tim171080 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 86 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5834 times:
I was wondering from how many airports can westbound transatlantic flights choose from when having to make an unscheduled technical stop (for refuelling). Considering the US port of entry rule, that the passengers have to disembark and go through immigration and customs, which airports are left that can handle a heavy aircraft and that are not a port of entry?
I personally had the chance to experience JAX once (on Martinair) and BGR twice (both on Delta).
Do specific airlines favor specific airports for their refuelling stop?
How does the airport count the passengers? Once, twice (for arrival and departure) or not at all?
777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3834 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5280 times:
Quoting tim171080 (Thread starter): Considering the US port of entry rule, that the passengers have to disembark and go through immigration and customs, which airports are left that can handle a heavy aircraft and that are not a port of entry?
I don't think that's true. If there's a tech stop/medical diversion here in the US, I don't believe there is a rule that states that the pax must clear I/C before continuing on so long as they stay on the aircraft, which they usually do in these instances.
2travel2know2 From Panama, joined Apr 2010, 2738 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5181 times:
I suppose the airline is the one to chose if the international flight goes through port of entry formalities while under an unscheduled stop at a US airport en-route to its final destination.
Lots of IF:
If the diversion airport has a Port of Entry facility (with staff at that time) which its able to process the number of passengers flying into the U.S.,
If that aircraft is the only one going to use the facility or there are other aircraft in the same situation,
If the unscheduled stop is going to last enough time to make it feasible and convenient to put the passengers through Immigration/Customs and their baggage return to aircraft,
If the airline has staff at the diversion airport to take care of that flight, its passengers and baggage.
Quoting tim171080 (Thread starter): I personally had the chance to experience JAX once (on Martinair) and BGR twice (both on Delta).
Having seen both airport websites, its seems both airports could handle incoming international flights - if FIS are staffed. I'd guess DL/UA-CO/AA may have some "Unscheduled stop procedures" - be tech-stop or to go thru FIS - ready to be enforced in BGR, whenever needed.
I believe it's quite rare for international diversion to go through FIS @ ANC, HNL or SJU.
sw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6375 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5153 times:
Quoting 777STL (Reply 1): I don't think that's true. If there's a tech stop/medical diversion here in the US, I don't believe there is a rule that states that the pax must clear I/C before continuing on so long as they stay on the aircraft, which they usually do in these instances.
(Someone correct me if I'm wrong here.....)
You are not wrong. For example, it's fairly frequent during weather events that aircraft heading to, say, ORD will stop in MKE and wait an hour or two before going back down. They will usually be re-fueled but the passengers and crew will stay onboard and not be subject to customs/immigration until reaching ORD. There just wouldn't be enough staff on hand to process the aircraft (and often multiple aircraft) that unexpectedly drop in.
In these cases, the biggest factor is often the runway length and ability to hold the aircraft for a few hours.
bluewhale18210 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4783 times:
If nothing gets off the airplane then they do not have to go through immigration/customs/Quarantine. I dropped international flights into BDL and had them fuel up the airplane, grabbed the release, then off they went.
In case of a prolonged delay (Dest. airport closed due to bad weather, endless holding, etc) then I would consider dropping them into a port of entry and clear CIQ before going again.
Do note that most "International" airports have the capacity to clear only an handful of flights a day or when such flights are not scheduled, by appointment only. CBP officers have to drive out to the airport and clear people the old fashioned way.
Also for those flights "pre-cleared" from Canada to the US, the preclearance applies to that specific city/airport pair and would be invalid if they were diverted. Other words, precleared flight does not equal domestic flight, in the customs sense.
JPS on A300-600RF A319/320 B737-400/800 B757-200F B767-300F CRJ-200/900. Looking to add more.