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advice re flight via LAX

advice re flight via LAX

Old Jan 26th 2009, 7:06 am
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Default advice re flight via LAX

Looking at booking flights and can get via LAX £500 cheaper than via Hong Kong. Problem is OH wants to avoid LAX despite extra baggage allowance the flight details say it is a 2 hour stopover,same flight number all the way from Heathrow to Auckland not a connecting flight. My question is do we need to go through US immigration lines or do we wait in a transit lounge? Any help appreciated as would like to convince OH this is the way to go

Phyl x
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 7:20 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

You don't need to clear US Immigration unless you are flying Business Class or above and want to use the lounges. Otherwise, you'll be corralled into a rather unlovely waiting area with a drinks machine and a loo.

Out of (nosey) curiosity - why's the OH so worried about US immigration? NZ Immigration are linked to the same system ya know.....
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 7:26 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

Originally Posted by Scouse Dave View Post
You don't need to clear US Immigration unless you are flying Business Class or above and want to use the lounges. Otherwise, you'll be corralled into a rather unlovely waiting area with a drinks machine and a loo.

Out of (nosey) curiosity - why's the OH so worried about US immigration? NZ Immigration are linked to the same system ya know.....
We came via LAX 18 months ago,and we had to clear US immigration...certain flights only had to go into the transit lounge,but our flight into Auckland had to go through immigration which was a pain...you have to collect all your bags in LAX and then put them back through another check in point which is only 2 mins from carousel...and then wait in line for fingerprints and so on....bit of a pain but wouldn't put us off going that way again...worth it for the extra allowance....Hope this helps...Jacky
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 7:32 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

Originally Posted by Scouse Dave View Post
You don't need to clear US Immigration unless you are flying Business Class or above and want to use the lounges. Otherwise, you'll be corralled into a rather unlovely waiting area with a drinks machine and a loo.

Out of (nosey) curiosity - why's the OH so worried about US immigration? NZ Immigration are linked to the same system ya know.....
He has heard some stories of people from UK with new chip passport having problems with it not being scanned and kids being separated from parents due to this. However if it was as you say then it will be alright.

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Old Jan 26th 2009, 7:33 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

Originally Posted by garryhg View Post
We came via LAX 18 months ago,and we had to clear US immigration...certain flights only had to go into the transit lounge,but our flight into Auckland had to go through immigration which was a pain...you have to collect all your bags in LAX and then put them back through another check in point which is only 2 mins from carousel...and then wait in line for fingerprints and so on....bit of a pain but wouldn't put us off going that way again...worth it for the extra allowance....Hope this helps...Jacky
Was your flight the same flight number or was it a connecting flight?

Think I will phone Air NZ and ask. Ta for input

Phyl x
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 7:36 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

Originally Posted by garryhg View Post
We came via LAX 18 months ago,and we had to clear US immigration...certain flights only had to go into the transit lounge,but our flight into Auckland had to go through immigration which was a pain...you have to collect all your bags in LAX and then put them back through another check in point which is only 2 mins from carousel...and then wait in line for fingerprints and so on....bit of a pain but wouldn't put us off going that way again...worth it for the extra allowance....Hope this helps...Jacky
That's only if you don't get the one flight a day that is all the way through to Auckland on the same flight number -we investigated this one very carefully beofre travelling last October as we were coming through with 8 suitcases, 2 children under 2 with carseats, hand luggage etc and didn't want to get caught out collecting our luggage again at LA!! We went into the transit lounge and as we had the children we got ushered through in the short queue with other families, same for getting back on the flight. The lounge was ok, drinks, biccies, loos etc, all you need for a short stopover really.
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 7:53 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

Have been in transit in LAX in the past and it was awful. This Christmas I had to go through immigration and customs and to be honest it was no trouble. As already said, you check your bags in a few yards from where you pick them up. Try to check in the second leg of your flight from your departing airport. I managed to do this, and didn't have to worry about it later. I had several hours to fill and was able to wander around the airport instead of being stuck in a room little better than a prison!!

Having said this, I think it depends on the flight so ring up the airline.
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 8:06 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

There are 'direct flights via LAX with a stop over for about 1 hour (NZ001 and NZ 002).

Yes you do have to clear US Immigration. There are new rules this year whereby you have to fill in the forms on-line more than 72 hours before flying.

