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Australia to Canada via a US airport

posts: 5
reviews: 20
Australia to Canada via a US airport

Hi there

Planning a trip to Vancouver. All flight options involve transit through either LAX, SFO, or DFW.

QANTAS flies in to DFW terminal D, and a (QANTAS codeshare) connecting flight to Vancouver also from terminal D. Returning flights also use terminal D.

- how difficult is it to transfer between flights in the same terminal at DFW?

- does US customs have to be cleared, do I need to collect and re-check my luggage?

- on the return trip I believe US customs is actually cleared in Canada. Does this make the transfer in DFW as simple as waltzing from one gate to the next?

Another option is to fly United to SFO then to Vancouver

In SFO I would arrive at the international terminal but the flight to Vancouver is from terminal 3.

- Why does a flight to Canada not leave from the international terminal?!?

- Do I have to clear US customs and re-check baggage? Do I need to lug my bags to terminal 3 or can they be rechecked in the international terminal?

- the time between flights is 2 hours 30 minutes. Will this be sufficient? What would you recommend as the minimum?

The return trip would see me going Vancouver to LAX to Australia.

The incoming United flight arrives at LAX terminal 8 and the outgoing flight departs from LAX terminal 7.

- again, US customs is cleared in Vancouver, right?

- How simple is the transfer between terminals in LAX for United flights? Will I have to collect bags and re-check in LAX? Do I need to pass through a customs line to exit the USA, or is this also handled in Vancouver?

- the time between flights is a little over 1 hour. Is tis sufficient, given that I will be transferring from a United flight to another United flight? What would be a safe minimum?

Would there be any benefit to flying IN through LAX, or OUT through SFO, given that United is the carrier?

South Australia
posts: 52
reviews: 3
21. Re: Australia to Canada via a US airport

My Aussie brother has lived in Canada for years. When I visited him a couple of years ago he said 'whatever you do, don't fly via the US.' I flew Air New Zealand, Adelaide - Auckland - Vancouver.

The flight leaves Adelaide at the respectable time of 11:45am, and the service on ANZ was great. The only downside as a previous poster mentioned, is they don't do the Auckland - Vancouver direct flight every day.

For Sydney residents it wouldn't make sense, but for Adelaide peeps it is a great route in my opinion. The Air Canada option would have involved a horrible early start and stressing about missing the tight connection, or booking a hotel room in Sydney the night before.

South Australia
posts: 52
reviews: 3
22. Re: Australia to Canada via a US airport

Um, having just said all that, Air Canada are having a sale at the moment ! I'm not sure of your travel dates but it might be worth having a look, 15% off on some fares :)

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 27,863
23. Re: Australia to Canada via a US airport

Connecting through a US airport unless you can do Pre-clearance is always a pain especially if you don't have much time to make the connection.

Also if you intend passing through the US later in your trip you have to remember that time in Canada, Mexico & some islands is treated as if you spent it in the US as the "clock" starts as soon as you touch US soil and doesn't stop if you go to Canada, Mexico, etc. This is really annoying if you are studying or working in Canada for several months as you could be refused entry to the US on your return EVEN if all you are doing is changing planes for the flight home

posts: 5
reviews: 20
24. Re: Australia to Canada via a US airport

Hi again people,

As I type this, the travel agent should be booking me into a flight on Air New Zealand, ADL->AUK->YVR.

Thanks all for your advice, it has been more than helpful.

Nannup, Australia
posts: 3,614
reviews: 23
25. Re: Australia to Canada via a US airport


I thought you were trying to avoid a US airport? AUK = Alakanuk, Alaska..... :-)

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 5,312
26. Re: Australia to Canada via a US airport

"Tell your boss that all the extra hassle is a false economy."

Very true, but usually it is not "the boss" that is mandating the connection, it is a nameless/faceless corporate travel policy that "the boss" must follow too.

If you have an online corporate booking tool, you can often manipulate the required flight times or force a multi city routing. My travel policy requires a connection and +/- four hours for arrival/departure. If the direct flight gets in at 8:00 am and the first connecting flight at 10:00, I specify I have to arrive by 5:00 am, making the direct flight comply with policy. Or maybe you just have to have a one hour meeting with that client in New Zealand ;);)

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 817
reviews: 52
27. Re: Australia to Canada via a US airport

What did the boss say Oyster? Run into any opposition?

Thanks for coming back and updating us.

posts: 7,608
reviews: 27
28. Re: Australia to Canada via a US airport

Just as a follow- up to your earlier question....Canada- US flights and vice versa are considered "Transborder"...not International

29. Re: Australia to Canada via a US airport

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