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LAX Landing with Pet

LAX Landing with Pet

Old Apr 30th 2017, 6:52 pm
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Default LAX Landing with Pet

Hi All,

I've been lurking behind the scenes for the last few months but it's finally happening and I'm moving to the US on Tuesday. I will be based in Irvine, CA.

I've got everything sorted now - Visa, car (Through IAS), temporary accommodation, container shipping etc.

I have questions for anyone that has had experience with either:
  • Recently landed at LAX on an L1 visa - How long did the immigration process take? Doing some research, it looks like it can take up to two hours? We're worried about our 8 suitcases and the delay in picking up our poor puppy from the cargo area...
  • Took a pet to LAX using Virgin Atlantic - Do you seriously have to go to the cargo area, then to the customs area, then to the cargo area again? I can't see any footpaths so it looks like taxi every time...? (All which will happen with 8 suitcases...!) How long did the queues/process take in each stage?

Thank you in advance for your replies!

Josh

Last edited by skyinuk; Apr 30th 2017 at 7:17 pm.
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Old Apr 30th 2017, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: LAX Landing with Pet

The visa processing step can take ten minutes, or much longer, it's impossible to predict as it depends in staffing, numbers of visas being processed, and numbers of other "problem cases" being processed in secondary. Some visas at some airports are processed directly at the primary immigration desk.

Sorry, I don't have any experience of clearing a pet through customs, but in the case of other freight the paperwork is passed around various offices, and you only go to physically collect it when the paperwork is complete. Then you go to the bonded warehouse and the goods are released to you and you can leave.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 30th 2017 at 7:41 pm.
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Old Apr 30th 2017, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: LAX Landing with Pet

Originally Posted by skyinuk View Post
[*]Took a pet to LAX using Virgin Atlantic - Do you seriously have to go to the cargo area, then to the customs area, then to the cargo area again?
No. One trip to cargo is all that is required. VA will handle the customs part of your pet.
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Old Apr 30th 2017, 8:17 pm
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Default Re: LAX Landing with Pet

Thank you pulaski and hungryhorace! Fingers crossed I'm not a 'problem case'

Originally Posted by hungryhorace View Post
No. One trip to cargo is all that is required. VA will handle the customs part of your pet.
That would save us a lot of a hassle but this is what I got from VA:

When you arrive at LAX International airport, you need to make your way to the above facility
to collect the original paperwork. Please ensure you have photo identification available. You
will need to make your way to US Customs and present your documents for clearance. The
US Customs facility is situated approx 1.5 miles away from Virgin Atlantic Cargo. (There is no public transport available). Once US Customs have cleared your pet you must go back to
Virgin Atlantic Cargo, present your clearance notice, pay the $65.00 import service fee, sign the pet check with security and then your pet will be released to you.
The above warehouse is situated 3 miles away from the passenger terminal. There is a taxi service but no public transportation from the passenger terminal.


Full PDF here - https://www.dropbox.com/s/ta2vog7m9b...20LAX.pdf?dl=0
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Old Apr 30th 2017, 9:19 pm
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Default Re: LAX Landing with Pet

I processed at the primary desk, no secondary at all, took maybe 5 minutes longer.

Have you flown into LAX before? Depending on which terminal you come in at, the wait can vary between 'are you effin kidding me' to 'oh i'm outside already!'

I would only text Mrs DJ when I had collected my luggage, the time scale is so unpredictable.
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Old May 1st 2017, 1:56 pm
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Default Re: LAX Landing with Pet

Hopefully you won't have that run-around. When our cat was imported via Boston Logan, VA handled everything for us customs wise.
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Old May 2nd 2017, 6:09 am
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Default Re: LAX Landing with Pet

Are you flying your dog as cargo or as baggage? I'm guessing cargo since you mention it but if baggage:

Flew into LAX 3 years ago on an H1b/H4 with my dog as baggage and picked him up in the baggage area along with my bags. Customs barely looked at the dog: they were only interested in whether his rabies vaccine was up to date.

Because of the huge amount of stuff we had and an already confused and dazed dog and not knowing whether any taxi would allow a dog inside (let alone fit his enormous crate + all our stuff), I stood outside in a semi quiet corner of the airport with the dog (near the pet relief area) and the stuff while the OH went off to get the rental car and then came back to pick us up. That took about 1.5 hours.
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Old May 2nd 2017, 8:22 pm
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Default Re: LAX Landing with Pet

We flew our dog in cargo with VA but to Florida and were also given those details. We called ahead though and Virgin stated he would be cleared for us and just to collect him at the cargo area. I did ask the customs officer on arrival if I needed to do anything and he also said no virgin will have done the clearance. So hopefully the experience will be the same for you. They were really efficient We did have a fee to pay on collection though so just make sure you have some cash with you for that. Happy travels
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Old May 3rd 2017, 9:43 pm
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Default Re: LAX Landing with Pet

Hi Josh,

I came across this and thought Id say hello.
Myself and my husband are moving to Irvine in August from Boston MA but were both British.

How have you found the move so far? Do you live in Irvine or commute?
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Old May 4th 2017, 7:48 pm
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Default Re: LAX Landing with Pet

So immigration (Virgin Atlantic - LAX Terminal 2) took about 5 minutes and it was all done at the primary desk. I was in a taxi within 40 minutes of landing!

The painful part was getting to Virgin Atlantic Cargo (2 minutes wait) -> US CBP (15 minutes wait) -> Virgin Atlantic Cargo (2 minutes wait)... Never want to do that again! Puppy was so happy to see us though after being alone for 18 hours! (Pet check-in is 4 hours before flight time).

@birdy - I've been here 2 days now and it's fantastic so far. I'm based in The Park near the Spectrum in Irvine and the facilities are incredible.
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Old May 5th 2017, 3:00 am
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Default Re: LAX Landing with Pet

That's great to hear. My husbands work is beside Spectrum too so we will have to take a look.
Thanks!
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Old Apr 11th 2018, 10:29 am
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Default Re: LAX Landing with Pet

I know it's been a year since the last post but we too are moving to Irvine from UK in August. Our little dog is flying on his own - my husband who is already there is going to collect him. Does this make things easier - does he just go straight to cargo area - and how long after the flight lands should he be there? So it is $65 import fee (because getting him there in the first place isn't expensive enough!!). Thanks.
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Old Apr 11th 2018, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: LAX Landing with Pet

Originally Posted by JJ06 View Post
I know it's been a year since the last post but we too are moving to Irvine from UK in August. Our little dog is flying on his own - my husband who is already there is going to collect him. Does this make things easier - does he just go straight to cargo area - and how long after the flight lands should he be there? So it is $65 import fee (because getting him there in the first place isn't expensive enough!!). Thanks.
By the way, there was a major realignment of carriers and terminals at LAX in May 2017. So, make sure information is up to date. There is a lot of obsolete information out there.
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