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KiwiJanet Apr 27th, 2007 01:02 PM

International travellers entering the US
I don't usually frequent the US section of Fodors - and do not take this posting as an attack on American individuals - but this article following sums up well the feeling of many people in other parts of the world about entering the US. Lobby your politicians.

gail Apr 27th, 2007 01:23 PM

This is a difficult situation. Understand that many US citizens are equally annoyed by seemingly silly "security" measures to which they must comply, especially to fly domestically. And if one asks people from countries who have also been targets of outside terrorist attacks (Israel comes to mind), they often welcome real security measures.

Whether or not the specific security rules put into place by Homeland Security increase actual security is up for discussion.

So I am not sure about what you wish us to lobby our politicians about - lessened security, more polite officials, shorter lines?

The least efficient and rudest security measures I have encountered in my international travels were in Cairo (prior to 9/11) where my luggage was x-rayed 3 times prior to my boarding a flight and my film was refused hand inspection. We were also all ordered off a small bus at the Aswan Dam, lined up on the side of the road, while bomb sniffing dogs walked up and down the line and mirrors and cameras were put under the bus. (Turns out someone had suggested the week before that blowing up the Aswan Dam would be a great idea).

I agree there is much room for improvement - but not sure the comments of the New Zealand Herald are entirely justified - these things are not done merely to tick off international visitors.

KiwiJanet Apr 27th, 2007 01:34 PM

I think the point is made in the article that increased security measures are not what travellers mind - I certainly dont - so much as the manner in which it is done.

TxTravelPro Apr 27th, 2007 02:12 PM

I am a 44 year old woman who works for a major company here in the US. Every time I go to Canada I get detained and questioned extensively. I don't mind an extra search but this is unreal. Wait a couple of hours for the detailed search then spend an hour or so in an interrogation room.
Drives me nuts. My maiden surname is Smith, married Thompson. I have never had a driving ticket. I have never been anywhere controversial. There is just nothing in my profile that would typically cause an extra search.
I still like visiting Canada and now I plan on this extra hassle. I have a bottled drink, something to read and just relax as they go through the motions.
The US allows many people in without difficulty and then there will be people like me who get hassled for no real reason.
Yes, it sucks but I will not stop going to Canada.

rkkwan Apr 27th, 2007 02:18 PM

This really has nothing to do with 9/11 or TSA, as it was like this even before that.

And not the US only either. Canada and the UK had the same reputation.

Why? These three countries' immigration officers are few in the world that actually open their mouth to ask questions to all visitors. Always did, still do.

nelsonian Apr 27th, 2007 02:36 PM

We were very apprehenisve about going through LAX on our recent trip to the US from New Zealand and instead opted to arrive in San Francisco. We had absolutely no problems whatsoever, the longest wait was waiting to get our bags after we went through immigration. The people at Immigration were very polite, asked the usual questions about your reason for travel etc but we did not feel threatened or stressed.

We flew out of the country via LAX, we gave ourselves several hours to get through security, in fact took about 30 minutes at the most. We also flew two domestic flights on SouthWest airlines and again gave ourselves at least two hours to get through the security, process. The first time it took 10 minutes at Oakland, and the second about 15 minutes at La Guardia.

Actually when I think about it we had more hassle at Auckland airport leaving the country than we did getting into the US.

mikemo Apr 27th, 2007 02:42 PM

We live in Mexico and travel hassle free.
I guess we don't fit the monthly profiles of terrorists.

Pegontheroad Apr 27th, 2007 03:41 PM

The treatment by the Dept. of Homeland Security is typical of this administration's incompetent and hostile behavior. There! I said it and I'm glad!

Melnq8 Apr 27th, 2007 05:36 PM

Hi KiwiJanet -

We're Americans living in Asia and we often arrive in the US via LAX. Hate it, hate it, hate it! LAX seems to have cornered the market on gruff, unfriendly immigration bullies.

Yes, LAX is extremely busy, and yes, the officials have difficult jobs, but a wee bit of kindness would go a long way, especially in welcoming visitors to our country.

I visit NZ and Australia often and I'm always amazed at how welcome I'm made to feel. Immigration and customs officials are efficient, professional and welcoming.

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