Time to clear customs at Charlotte CLT?

Old Sep 11th, 2006, 12:06 AM
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Time to clear customs at Charlotte CLT?

About how long does it usually take for one to gather baggage and clear customs when flying into Charlotte?

My travel mate is not a US citizen, flying from London Gatwick to Charlotte on Friday, and I'm wondering when I should expect her to emerge from the airport. The flight is supposed to arrive around 2:40.

Thanks!
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Old Sep 13th, 2006, 12:23 AM
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Anyone?
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Old Sep 13th, 2006, 06:48 AM
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It's hard to give a definitive answer as there are many variables. Your companion will have to first clear Immigration then claim luggage followed by clearing customs. The things to consider are: First, will the flight arrive on time? Second, how many other international flights will have arrived and deplaned in the 45 minutes or so prior to the one your companion is on? Third, where is your companion is sitting on the plane (the further back he or she is sitting the longer it takes to deplane and reach the Immigration desk). Fourth, how many other non-US citizens are waiting to clear Immigration at the same time as your companion? Fifth, how quickly will your companion's checked luggage (if any) be off loaded - the luggage could be on the carrosel in the time it takes to clear Immigration or it could be another 10 or 15 minutes - one never knows. As for clearing customs, that too is dependant upon the number of people ahead of your companion and whether or not your companion is singled out for a more thorough check.

Assuming your companion's flight is "on-time" the entire process can take as little as 30 minutes and maybe as much as 60 minutes or even longer. If you are trying to cut down on your "waiting time" your only real choice is to arrive at the terminal arround 15 minutes after scheduled arrival and hope for the best case scenarion but don't be frustrated if you have to wait a few extra minutes.
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Old Sep 13th, 2006, 08:23 PM
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Thanks very much. That's what I was looking for!
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 09:16 PM
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My friend's plane arrived on the ground at CLT around 2:25 pm. I was arriving by car and parking about that same time.

I walked into the terminal at the B carousel and walked down to the D area. I could see people emerging from the international arrivals carrying bags from Harrod's, so I knew her flight was clearing customs already. It was less than five minutes from when I arrived at D area until she came out. VERY QUICK, we both thought, to deplane, get baggage, and clear customs. And she said she was chatty with the immigration officer.

By 3:05 we were back in the car.
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