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USA pre clearance

Would youike to see USA 'pre clearance' in Australia?


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RooFlyer

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In some countries (eg Canada) you clear USA immigration and customs at the departure airport. The arrangement is reciprocal, but I'm not aware of any country that enforces the reciprocal rights.
Would you support this happening between the USA and Australia; I suggest we ignore possible legal and infrastructure issues with this; just looking at the principle.

As I see it the pros are:

* Much quicker and easier entry into the USA; connections are more straightforward;
* if there is going to be an issue with your entry, you know before you leave.


The cons are:

* You will need to check in 30 to 60 minutes earlier to allow time for US processing (and there is no priority eg for status);
* After checking in, you will have to hang onto your checked luggage until you clear US customs (including when you clear Australian exit immigration, as this would still occur first);
* As US bound pax will be separated from other pax, the extent of shopping and possibly quality of lounges may not be as great;
 

opusman

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Its not anything to go by, except in Abu Dhabi, but thanks for voting :)
I'm not sure how you can make that call. I doubt many on here would be happy at having to leave the F lounge 2 hours before flight time :)
 
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RooFlyer

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Its not anything to go by, except in Abu Dhabi, but thanks for voting :)
I'm not sure how you can make that call. I doubt many on here would be happy at having to leave the F lounge 2 hours before flight time :)
I made the call because I've used USA Pre Clearance in about 6 different airports over a couple of countries and never had the experience described in the article.

There would certainly have to be 'a' F lounge, but there would probably be decrease in amenity - that's why I specifically included that option ;)

Edit: Why do you say that you'd leave the F lounge 2 hours before departure? The lounge is still going to be after security and all customs/immigration. If anything it would be closer to the gate, as its only serving US flights. Maybe you haven't used US pre clearance?
 
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MelUser

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Yes - I've done it in Bermuda.

Essentially flights to UK and rest of world (eg canada) are the downstairs of departure terminal and upstairs is USA.

There is one lounge in the USA upstairs part although no affiliation with AA but you can pay to go in.

However, much as I love being wined and dined in the QF First lounge I would still be willing to trade this away for preclearance and the stupid questions from Officer Mernandez in LAX about how much money I have in my wallet and how long I'm staying for and what I'm doing in the USA and where I'm visiting etc etc.
 

dk4

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I have been through pre-clearance in a few locations in North America, and reading that Etihad review about Abu Dhabi, it looks like a horror story there. But, elsewhere it just seemed to move the queue times from arrival to departure, however like all things, there are pros and cons.

IMO the biggest pro, is that if you have a connecting flight at your first port of call in the USA, pre-clearance allows you to remove the risk of mis-connect due to unknown entry processing time/delay, and if you tend to add a buffer to cover this possibility, this enables you to reduce it - thus minimising your transit time and overall trip time.

However, if your port of entry is your destination or a stop over point, then there is really no advantage to pre-clearance, in fact you are probably better off without it. IME, clearance on arrival is generally quicker than clearance on departure: the arrival process normally involves less questions (presumably because by the time you get to the agent in The States, the passenger manifest has been gone over with a fine tooth comb, and they can target more easily). Whereas, the departure process seems to involve more questions for everyone (and as the Etihad report details, even Global Entry members).

Plus the biggest physical problem I see, with introducing it here, would be retrofitting it any of the major east coast airports, with the easiest solution to be building a brand new USA departures terminal. So, I doubt that anywhere other than SYD would have the departure frequency to warrant it, and SYD doesn't have the space/transport facilities to easily create it.
 

dk4

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* After checking in, you will have to hang onto your checked luggage until you clear US customs (including when you clear Australian exit immigration, as this would still occur first...
This isn't always the case, I seem to remember that somewhere I went through pre-clearance, at check-in the checked bags were taken, you then picked them back up off a conveyor belt after departure country formalities to proceed through US customs, before redepositing them onto a conveyor belt on the other side. (IME in Canada though, you do drag them with you till the very end of the process, which makes for slow moving and extra crowded queues.)
 

opusman

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Edit: Why do you say that you'd leave the F lounge 2 hours before departure? The lounge is still going to be after security and all customs/immigration. If anything it would be closer to the gate, as its only serving US flights.
I specifically said "not if Abu Dhabi is anything to go by" because this is how it works in Abu Dhabi...

