connecting in US from Europe?

Old May 9th, 2006, 11:50 PM
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connecting in US from Europe?

I usually fly non-stop to Europe, but I may be taking a connection next time. It seems like going, your bags are checked all the way, but when you come back, don't you have to re-claim your luggage there and then re-check and go through customs? Is this a hard and fast rule, or does it depend on the airline or destination? How long does that take?
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Old May 10th, 2006, 12:54 AM
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yes, upon entering the USA, all passengers will go through immigration passport control at first port of entry , then all must CLAIM their luggage and pass through customs control before continung out to street or to connecting flights.

your bags will have tags to yuor final destination, but you will collect them, and then take them in the room to the area where YOUR airline re-collects TICKETED bags for connecting flgights.

this can take 5 minutes or much longer, hard to say.

if you have MISSED your connection, then you get RE-BOOKED with your bags at the counter there provided for that. and THAT can take a LONG time, as you will not be the only one.

it is impossible to actually do any of this incorrectly as the customs official will not let you leave the area without bringing your bags to him. so just follow the crowd.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 12:57 AM
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You must go through U.S. Customs at the FIRST airport you arrive at in the U.S. So, if you must change planes it is better to change OUTSIDE the U.S.

It can be a real hassle depending on where and when you are arriving.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 01:08 AM
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Thanks, it's all coming back to me now, as I've done this once. Guess I'll just have to allot plenty of time if I decide to take the stop.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 01:15 AM
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Another potential time consuming problem with connecting in the US is that everyone has had access to checked bags during the customs process. You can pack things in checked baggage that are not allowed on the plane.

After going through customs you have to go through security to get into the secured part of the airport for a connecting flight.

Or in the case of Cincinnati you go through security again even if that is your final destination. Cincinnati does not have a direct exit from the end of customs to the "outside." You have to go through the secured part of the airport.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 03:28 AM
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I agree about the return through Security...it can be really, REALLY slow if you arrive at the same time as several other flights from Europe; ditto Immigration and Customs so be prepared.

I think the factors affecting this are time of arrival and day of the week.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 04:32 AM
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Doesn't Ireland have a deal with the US so you pass through US immigration IN IRELAND so you don't have to collect & recheck bags
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Old May 10th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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Changing planes in America for an American destination isn't the least convenient way of getting to secondary US cities.

Changing planes in Canada beats changing at Chicago or Atlanta into a cocked hat. You have to go through Canadian immigration, then Canadian Customs, then US immigration, then security, then US Customs.

All in the same airport. I understand some people have managed it all in the same year.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 05:46 AM
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alanRow - Yes, passengers pre-clear US immigration at DUB or SNN; however, they still need to collect bags, go through customs, re-check bags and reclear security. It really doesn't help that much, especially for US citizens.
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