How long to clear JFK immigration customs

Jan 7th, 2007, 07:20 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2
How long to clear JFK immigration customs

We will be returning from Greece to JFK on Sunday June 3, 2007 via Olympic at 2:55 pm. Our original schedule was to connect onto Americas West to CLT departing at 4:45 p.m. Also from JFK. Today, we received notice from Yahoo travel that the Americas West departure time had changed from 4:45 p.m. to 4:35 p.m. My question- is 1 hr 40 min enough to clear customs/immigration and then get to our Americas West flight to depart at 4:35? Although the time only changed by 10 min the travel site is now saying that they are not sure that this is enough time (I am to call them back on Monday but wanted to be prepared when I called). We are a goup of 4 and 2 of us will check baggage and 2 will not. Will that make any difference? Any info on this would be greatly appreciated.
sharky30travel is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 08:27 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
Nobody can predict imm&customs time. It could be just few minutes or it could be hours, if for some reason something does not look good to the border control agents......

Back in July I was coming back from Japan and connecting in Dallas to Tampa. I had about 1.5 hour connection. I fly a great deal and that connection should have given me enough time to take a shower and possibly a quick drink at the airline club. Unfortunately the customs agent, for some unknown reason, decided to send me into the secondary room. I waited about an hour just to see a customs officer, who decided that this was a mistake to begin with and send me on my way. Needless to say, I didn't have any time to take a shower or have a drink. I practically had to run to the connecting gate....

OTOH, all other times (about 8 int trips per year), I'm done within minutes.

You are the mercy of the immigration and even more so, at the customs officers whims, so there is no way to predict. If they decide to single you for whatever reason, they really don't care about your connection time....

I don't worry about stuff like this. It's part of traveling.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 08:44 AM
  #3  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,870
Olympia uses Terminal 1 which I find to be pretty efficient. I'm normally out of T1 customs in about 30min with my bags. (3-4x per year).

US Airways / AW use T7. It takes about 10min to get from T1 to T7 using the AirTrain, so that is not a problem.

An important question to ask is whether you are ticked through all the way from Greece to CLT, or if you need to check-in at the AW counter at JFK?

J62 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 09:16 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2
Thanks for the replies. J62- Yahoo travel has fed exed me paper tickets saying e tickets were not available so I guess that means I have to go back through check in at the AW counter or do I just go to the boarding area with my ticket for the 2 of us who do not have to recheck luggage?
sharky30travel is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 09:38 AM
  #5  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,870
Whether it's an e-ticket or paper ticket doesn't really matter. What you need to find out is

a) whether at checkin in Athens you will get a USAir/AW boarding pass and

b) whether your bags can be checked through to CLT.

Chances are high that b) = yes, your bags will get a luggage tags ATH to JFK then JFK to CLT. Come to think of it that may not be so important, as you'll need to claim your bags as you clear customs anyway. As you exit customs there will be a counter where you can re-check your bags for ongoing domestic flight. I'm not sure if they can issue new tags or just accept your pre-tagged luggage.

I'd suggest you call USAir/AW and find out if they have a checkin arrangement with Olympic.

Worst case is that neither bags nor boarding pass will be through to CLT and you need to take your bags with you from T1 over to T7 on the AirTrain - this is pretty easy even with luggage so don't fret it.

Then get in line at USAir checkin (or kiosk) for flight to CLT.

If you can do so, you may want to checkin for JFK to CLT online 24hr ahead, even if you can't print out boarding pass. That way if you are running late you'll be marked as checked in on the USAir system and not risk losing your seats at 45min cutoff.
J62 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 12:25 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 818
3 hours was not long enough to get through check in at JFK's delta terminal last wednesday. In fact it took over an hour to get into the building! Several people missed their plane. It was a nightmare! See the end of my post in the US section for more details.
carrom is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 03:57 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,144
How much baggage are the people who propose not checking bags carrying?

From mid-April 2007, the UK rules about carry on bags (one bag only, max dimensions 56cm x 45 x 25) will be extended to all Western European airports (which includes Greece). Any more or any bigger, and they'll have to be checked in or left in Greece.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 04:30 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Customs and immigration at JFK are totally unpredictable...in general US citizens have it a little easier as they are not subject to the humiliating necessity of being fingerprinted and photographed which visitors to the US have to endure...generally unless 3 or 4 other flights have arrived, the wait at immigration will be relatively quick...your passport will be swiped to see if you have any outstanding speeding tickets and off you go to the baggage area where you will wait for your luggage off the carousel (again dependent on the number of flights coming in at the same time) then you will proceed to the exit where a customs officer will look at your customers declaration and decide if more checking is necessary (usually not) and then if your baggage has been checked through you depossit it there, take the airtrain over to the US terminal and can check in for the connecting flight....it should be enough time but you never know.
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2012, 08:07 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 19
I'll be arriving to JFK from Rome at 6:20pm on Saturday. Would I have enough time to go through customs, immigration, baggage,etc and get to Penn station for the train departing at 9:05 pm? And what is the best way to get to the Penn Station?
Pietro_Gallo is offline  
Feb 8th, 2012, 09:51 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Depending on what trains you're departing from Penn Station, you probably need to be there by 8:45. Last Long Island Railroad train that can get you there on a Sat departs Jamaica at 8:22. With the transport time and transfer and buying the ticket, you need to be onboard an Airtrain at JFK no later than 8. If your flight arrives on-time and you are US citizen, I think it is not impossible. You just don't have much margin of error.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 9th, 2012, 02:32 AM
  #11  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,870
What is your final destination, and have you considered flying there from JFK?
J62 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2012, 03:55 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 19
Final destination is Washington D.C. It's 2 of us (which actually makes it worse), both US citizens, catching Amtrak to DC. I'm afraid RKKWAN is correct - there isn't much margin for error...Maybe taxi cab from JFK to Penn Station - what do you think?
Pietro_Gallo is offline  
Feb 9th, 2012, 04:24 PM
  #13  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,870
I'd just take the 9:40pm AA flight from JFK to DCA
J62 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2012, 07:03 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 19
Oops, forgot to mention - my trip is not on this Saturday, but on Saturday, June 9th. Latest flight JFK to DCA on that day is at 8:30pm, which is probably not enough time...
Pietro_Gallo is offline  
Feb 9th, 2012, 07:16 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Without traffic, taxi may not save you much time, while there is chance you get stuck in traffic and spend much longer than Airtrain/LIRR.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 9th, 2012, 07:44 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
You have a much better chance of making a 8:30 flight than a 9:05 train.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 10th, 2012, 06:11 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,085
Actually, it's very likely that a taxi will take longer than the train. Remember that on the train you are 25 minutes from Jamaica to Penn Station and another 10 or 15 minutes to Jamaica from the terminal, depending on the terminal (let's assume 4). It takes longer than that to drive from JFK through Manhattan to Penn Station on a Saturday, potentially at least 10 or 15 minutes more. And then there's the potential wait for a taxi of 5 to 30 minutes depending on the time and terminal.

Basically, not a good idea at all. A taxi is a good time-saving option if you are going to a local address, particularly on the east side of Manhattan near the Midtown Tunnel. But for the west side, it's actually a time-waster.
doug_stallings is offline  
Feb 12th, 2012, 02:00 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 19
Thanks everyone for your replies! It looks like I should ever try AA at 8:30pm or just relax and spend a night in Big Apple...
Pietro_Gallo is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:21 AM.