JFK Immigration

Old Aug 12th, 2006, 07:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6
JFK Immigration


I'm flying into JFK end of September on my way to Chicago, and I have a few questions about timings. We arrive at 2.40pm (terminal 4) and our connecting flight is at 5.17pm(terminal 3). My questions:

1) Will we have to collect our luggage and check in for our Chicago fllight or will be be given tickets all the way through? (We are arriving from Dubai)

2)How long does the immigrations normally take?
3) How long will it takefrom Terminal 4 to terminal 3?

I have asked our Travel agent & airline all of the above but to say that they are unhelpful would be diplomatic...
Snuttis is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2006, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,715
Since you're coming in on an international flight, I'd imagine you will indeed need to collect your luggage at JFK and recheck it to Chicago.

However, your travel agent (or you-by computer online) should be able to get boarding passes for your ongoing flight from NY to Chicago so all you need to do is recheck luggage.

There is no such thing as "normal" in terms of getting through immigration. It depends on how many other flights land at that same time, how many officers are on duty etc.

There's now an AirTrain (like a monorail) that goes from terminal to terminal so getting from one to the other shouldn't take long. But I'd say your connection is very tight since delays can happen. If the 2 flights are all on the same ticket (ie bought as one continuous flight schedule) if you should miss your connection, the airlines should put you on the next available flight at no extra charge. If the tickets have been bought separately, you may have a problem if you miss your connection. If you don't know the answer to this, you should def. ask your travel agent.

Here's a link to a similar question from the Europe board about connecting through Heathrow.
mclaurie is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2006, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
if you are u.s. citizens your timing will be shorter probably.
impossible to tell how long since this all depends on the amount of planes that have deplaned at same time in terminal.

we have gone through quite quickly in past.. maybe max.30 minutes.

tickets and boarding passes:

everyone will collect luggage at first point of entry, and go through CUSTOMS. then, if your bags have been marked to continue with luggage tags all the way to destination, you take them to the connecting flight line to drop off and continue to your gate,( providing you have a boarding pass.)

if you do not hold next boarding pass you must go to conecting flight DESK to get it for your airline before passng through any other security lines, as it is a requirement to have one to get through to flight gates.

if luggage is NOT tagged to final destination you also must get it tagged at corresponding connecting airline counter.. conveniently located before the exit area before you go look for the other terminal.

lincasanova is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2006, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,052
I think getting the luggage and going through immigration is probably correct but in our experience the rechecking is just a matter of crossing the "hallway" to re-check for the remainder flight. Hard to know how long but your time seems very adequate.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2006, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Under current circumstances you MAY expect additional delays. New York is your port of entry and you will need to go through immigration, collect your luggage, go through customs and recheck it for your next flight.

So much is the luck of the draw it is impossible to say.

I have come into JFK on international flights at least 50 times. Once the flight was early, apparently no other places landed at the same time, immigration had no line and luggage started coming out before we go to baggage pick up. We went from wheels down to curbside with our bags in about 35 minutes. But I have also had it take 2 1/2 hours or more - plane landing with a bunch of others, long lines at Immigration, waiting forever for luggage to appear and Customs agents who were checking everything.

If it were me I would check on the following flights from JFK to Chicago to see if they are full, if you can switch to a later one - or if you would have to stay overnight if you don;t make your scheduled flight.

Getting between terminals is not a real issue - AirTrain is very efficient and runs every few minutes.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2006, 09:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6
Thanks everybody! Your answers have given me more info than the airlines have! We are booked on one continuous ticket so that makes me feel better about the whole thing, worse case scenario we'll just be on a later flight...

Take care.
Snuttis is offline  
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