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Need a bit of advise

England
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Need a bit of advise

Hi, hoping someone can give a infrequent flyer some advise...

I am arranging a trip from UK to USA that involves a connection flight, I have been told on good authority that when I land at my first point of entry in the USA I will go through immigration and then have to pick my checked baggage up (?) and go through custome and then resubmit them, is this true as my other flights in Europe have always automatically put my bags on to the connecting flight.

Part 2 :) What exactly does 'Plane Change' mean, I understand I would have to get off one plane and get on another, but would I have to go through immigration as it would be my 'first point of entry' to USA, I think not but would appreciate any advise.

Thanks VERY much for ant advise you can give me - Spike :)

San Diego
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1. Re: Need a bit of advise

In the USA you DO go through immigration at the FIRST place you land. Plane change means you get off one plane and change for another and perhaps the flight no. stays the same BUT since you are getting off a plane in the USA you DO have to go through immigration there. About the luggage you walk through customs with it but then if it is checked through then you just hand it off to someone nearby. The actual WHERE you do it may depend on WHICH USA airport you are in.

IF you tell us that detail we can help further.

Bangkok
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2. Re: Need a bit of advise

Hi,

By US regulation ALL passengers, regardless of nationality or final destination MUST clear US Customs and Immigration formalities at their FIRST POINT of entry to the United States..

So, in your case you WILL have to proceed thru Passport Control, reclaim your baggage and clear Customs Control.. After clearing formalities most airports have a central baggage drop-off point for all bags that are going onwards to other destinations..

Plane Change means that you will have to physically change to a different aircraft at some point in your journey.. Without knowing your exact itinerary, I'd suspect it will be at the "gateway" city in the US-- that is where you cleared Customs and Immigration..

Travel Safe,

England
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3. Re: Need a bit of advise

Thanks very much for the quick replies - much appreciated. Sorry for giving all the relevant details but here goes...

Possibility 1, Heathrow - Washington (Dulles) - Albuquerque

Possibility 2, Heathrow - Denver - Albuquerque but with Plane Change at Washington Dulles.

I understand my first option now - thanks for the clarification. 2nd option I believe you are saying that I would still have to go through passport control/immigration at WASHINGTON DULLES, pick up bags, go through customs, resubmit bags and then get back on a different plane - if that is correct then really its just like having 2 connections to make ?

Spike

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4. Re: Need a bit of advise

<<2nd option I believe you are saying that I would still have to go through passport control/immigration at WASHINGTON DULLES, pick up bags, go through customs, resubmit bags and then get back on a different plane - if that is correct then really its just like having 2 connections to make>>

Are you sure you typed your 2nd option right as it has Denver as first arrival so I'm not sure where Dulles comes into it?

Whatever you do, the first place your plane lands, you WILL go through immigration etc, so if the Denver plane lands in Dulles first, that's where you will go through immigration. Plus, in many airports (maybe all, I'm not sure) , once through immigration and got your baggage and handed it back in again, you then have to go landside and then Q up again to get back in through security, its idiotic, a time wasting nightmare.

I went through Dulles once, hated it and swore never to do it again, they have these stupid moving lounges on wheels like something out of Thunderbirds and if you are in a rush you can't run as you are stuck in the stupid things as they trundle across the tarmac at about 1mph. Not sure if they are still there now. I presume you are looking at a carrier who use it as their hub? Good luck !

Whatever airport you are looking at being your first port of call, make sure you have an absolute MINIMUM of 2 hours, and 3 would be better, to get to your next flight, so while 2 might be enough, even a 30 minute late arrival could snooker you.

Bangkok
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5. Re: Need a bit of advise

Hi,

Generally speaking the fewer connections and plane changes you make lowers your chances of lost/delayed bags and flight delays and cancellations-- based on sheer numerical basis..

IAD is not the best airport to clear Customs /Immigration in the US-- unless you're using UA who operates their own dedicated use mid-field clearance facility-- but it's manageable..

For me, I'd rather deal with a customs clearance in IAD versus have to make a double onwards connection..

Travel Safe,

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Need a bit of advise

Not sure if they are still there now.

_________________

They most certainly are.

If you are going between the main terminal and Concourse A/B then there is an underground walkway but Concourse C/D require the moon buggies.

If you fly United into IAD then you disembark right into Concourse C/D and clear immigration/customs/security there. If you arrive on any other airline the aircraft stops just short of a stand and the moon buggies come up to the side of the aircraft then whisk you off to immigration.

There is an underground transit being built at IAD which will at least eliminate the need to use the moon buggies for departures. I suspect international arrivals will still require the moon buggies.

England
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7. Re: Need a bit of advise

Thanks evryone for your advise - I think I have got it now :)

jointheuk said "Are you sure you typed your 2nd option right as it has Denver as first arrival so I'm not sure where Dulles comes into it?"

yeah it was right and I tried to get that across by saying...

Possibility 2, Heathrow - Denver - Albuquerque but with Plane Change at Washington Dulles.

...but obviously it didnt work - LOL

jointheuk said "Whatever airport you are looking at being your first port of call, make sure you have an absolute MINIMUM of 2 hours, and 3 would be better, to get to your next flight, so while 2 might be enough, even a 30 minute late arrival could snooker you."

Thanks for the advise joe, I personally would also rather wait a couple of extra hours at an airport than have to rush through just HOPING everything will be ok, much less stress :)

GOPBI, yes option one (which I prefer) is with UA and I take your point about IAD versus a double onward connection - thanks.

Spike

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8. Re: Need a bit of advise

If you're travelling to ABQ, why not consider using BA to PHX then picking up something from there? Southwest offer flights from about $US80 (all inclusive) single; BA's flight to PHX arrives at T4 and Southwest flights depart from T4 at PHX so it's not a horrid schlep from one terminal building to another.

As well, there are very few international flights* to PHX so passport control and baggage collection shouldn't be as much of a pain there as elsewhere. *Flights from Canadian destinations clear US border checks at the Canadian point of departure, so it's a matter of alighting from the plane and heading to baggage collection.

Flying with BA will give you the option of a four class 747 for the longest part of the journey, which could offer a more comfortable trip than other carriers.

San Diego
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9. Re: Need a bit of advise

I also do NOT understand choice #2!

In my opinion the fewer connections the better.

I agree that leaving 3 hrs is a good idea and 2 hrs is the absolute minimum at that first stop where you have to go through immigration etc.

Garden Bay, Canada
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10. Re: Need a bit of advise

I'll join the party...

I thought option two was fairly clear. On the way to denver, the plane stops at IAD and then the flight continues through to DEN. C&I hapens at IAD.