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Customs And Crews On Turnarounds?  
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3806 posts, RR: 29
Posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6946 times:

In looking through timetables of various European airlines from the pre-EU days, many of their international flights within Europe were turnarounds with short layover times of ~35-45 minutes. Since the same inbound flight and cabin crews presumably staffed the outbound turnaround flights, were they required to pass through immigration and customs during their brief layovers?

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 3056 posts, RR: 36
Reply 1, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6925 times:
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Can't speak for Europe but for Canada/US Us crews do not need to clear customs in Canada if they are flying back... I'm not sure about how it works with Canadian crews into the Us though with pre-clearance.

I would guess anywhere with customs on arrival would not require crews to clear if they are not actually entering the country.



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6365 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6905 times:

Yeah I believe it's like transfer areas. Since they are not actually "entering" the country, they are fine. That is the case in many African flights I have taken, for instance I had a lovely conversation with an Air Namibia crew on a flight from Luanda to Windhoek a couple years back in which I asked something along these lines and they said that they just stay on the plane, prep it for the return, and thus never technically enter Angola.

User currently offlineBwaflyer From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 690 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 6740 times:

Nope. just stay on the plane, sit down, have something to eat, let the cleaning crews get on with it, carry out a security check when they've left the aircraft, board the pax, and head home. We'll pass through customs back at LHR (but no immigration) at the end of our duty.

User currently offlineCityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 6668 times:

Most airports in Europe (at least those I have visited as BA crew) will allow crew to get off the aircraft and wander around the terminal as long as they don't pass through immigration.

I myself have operated turnaround flights to Moscow, Tripoli, St Petersburg and Kiev (to name the non-EU ports served by BA with same inbound/outbound crew) and have been permitted to leave the aircraft and visit the duty-free shops etc. (time permitting).

In Russia, security personnel will usually collect the passports of any crew wishing to leave the aircraft for short periods. Captain needs to be informed and a minimum number of crew need to remain onboard. Some pilots occasionally do the same, especially on longer turnarounds.


User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5132 posts, RR: 43
Reply 5, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6493 times:



Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 1):
I'm not sure about how it works with Canadian crews into the Us though with pre-clearance.

Clear US customs/immigration on departure from Canada. Turn the aircraft around at the destination, then clear Canadian customs/immigration on arrival in Canada.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineIAirAllie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6391 times:

It depend occasionally they will have you clear customs and immigration in some countries. Honduras was one that made us deplane and get stamped in then out simultaneously. I think they just wanted to charge my company the fees. I got a pretty stamp out of it.

User currently offlineATTart From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6374 times:

On my UA trips AKL-MEL-AKL turn arounds. We just sat on the plane joked with the ground staff. Then back to AKL for a night of 21 and slots at Harrah's.


Remember: When someone talks behind your back, it only means you're two steps ahead of them!
User currently offlineSmi0006 From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 1546 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6200 times:

I know with the NZ and QF turnarounds here in MEL from New Zealand, crew mostly get off do some duty free shopping, and sometime will clear customs quarantine and immigration for a smoke (no smoking rooms in Australian airports) lol lot of work just for a drag but hey I dont smoke!

User currently offlineAAMDanny From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 373 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5798 times:

Im crew for TCX, I have only ever flown to places like LPA, FUE, AGP as I have not been doing it for long but we never clear customs, we land, turn around and take back off again!

User currently offlineQqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2296 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5575 times:

Of all the places I've done turns out of the US, primarily to the Caribbean, Central and South America and Mexico, the only places I can think of that require the crew to do anything is Aruba and Grand Caymen. In Aruba, the ground staff collect our passports and process them through immigration (the crew is not required to leave the a/c, but can if they wish). In GCM we have to get off the a/c and clear immigration (don't have to take our bags with us), which is totally fine because they have some of the best duty free prices anywhere, which means all want to get off the a/c anyway.

If I could change anything about the whole process it would be having to clear US immigration and customs multiple times in one day. Out of MIA we do a lot of short hop turns like MIA-MBJ-MIA then MIA-GCM-MIA. We have to clear customs and immigration in the US each time we arrive. It makes for a very long day. I wish we only had to clear the last time we arrive for the day. Last week I did a trip that had us laying over in MBJ, then flying MBJ-MIA, then doing a PTY turn, arriving back in the US a second time. We had to clear customs and immigration both times. It's such a pain!



