USA pre clearance

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


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Qld4101

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Would also much rather see a similar process in place for NZ traffic - would speed travel considerably and potentially reduce costs??
 

Qld4101

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Travelled Montreal - Miami recently and was definately a seperate terminal for US bound flights - very easy though.
 

defurax

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Back on topic, with the current security "challenges" facing the "West", I think US pre-clearance might become more dysfunctional in the near future. I even think it will eventually be canned. US airports are implementing new self-processing machines for immigration which can be used by US and Canadian citizens (I have seen these kiosks at CLT and DFW). These kiosks are so efficient that I think the Canadian authorities might rethink the cost of US preclearance. With more and more countries having e-passport (Canada was very late to the party...), preclearance will become obsolete. Immigration authorities will be able to concentrate on the PAX they want to talk too, instead of doing biometric identification work that can be performed by a kiosk nowadays.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Rather than pre-clearance I would like to see the introduction of more smart gates across the USA. The wait times at ORD were up to two hours the last couple of times I was there. We were lucky at SFO this month but only because ours was the only flight arriving in a two hour period.
 

MelUser

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Yes but I don't think average australians (even with the most modern passport) can use a USA smart gate or can we?
 

MEL_Traveller

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Yes but I don't think average australians (even with the most modern passport) can use a USA smart gate or can we?

Actually I don't know for certain! It is available for ordinary passport holders from the UK (as long as it has a biometric chip). But unfortunately at only a few airports so far (ORD being one but not until just after i was there).

Assuming AU passports are on the list either now or in the future, that probably negates the need for pre-clearance?
 

amaroo

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I don't travel enough to LOTFAP to have much of a view ... however, recently flew Montreal - Miami and loved the pre clearance.

If pre clearance impacted on F lounging - I wouldn't want anything to do with it!
 

knasty

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I don't travel enough to LOTFAP to have much of a view ... however, recently flew Montreal - Miami and loved the pre clearance.

If pre clearance impacted on F lounging - I wouldn't want anything to do with it!

How long did pre clearance take vs usual immigration in say JFK?
 

maninblack

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Clearance the last 2 times through in the new terminal at LAX has been super fast. Just a few minutes. Pre clearance at YYC a few weeks ago took an hour!
 
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amaroo

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How long did pre clearance take vs usual immigration in say JFK?

Very efficient and user friendly. Checked-in, dropped the bags, through security and then processed by a US agent that had just transferred to Montreal from middle America. Took no longer than departing from SYD or anywhere else.

Landing at MIA was a delight - collected the bags and walked out like it was a domestic sector. Brilliant set-up!
 

coles525

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Very efficient and user friendly. Checked-in, dropped the bags, through security and then processed by a US agent that had just transferred to Montreal from middle America. Took no longer than departing from SYD or anywhere else.

Landing at MIA was a delight - collected the bags and walked out like it was a domestic sector. Brilliant set-up!

Do passports still get a stamp if going through the smart gate?
 

harvyk

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Whilst I've never been denied entry into a country, there is always that nagging "What if" scenario which plays over in my head. What If I get there and find out I didn't read over the Visa / Waiver terms and conditions correctly, what if I haven't got the right numbers attached to my passport, what if I forgot to get a set of numbers attached to my passport, what if I get there and they are convinced I'm not going to be abiding by whatever entry conditions I said I was going to abide by.

It is a long way to go to be placed into a holding cell and then placed on the next flight back, so getting such formalities out of the way nice and early in the process does eliminate those "what if" questions.

That said, I would want the same level of amenity at the airport. So say at SYD where typically gates 8 and 9 are used for USA flights (since they have that secondary screening there already, talking QF, can't say about the *A end) it could simply be a case of you go through US immi to get to gates 8 / 9 just before you board the plane, that'll still allow you to access the normal set of amenities for all international travelers (eg lounges, DF shops, restaurants / cafe's, kids play area's etc...)
 

amaroo

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Do passports still get a stamp if going through the smart gate?

The US agent stamped the passports in Montreal ... after that, there was/is no other check or validation point.

It's like putting the C&I counter at your point of departure .... great system.

EDIT: IIRC there was only manned counters at Montreal .... no experience with smart gate
 
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MEL_Traveller

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Whilst I've never been denied entry into a country, there is always that nagging "What if" scenario which plays over in my head. What If I get there and find out I didn't read over the Visa / Waiver terms and conditions correctly, what if I haven't got the right numbers attached to my passport, what if I forgot to get a set of numbers attached to my passport, what if I get there and they are convinced I'm not going to be abiding by whatever entry conditions I said I was going to abide by.

but is that peace of mind for a couple of people worth the thousands of extra dollars in processing fees for the transport, housing and wages of foreign immigration and customs officers? Someone will probably have to pay for it eventually - and i suspect that is the passenger.

The waiver terms and conditions are straight-forward and completed as part of the ESTA. Check-in is going to alert most passengers if there is an inconsistency, and you won't be allowed to fly from AU if you are on a no-fly list anyway. (ie what benefit is pre-clearance going to offer over check-in?)
 

dk4

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... it could simply be a case of you go through US immi to get to gates 8 / 9 just before you board the plane, that'll still allow you to access the normal set of amenities for all international travelers (eg lounges, DF shops, restaurants / cafe's, kids play area's etc...)
Checked bags need to go through customs as well, not just you through immigration.

So, in your example, checked bags would have to be pulled back up and distributed to passengers after US immigration, to enable you to pass through US customs inspection, then redeposited back into the bowels of the terminal to be sent to the aircraft (and I am sure that the US government would want some sort of baggage handler process that quarantines screened checked bags from those not screened, so unscreened bags don't end up on a flight), all this before your final boarding security rescreening....

so at SYD T1 >> check-in bags >> AU immigration >> AU security >> T1 lounges >> US immigration >> retrieve checked bags >> US customs >> redeposit checked bags >> US security >> boarding gate

Presumably this is the process which happens at Abu Dhabi, which enables passengers to use the standard First Class lounge before US processing, whereas in Canada you are processed directly through into the US departures gates, but some Canadian terminals do have flexible gate designs, like the ADL T1 international departures glass walls.

For those connecting through SYD to the USA, the whole transit process would also become longer, requiring larger MCTs in SYD.
 
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