However, whilst I am sure that there have been problems, each time I have travelled via LAX, the US Immigration Dept. are making efforts to speed up their service, and be more customer friendly.

The area you are allocated has coffee, tea, soft drinks, and snacks free of charge, with slightly better facilties including Internet for the Premium Ecconomy and Business Class. During certain times they have a duty free booth (though at current exchange rate ??).

It is NOT like walking round the shops in Singapore or Hong Kong but frankly the time passes very quickly and you are soon on your way to Auckland or London, and the advantage is that you don't have to wait for passengers who take a little too long selecting that 'must have' bargain before reboarding.

...and you don't have to worry about your bags, they go straight through.

...just my experiences..

By the way two times ago they had a 'cheer leader' telling the officers to say 'Please' and 'Thank you ' ..i.e ' next PLEASE!' ....and when I went back through they were still saying it and smiling

Last edited by Wooly_Cow; Jan 26th 2009 at 8:09 am.
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 8:07 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

Don't discount other airlines, despite them saying there isn't extra baggage allowance.

We got extra immigration allowance with Air Singapore. Sadly it was only for me as OH and the 4 kids were all travelling on their Kiwi passports!

Shop and ask around.
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 8:19 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

Originally Posted by weejie View Post
Was your flight the same flight number or was it a connecting flight?

Think I will phone Air NZ and ask. Ta for input

Phyl x
Hi we were a connecting flight,but i think it was something like NZ 1 that went into waiting lounge,and they didn't have to collect luggage....
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 8:37 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

we flew via La in Dec and it was easy we had a 1 hour something stop over , yes we had to go through immigration but queue was fine, the staff there i found were great , they let us leave all our hand luggage in the snacks room so we didnt have to carry them down stairs. we were in and out of immigration in 30 minutes and upto snack room where we just chilled for a bit and back on plane .... not 1 problem, we have used our chip passports a few times in the usa and never had a problem with them.

anyway good luck, i myself didnt want to fly via LA cos of the horror stories on here but i would def do it again just for the baggage

caz
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 8:39 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

Originally Posted by Am Loolah View Post
Don't discount other airlines, despite them saying there isn't extra baggage allowance.

We got extra immigration allowance with Air Singapore. Sadly it was only for me as OH and the 4 kids were all travelling on their Kiwi passports!

Shop and ask around.
dont quote me on this, but i was told that they have brought this xtra allowance down to nothing now even if immigrating, i think last year it was 5 kilo and now zero yet years ago you would get double...anyway that was our anglo pacific guy that told us this .. so dont know how true it is, i do know last year was true about the 5 kilo though as we tried
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 8:56 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

Phoned AirNZ and if we go via LAX we would need to have fingerprints done and passports checked going to transit lounge but do not clear customs. We also need to fill in a form online 72hours prior to leaving UK to get permission to transit in USA.Luggage will stay on the plane until Christchurch,we will get 46kgs each in 2 bags ( 23kgs per bag max ). Glad to hear folks have had no problems as such doing this recently,think this will help me convince OH to go this way. Will work out at £2260 for the four of us Glasgow to Christchurch,£182 CHCH to Dunedin......a lot cheaper than I thought Only problem I foresee is the luggage allowance from CHCH to Dunedin.....if we have 46kg each then they may not allow this on domestic flight. Anyone any experience of this?

Phyl x

Last edited by weejie; Jan 26th 2009 at 9:01 am.
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 9:09 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

If you booked the flight as one ticket (all the way to Dunedin on the one ticket) then your international higher allowance applies. source

However, if you didn't - and you booked it separately - there are charges.

I can't actually find the charges now on Air NZ's website but will keep looking.

As for customs and immigration at LAX - it isn't too bad if on NZ1 or NZ2. As people have said you are just shepherded off the plane, through immigration (note: immigration NOT customs) and then you get back on the plane.

Also remember with the prereigstering that if you do preregister, it is valid for a few years so you don't have to register each time you make a trip.
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 9:29 am
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Default Re: advice re flight via LAX

AirNZ have been so helpful today If we stay in CHCH then go on a domestic flight to Dunedin we will be charged NZ$15 if we have 1 extra bag per person so NZ$60 in total. Not as bad as I thought.

Phyl x
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