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How Tough For Canadians To Transit U.S. Airports?  
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7293 times:

I have heard horror stories recently about security hassles and delays for foreigners using American airports as a transit for connecting flights. Right or wrong, let us all pray that the need for such incursions diminishes and finally disappears.

For Americans flying to Canada, and Canadians flying to America, customs can be pre-cleared before boarding the aircraft, so when you arrive, it's the equivalent of a domestic flight. Saves time and hassle, and is a GREAT time saver!!

My question is this: A Canadian citizen is flying AA YYZ-MIA-CCS. It would not seem to be a problem outgoing, as the Canadian is arriving in MIA aboard a domestic flight. Then he connects to an international flight, no problem. However, on the return, he arrives from CCS on an international flight. Is a transit visa necessary? And should he allow extra time on the return to clear both American AND Canadian customs before boarding the connecting flight?

Thanks in advance!!


Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNwafflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1050 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7253 times:

The horror stories you have heard also impact driving across borders -- since Bush the 2nd has been president, the US is pretty ugly towards Canada. It's really funny -- the US blames Canada because several of the 9/11 terrorists came to the US across the Canadian border in Maine. Well, guess what -- Canada does not inspect anyone leaving Canada for the US, that's all up to the US, however the current US mentality says that even Canadians are suspect, and that's a sad state of affair politically

User currently offlineAeroFan From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1517 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7230 times:

A canadian citizen does not need a transit visa to enter or leave the USA. His or her passport is all that's necessary. It is not a headache as you seem to be making it out to be

User currently offlineSunriseValley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 5050 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7215 times:

I don't believe there are so called transit lounge's at first points of entry into the U.S. under the control of the US Customs and Immigration since 9/11. For example an AC flight from SYD-YVR that stops in HNL; all passengers must clear US Customs and Immigration even if they are destined for YVR.
I believe the same applies to ANZ passengers at LAX who are travelling from AKL to LHR . They must go through US Customs and Immigration out through the baggage claim area and back into the terminal through security. That is a real pain!


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7203 times:

Canadian should not experience any difficulty if transiting the US, no special documents are required.....some may consider it inconvenient to go through US customs and immigration for a simple transit stop, but that is simply the way it is.

User currently offlineFlymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7213 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7188 times:

It is easy for Canadians to come in the US. Dont worry you just have to wait in line in Imigration it matter what time the passenger gets in but it is no problem.
And I just took the CAT a car feery from Bar Harbour Main to Yaurmonth Nova Scotia and there were no problems at all. My brother used an experied passport. And going back to the states was the same.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineCO737800 From Canada, joined Dec 2003, 545 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7180 times:

I have gone to Mty a few times via Houston and Dallas with no problems.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17068 posts, RR: 66
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 7120 times:

I don't know about Canadians, but transiting through a US airport from a foreign country to another foreign country has always been a nightmare since one has to exit the sterile zone almost without exception. So one has to pass immigration and customs just to get on another plane and leave again.

This has always felt absurd to me. By contrast, if I fly through LHR or FRA or CDG from another country to a third country I don't pass outside the sterile zone, regardless of terminal changes. No need for any hassles since the transit hub country need not worry about me entering...

My guess is that most US air travel is domestic, while European and Asian travel is more international, which would explain why the airports are geared in different ways.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offline320tech From Turks and Caicos Islands, joined May 2004, 491 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7105 times:

NWAflyer:

the US blames Canada because several of the 9/11 terrorists came to the US across the Canadian border in Maine.

This statement is completely untrue. It was mentioned several times shortly after 11 September 2001, but it's been proven that all the vermin entered by other means (ie, not through Canada).

Please don't repeat this baloney, we're in enough trouble with our American friends!  Smile



The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the manufacturer and impossible for the AME.
User currently offlineJetMARC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 558 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 7045 times:

If US - Canada flights are treated as "domestic flights" (since you clear customs predeparture) would I have any problems flying between JFK to YUL 2, 3 or 4 times a month? Also being a US citizen and off-duty flight attendant? I want to visit often to improve my French, maybe even rent an apartment as it'd be cheaper than a hotel each time. Do you think I'd have any problems as long as I said I was just visiting often??


"Sucka, I'm gonna send you out on Knuckle Airlines. Fist Class!!" ~ Mr. T
User currently offlineGuyBetsy1 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 840 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7011 times:

Dear JetMARC,

Obviously you're not going to YUL *just* to improve your French is it now?  Smile
No problems for Americans coming to Canada. But renting an apartment in Montreal takes nerves of steel. Did anyone tell you that? All rentals have leases that begin on July 1 only. If you have Montrealer friends, they will tell you about it.

GB


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17068 posts, RR: 66
Reply 11, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6943 times:

JetMARC, just except to get the dreaded "ssss" on your boarding pass, just like I do 9 times out of 10...



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineRafabozzolla From Brazil, joined Apr 2000, 1232 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6923 times:

Starlionblue,

What you said is partially correct. If you are transiting from a non Schengen country to another non Schengen country you don't have to go through customs or immigration. But if you are flying JFK-CDG-FRA you do have to present your passport (customs is usually done at you final destination because your bags will not have the green tag) since de CDG-FRA flight is treated as a domestic flight and Paris actually becomes you point of entry in the Schengen zone.

As the UK in not a Schengen country, you only go through immigration if you are flying to another UK city.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17068 posts, RR: 66
Reply 13, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6917 times:

Rafabozzolla. I had forgotten all about Schengen. Still, since your second leg is "domestic", it becomes reasonable to go through the procedures. What I don't get is that if you are flying Mexico City-New York-London on one ticket you have to go through immigration and customs in New York. It seems like a lot of time and money wasted, not to mention a big hassle for no benefit.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineSkywatcher From Canada, joined Sep 2002, 460 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6849 times:

Concerning the infamous July 1 mass lease expiration issue in YUL, it is largely a myth.
Historically there was a large percentage of leases that expired every July 1st but many of those situations have been gradually changed.I have rented many apts. in YUL during my lifetime and the leases expired at various different times just like anywhere else.