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4362 times:



Quoting Tango-Bravo (Thread starter):
Since the same inbound flight and cabin crews presumably staffed the outbound turnaround flights, were they required to pass through immigration and customs during their brief layovers?

I can't speak for the European Union, but all flight crews, passengers and aircraft entering the US are cleared by customs and immigration. There are no exceptions to this rule.

When flight crews are scheduled to fly into the United States, their names, passport numbers and other information are transmitted to federal authorities even before the aircraft leaves the foreign airport. The US checks the names of the crew in their computer systems just as they would do for any passenger.

If there is an outstanding warrant for the arrest of a crew member or he/she is deemed a terrorist, he/she will be removed from the aircraft and detained. If a search of the aircraft reveals drug smuggling and it is believed the crew may be culpable, they will be detained. If the airline is in arrears in debt payments to an American bank and the bank has obtained a judgment against the airline, the aircraft will be seized by federal authorities.

If US customs has any reason to believe that contraband (drugs) is being smuggled by a crew member in an inbound flight, they have the authority to search all crewmembers and their baggage. If the FAA believes that a pilot is drunk and unable to fly, they have the authority to ground the aircraft and/or prohibit the pilot from flying the aircraft back to its home base.

When an aircraft enters US airspace, it is completely under the control of the US government. This even applies to overflies. The US government has even started to ask for passenger lists of flights flying from Europe to Mexico in order to check their names against lists of known terrorists. The FAA has the authority to order any aircraft flying in US airspace to land even if it is not headed to an American airport. To refuse to do so risks being shot down by US military aircraft.

When an aircraft pulls up to the terminal, it is completely under the control of the Federal Inspection Service. Any airline ground worker who services these aircraft must have an FIS badge and be check by the US government. Airline employees who do not have FIS badges are not allowed in the secured areas and cannot work on the flight. Flight crews must have valid passports (and visas if required) even if they are not planning to get off the aircraft.

It may appear to a flight crew that you are not being cleared by the INS because you do not deboard the aircraft and walk through passport control and customs. But the INS and FIS does know who you are, they have checked up on you and you have been cleared to enter the US.


User currently offlineATTart From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4277 times:

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 11):

When an aircraft pulls up to the terminal, it is completely under the control of the Federal Inspection Service. Any airline ground worker who services these aircraft must have an FIS badge and be check by the US government. Airline employees who do not have FIS badges are not allowed in the secured areas and cannot work on the flight. Flight crews must have valid passports (and visas if required) even if they are not planning to get off the aircraft.

Yes that is also when the CP hands over all of the forms with names, passport numbers and other information regarding the flight.. This is including the information that was sent from the departing city via the computer. It is standard procedure.
The thread starter was asking if all crews have to get off the plane and clear customs. Some countries make you do and some don't.

[Edited 2009-03-22 10:31:12]


Remember: When someone talks behind your back, it only means you're two steps ahead of them!
User currently offlineN405MX From Mexico, joined May 2004, 1378 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4185 times:



Quoting Eghansen (Reply 11):
When flight crews are scheduled to fly into the United States, their names, passport numbers and other information are transmitted to federal authorities even before the aircraft leaves the foreign airport. The US checks the names of the crew in their computer systems just as they would do for any passenger.

All info on APIS and confirmed by the GenDec (General Declaration) several copies delivered upon arrival, Mexican crews for example have to come down the aircraft, check migration/customs and then return to the plane, sometimes 1hr turnaround time is not enough, and they are delayed on the check behind sometimes all the passengers (sometimes they are not checked on the crew line, ignore why).

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 11):
The US government has even started to ask for passenger lists of flights flying from Europe to Mexico in order to check their names against lists of known terrorists

No fly and selectee lists, mexican airports (not sure about europe) have to check the passenger on the list (the entire flight).

The APIS is sent 30 minutes before departure time, and is sent both to US and MEX goverments.

Best Regards



Life is what happens when you have other plans.....
User currently offlineCODCAIAH From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 177 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4172 times:

At TGU, I always see CO crew deplane, walk through the gate past the passengers waiting to board the flight back to IAH, and grab coffee or something from the duty free store, then walk back through the gate to the plane for the turnaround. They never clear Honduran immigration or customs.

