Customs on flight with connection

Old Aug 31st, 2007, 05:02 AM
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Customs on flight with connection

We are flying from Detroit to Amsterdam and then on to Munich my question is do we have to clear customs in Amsterdam? We will change planes to KLM in Amsterdam. I think that our lay-over is two hours, will that be enough time???
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 05:07 AM
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Hi J,

Your luggage should be checked through to Munich. You go through Customs at the end. Go through the door marked "Nothing to Declare".

You will have to go through Passport Control in Amsterdam.

Two hours should be enough time.

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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 06:52 AM
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Ira has it correct...both the Netherlands and Germany are signatories of the Schengen agreement which basically abolished passport and border formalities between all countries belonging to the pact (incidentally, just for the record the UK has chosen to exclude itself from this)...therefore when you arrive in Amsterdam you are entering a Schengen country and will clear passport control but there is no further passport check on arriving in any other Schengen country such as Germany. Your baggage will be checked through and you will actually clear German customs in Munich (clearing customs generally means, as Ira said, looking for the green channel with the sign nothing to declare....

OTOH if you were flying to Munich by way of Heathrow (please try not to, Heathrow is a living horror) there would be no passport control as the UK as noted above is not part of the Schengen agreement...so you simply transfer terminals remaining inside the passport control area and never officially enter the UK (unless you are on say a double ticket or that type of thing where you have to collect your baggage and check in again in which case you do have to land in the UK and go through passport control) and then you will clear passport control and customs upon arrival in Munich...airports have had to go to all sorts of ridiculous lengths to separate arriving flights from Schengen countries (no passport control) from those from non Schengen countries (such as the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia) all are in the same boat although citizens of the UK need not produce a passport to enter Germany but rather just their identity card and there are sometimes separate queues for eu citizens as opposed to others.
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Old Sep 1st, 2007, 11:15 AM
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Thank you.
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Old Sep 1st, 2007, 01:13 PM
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In fact, your connecting flight from AMS will arrive at the Schengen part of MUC with no passport or customs formalities - it's as though you have taken a German domestic flight, say, from Frankfurt. You are SUPPOSED to go to a customs counter (or if unmanned, just pick up a phone to speak to a customs officer) if you have anything to declare, but there are no Green or Red channels as such. But there may be a spot-check.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2007, 08:11 PM
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I did that last summer. Amsterdam was the only place I was patted down coming through customs.
The whole experience was fine. There was a bit of a wait trying to get through the customs counter (at 6am local time on a Saturday) but 2 hours should give you PLENTY of time to get through customs and THEN go find something to eat and freshen up after the long flight across the ocean.
Have fun!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 03:41 AM
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A pat down at Customs?

Never heard of that before
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 03:50 AM
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missourimom I think you were patted down by security, not customs, as a transfer passenger you would not go through customs (Douane) at Schiphol. You will go through security though before boarding your onward flight.
If your bags are checked through to Munich then two hours is plenty of time, and will probably even allow for some shopping time.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 04:06 AM
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Similarly, we will be flying to Florence with a layover in Rome. Will we go through customs in Rome (or Florence?). Or will we just do a passport check in Rome?
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 04:15 AM
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Many people call customs the whole checking that goes on with an international flight.

Let's all get it straight....

Immigration occurs when your passport is checked upon arrival on an international flight....in the case of Europe many countries belong to an agreement called the Schengen agreement. Under this agreement national borders have become like state lines in the USA...usually unless there is a high security alert for something there are no border formalities....thus when you enter a Schengen country for the first time in transit to another, you go through immigration at your first port of entry. In this case, both the Netherlands and Germany belong to the Schengen pact; therefore upon arrival in Amsterdam you go through passport control and basically are now taking for lack of a better term a domestic flight just as in the USA. No further immigration control will occur upon arrival in Germany (or Italy or France of Austria0. However it is important to note the UK is not part of the Schengen agreement so if you were connecting to the UK in Amsterdam, you would remain within the transit area and would not go through immigration there; rather you would go through immigration upon arrival in the UK. Not sure if Ireland is part of the agreement (I tend to think not but I don't know). That is why a poster in an earlier thread had no cluse as to why there was no passport check upon arrival at CDG but then had to queue at LHR upon arrival.

2. Customs deals with material you bring into a country. There is a misconception among some that only returning travellers to their homeland go through customs. Not true....say at UK airports after going through immigration and getting your baggage on the carousel (if it's there in the case of Heathrow of course) going to the exit there are 2 channels, one red and one green...one where you have something to declare and one where you have nothing to declare...most visitors to a country have nothing to declare unless they are bringing in lots of goodies or lots of cash or whatever; every country has different rules of what you can bring in both as a visitor and a returning resident. But when you go through the green channel, whether a resident or a visitor, that is when you go through customs. In theory, upon arrival in Germany, you have to clear German customs even if you are connecting in a Schengen country and there is a set up that says you have both a green and red type of thing.....of course spot checks can be made...