Apartment and insurance prices in YUL are a major bargain compared to NYC.


User currently offlineAms From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1691 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6842 times:

Canadian citizens are even allowed to enter the US using a one-way ticket.


Regards,
AMS


User currently offlineVonRichtofen From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 4629 posts, RR: 36
Reply 16, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6759 times:

I've transferred in the US several times, no problems for me either.


Word
User currently offlineDgeHfx From Canada, joined May 2001, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6745 times:

Although Americans might believe that Canadians will encounter little hassle upon entering the U.S. it's not exactly true. A Canadian arriving in, say, MIA from South American must queue with all the other non-Americans in a separate channel. Basically, everyone but Canadians and probably Mexicans requires a visa to enter or transit the U.S. In order to verify the visas extra time is required of the Immigration officials. So, while Americans wizz by in their own special channels Canadians must join in with all the other foreigners. This takes considerably longer than the Americans Only channels. I've experienced this in MIA, JFK, HNL.
I hope your ticket from YYZ to CCS is an amazingly good deal because there are now non-stop flights several times a week with AC that save you all that grief.


User currently offlineFlymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7213 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6680 times:

Starlionblue: The reasone America does this is so they dont let someone in that is not surposed to be in the Country so he can than just leave the airport.
Dont worry lines might be big but you should have NO PROBLEM getting in.
Have a great trip.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5724 posts, RR: 19
Reply 19, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 6663 times:

The reasone America does this is so they dont let someone in that is not surposed to be in the Country so he can than just leave the airport.

All (other than US) international airports usually have the departure area for int. flights designed as "no man's land" and for the purpose of transfer you don't need visa of that given counry since you are technically not entering it.
So how could he/she possibly "just leave the airport" without going through the ordeal of being treated like a criminal by the immigration officials and all that fingerprintig, photographing, blood sampling...???

It's completely pointless procedure, but "fighting terrorism" seems to be excuse for almost any kind of hassle. The only one suffering from this measure are US airlines and the airport itself because people avoid flights i.e. from Europe to Central/South America with tranfers in the US.

[Edited 2004-08-12 03:56:24]

User currently offlineJoFMO From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 6650 times:

So what's the procedure when I am traveling FRA-YYZ-STL with AC? Do I have the hassle of re-checking my luggage in YYZ?

User currently offlineSunriseValley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 5050 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 6622 times:

JoFMO,

I believe you will have to clear Canadian Customs at YYZ. Also I believe you will clear US Customs at YYZ since all flights from YYZ to US destinations clear US Customs in YYZ. Also you will have a terminal change, FRA flights come into Term. 1 and US bound flights go out of Term. 2. since that is the terminal that is setup for US Customs. So you will have to take the bus with your baggage from Term. 1 to Term 2. I hope you have plenty of connecting time.
You might wish to check with AC to verify the detail.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17068 posts, RR: 66
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 6560 times:

Canadian citizens are even allowed to enter the US using a one-way ticket.

So are resident aliens like myself.


Basically, everyone but Canadians and probably Mexicans requires a visa to enter or transit the U.S

Not quite. Citizens of all countries in the Visa Waiver program are allowed to enter the country on business or pleasure for up to 90 days. Mexico is not one of these countries (http://travel.state.gov/visa/tempvisitors_novisa_waiver.html)


Starlionblue: The reasone America does this is so they dont let someone in that is not surposed to be in the Country so he can than just leave the airport

As has been stated, you cannot leave a transit airport in Europe without going through customs and immigration. If you are traveling JFK-LHR-SIN you do not need to "enter" the UK. You stay within the sterile zone. You never go through customs and immigration. So putting transiting pax through this hassle is completely pointless. They're just transiting and will never exit the sterile zone, therefore they will never enter the country, therefore there is no problem.


It's completely pointless procedure, but "fighting terrorism" seems to be excuse for almost any kind of hassle.

I agree completely that it's pointless, but the procedure has been in place for decades, well before the current terrorist situation.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17068 posts, RR: 66
Reply 23, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 6540 times:

That should of course have said: Citizens of countries in the Visa Waiver program may enter the USA on business or pleasure for up to 90 days WITHOUT A VISA.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineHz747300 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2004, 1688 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6533 times:
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DgeHfx, I would hate for you to have the wrong idea. If another nation has a no visa policy for Americans (like when I visited the UK, Portugal, and Germany), then citizens of those nations can visit without a visa as well.

An exception is Australia, which has an electronic visa policy for US visitors, but the US state department considers that to be the equivalent of no visa and lets Aussies in here without a visa.



Keep on truckin'...
25 JGPH1A : RE: I agree completely that it's pointless, but the procedure has been in place for decades, well before the current terrorist situation. Not strictly
26 Starlionblue : JGPH1A, I agree but IIRC that depended on the construction of the terminal buildings, ie if both your flights were inside Tom Bradley at LAX you were
27 Cayman : NWAFlyer-- There was NO connection between any of the vicious terrorists of 9/11 and Canada--NONE whatsoever--none transited in or out of canada and n
28 Post contains images Starlionblue : I agree that we're all inconvenienced nowadays, but if you skipped the pointless step of screening pax coming from another country only to directly le
29 AlekToronto : In my experience transitting via the US on a Canuck passport has been no problem. Just smile, be nice and answer the questions promptly and no probs.
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