JFK HellBack to Forum
Anonymous23 Aug 2013
Yet again last night I suffered a 2.5 hour wait to clear immigration at JFK. Four officers on duty and a plane load of people in from Hong Kong in front of me and my fellow BA179 passengers. It’s is the fourth time in the last month I have had to endure a wait of this magnitude. It is getting to the stage where I actively avoid travelling to NYC if I can. I should add I was first off the plane and those behind me will have endured waits of closer to 4 hours as another Cathay flight with plenty of US citizens ( who take priority) arrived just as I was called.
The poor BA rep was very apologetic but could only suggest that I complained direct to US border protection.
Can nothing be done by BA about this? It is in danger of destroying their flagship service.
Incidentally, after a series great flights with BA, I found myself back to square one last night with the rudest CSD I have ever come across.
I handed him my boarding card at the door and without even looking up he passed it to the F steward with the words “one for you”. He then practically threw my landing card at me. It’s one thing to be a miserable old bastard in your own time but quite another when you are a senior employee supposedly leading a team of customer service workers.23 Aug 2013
Hi! I did BA 001 a few weeks ago. What a joy! Landed in Shannon (having left DUB via LHR via LCY four hours earlier) , an avios redemption flight, to find a queue of 0 mins and US Boarder Agency staff who actually smiled and cracked jokes!!!!!! If it wasn’t for the Champagne, I might have died of shock . They were actually friendly! It’s worth a look. The bags were an hours wait at JFK, much to the embarrassment of our (mostly) lovely crew but it was still a hell of a lot better than my last trip, 2hrs 45mins in the queue.23 Aug 2013
An improvement to the JFK situation would be for BA and other oneworld airlines to move to T8, which is the AA terminal but also has other oneworld carriers. To make space there all the domestic flights, and other flights with pre-clearance, would move to T7.
T7 would then be ‘domestic’ only and T8 would be international only. All of the CBP staff across the two terminals would then be in T8, and although there would be more international passengers, there would be roughly double the number of staff to handle them.23 Aug 2013
There is an easy answer to your problems: Aer Lingus. You can opt in or out of the Heathrow nightmare (and, if you are unfortunate enough to live in London, you can travel through the UK’s top-rated airport at Southend if you want). You clear customs at Dublin (or Shannon). As @SGJNI1961 says, the agents are friendly and efficient. The new Dublin airport is very smart (although the lounges leave a bit to be desired)
The Aer Lingus crew are lovely, the seats (lie-flat) are perfectly acceptable and the fares are highly competitive. You arrive at the brand new (and very user-friendly) Jet Blue terminal as a domestic flight. My bags were up in 30 minutes last time.
You can even earn Avios points (although, given the difficulty in spending them, it’s probably academic)
I will have real trouble going back to anything else now23 Aug 2013
Seriously, try EWR. I now always use it as my point of entry to the NY market when arriving from the UK.
Granted I fly UA so can’t comment Terminal B where the BA flight lands.
However, and I don’t want to tempt fate, out of the last 10 flights, with 9 of them there has not been a queue at all.
Utter contrast to my last international arrival into JFK 2 years ago with VS.24 Aug 2013
Thanks alanorton I haven’t been through EWR for a while and was wondering what it was like.
I have 2 F tickets to take the Memsahib Christmas shopping in November and have booked outwards through EWR and back through JFK.
I don’t find any real difference in the transfer time to Manhattan from JFK & EWR.
Agree with the comments about LCY service, did it a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Shannon was a breeze. Return landing at LCY in a strong crosswind was a bit ‘interesting’ though!
Looking forward to the annual trip to NYC (last time got trapped in Mr Chows on 57th in a blizzard!) but entering into the US these days is becoming more and more tiresome even as a holder of B1 & C1/D full working entitlement visas. I once asked if I could use the fasttrack facility in Houston as I was a visa holder and I thought I was going to be taken outside and shot!
Worst experience lately was trying to get through Miami for a connection to New Orleans. Due to imigration being swamped it took over 3 hours and connecting flight was well gone when I got through.
PS HedgeFundFlyer & MarkCymru: do not criticise BA, their staff or Avios points otherwise strange people decend on the thread and insult you!24 Aug 2013
Do ALL flights from Dublin to New York pre clear in Ireland??
If you are travelling to USA in a group, do not reject the idea of a private jet charter. With several companies now having floating fleets of Gulfstreams, you can get lucky and find a leg that hasn’t sold and cross the Atlantic for less than you may think. Best of all, you avoid all the major airports and can clear customs and be on your way within 20 minutes or so of landing….24 Aug 2013
MarkCymru – 23/08/2013 23:25 GMT
+1, just a note for others that T5 (JetBlue) does not yet have a lounge for J class pax, although it is so many funky F&B places, you don’t really miss it.
No, the CBP guys knock off in the afternoon (can’t remember the time), so you have to be careful to choose your flight.24 Aug 2013
I try to arrive into EWR early afternoon on a week day. I’ve never had any issues with traffic into Manhattan at this time.
The taxi or limo service (Dial 7 are always good) I believe cost a little more than the flat rate from JFK. The journey is generally quick, until you get into Manhattan where you take your chances.
It took me an age once arriving on a Sunday evening, and also when I’ve left Manhattan for EWR on a Saturday afternoon, there has been a lot of traffic waiting to use the Lincoln Tunnel on the Jersey side.
That said there is the train service to Penn St Station.
I’ve also used the Coach service, which is decent budget option for those wanting to alight along 42nd Street. I think it runs every 15 minutes and costs $16 one way.24 Aug 2013
Completely sympathise with you…. I thought my 95 mins was bad a few years ago (on an F ticked) and vowed never ever again.
Now I use LCY service or EWR. Never risk JFK on nonpre cleared basis. This really kills off the BA premium product on this route since you cannot relax on the flight worrying about the queue.24 Aug 2013