you mean immigration rather than customs
Immigration can take 30 mins to a few hours
Are you flying with Qantas on a straight through connection? You'll do everything at LAX.
We are flying with Virgin cheers.
Both airlines stop in LAX , and that is where you will clear immigration and customs , before you fly onto New York . As to how long it can take really depends on how many flights come in at the same time as yours .Edited: 6:18 am, January 30, 2014
Thanks for replies
I'm not sure if the same 'security' measures are still in place, but a few years ago when I did a similar trip (BNE-LAX-JFK), I had to clear customs in LAX too - meaning collecting my luggage and checking it back in!
Collecting and rechecking luggage at the port of entry ( in this case LAX) has absolutely nothing to do with security and everything to do with customs.
You are only allowed to bring certain items in and a certain amount of items. Customs is the agency that regulates this. If they feel you are lying they can go through your luggage. THey can't check your luggage if it isn't with you. While I do not know the procedure in LAX, I assume it is similar to JFK--you get your luggage, you go through customs and you hand your bag back in. You are NOT taking it to a regular check-in counter--or to a different terminal if you need to change terminals. THAT is being done for you.
Thanks rdglady - you know, I'd never actually given it much throught again - but on stopping in HNL years ago when we had collect/re-check our bags, I questioned the logic, and was told it was security - and never really gave it much thought.
However, on the LAX specific side of things, I can assure you that we had to take our bags from one terminal, and check them back in at the terminal we departed from (different to the terminal we arrived at). And yes, we were on one ticket.
tigga, clearing custums and immigration is always at the first port of entry in the U.S. It's always been that way, not a special security measure.
As long as your bags are checked through to your final destination, there is always the opportunity to put them back into the checked luggage system right after you clear customs. If you are connecting to a non-related flight (not on the same itinerary), then yes, you have to carry the bags to your next terminal for a new check-in.
If this was not your experience, then perhaps you just didn't notice this opportunity and followed the crowd.