JFK customs wait time Terminal 1


Jun 3rd, 2015, 01:56 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2015
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JFK customs wait time Terminal 1

How long does it take to get through customs at JFK Terminal 1 Alitalia flight on a Saturday?
Have to book a connecting flight to Boston.
MCKMURPHY is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2015, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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It varies, often dramatically, by time of day and whether or not you are a US citizen and whether you have Global Entry.

I recently flew through Terminal 1 on a flight back from Japan, and I waited about 10 minutes in the immigration line and another 15 minutes in the customs line. For me, that's been typical. Immigration at JFK is now done primarily through kiosks. If you can use the kisok (I am NOT talking about the Global Entry kiosks, which are different), then the process is very quick. If not, then it can take much longer.

The back-up now seems to be at Customs, which seems to take forever depending on how many flights arrive at any given time.

Even then, I had to wait another 15 minutes for my luggage. At JFK, it's very unusual to get your luggage in less than 30 minutes, and it's sometimes longer.

I would NEVER book a connecting domestic flight with less than 2.5 hours of connection time at JFK, regardless of the terminal. I don't know what a legal connection time is, but the cut-off for most airlines to check bags is 60 minutes. And you always have to recheck your bags when coming into the US.
doug_stallings is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2015, 07:16 AM
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I assume you don't have Global Entry. Amount of time depends on a zillion unpredictable factors, most of all how many planefuls of people arrive at that terminal before your flight.

I'm also assuming that you're flying from Milan and not Rome, as Alitalia has non-stop flights from Rome to Boston. If so, I'd consider connecting in Rome rather than JFK (taking the Rome-Boston nonstop), as JFK is a really, really lousy place to connect. (when flying from JFK to Boston in the late afternoon/early evening, which is what you'll do when connecting from most European flights, you are almost certain to spend way more time in the airplane sitting on the ground than in the air.)
DonTopaz is offline  
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