Air NZ/Air Canada connection in San Fran - can you leave the airport?

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by Jenelle, May 23, 2007.

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  1. Jenelle

    Jenelle Intern

    Jun 18, 2006
    93
    0
    Melbourne
    I am asking this on behalf of a friend as I have never been in this situation.

    Basically my friend is flying from Mel - Vancouver.

    He has a 7 hour stopover in San Fran where he leaves his Air NZ flight and has a connection with an Air Canada flight.

    Questions are -

    1. Will his luggage get checked all the way through to Vancouver?

    and

    2. Can you leave the airport in San Fran and have a look around the city before going back for the Air Canada flight?

    What is the whole process when you land in the USA and only have a connection? Everytime I have been to the USA it is to visit the USA so have no clue what happens!! :)

    Thanks!!
     

  2. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Checked bags can be tagged through from Melbourne. If all on one ticket this will be automatic. If on separate tickets then will need to show the other ticket to Melbourne check in.

    However, on arrival at San Francisco will need to collect checked bag, take through customs and redeposit. IIRC bags already tagged can be accepted at the Air Canada check in any time (check in for the flight doesn't need to have opened) as long as any of the counters are occupied - which they will be at that time of day. I am unsure whether SFO also has a bag drop after customs like LAX. If they do then that is another option and saves carrying to Air Canada check in.

    Certainly can visit the city, and in any case has no choice but to clear immigration on arrival at SFO. 7 hours is long enough for a visit. I suggest taking the BART into the central city - no hassles for transfers, the same train all the way to one of the central stations (depending on what wants to visit).

    Process on arrival is to walk down the pier to immigration. Once entered US collect bag from carousel and go through customs. If there is a bag drop, then drop off bag. Otherwise follow the signs to Air Canada check in. IIRC upon leaving the customs area you take a passage on the left hand side (right hand to go out onto the road) and then turn right (left for United and American). The passage runs a while before reach Air Canada - maybe 5 minutes walk.

    Follow signs to BART. You can either walk all the way to the station or take the airtran to transfer to BART (personally I prefer walking - the airtran is confusing thanks to circular layout and doesn't really save much time). Get ticket and hop on train when it arrives. Back from city head directly to security at the terminal Air Canada uses. If have lounge access (eg *Gold status) then the lounge used is operated by CO before security. Airside is fairly small - no need to head there until 30 minutes before departure (plus extra if security queues are bad).

    7 hour connection sounds long. Last time I went to Vancouver connecting Air NZ -> Air Canada the connection was about 3 hours.

    I hope this helps.
     
  3. Reggie

    Reggie Established Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    1,616
    182
    Manchester
    Yes there is a bag check, but it is not available to everyone. On the day I went through SFO, Alaskan had someone there only for pax transfering onto one of their flights.

    However you have to turn right

    Kiwi Flyer, I was flying with one world and I had to turn left then catch the lifts upto the next level and wait 90mins for Qantas checkin to open. As this *A flying on Air Canada does it leave from a different area?
     
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