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I am wondering if anyone has been through immigration at SFO? How long does it usually take? I'll be arriving on QF73 flying May 26th.
Also can anyone tell me how I go about checking how full the plane is?
The only way to know for sure if to have access to the QF systems. That info is not publicly available. Tools like KVS and ExpertFlyer give an indication, but only show a maximum of a small number of seats available for sale (9 for most QF flight classes).
And the seat map only shows the seats that have been pre-allocated, not the seats that have been sold. There can be a very big difference in these for QF flight in the economy cabin.
Thanks NM. I didn't think that info would generally be available. Just interested in whether most flights going to SFO are full in economy or not? I am hoping I'll be able to have a lie down so I can get some sleep!
Immigration at SFO can vary. I was among the first few off the plan so (luckily) got straight to the front of the line. By the end, the queue was huge and they are certainly quite slow at processing. I would say an hour for the people at the back.
Most times at SFO I have huge queues at immigration - I allow a minimum of an hour to get through (you wont need as much if on US passport). So my recent visit I was pleasantly surprised to find exactly zero people queueing at immigration - our flight arrived much earlier than normal.
I flew QF73 on 19 May with a QF codeshare flight to ORD.
In Y, Flight was nearly quite full but there were two of us on aisle ends of the middle four seats. We took turns to use three seats to lie down which was useful.
Immigration in SFO took long time for non-US passport holders. So I suggest you make dash for the queue. Once past immigration, I took to the AA baggage area and handed my bags which were checked through to ORD.
In case you are using the domestic Admirals Club at SFO, it is small, congested and offers a single PC for internet (15 minutes limit). The two drinks coupons are useful.
SFO immigration isn't too bad as these things go. Like everything you can get times when it doesn't move but more than once I have gotten through in less than 5 minutes. Like every airport it depends on how many other flights arrive at the same time. When it is just QF & UA flights from Australia then it is quick - once you have Asian arrivals with language barriers, more variation in passports, visas etc etc things slow down a lot.
That's my experience arriving on NZ also. Most times the NZ flight arrives after a bank of several transpac and european flights = need an hour or so to get through. Last time the NZ flight had strong tailwinds and arrived very early = no one at immigration and through in 2 minutes.