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Airport transit from an international flight into USA

bedford
posts: 4
reviews: 33
Airport transit from an international flight into USA

I'm travelling from London Heathrow in the United Kingdom to Jacksonville Florida, via North Carolina (planholdere change). Do I have to collect my suitcases/go through immigration, and check in again for the second flight. Or do I stay "secure side". If this is the case, do I collect my case, or do baggage handlers transfer it to the second flight. I'm a UK passport

12 replies to this topic
San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 41,556
reviews: 57
1. Re: Airport transit from an international flight into USA

You will go through immigration and customs at your first stop in the USA.

It sounds like you are flying into Charlotte so that is where you'll go through immigration, get your luggage, go through customs, hand your checked bags back to someone to transfer it to your second flight , go through security and then walk to your gate.

You won't have to check your luggage a second time it just gets handed to someone .

This is assuming you are on one ticket and not 2 completely separate ones!!

Liverpool, UK
posts: 8,905
reviews: 13
2. Re: Airport transit from an international flight into USA

I would add that I assume you have your ESTA in order to enter the USA - how long do you have between flights and is it one or two tickets.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 32,308
reviews: 76
3. Re: Airport transit from an international flight into USA

You should allow at least 3 hours between flights even if you are on one ticket.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,297
reviews: 5
4. Re: Airport transit from an international flight into USA

"It sounds like you are flying into Charlotte .."

It could be Raleigh-Durham on AA.

You may get away with a slightly shorter connection if its RDU as the Heatbrow flight is one of very very few international arrivals there. So little to no chance of getting stuck behind pax on an earlier flight. But I'd still want at least 2 hours.

If Charlotte I'd stick to the three hour rule.

bedford
posts: 4
reviews: 33
5. Re: Airport transit from an international flight into USA

Thank you for your help. I'm trying to find out if I'm on one ticket or two - I have only one confirmation number, but that may not mean one ticket.

bedford
posts: 4
reviews: 33
6. Re: Airport transit from an international flight into USA

Thank you for your help. I'm coming into Charlotte NC. I've got a terminal map so I can work out where I'm going.

Liverpool, UK
posts: 8,905
reviews: 13
7. Re: Airport transit from an international flight into USA

"I have only one confirmation number, but that may not mean one ticket." - A single confirmation number will almost certainly mean your flights are on a single ticket.

Syracuse, New York
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, West Bay, Syracuse
posts: 2,445
reviews: 65
8. Re: Airport transit from an international flight into USA

So, assuming that you are on one ticket (which is what it sounds like), the way this works in most of the arrival ports is that on the plane you will be given a customs card to fill out. best to do this while you are on the plane (and make sure you bring a pen with you, since flight attendants don't have spares).

Once you disembark you will be guided through to immigration, where you present your passport and the customs card. Once you are through there you will go to the baggage hall and get your bags. You take those to the customs point (there are no "red" or "green" lanes like in the U.K.) where you hand in your card. If you bought any duty-free liquids you will need to transfer them to your suitcase at this point, since they will not be allowed in your carry-on bags for the next flight.

Once you have cleared customs there will be signs for drop off for connecting flights. Your luggage tag will have your final destination on it, which they will read and take your bag. You will then be out land-side, and will have to go through security again, which is the usual shoes off, laptops out, empty your pockets type thing.

And then you will be airside for your next flight...

(I'm sure others will correct me if I missed anything)

bedford
posts: 4
reviews: 33
9. Re: Airport transit from an international flight into USA

Thanks TravellingBritNY - nervous Brit now knows what to do!

London, United...
posts: 19
reviews: 6
10. Re: Airport transit from an international flight into USA

Hi, have you completed your journey, we are doing a similar route and wanted any tips

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