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customs question Heathrow to Dublin to Chicago

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Aug 9th, 2012, 04:49 AM
  #1
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customs question Heathrow to Dublin to Chicago

My daughter is a US citizen studying abroad this summer in Oxford. She leaves Heathrow this coming Saturday morning at 8:50 a.m. with a connecting flight in Dublin on the way home to Chicago. With the Olympics going on, not sure how much time she should add? I'm concerned about time--will she have to go through Customs at Heathrow AND Dublin?
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Aug 9th, 2012, 05:03 AM
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There are no immigration formalities between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, not that there are any British immigration checks for the most part in leaving the UK even if she were gong directly to the USA. Security checks are pretty much the same as at any airport these days. The US TSA has a program set up with the Republic of Ireland government to preclear most flights to the USA so before boarding the flight to Chicago she will be gong through a US immigration (passport control) check by US immigration officers. To the best of my knowledge, she doesn't go through customs and they are wo different things until arrival in Chicago when she picks up her luggage. This time is taken into consideration in the connecting time in Dublin. It is generally recommended that one leave two hours for security at Heathrow.

At least that's my understanding of the situation based on what I've read.

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Aug 9th, 2012, 05:08 AM
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Thanks. My understanding has always been that you clear customs upon arrival in the states. However, on a flight from Victoria, BC home to the US this spring, we went through customs at our Victoria departure, not on arrival in the states. Confusing.
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Aug 9th, 2012, 05:18 AM
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There are never custom formalities leaving a country - only entering.

Where this might come into play is the flight from Dublin to US. Many (I don;t know if all flights) go through US customs in Ireland rather than waiting and doing it in the US. If this is so in her case she might have to do so in Dublin.

She needs to make sure this is a single ticket so they have allowed enough time for this. If she has two separate tickets and doesn't leave enough time she will be considered a no show and will have to buy a new ticket for a different flight back to the US at a (very high) walk up price.

As for Heathrow - my experience there is to arrive at the airport 3 hours before your flights leaves - as security lines can be enormous -- and there often seem to be an especially high percentage of clueless passengers who gum up the works by having to have things explained to them multiple times.
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Aug 9th, 2012, 05:25 AM
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She does have one ticket on Aer Lingus from Heathrow/Dublin/Chicago so she's good there. Do you think if she takes the 4 a.m. bus from Oxford direct to Heathrow (an hour trip), she'll allow enough time for an 8:50 a.m. departure? I really shouldn't worry about it--this is the girl who has traveled all over Italy, France and England this summer and has done fine. Post-Olympic travel at Heathrow just might make things interesting though.
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Aug 9th, 2012, 05:38 AM
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The transfer procedure in DUB Terminal 2 (which her flights will use) is described pretty clearly here:
http://www.dublinairport.com/Librari...plan.sflb.ashx
As all this happens within the same pier, it's not lots of walking. Just going up and down levels within the same structure.

There is passport control for arriving and transferring passengers from the UK. But no customs.
The aforementioned preclearance procedure will be done after she went thru the steps shown in the chart.

It's been a while since I used the bus from Oxford to LHR, but an arrival almost 4hrs before departure looks more than enough to me. I'd probably go a bit later, but that would be just me.
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Aug 9th, 2012, 06:22 AM
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It can't possibly take more than 75 minutes by bus that early in the morning. Neither I nor Mrs F has ever got a bus more than 150 minutes before a domestic departure from T1 (your daughter's onward connection is irrelevant): 5 hours beforehand is just absurd, and Aer Lingus might not even accept her bags that early, even if the checkin desk is open.

I'd get the 0600 bus: Mrs F would get the 0630 - and she'd get the flight.

EI 125 clears US customs and immigration in Dublin.

The Olympics are a non-issue. Even if half the population of Dublin comes over for tonight's boxing and stays out on the piss till early Saturday after we win, there are still no more flights to Dublin this Saturday than any other day, so at worst T1 departures will be about as busy as a normal Monday morning. Which is when I usually get the 0600 bus for an 0850 flight to Dublin.
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Aug 9th, 2012, 06:33 AM
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Here's what I don't get in the procedure (as I said, I haven't done it but have read about it)...

She is a transfer passenger in Dublin and while I've done that from Heathrow to Dublin and yes gone through a passpaort control upon entering the Republic of Ireland from Heathrow, she isn't entering the Republic. So I don't think there is an Irish passport control.

But at Heathrow, she checks her baggage through to ORD, doesn't she. Therefore if she is to clear customs in Dblin, do they off load baggage bund for the USA so they can do a customs eheck in Duyblin...I assumed they did but then about a year ago on Fodors somebody said customs take place upon arrival at ORD...again bearing in mind, they are two separate entities (immigration control and customs). Perhaps osmebody who has gone through it can explain...

(I do know that if I am travelling to the USA via a connection in Canada from Europe pre-clearance of both immigration and customs for US bound passengers takes place in the canadian airport...luggage is sent to the US customs portion of the airport at least at YYZ and also in Montreal) and therefore on arrival in the USA, the flight can be cleared in as a US domestic flight (for this reason flights from Canada to NY can come into LGA). In any event, all this is taken into consideration in construcvtion of the connection so the key is proper arrival at Heathrow.
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Aug 9th, 2012, 06:57 AM
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Ah ha....I was wrong. According to wikipedia, take it for whatever it is worth, both at Shannon and Dublin, US pre clearance now includes both immigration and customs. According to the wikipedia article, at Dublin airport, the pre-clearance is only used for US bound flights leaving before 1600....after 1600, no pre clearance is done and immigration and customs take place for the flight upon arrival in the United States.

Take it for whatever it is worth.

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Aug 9th, 2012, 07:51 AM
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Thanks for your research xyz123. So basically what I'm hearing is that she doesn't have to worry about anything but the normal check in/security at Heathrow, then count on customs in Dublin. I think she has a 3 hour Dublin layover so that shouldn't be a problem.

You're all right--leaving Oxford five hours before her flight is probably a wee bit aggressive Her father and my motto is to always leave ourselves plenty of time for the 'what ifs' when flying, but think she could take the 5 a.m. bus and be just fine, especially since it goes directly to Heathrow. That said...our son was in London last week for the Olympics and he said traffic was a nightmare. After a few days, they finally ditched all cars and taxis and went everywhere by Tube.
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Aug 9th, 2012, 08:10 AM
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Traffic in London is always a nightmare. Heathrow can turn into a swamp at any time. According to the Independent newspaper, mass transit in London has actually been easier to use during the Olympics unless you were going to the games sites. The Olympics have scared off some of the usual tourist traffic, including many Londoners who have taken refuge elsewhere.
As to US government "preclearance", the arrangements apply to certain departure gates in Canada, Ireland and some Caribbean nations. Here is the official list http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/c..._locations.xml
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Aug 9th, 2012, 03:08 PM
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"our son was in London last week for the Olympics and he said traffic was a nightmare"

And this has got what, precisely, to do with a seriously stupid plan for getting from Oxford to Heathrow?
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Aug 9th, 2012, 07:49 PM
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Well aren't you a special soul. Go away.
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Aug 10th, 2012, 11:19 AM
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After a few days, they finally ditched all cars and taxis and went everywhere by Tube.

Why on earth were they using cars and taxis? Did they do ANY research on London?
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Aug 10th, 2012, 01:38 PM
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why yes, AlanRow, as a matter of fact they did. My son's in law school and pretty much lives and dies by doing research these days. But thanks for checking.

Sheesh, did your mothers teach you any manners whatsoever? Now I remember why I hate Fodors. Back to the other boards that actually have civilized posters.
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