Did you actually read the article I linked to?
 

MelUser

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I don't think QF would spend money on a special lounge - although they might do a generic combined First Class/Business Class/status passenger in economy/Qantas Club member in economy class one size fits all lounge serving tea and coffee in the USA part of the airport. It would suit UA and Hawaiin airlines though.

Listen to us - we are talking as if this is actually happening.

I think we have more chance of NZ air travel going through domestic airports than this happening.
 
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I've used pre-clearance in Toronto and Montreal many times.

a) Its quicker when landing, as the plane is treated as a domestic flight.
b) There is no separation of passengers, so the existing infrastructure is used as is, no need for separate lounges.

Downside, the domestic gates at LAX cannot handle A380's and cost to upgrade is prohibitive. Same for DFW.

Maybe for VA, DL and UA, but not QF because of aircraft type used. Also, needs to suit all flights leaving to USA from Australia, from all ports, so would need customs/immigration in a number of cities. We dont have the volume of planes or passengers or the right aircraft to warrant.

Cheers.
JG
 

defurax

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Not sure what you mean with (b), major Canadian airports have domestic, "trans-border" and international terminals. So for example, AC has three lounges in YUL.
 
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Not sure what you mean with (b), major Canadian airports have domestic, "trans-border" and international terminals. So for example, AC has three lounges in YUL.
Was trying to say all international, regardless of pre-clearing or not in the same terminal...USA bound, Europe bound, Cuba bound...
 

defurax

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Was trying to say all international, regardless of pre-clearing or not in the same terminal...USA bound, Europe bound, Cuba bound...
I must be jet lagged...but again I don't understand. Are you referring to departing PAX? If you are at YYZ or YUL and you are flying to Europe you won't be in the same terminal as passengers travelling to the US. So there is a separation, additional infrastructures and additional "trans-border" lounges.
 

RooFlyer

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I've used pre-clearance in Toronto and Montreal many times.

a) Its quicker when landing, as the plane is treated as a domestic flight.
b) There is no separation of passengers, so the existing infrastructure is used as is, no need for separate lounges.

<snip>
Haven't done it in Montreal, but I'm pretty sure it would be the same there as elsewhere. US pre-cleared pax have to be kept separate from others, as they have effectively entered the US; other pax haven't, and cannot be allowed to mix with the US bound pax or board the US bound plane. In the Canadian airports I am familiar with, there is a separate pier for US departures, sterile from the rest of the departures areas.


Side story. I once pre cleared in Calgary, and we boarded the flight for LAX as usual early evening. We had to then dis-embark while they fixed a technical issue. I sat next to a (US) security guy and after 30 mins since we boarded the first time, said: I hope this wouldn't take long.

He replied, 'You should hope a lot harder. You are only allowed to be in the US pre-cleared area for 2 hours (I think it was), otherwise you have to exit, go though Canadian immigration back into Canada, then turn around and get re-cleared by US immigration" :shock: (I looked hard, and he wasn't joking). Then he added "And all our guys have left, as this is the last US flight of the day."

We left shortly thereafter.
 
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In Montreal, all international passengers are in the same terminal, those USA bound, go thru pre-clearance. They drink at the same pub, they use the same lounges, they shop at the same shops.

Outside of YUL, I'm sure AFFers know more than I do.

The issue at the USA landing side is plane size, no A380's at the domestic gates. Pre clearance means the aircraft is treated as a domestic flight by the carrier and the airport.
 

RooFlyer

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Here's a map of Toronto airport - note the separate area for US Departures. :)

Toronto.JPG

As I mentioned in the first post, having US pre clearance in Australia would present a whole bunch of infrastructure and logistical issues. Was just hoping to gauge people's general feelings towards it.
 
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All good Roo Flyer.
But feelings aside, it will never happen ex Australia.

Personally, I don't care one way or another, its part of the process to enter the country, regardless of citizenship, although with a USA passport its quicker done on USA soil. Otherwise, have to queue with the masses:cool:

Cheers
BF
 

defurax

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