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Question about flying back to USA from Canada

Question about flying back to USA from Canada

Feb 10th, 2007, 07:30 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 525
Question about flying back to USA from Canada

My mind is a total blank.

I have flown to Toronto and Canada before, but I can't remember a thing about the procedures for flying home.

I will be traveling from Vancouver back to Atlanta. I am positive there will be a connecting flight. - Once you reach a US airport, do you have to collect your bags and go through security again? I vaguely remember something like this, but there is a chance I am thinking of my trip back form Europe.

I am asking because I am looking at a flight that stops in Utah for almost 4 hours. I certainly do not want to be sitting around for that long, but if I need the time to go through security then maybe 4 hours is a good thing. (I am always afraid I'll miss my flight)

Has anyone done this recently?
Wallace_and_Gromit is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
When you depart from Vancouver Airport, you clear American immigration and customs in Vancouver. Then, when you land in the USA, your plane is treated like a domestic flight. So, if you have checked your luggage all the way through to your home airport, you will not even see it in Utah.

Four hours is not a lot of time to accomplish anything, even if you don't have to worry about your luggage. You still have to go through airport security and all that nonsense when you check in for your connecting flight. Still, you should have a couple of hours in which you can catch a cab and do something.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 08:13 AM
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Posts: 525
Oh, maybe I worded it like I was thinking of sightseeing in Utah. No, that was never my plan.

I was looking at that flight because of when it leaves Vancouver and arrives in Atlanta.

I didn't want to be sitting around bored for 4 hours in the airport. ;-)

It has been awhile since I've had to have a connecting flight. - You need to clear security and all that again?
Wallace_and_Gromit is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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No, as long as you don't leave the secure area in SLC airport, you do not have to reclear security.

In case you are not aware of it, since Jan 8, 2007, all US residents arriving by air in the US from Canada or Mexico are required to have a US passport.
dwooddon is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 05:59 PM
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Yes, I am aware that I need a passport. I just sent in the paperwork to have it renewed ... This is part of the confusion.

When exactly will they check the passport? Will they just check it in Vancouver and then allow me to travel to SLC - or will they check it there?

I don't know what to do about plane tickets. Fares are really good (IMHO, but the schedules are AWFUL!!
I do have plenty of time (not going until late Summer) - but I have been advised to go ahead and buy.

I think I am going to hold off a few more months - I really expect to be some "Summer Specials" around March-April for travel through the Summer. I have looked at almost every airline for flights that leave Atlanta in the morning and get there around 11am/12 and that depart Vancouver around 8pm ... It seems simple enough, but the flights just are not there!

I am really hoping that it is just a little too early and they will add flights. - If I am wrong, please let me know!
Wallace_and_Gromit is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 06:57 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,087
You must present your passport at the check in counter. They will not issue a boarding pass without it. You will then have to show it at Immigration where they scan them.
traveller69 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 07:58 PM
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American TSA forces check you when you leave Canada for the USA. If, for example, you flew from Vancouver to Toronto and then to Atlanta, you would fly domestically within Canada and then go through customs and immigration in Toronto.

As far as I know, there are no direct flights from Vancouver to Atlanta.
Therefore your final leg of the trip will be a domestic flight, or treated as such. Once in Atlanta you will go directly to baggage claim like all other domestic passengers.

bob_brown is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 09:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,855
I have not flown into the US from Vancouver but I assume it is similar to the flights from Toronto and Montreal. You will be checked either three or four different times before you depart Vancouver. The first will be by the airline and they will be concerned that you have the correct documents and ticketing.

The second will be by U.S. Customs and Immigration (ICE). They will be concerned with what you are importing into the US and what your residency status is. Depending on how they are organized in Vancouver, this may be either one combined check or two separate ones. Once that check is completed, your luggage luggage will be turned over to the airline for security checks and transport.

Finally, you will be checked through the security checkpoint by the Canadian equivalent of TSA. It may be that actual U.S. TSA personnel will do that check but I doubt it.

Once you have passed through security, it will be the same as if you were already in the U.S. Your stopeover in SLC will be as though you arrived from a U.S. destination.
dwooddon is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 33
As someone who flies from Vancouver to the U.S. a few times a month on a U.S. passport, this is what happens:

1) You go up to the ticket counter. You must show your passport to get your boarding pass. Your bags get tagged all the way to your final (U.S.) destination.

2) You fill out a U.S. Customs form. To even enter the Customs hall, you have to show an official your passport, your boarding pass and this form.

3) You go through U.S. Customs with your bags, again showing all paperwork. They stamp/mark your customs form.

4) You give your Customs form to another Customs official.

5) You then drop off your checked baggage.

6) You then show a Security official your passport and boarding pass. You go through Security.

7) Then you're on your way to your gate.

8) As you board your plane in Vancouver, they check your passport once more.

9) You fly to your connecting city. Here you do not reclaim your bags. Here you do not go through Customs again. You were already cleared by U.S. authorities back in Vancouver. I always give myself at least an hour and a half to two hours connection these days, just to account for delays.

10) You get on your connecting flight.

11) You arrive at your final destination, and you get your bags.

Does that help?
xandohead09 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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Quote from xandohead09:

"Does that help?"

LOL! If I say "no" then I would really be in trouble!

Yes, thank you ... it even helped me remember (I think I was just blocking it out because I had a traumatic experience trying to fly to Boston from Toronto -Long story!)

Now if someone can answer (or try to) my question about whether or not I should hold off on tickets I'll really be happy.

Wallace_and_Gromit is offline  
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