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USA connection immigration and baggage

Kirkcaldy
posts: 513
reviews: 68
USA connection immigration and baggage

Flying with United, EDI - EWR - SAN in May 2014 I have given us just over 3 hours connection time to do immigration with esta visa waiver. Will we have to collect and recheck bags too? Sometimes both flights are terminal B other times there is travel between C and B

Milford, Ohio
posts: 1,269
reviews: 91
1. Re: USA connection immigration and baggage

You will have to go through immigration, collect bags, clear customs, and re-check bags. However, it's all in a central location - not like the original check-in process. Your bags will be tagged for SAN so when you re-cehck them, it's a simple as putting them back on the belt to be sent to the plane. 3 hours is enough time baring any unforeseen circumstances. Just go straight to your next gate and don't waste time shopping. Once you find you gate, you can wonder around till it's time to board the plane.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 26,944
2. Re: USA connection immigration and baggage

< Will we have to collect and recheck bags too? >

Yes - and an ESTA only gives permission to allow the airline to board you, it does not guarantee entry into the US. And whilst the airline will be responsible for you if you miss the onward flight, it's may not be the next flight. If you can allow a bit more time or pick a route that doesn't involve a connection in the US (eg EDI-LHR-SAN)

Kirkcaldy
posts: 513
reviews: 68
3. Re: USA connection immigration and baggage

Thanks for the prompt replies. This is the first time using EWR rather than a LHR or LGW connection like last 5 USA trips

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 26,944
4. Re: USA connection immigration and baggage

Good luck - you'll need it. Personally it would have to be a VERY good offer or a lack of other choices that would make me do and international connection in the US

Kirkcaldy
posts: 513
reviews: 68
5. Re: USA connection immigration and baggage

Thank you for the negative opinion. It is lack of BA being able to do full tailor made trip I wanted and there no longer being BMI connections. In 2011, BA to United LHR connection changing terminal with baggage wasn't pleasant

Nashville, TN
posts: 4,536
reviews: 8
6. Re: USA connection immigration and baggage

3+ hours should be enough time to make your connection. As noted in reply 1, rechecking your bags is simply a matterr of dropping them off right after you clear customs. If you have bought any duty free l\liquid items that exceed the 3-1-1 rul3, be sure to pack them in your checked baggage before you turn it back over to the airline. You will probably need to clear security again and any items that exceed the 3-1-1 rule will be confiscated.

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 7,530
reviews: 360
7. Re: USA connection immigration and baggage

"This is the first time using EWR rather than a LHR or LGW connection like last 5 USA trips."

=======================

I assume you mean that you flew non-stop from LHR to LGW to a city in the U.S. that was your ultimate destination, so you didn't have a connecting flight. You always have to go through Immigration and Customs at your first port of entry in the U.S. If that's your ultimate destination, great. If not, you go through Immigration, gets your bags, go through Customs, hand over your bags at a transit desk, then exit the secure area, and go through airport security to a domestic flight boarding area to get your next flight. You're a domestic passenger to SAN. The process has been detailed many times here.

Edited: 3:30 pm, September 28, 2013
Fortaleza, CE
posts: 7,530
reviews: 360
8. Re: USA connection immigration and baggage

p.s. if somehow you miss your connection, UA will put you on the next flight(s) with available seats, though not necessarily the next flight.

Kirkcaldy
posts: 513
reviews: 68
9. Re: USA connection immigration and baggage

Thanks Sutter. Yes, we have previously flown from Edinburgh to one of the London airports and always stayed at our first non-stop US city, New York JFK, Orlando MCO, Washington DC IAD, San Francisco SFO and Atlanta. We have done immigration, baggage pick up and customs at them before moving on to our hotels.

We won't have any duty free and will move promptly from stage to stage as advised.

Our trips have been multi city holidays so we have also arrived as domestic travellers at LAX, IAD, SAN, LAS, SFO, ORD and CLE and have experienced just walking off the plane, collecting baggage and going on our way.

10. Re: USA connection immigration and baggage

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