London to DC through JFK

Jun 22nd, 2015, 10:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1
London to DC through JFK

Hi everyone,

This is my first time traveling to DC with a connecting domestic flight, so I was wondering if you could please help me out. I'm flying out from London with American Airlines to JFK. There I have a 1.5 hour layover and will be flying to DC, also with AA. Will I have to claim my bags at JFK and re-check them onto the DC flight?

Also, where do I go upon arrival at JFK? To transit I suppose? Are international and domestic transfers in the same part of the airport?

Thanks in advance
mironova is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 02:41 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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I'm not familiar with JFK but i would be very surprised if you don't have to claim your bags and go through Customs and Immigration before your onward flight Most, if not all, countries require you to do this at the airport where you enter the country. However, the US does have customs at some foreign airports which you go through prior to boarding, so no need on arrival.
eliztravels2 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 04:03 AM
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You'll go through immigration and collect your bags at JFK. Everything else depends on whether your "American Airlines" flight is actually operated by American or is a codeshare with British Airways. Can you tell us the flight number?
DonTopaz is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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There's no such thing as "transit" in the US. You go through the regular immigration lines, pick up your luggage, clear customs, and then drop your bag off at the re-check desk near or in baggage claim (I can't recall precisely where it is in the AA terminal at JFK). From there you go upstairs, back through security again, and to your gate. Same terminal as long as you are on AA all the way.

To be honest, 90 minutes is a pretty tight connection for international to domestic travel in the US. I'd personally never schedule this with less than 2 hours. But you will probably have enough time. You may not have enough time if you are not on both AA international and domestic flights. If you need to transfer from a codeshare British Airways flight to an AA domestic flight, you have to change terminals, and may not have enough time. But there are several daily flights to DC from JFK, so there should be other options if you miss your connection.
doug_stallings is online now  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 08:31 AM
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I haven't done that specific transfer. But I have done countless international to domestic flights and would never plan a 90 minute connection. Do you have Global Entry? Are you flying in a premium cabin? Are you traveling carry-on only? Those would all help. But otherwise you have to clear immigration, then wait for your luggage, and go through customs. then drop your bags, then security and to the gate or in a worse case - change terminals.
janisj is online now  
Jun 30th, 2015, 06:40 AM
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Things are constantly changing and I never say never. For US citizens at JFK, immigration has become much much simple.r. You stick your passport in a machine; it reads the information, prints your customs form and you present it to an immigration officer. Tskes maybe 2 minutes now; even if there are several flights that have come in. Waiting for your luggage to arrive is where the problem comes in. From there, clearing customs is generally just waiting on a short queue and interacting with the customs officer. You re-check your bags and as noted, it it's an AA flight to an AA flight, just go upstairs. Your luggage is already checked to DCA so through security and to the gate. Things have improved recently.

But if it's a legal connection, worry not. AA is required to put you on the next svailable flight so it's not worth worrying.
xyz123 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2015, 06:58 AM
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Actually, at JFK, Customs now means a rather long queue. It's no longer short or quick. The last time I went through customs at JFK was in April, and I waited for 20 minutes. Luggage didn't come out for over 30 minutes after landing. At most JFK terminals, bags must be checked at least 60 minutes in advance. I hope the OP can see the dilemma here with a 90-minute connection.
doug_stallings is online now  
Jul 3rd, 2015, 04:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
As at almost all international airports, there is no general rule. It depends on how many flights are coming in at the same time and from where and how many agents the TSA wants to put on duty yada yada yada.

Also, it's a 3 step process. The first is immigration known elsewhere as passport control. For US citizens or green card holders, at least at JFK, it is now very very quick. There are machines that read youjr passport and print what used to be the customs declaration. That is stamped by an immigration official and I was through that in minutes. Of course for visitors to the USA, this now includes the welcoming finger printing and third degree you get from the friendly immigration officers and may involve long queues.

Next is baggage collection which is no different from anywhere in the world or domestic transport. How long it takes for your bags to arrive of course can vary greatly.

Once you get your bags, "cleating customs" is following the signs that say exit. There may or may not be a queue for this of course. The actual customs inspection, the customs officer looks at your declaration and most of the time passes you right through. If you are connecting onward, there will be a place for dropping your luggage and you've cleared customs. A couple of weeks ago, it took me 15 minutes after a flight from LHR at the AA terminal. But that was a Wednesday afternoon.
xyz123 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2015, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I just landed at JFK last week and went through customs. From the time we landed to getting back through security to take our connecting flight to San Diego was almost exactly 2 hours. And - we were in business class, so we were first in line for customs.
Lynn_Gibson is offline  
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