I don't think passengers at TGU can do the same -- even if you're connecting (or heading straight back to IAH, as I once did), you have to clear immigration & customs, and pay the departure tax, even if you're in the country for an hour or so.



CO/IAH-loyalist happily driven into the arms of WN/HOU
User currently offlineATTart From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4161 times:



Quoting CODCAIAH (Reply 14):
grab coffee or something from the duty free store, then walk back through the gate to the plane for the turnaround.

Love my Duty Free shopping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  bigthumbsup 



Remember: When someone talks behind your back, it only means you're two steps ahead of them!
User currently offlineORDagent From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 823 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3786 times:



Quoting ATTart (Reply 15):
Love my Duty Free shopping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bigthumbsup

As an US resident I always find it funny how Duty Free is such a huge deal. I know cigarettes / tobacco can be cheaper but the prices of liquor aren't that great. It must be either that VAT in the EU etc can be comparatively high.

Back on topic when I worked for AA at ORD the inbound crews always cleared as the were ending their trip (TATL). The foreign crews were given more scrutiny but had a dedicated express lane. All crews had to hand over a crew manifest as well.


User currently offlineRSW88 From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3738 times:

Here at RSW, WG is precleared since they stop in PIE first however we do get the gendec's stamped for their return to YYZ.

With WS and AC we are simply given gendec's which are taken to our customs office, stamped, signed and returned to the aircraft prior to their departure. Simple process. Sometimes the crew don't ever leave the aircraft since its a very quick turn.

Now when LTU lands I always see the crew deplane. They do a crew change so that explains that.

The airport stops when LTU arrives, its our only widebody and I still am in awe when I see it!


User currently offlineMastyc From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3451 times:



Quoting RSW88 (Reply 17):
With WS and AC we are simply given gendec's which are taken to our customs office, stamped, signed and returned to the aircraft prior to their departure. Simple process. Sometimes the crew don't ever leave the aircraft since its a very quick turn.

Those guys are probably also precleared in Canada. In the US is mandatory to at least go to the customs hall at first point of entry as was stated by the Mex crewmember. Some facilities are nice and will just let you walk in reverse right back to the plane (SLC is good about this), others make you exit the customs hall and go back through the airport/security. If you're running late and your customs won't be open when you get there, you get to divert and go through customs somewhere else. If you divert for a medical or maintenance issue and open the cabin doors, you get to go through customs where ever you just landed. For our crews going into Canada from the US, we didn't have to clear customs but we could not leave the plane. If we did then we had to clear. Most other places don't care and you can do whatever you want.


User currently offlineHamad From United Arab Emirates, joined Apr 2000, 1160 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3321 times:

with emirates, and on GCC flights, they just stay on the airplane, turn around.


PHX - i miss spotting
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23224 posts, RR: 20
Reply 20, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3146 times:



Quoting Eghansen (Reply 11):
If the airline is in arrears in debt payments to an American bank and the bank has obtained a judgment against the airline, the aircraft will be seized by federal authorities.

What law authorizes the government to play repo man?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5132 posts, RR: 43
Reply 21, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3118 times:



Quoting Qqflyboy (Reply 10):
Out of MIA we do a lot of short hop turns like MIA-MBJ-MIA then MIA-GCM-MIA. We have to clear customs and immigration in the US each time we arrive.

In Canada, when we do something similar like YYZ-LGA-YYZ, then YYZ-EWR-YYZ, we do not have to clear Canadian, (then US) Customs between the two turns, only on arrival after the last turn. There are restrictions though, the big one being that no one in the crew can have anything to declare on the arrival of the first turn. This is unlikely though, as we usually only have 30 minutes to turn the aircraft around when doing these short turns.

Another exemption we get is when doing something like when we start our day in BOS, and fly BOS-YYZ-HAV-YYZ. We only clear Customs on the second YYZ arrival. After the first arrival we go through, "Customs B" which bypasses regular Customs and go right to the sterile International departure area. Passengers too can do this, and it speeds up transfers at YYZ.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineSQ_EK_freak From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 1642 posts, RR: 20
Reply 22, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3075 times:



Quoting Hamad (Reply 19):
with emirates, and on GCC flights, they just stay on the airplane, turn around.

Yup, but not necessarily limited to GCC flights, but rather most turnarounds.



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