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International connecting flight through Houston

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saskatchewan
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International connecting flight through Houston

I've been flying from Calgary, Canada, to San Jose, Costa Rica through Houston. It's always very tight making the connector on the way back because of needing to go through US customs just to get on the Hou-Cgy flight. Always a VERY long/slow line and then you need to go back through security before racing to the next terminal.

I was reading older posts and someone said something about: if needing help with connecting flights to speak with one of the representatives waiting at the gate - because when you exit, you are directed towards the secure corridor and not through the boarding gate.

Is this right? It would save tons of time and even more stress. I've almost contemplated flying an extra 3 hours to Eastern Canada just to avoid this in Houston. Any tips? Please and thank you!

Houston
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1. Re: International connecting flight through Houston

It's my understanding that if you are ticketed all the way through from Costa Rica to Calgary (with no true stop in Houston), you don't need to go through customs in Houston, but I could be incorrect.

If I am correct in that assumption, you could stay within the secure area, go directly to your IAH-Calgary seating area, and then, after your flight, claim your luggage in Calgary and go through customs there.

I'd call your airline to verify, but I believe this is correct. Please let us know what you find.

saskatchewan
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2. Re: International connecting flight through Houston

Thanks Gene.

I wish that were true and hope it is - but we have to change terminals so I don't know how you'd do that within a secure area?

Any info would be great.

Houston
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3. Re: International connecting flight through Houston

Boomhauer--I've never experienced it myself, as Houston is always my final destination, but I've seen other conversations that state you can take the above-ground monorail (for lack of a better term) between terminals, and still remain within a secure area.

I believe if you take the underground train system, you are leaving the secured area, however. Try sending an email to the airport at the following web site: http://airport-houston.com/ContactUs.cfm

Good luck, eh?

Edited: 8:53 pm, November 17, 2013
Houston
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4. Re: International connecting flight through Houston

If you go to the above link, click on "Transportation", and it will verify what I was saying about the Terminalink (or monorail)--it definitely IS a secure area, not requiring you to go through security again, even though you're changing terminals. It's also pretty quick.

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: International connecting flight through Houston

I do not believe there is any such procedure for "in-transit" at IAH:

fly2houston.com/0/…

There is a short-cut lane called "One Stop" and you would be eligible if you had carry-on only bags. See link above for more information.

saskatchewan
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6. Re: International connecting flight through Houston

Thanks to all - does anyone know if this "One Stop" line is anywhere near the regular immigration control lines - and if it still requires you to go back through security before continuing from Terminal E to Terminal A for the flight back to Canada?

Houston
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7. Re: International connecting flight through Houston

Boomhauer--if you check the link I provided for you earlier, it says Terminal A was not connected via the TerminaLink (at least at that time, and I believe that's still the situation).

I'd suggest contacting the airport through the link provided in #3 above, as no one seems to know exactly how this will work. I'm not sure how responsive they'll be, but maybe between emailing them and calling your airline, you may be able to get a definitive answer, eh?

Good luck.

Houston, Texas
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8. Re: International connecting flight through Houston

Yes, TerminaLink IS connected to Terminal A. The One Stop lane is located on the far left of the immigrations hall, make sure you look for the signage. I was improperly processed the one time I tried to use this lane, so I cannot speak about whether you receive TSA screening. If you do, it would likely to be expedited, as this post from flyertalk suggests.

flyertalk.com/forum/checkpoints-borders-poli…

Houston, Texas
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9. Re: International connecting flight through Houston

Hi,

No,, that's misinformation. If you are returning from a foreign country, you do need to fill out the blue form you get on your inbound flight from Costa Rica, and process through the Customs and Border patrol system at IAH. No one' skips' this step in their return.

If you are arriving from United airlines, and connecting to a United flight to Canada, you Can go though the newer "One Stop" line, which is immediately to your left, and also to the left of the other lines you see for Citizens and Visitors, in the Hall as you enter the Immigrations Hall. You just show your boarding pass that indicatd your entire flight path is United airlines, and you can process through that line, then you go right yo your flight, after you leave that area. In this line, you will skip going down to the Customs hall to get your bags, as they are "transited" through to your Canda flight, for you.

This transit line can get very long, if you arrive when the other airlines do, as it is also a line designated for those with carry on baggage only,but earlier in the day (before 2pm), your chances are better at getting through more quickly, and also avoiding Sundays, which is a heavy travel day.

You also have to go through a TS standpoint/security, after that, so factor in a bit more time.

Have a good trip!!

Edited: 5:55 pm, November 18, 2013
Grande Prairie...
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10. Re: International connecting flight through Houston

boomhauer I sent you a PM