Customs upon return from Europe
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jul 9, 2013 11:43 AM Last Post By: JHTraveller
Jul 6, 2013 8:25 AM
Customs upon return from EuropeWhen traveling from Europe to US on a one-stop flight and the ultimate destination being San Francisco: does anyone have a preference a to whether it is better/easier to stop in NY or D.C to change planes and go through customs there or change planes in Europe and wait to get all the way home to SF and go through customs. How much layover time should I allow to get through customs in NY or D.C.
Jul 6, 2013 9:21 AM
1I chose to fly to San Francisco and pass immigration and customs there. My reasoning was: you never know how long it may take in another place and we may miss the connecting flight. I found the people in SF very friendly and we passed through in a jiffy. If we would decide to go again to the westcoast I would most certainly pass immigration and customs at my final destination.
Jul 6, 2013 3:20 PM
2I much prefer to fly directly from Europe to my final destination in the US. It is much faster as the airlines pad that transfer time in the US greatly so that you won't miss your connection. I've always been disgusted that I'm always physically able to catch a flight to my final destination that leaves soon after I've left customs, but I always have to wait an additional two hours for the next later flight. It's too bad that they simply won't let you board that earlier flight especially when it's not full, but then luggage would be a problem.
I think that it makes little difference which airport in the US you choose for going through immigration and customs, as you'll still have that long wait whether in an immigration and customs lines or afterwards. Personally, of your two options, I would prefer connecting in DC.
Oh, the actual flight to SFO will be more interesting if you enjoy watching the scenery out of your window as you'll see Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and perhaps the Rockies and Cascade Mountains, and almost worth taking the flight itself for those sights.
Edited by: marcopolko
Edited by: marcopolko
Jul 7, 2013 1:05 AM
Jul 7, 2013 4:18 PM
Jul 7, 2013 9:53 PM
Jul 9, 2013 11:43 AM
6And for the record, never, ever fly through Dulles (DC) on an international flight with a connection. It once took me over 3 hours to clear passport control only. I had given myself a 3 1/2 hour window between flights and ended up having to sprint to make my flight. Found out later that Dulles is known for horrific passport control and that my experience was not unusual. Now if I have to switch flights domestically within the US I do so in Chicago. O'Hare has its own share of problems but at least they get you through passport and customs speedily.
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