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Layover San Francisco Airport

Toronto, Canada
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Layover San Francisco Airport

5 hour layover at SF airport en route to NZ. One clears American immigration and customs in Toronto (US agents). Does one still have to claim one's baggage in SF and check it again for the NZ leg or is it checked through? I assume if one leaves the transit area one must clear U.S. immigration again? Also times for clearing Immigration and security on a previous posting seem incredibly long. Can someone confirm? Thanks very much.

San Francisco...
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for San Francisco
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1. Re: Layover San Francisco Airport

If you are on one ticket then your bags will be checked through to NZ and you don't have to touch them at SFO

You may have to switch from. International A to G gates depending on your flights . You can come out wander around SFO and you only have to go through Security to get to your NZ gate . in fact you may have to do that if you plan to go to the international lounges

There is no outbound international customs or immigration process for any international flight - just checkin and security ( you will only need to go through security)

Www.flysfo.com has maps

Portland, Oregon
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for Air Travel
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2. Re: Layover San Francisco Airport

If your flights are both on the same ticket then your bags will be checked all the way through and you won't need to collect them at SFO.

Whether you need to reclear security or not will depend on which terminal/concourse your inbound flight arrives. If your onward flight is Air New Zealand to AKL or United to SYD then those flights leave from INTL-G. If your inbound arrives at INTL-G or domestic T3 you'll be fine as there's a walkway between those terminals. With an on time arrival and 5 hours to kill it won't matter anyway, unless you plan to buy duty free at YYZ in which case I'd think again as the liquids and gels rule applies for security at SFO.

Canada
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3. Re: Layover San Francisco Airport

You are considered a "domestic flight" once through "pre-clearance" at YYZ. Upon arrival at SFO, there will be no further immigration issues while in the US.

If you choose to leave the airport facility, you will need to clear the basic TSA hoops upon your return.. Customs and immigration is undertaken upon arrival in NZ.

San Francisco...
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for San Francisco
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4. Re: Layover San Francisco Airport

@Wanderlust. just curious. - I have seen a few posters use the term "basic TSA". There is just one TSA security process at all US airports or am I missing something ?

Edmonton, Canada
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5. Re: Layover San Francisco Airport

I'm looking at an all-day layover at SFO, with jet lag. I sure hope there's a patch of soft grass in the sun outside, where a weary traveller can lay their head on the carry-on and take a mid-day nap.

Every airport should have this feature. The last airport I flew out of did, but then it's a small one. Queretaro rocks.

San Francisco...
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for San Francisco
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6. Re: Layover San Francisco Airport

Grass at SFO ? Nope . Hotels motels lounges where one can relax, shower eat or you can drop off your bags and take the train to SF. There is a yoga lounge as well inside T2 security .

There is a jogging /walking track south of SFO near the hotels which hugs the bay and a golf course and a park but one has to take a cab to get there.

There is info in the SF top questions on SFO layovers

Edited: 11:37 pm, January 21, 2014
Canada
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7. Re: Layover San Francisco Airport

Sorry for the confusion, belomiser

As a frequent transborder Canadian traveller responding to a Canadian OP....my mention of "basic TSA" was meant to imply just the usual Security checkpoint.....not including a Customs/Immigration stop that we are usually accustomed to clearing upon leaving from our Home bases in Canada and travelling transborder to the USA.

Perhaps "basic" should not have been the word of choice but rather "usual" TSA.

San Francisco...
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for San Francisco
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8. Re: Layover San Francisco Airport

That is fine . No worries.. Thanks for the clarification. As mentioned it is not just you.. There were others too and I was wondering if my beloved TSA had something new for international passengers LOL

By the way I presume you are a nexus member and therefore get TSA-pre ?

Edited: 12:11 am, January 22, 2014
Canada
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9. Re: Layover San Francisco Airport

Yes, we zip through with no issues.

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Layover San Francisco Airport

Thanks so much to each of you for the detailed responses! Very, very helpful.