Preclearance vs ESTA immigration kiosksBack to Forum
Anonymous20 Nov 2015
In the past few weeks I have flown to Miami twice from London and have found these automated kiosks a pleasure to use. You scan your passport, answer a few questions and are issued with a receipt which you present to an immigration officer…again no queue!!
If I compare with the friendly and swift preclearance formalities at Dublin, IMO the kiosks are just as good, if not better.
Which other US airports have same?20 Nov 2015
Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth, Washington Dulles all do. US pre-clearance is coming to Manchester and Heathrow. Global Entry program will be extended to UK citizens from early 2016.20 Nov 2015
JFK definitely has them. I used them on my arrival a couple of weeks ago.
Took some time to work out how to use it till a very friendly lady helped me. After all the effort I got the receipt with a big “X” on it meaning I still had to go and be “processed”.
Turns out you can only use the machines if you have already entered with your current ESTA. If it’s new, or even a renewal, you have to go to an agent.21 Nov 2015
Flew into LAX two weeks ago they have the kiosks, Q’d
to use the kiosks about 30 mins then joined another Q to have the immigration officer check the tickets, took nearly1.5 hrs, great improvement…not.21 Nov 2015
L.P. Yes, the same happened to me at IAD. After queueing for ages to get to a machine I then had to join another queue to get to an agent. If I’d joined the”agent” queue in the first place I’d have been i the car by then.23 Nov 2015
Slightly off topic, but pay £3 for Priority lane security at Luton and liquids are required to be in a clear plastic bag and the 100ml restriction is lifted, only laptops still have to come out. Apparently the scanner detects dangerous liquids.23 Nov 2015
I was lucky Lloydah, there were plenty of unoccupied machines when I arrived and no-one in front of me for the agent. However I did have to join a short queue to again show my stamped card and hand it over before I could get to the baggage hall.23 Nov 2015
I used it for the first time last week at JFK Terminal 8 – it was a big improvement. But as has been said, its usefulness remains dependent on the queues – for the machines and for the immigration officers. In my case, there were no queues for the machines (this will no doubt change as more visitors cotton on to the possibility of using them) – and only a short but initially slow-moving queue for the immigration officer – though soon after, someone came to specifically to process ESTA/machine passengers and we went very quickly through.
My only challenge was getting it to read my passport – normally don’t have problems with any other automated passport reader I use, but did need to call over a member of staff to help me get it read.
They were announcing that first time ESTA visitors couldn’t use the machines; I thought I’d try my luck – it wasn’t my first time, but it was the first time on that ESTA (my third) – and all worked smoothly.26 Nov 2015