Seattle to London via Vancouver BC

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Jul 14th, 2007, 11:26 AM
  #1
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Seattle to London via Vancouver BC

Hi - we are Seattle area residents (US citizens) who for the first time are flying to London via Canada -- that is, out of Vancouver BC instead of Seatac. My question is, at the US-Canada border crossing, will it create a problem or a delay if we are truthful and tell the agents that we are headed for/just returned from the UK, rather than just vacationing in Canada? I don't know if this would set off a lengthier-than-usual interrogation/luggage search at the border. Not a big deal, of course, but I was just wondering. We will be on a fairly tight schedule heading out, and probably pretty exhausted coming back.
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Jul 14th, 2007, 11:30 AM
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I don't think it will make any difference. Many many people do what you're doing; the border people see it every day.

Coming back, allow plenty of time for immigration and customs at YVR - crowds can be horrendous at certain times of day.

When we fly longhaul into YVR we no longer try to drive back to Seattle the same day. Get a Priceline hotel near the airport and do the drive the next morning. Much easier on the body.
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Jul 14th, 2007, 11:35 AM
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Good idea, gardyloo. We were thinking of that anyway. Our flight home gets into YVR at about 7:30 pm; and I would imagine after clearing customs etc. we won't be looking forward to a 3+ hour drive home. I wonder if Priceline has a separate zone for the YVR area...wouldn't want to end up in North Vancouver, either.
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Jul 14th, 2007, 12:01 PM
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azzure - may be a bad idea to hide the fact. As Canadians our passports are scanned and the information is known by the border people before they ask the questions. Anything that does not jive with the information that they have in front of them will certainly trigger an interrogation. Probably the same for US citizens.
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Jul 14th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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robjame - hadn't thought of that. You're probably right. Especially when returning to the US; I am sure the Border Agents will already have records of our having gone through immigration and customs at YVR, as well as LHR!
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Jul 14th, 2007, 07:48 PM
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There is absolutely no problem of going through Vancouver to fly out of there! You're giving Canada business.

There's nothing to hide, absolutely no reason not to state your intention.
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Jul 14th, 2007, 08:42 PM
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I certainly agree with Gardyloo about allowing enough time at YVR. We were just there in May and the lines -- both arriving and departing -- were unbelievably long. I was told that this was due to the increased traffic on "cruise days".
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Jul 14th, 2007, 09:12 PM
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YVR airport has its own Priceline zone. Results on biddingfortravel show around $90-$100 getting a 3- or 4-star.
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Jul 14th, 2007, 09:53 PM
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Are you flying Zoom? We have been considering using it to fly to Paris, since we live in Anacortes, WA, which is just about half way between SEA and YVR. Please let us know about your experiences with both the airline and your trip, when you get back.

Have a wonderful time!

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Jul 14th, 2007, 10:19 PM
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The main problem with being on a tight schedule heading out is that you will have no idea how long the border lineups are going to be. It can and does take several hours sometimes for just routine crossings. Then there's traffic once you cross which could be anywhere from moderate to bad, depending on when you are crossing.

You might want to consider taking the QuickShuttle. If you do this, you get to the border, everybody disembarks from the bus and gets their luggage, and everyone heads inside to individually pass through the border crossing. This seems to go reasonably quickly so far as getting in the building and getting out. The drawback is that if one of the passengers attracts attention, and must be questioned, the whole bus is held up.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 12:01 AM
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Azzure, are you planning to park at the airport? My parents live in Victoria and found a hotel near the airport that let's you leave your vehicle free of charge in their parking lot for the entire time you're gone, as long as you spend one night with them. They also have a free airport shuttle. I'll try to get the name for you. It might be worthwhile to stay there the night before your flight and not have to worry about border crossing delays.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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Thanks to all who have written. Nukesafe -- we are flying on BA (using AA frequent flyer miles) -- didn't know about Zoom, will have to look into it (though Air France now does non-stops from SEA to CDG). Willtravel, we will build in a lot of time for the border crossing...will probably use the truck crossing or maybe even Lynden or Sumas if it looks bad. Both crossings will be on weekdays in October, so hopefully all will be OK. Sardog -- do you know the name of the hotel? We use the "park and fly" packages at Seatac hotels fairly frequently.
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