3. Most airports are organized in a certain way that arriving international passengers whether from the United States or Timbuctoo comes into the same lounges, so they have no way of knowing just how thorough the original Security check was...therefore most airports in today's world have set ups that require security checks, you know the usual put your hand luggage on the conveyor and have it x rayed and if something suspicious occurs, they do a hand check...at Heathrow which I know well before you can enter any transit lounge whether you are an international connection or nt you always go through another security check...even if you are remaining in the same terminal. You were most assuredly not patted down in customs...you did not go through customs in Amsterdam...you were patted down by security.

Hope that clears up the misuse of the word customs.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 11:18 AM
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Hi Jeanne,

>Will we go through customs in Rome (or Florence?). Or will we just do a passport check in Rome?<

Your baggage should be checked through to Florence.

If it is, you go through PP control in Rome and Customs in F.

If it is not, you will do both in Rome.

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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Aloha,
I have never flown outside of my home in Hawaii & the US mainland. I will be flying to Germany in October and my flight is going through Denver, to Washington DC then to Munich, but on the return I fly from Munich to London then to the US, is this where I will have difficulties? I dont know what to expect. It has been about 20 years since I have been on a plane (outside of little interislnd flight in Hawaii). I am a bit nerveous as I will be travelling alone and if any one has any suggestions to make this easier for me my ears are open. I know I must carry my passport and I would assume a photo ID. Again any tips for a virgin international traveller would be appreciated.
Mahalo,
Jeanne
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 12:02 PM
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escrowmanager: your passport IS your photo ID - no need for anything else.

On your return flights - you really shouldn't have any problems. At the Londonn airport, follow the signs to flight connections, and there are usually staff around to help. If you are just connecting through London you won't have to go through immigration or customs - but probably will have to go through security.

You will have passport control and customs the first place you land in the States.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 01:23 PM
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Thanks, Ira. I see you still have the bulb.

Our bags will be checked through to Florence and we've allowed ample time for connection in Rome. Getting close now...we leave Oct 31. Hmmmm. I wonder if people dress in costumes on planes/at airports?
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 02:25 PM
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For Jeanne/escrowmanager, Here are some things I do that make flying solo easier:

Check your suitcase, don't try to do it carry-on only. It's a hassle especially with so many connections.

Get some kind of small pocketbook to secure your passport, ticket information, etc. safely and comfortably on your person.

Wear shoes that slip on and off easily for going thru security checks and sitting on the plane.

If you get confused, ask someone for help. Airline personnel preferable, or even another traveler who looks experienced (if you can't find your gate, or where your next flight is boarding, etc.).

Stay calm, don't get upset. Enjoy!

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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 02:34 PM
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And when your luggage doesn't turn up and you are left with nothing but the clothes you are wearing...

Put simply the more connections, the more likely that your luggage won't arrive when you do
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 03:16 PM
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And when your luggage doesn't turn up and you are left with nothing but the clothes you are wearing...

I always take at least one change of clothes in my carry on. We also cross-pack in case only one bag is delayed. (But I sure would miss my cosmetics bag if it didn't show up!)
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 07:49 PM
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Aloha Suze,
I have one larger suitecase that I was going to check in at Honolulu Airport (I assume it will go straight through to Munich). I was going to carry a back pack on the plane (no purse) the pack will hold my passposrt (other ID ect.), a change of clothes, medicines, laptop, camera, etc. I dont want to have my hands full. I have packed in my suite case (that I will check) a cross body purse that is slim and will not show under a jacket to carry all of my ID & $$ & passport while I am on my vacation as I have been reading about not carrying a "Purse" when traveling alone.
I will take a ATM card (a couple just in case one does not work)and only draw enough $$ for the day. Does this sound like a good plan?
I have decided that I was not going to let my fears get the best of me (scarred to fly) and just go with the flow. I refuse to panic! I just dont want to be an easy target. I am very excited!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 09:25 PM
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Why are you assuming that you will be an easy target? Do you have a sign on you ? Why can't you carry a purse? I travel in Europe all the time and carry a "purse".
Traveling in Europe is just like traveling anywhere else. Travel smart- don't flash money, pay attention to what is going on around you. Check your luggage, go thru passport control, pick up your luggage and move on at the end of your flight.
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Old Sep 24th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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Hi es,

>I will take a ATM card (a couple just in case one does not work)and only draw enough $$ for the day.

Only if your bank has a very low or no "out of network" fee. Otherwise, withdraw the max on one day, keep walking around money easily available and the rest in your travel purse until you need more.

Millions of people visit Europe every year, only thousands have difficulty.

Enjoy your visit.

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