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Transit via LA, what to expect?

Transit via LA, what to expect?

Old Apr 24th 2007, 12:11 am
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Default Transit via LA, what to expect?

So what the deal with transiting through the US?

I do not want to enter the US, but I was told you have to be finger printed, go through immigration, recheckin your luggage etc

Anyone done this and can give me a low down on the process.

We are flying out Air NZ to London, via LA (we are coming back!)

Cheers!
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 12:22 am
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

Originally Posted by Beachcombers View Post
So what the deal with transiting through the US?

I do not want to enter the US, but I was told you have to be finger printed, go through immigration, recheckin your luggage etc

Anyone done this and can give me a low down on the process.

We are flying out Air NZ to London, via LA (we are coming back!)

Cheers!
Hi,

when you get off the plane you are ushered into a queue for customs, get to the front after about an hour of queing (in our case) have fingerprints and photo taken and then you go through to the room directly behind the customs officers, just a transit room which you cannot leave, then you queue to get back on the plane. Your luggage remains on the plane.

Seems a lot of hassle when you don't actually get to go anywhere, there are toilets and a drinks machine and a few snacks crisps biscuits, but by the time you have queue to get through the customs checks it's time to queue to go back on the plane. The only people in the transit room are those from your own flight.
Debbie
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 12:24 am
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

Originally Posted by phil01 View Post
Hi,

when you get off the plane you are ushered into a queue for customs, get to the front after about an hour of queing (in our case) have fingerprints and photo taken and then you go through to the room directly behind the customs officers, just a transit room which you cannot leave, then you queue to get back on the plane. Your luggage remains on the plane.

Seems a lot of hassle when you don't actually get to go anywhere, there are toilets and a drinks machine and a few snacks crisps biscuits, but by the time you have queue to get through the customs checks it's time to queue to go back on the plane. The only people in the transit room are those from your own flight.
Debbie
yep thats it to a tee,
i flew back to uk in Nov via LA (not my first choice but had to return quickly) & it wasn't as bad as i thought it would be, i would even do it again, but not with the my kids
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 12:38 am
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

What to expect?
Lots of fat Americans - sorry to any fat Americans logging in.

I've heard that the whole customs thing can be a nightmare, with lots of queing, patting down, waiting, shoe removal and suspicious looks. Given the choice I'd go the other way through Hong Kong or Singapore perhaps.

We transited through Miami and changed at LA it it was a fairly stressful experience with 3 littl'ns
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 12:48 am
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

Thanks everyone.

Sounds like it's going to be a hassle. But forewarned is forearmed etc......

Definitely coming back via Asia, only ended up going through LA, because of Air NZ special offer (one way).
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 3:09 am
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

Be aware also, that you might have to check your luggage through again. We flew through LA last October and thats what we had to do. Although its possible its changed by now as things change all the time, so fingers crossed you wont have to do that. Although, have to say it was fairly quick though.
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 4:09 am
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

Originally Posted by phil01 View Post
Hi,

when you get off the plane you are ushered into a queue for customs, get to the front after about an hour of queing (in our case) have fingerprints and photo taken and then you go through to the room directly behind the customs officers, just a transit room which you cannot leave, then you queue to get back on the plane. Your luggage remains on the plane.

Seems a lot of hassle when you don't actually get to go anywhere, there are toilets and a drinks machine and a few snacks crisps biscuits, but by the time you have queue to get through the customs checks it's time to queue to go back on the plane. The only people in the transit room are those from your own flight.
Debbie

They seriously took your photo and fingerprints? I travel to the US almost once every few months. I was just there for March break. I have never had my photos or fingerprints taken. Just lost luggage, bad connections and long lines.

Nishka
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 4:15 am
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

Originally Posted by backdoor View Post
They seriously took your photo and fingerprints? I travel to the US almost once every few months. I was just there for March break. I have never had my photos or fingerprints taken. Just lost luggage, bad connections and long lines.

Nishka
They most certainly do .
We did have to take our hand luggage off the plane whilst in transit, which is a huge pain. We've done this 3 times now & always the same. Most of the women take the opportunity to dash to the ladies to freshen up
Annie
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 4:25 am
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

Originally Posted by AnnieNell View Post
They most certainly do .
We did have to take our hand luggage off the plane whilst in transit, which is a huge pain. We've done this 3 times now & always the same. Most of the women take the opportunity to dash to the ladies to freshen up
Annie
That is very bizarre. Maybe the Canadian passport helps... Never had a finger print or a photo taken. Mind you it has been awhile since I have been to LA. Just spent 2 weeks at Disney and we go to New York all the time to watch (dare I say it) hockey games. But, good to know! We have the option of stopping in:

a) Hong Kong
b) Honolulu
c) Sydney
d) LA

I guess LA would not be anyones top choice !!
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 8:53 am
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

Originally Posted by AnnieNell View Post
They most certainly do .
We did have to take our hand luggage off the plane whilst in transit, which is a huge pain. We've done this 3 times now & always the same. Most of the women take the opportunity to dash to the ladies to freshen up
Annie
yep, we've had that at SFO, LAX and Baltimore.....not easy with kids' stuff.....
*But* if you have little uns (toddler/baby that is) you can get to the head of the queue quickly - got to be one advantage of littlies!
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 12:27 pm
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

The fingerprints and photo are no biggie, it's just an electronic scan of one finger and a digital camera picture, so it's over in seconds. Only the older travellers (14+) need to do it. If you're travelling with young kids you go to the front of the immigration queue so it only took us a few minutes to get through last time.

If you're on flights NZ1/NZ2 to/from Auckland you don't have to change planes so you don't need to recheck your bags but if you're on a different flight to NZ (e.g. direct to Christchurch from LAX) you have to claim your bags, go through customs, check your bags in again and go through departures again, which is tedious.
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

may be a bit of a daft question to some but the last time I traveled to the US I needed a visa. If we were going or coming back from NZ, stopping at LAX airport would we need any sort of visa being from the UK?
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 12:51 pm
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

Originally Posted by ezzkazz View Post
may be a bit of a daft question to some but the last time I traveled to the US I needed a visa. If we were going or coming back from NZ, stopping at LAX airport would we need any sort of visa being from the UK?
If you are from the UK you should be on the visa waiver programme meaning you'd get three months on arrival. If you wished to stay longer, say six months, you'd need to apply for a visitor visa and have at your disposal heaps of supporting documents and an appointment to have an interview with a consulate of the US.
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

Originally Posted by happynz View Post
If you are from the UK you should be on the visa waiver programme meaning you'd get three months on arrival. If you wished to stay longer, say six months, you'd need to apply for a visitor visa and have at your disposal heaps of supporting documents and an appointment to have an interview with a consulate of the US.
I dont have the newer style passport (the one with the chip in it) I take it this is still ok?
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Old Apr 24th 2007, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: Transit via LA, what to expect?

Originally Posted by ezzkazz View Post
I dont have the newer style passport (the one with the chip in it) I take it this is still ok?
It should do as long as it is machine readable, meaning not one of those big bulky hardcover ones of yore.
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