US immigration queues

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This topic contains 82 replies, has 34 voices, and was last updated by  MartynSinclair 28 Jul 2011
at 17:46

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 83 total)

  • Anonymous

    On a recent flight into New York JFK, Business Traveller waited just under 90 minutes to pass through US immigration. Is this a record? – can any forum posters beat this?


    Once I waited 2.5 hours at JFK. It was only that short because after I fainted other passengers let me go to the front of the queue.


    This is the reason i never trasit to my final destination in the US . That is go thru immigration and then hope I catch my connection flight
    much safer to make a connection to ur final stop this side Of the ocean


    Afraid I only managed 2 hours! I was first off plane, joined the (long) queue at which point they opened up a second set of barriers as another set of booths opened. I was not allowed to move to the other line, the rest of the plane went through quickly and I was stuck!

    Newark however with the Swiss Privat Jet, from leaving the plane to getting into my taxi, 10 minutes. Is this a record I wonder?


    Yep. Waited a few minutes shy of 2 hours September last year. Did the same thing – fled out the aircraft door at high speed (Swiss from Zurich) but getting out of the corridor into the wedged immigration hall queue took a while. Counted exactly half the desks open when eventually at the front. With such a paltry dribble of passengers going thru, still don’t understand why there was also such an enormous backup in a dingy corridor to hand in customs form. A week later LaGuardia to Montreal, arrival at Montreal wedged – took 65 minutes. Only 3 booths open for non-Canadians, and 3 for Canadians, which had no queue. After a while they let little groups of the ‘others’ use the Canadian booths, which helped. still too slow


    Yes, Dublin airport US immigration and customs cleared in less than 10 minutes this week (though 4 weeks ago it was 60)


    Wow, I’m surprised that everyone experienced such lengthy waiting times. I flew between Sydney and JFK via LAX. When I transited through LAX, neither did I rush or feel compelled to fly out the aircraft door.

    There were heaps of open counters, the majority of which were not processing any passengers, and if they were processing, there were no other passengers waiting in that particular queue. This meant that I went straight through immigration within 5 minutes without any fuss, and I was out of the baggage reclaim area and going back up to the departure areas for my onward flight within 10-15 minutes at the very maximum…


    I arrived at PHL a couple of weeks ago and had a choice of 8 queueless immigration booths…………… Most of the passengers on my flight were US citizens/ residents and mine was the only international arrival at that time


    I usually enter the US at the West Coast gateways and generally with not too much waiting and mostly from 5 to 30 minutes clearance!

    Also been lucky with various NY airports but Washington DC can’t be very slow at times and I once had the airline slamming the door as I was the very last passenger on that connecting domestic flight and I had just over 2 hours to clear Immigration!

    I always tell the Immigration officer at the counter that the US is unique in the world by obliging the transit passengers to go through unneceessary entry procedure and it must be Uncle Sam’s secret desire of creating jobs!!!

    The New World with antiguity practice!

    Read a book or sudoku while queuing………………………………………………!!!!

    Happy entry!


    Chicago O’Hare can be a nightmare late afternoon. Five trips last year and shortest entry time just under 60 mins. It does not help to be travelling F or J either, you just follow the line from the previous flights. Oddly, went through Kennedy off a BA flight in 5 minutes in April.


    IAD – those transit buses on legs. F or J, you’re off the plane first then have to crush into the bus to be trundled across the runway to queue at immigration. Last time – 95 mins. No fast track, no smiles, no help at all. LH heavy just behind us, they must have had to queue over 2 hours. What is wrong with the management at that place?


    Worst ever was Chicago O’hare early afternoon about 3 years ago, 2 hours 45 minutes. AA Flight from London arrived after 2 German Jumbos, closely followed by JFK Delta from Mexico City which was 2 hrs 30 minutes. Again KLM, Air France and anither European airline had landed just in front. CBP try their best but the airlines always schedule all their planes to arrive in groups (maybe they get cheaper rates from CBP if they arrive at same time?). Best has to be AA at LAX, if you are at the front of the plane or the middle there is normally no wait at all whereas TBIT where BA arrive is always beign rebuit and as it is shared you get the same problem of 747’s full of Koreans, Japanese or Europeans and others landing just before you.

    If only the British Government would get on with their commitment to co-operate with Global Entry from 2008 (The Dutch are already using it) frequent travelers could all use the machines and have no lines. Maybe they need to understand there could be votes in it if more people knew.


    Is Miami as bad as it used to be? I’m flying there later this month from LHR. I’ve heard some awful things about immigration there.


    All I notice is the walk is now much longer.

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