Connect at JFK Terminal 8

Old Apr 14th, 2008, 06:06 AM
  #1  
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Connect at JFK Terminal 8

I am travelling from London to Montreal via JFK with American in May.

I land and depart JFK from Terminal 8.

Do I need to clear customs and collect my bags at JFK, before boarding my second leg?

AA have booked me on a flight with a 90 minute connection time and assured me that will be long enough!
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Upon arrival in the US, you must always clear both immigration and customs (and retrieve and then re-check your luggage) at the first point of entry.

Since immigration alone often takes up to 90 minutes at JFK, you will probably not have enough time to make this connection. I don't think that's a legal minimum transfer time at JFK.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 06:18 AM
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As American have advised these flight and connection times, I assume they will just put us on the next flight if we miss ourconnection then?

There are several later flights.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 06:36 AM
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Yes, if they booked you all the way with that connection then they will put you on the next available flight if you miss your connection. I think you will have ample time, though.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 06:46 AM
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I have arrived at JFK T8 on an international flight twice since they opened. As US citizen I was through immigration within 20min from the time the plane arrived at the gate. One time luggage was already on baggage claim and another time I waited 10min. There was no wait to clear customs.

The immigration line for non-citizens is always longer, but customs is the same for everybody.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 06:59 AM
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I don't understand.

Please explain.

If donsyb is IN TRANSIT, why does he/she have to go though Immigration in the US?

Does the US have some sort of policy with Canada that Europeans (I assume Donsyb is British) travelling to Canada via the US go through Immigration/Customs in the US?

Does donsyb then have to go through Immigration/Customs again once reaching Montreal?

If this is all true, it is an INSANE US policy.

What other country does this?

Thingorjus
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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you're correct - I am British and in transit. I don't believe I would have to clear immigration or customs in the UK in the same situation, but I'm not sure.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 08:36 AM
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I agree. I don't understand why it would be necessary to go thru US customs and immigration if you're not staying in the US. I think you need to contact the airline(s) on this. Are both flights AA?
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 08:43 AM
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Both flights are AA and in the same terminal.

The airline weren't very knowledgeable when I booked. I queried the transfer time, as I knew if I was staying in the states I would have to clear immigration and customs, and usually allow at least 3 hours for this! But they insisted it would be fine.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 10:29 AM
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There is no airside transit for the USA! You must enter the US even if you're changing planes.

Yes, that puts all the US airlines in a severe competitive disadvantage, but the US government will not let that change.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 10:41 AM
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That's NUTS!

Welcome to the United States of America.

Thingorjus

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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 01:27 PM
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ok guess I shouldn't bank on making my connection then!!

Thanks all.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 06:23 PM
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Yes, the system we have is insane (and has been since late 2001). I can't think of another country in the world that requires you to enter the country just because you are in transit. And in the US you actually have to have a VISA (if one is required) for the transit.

Since donysb is arriving from the UK, it's probably in the AM, so there will be many other flights during the day if the first connection doesn't work.

On the positive side, most flights to Canada clear US Customes and immigration in Canada and are treated as domestic flights coming back to the US, so the same issues won't be there on the return trip.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 06:24 PM
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I mistyped ... most flights FROM Canada to the US clear US Customs and Immigration before heading to the US.
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Old Apr 15th, 2008, 07:26 AM
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I fly direct with BA on the return so won't have the problem anyway, but thanks!

you are correct there are several later flights after my connection, so not too worried on that account. Is the AA lounge nice at Terminal 8, as it looks like I may have a few hours to wait there!
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Old Apr 15th, 2008, 12:24 PM
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Terminal 8 is brand-new, so I suspect the lounge is nice. I wish I were an elite-level flier so I could test it out myself.
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Old Apr 16th, 2008, 03:44 AM
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if I get time to test it I will post a review!!
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Old May 29th, 2008, 06:58 AM
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well despite all my fears, everything was very slick and we made our flight with time to spare!

The new AA lounge in Terminal 8 is nice. But when will AA wake up and smell the coffee?? Their competitors offer much more in terms of facilities, food and beverage (you no longer get free drinks after a long haul flight other than tea, coffee and water!)

BA or Virgin customers would walk out in disgust!
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Old May 29th, 2008, 04:42 PM
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donysb, I'm really curious about the length of time you spent in Customs in Terminal 8 on your initial arrival in NYC. I've heard that the new terminal is better organized and better-staffed, but I haven't had any real evidence of that. If the time was less than 30 minutes, then that's very encouraging.
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