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Customs at which airport?

Old Dec 19th, 2006, 01:34 PM
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Customs at which airport?

Trip 1
I am flying MSP-ORD-AMS-BCN. Tim is flying a different day MSP-AMS-BCN. All flights are on Northwest and KLM.

We return BCN-LHR-ORD-MSP on British Airways, United, and Northwest.

Will we go through customs on the way to Barcelona in Amsterdam or Barcelona?

On the return, will we need to go through customs in Heathrow? And Chicago?

Trip 2
MSP-AMS-FCO, returning VCE-AMS-MSP on Northwest and KLM flights.

I am assuming customs in Amsterdam on the way there and Minneapolis on the way home?

Thanks!
Liz
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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First of all, understand the terms we use these days:

1. Immigration/Passport control is where you show your passport to have it inspected/stamped.

2. Customs is where you declare goods to import to a country. For tourists going to Europe, customs usually mean walking straight through the green doors and that's it.

Anyways:

MSP-ORD-AMS-BCN and MSP-AMS-BCN on NW/KL.

You clear immigration at AMS but no need to pick up bags there. Pick up bags at BCN, and if nothing do declare, walk through green doors and that's it.

BCN-LHR-ORD-MSP on BA/UA/NW.

The tricky part is that BA usually do not forward baggage at LHR to non-partner airlines if the flights are not on the same tickets/itneraries. This means you need to go through UK immigration, pick up bags, go through customs. Check-in and drop bags at UA counter, go through UK immigration and security again.

And of course getting back to ORD, you need to go through US immigration, pick up bags, go through customs. If you bags have been tagged to MSP, then you can drop off bags there, then ride train to NW's terminal, get boarding pass, and then reclear security.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 01:51 PM
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Entering Europe (Schengen countries), immigration formalities in the country wher your flight from the U.
s. arrives, and customs (not that you'd notice) at the final destination airport. Usually.
Arriving in the U.S., both immigration and customs at first U.S. airport. Always.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 01:53 PM
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Thanks rkkwan

I am interested in if/when I need to get my bags and re-check them, not about passport control. Sorry I wasn't more specific.

Trip 1 is all on one ticket so bags should be checked through to final destinations. I am hoping I won't have to pick up bags in LHR.

Thanks again!
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 01:59 PM
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Is the return trip all on one ticket or one itinerary? Who issued it?

BA is notorious in NOT forwarding bags at LHR to other carriers.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 02:05 PM
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Yes, it's all on one ticket, purchased through www.orbitz.com
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 04:40 PM
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In that case, BA should be able to tag your bags all the way to MSP. You then don't need to claim it at LHR, only at ORD to go through US customs.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 05:41 PM
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Watch out for different security regulations for carry-on luggage within EU, esp regarding liquids and strict one-bag-per-person rule. This affects you as you transit through AMS on the way over and security control at BCN in Trip 1 and AMS and VCE in Trip 2.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 10:11 PM
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Doesn't the one bag rule CURRENTLY only apply for flights through UK airports?

It's going to apply to all EU airports but I don't know if a date has been set
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