't think of any country in the developed world this has so many unfriendly policies or practices for visitors (including visitors from other developed countries). Can you?


nz101 - No, what you experience is not uncommon. Fact is, Americans by nature are friendly, and I have never encountered any issue with US Immigration officer. You don't see my listing that as a complaint. I have issues with the length of the lines for visitors at times, but not attitude of the the immigration officers. The TSA is a different matter.

However, a lot of foreign visitors do complain, but mostly because they are not used to being questioned. US is not alone. Canada, UK and Australian immigration officers (I haven't been to New Zealand, so can't compare) all do the same. That is very different from many countries in the world including those in the Schengen zone where immigration officers just take your passport, put in a stamp in, and give it back to you. US immigration officers ALWAYS ask you something, even for US citizens.


Anyways, my issues are with policies and practices, that show paranoia by the US government, especially after 9/11. Here's an example. My parents - in the 60's and 70's - are US citizens. Just because they visited Morocco on a recent trip, and they declared that honestly in the customs forms as countries visited, they were pulled for secondary screening for who-knows-what. (Their luggage was not touched). Everybody was courteous, but that adds 15 minutes to their time, and having to stand up through all that. Morocco - a country friendly to the US, and my parents were on an organized tour. That's how crazy and paranoid things are here.
rkkwan is offline  
May 2nd, 2011, 03:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 117
"For airport security inside the US, all shoes have to come off. Listening to the barking of the TSA agents at many checkpoints. If choosen, full-body scan that requires you to take everything out of your pockets (even if they're not metallic), stand inside a machine with arms raised above your head for about 30 seconds, exposing to radiation. AND/OR being pat-down manually. Do a google search and you'll find what they do to you."

OH NO! Take my shoes off and expose my nakedness to the world? AND waste 30 seconds of my holiday being irradiated?? BTW I don't need to do a Google search, I thought it was pretty clear from my posts that we travel to the USA quite often?

What I don't get is WHY you are so keen to stop people visiting the USA? You're not Canadian are you? Conspiracy theorists everywhere are now suspicious of you - but I'm guessing you're one of them ;-)

I've never been "barked at" in the USA, just Canada.
madgicsh is offline  
May 2nd, 2011, 11:21 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,266
We've flown Sydney / Dubai / Rome with Emirates and Melbourne / Dubai / Venice with Emirates - twice. All flights were OK, baggage arrived with us, no dramas.

Dubai is about half way, so might be an option for you to break the journey. But Dubai is pretty hot in Summer.

Etihad is a possible choice too.

30 kilos of luggage must take an awful lot of toting around.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
May 3rd, 2011, 06:43 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Who's stopping people from visiting the US? I love my country and its people. Absolutely amazing scenery in the west. I so wish it's so much easier for my friends and family from outside US to visit me and my country here. Unfortunately, it had been a hassle for years, and it's getting worse.

I am stating my own experience and what I hear from other travelers from the US and elsewhere.

Since you travel to the US so frequently, I would love to hear from you if and after you get a pat-down from the TSA, which I wish you would never have to endure.
rkkwan is offline  

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