yulguy
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 8:09 am

American New Visa Rules

Wed Feb 25, 2004 1:55 pm

Recently, the American government, in its continued paranoid hysteria, changed the rules regarding passengers in transit. People travelling internationally and transiting in the US have to go through customs. There is no more international transit areas where the passenger technically does not have to officially enter the US. Many people I know, like South Americans living here in Canada, who would normally fly via Miami or Houston when going to their home countries, no longer have the option of flying an American carrier. Have any American airlines complained about this? Are their revenues being significantly affected?
"Celui qui diffère de moi, loin de me léser, m'enrichit." - Saint-Exupéry
 
NIKV69
Posts: 10889
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RE: American New Visa Rules

Wed Feb 25, 2004 2:05 pm

Wow that is more paranoia on our government's part and sounds like a huge waste of time not to mention aggravation. Why should you pass through customs if you are continuing on to another country?
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
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legacyins
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RE: American New Visa Rules

Wed Feb 25, 2004 2:11 pm

This is not a new occurrence. When the US stopped the transit without visa (TWOV) program , they also required all passengers, whether transiting through to a second country or not, to pass through Immigration/Custom formalities. The airlines, I believe, were concerned but they cannot do anything. After all, it is all for national security  Smile
 
yulguy
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 8:09 am

RE: American New Visa Rules

Wed Feb 25, 2004 2:22 pm

Did I mention paranoia? And airlines can do things. They can apply pressure to the government to change its ridiculous policy.
"Celui qui diffère de moi, loin de me léser, m'enrichit." - Saint-Exupéry
 
JFernandez
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:43 am

RE: American New Visa Rules

Wed Feb 25, 2004 2:30 pm

IIRC, there was some lame argument given by the government that passengers in transit would cause some disaster in the International side, thus causing an evacuation and sneaking out in the mayhem. Stupid, but whatever.
 
usatoeze
Posts: 348
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 2:22 pm

RE: American New Visa Rules

Wed Feb 25, 2004 2:32 pm

Did I mention paranoia?

Yes you mentioned it twice, but it needed mentioned twice. Out of all the security measures that have been implemented since that awful day in September, this one has to be one of the most ridiculous. Not only does it hurt travelers flying from Latin America to Canada and vice versa, it also significantly hurts those who might use Continental's IAH hub or AA's MIA hub as a connection point between Latin America and Europe or Asia. LAX connections to Asia are sure to suffer already.

It hurts all those things, but what does it help? Most flights to the USA already have gone through significantly upgraded security measures in the flight's country of origin, so the threat isn't going to be further diminished by making all passengers clear customs and enter the USA. The threat is the same either way. The only thing that can be accomplished is having more people fingerprinted and photographed, and to what effect that data becomes useful is still to be determined. Truly sad!
War is a very poor political tool
 
ETStar
Posts: 1850
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 6:25 am

RE: American New Visa Rules

Wed Feb 25, 2004 2:41 pm

This is not a new occurrence. When the US stopped the transit without visa (TWOV) program , they also required all passengers, whether transiting through to a second country or not, to pass through Immigration/Custom formalities.

Actually, this started way before the TWOV stopped... more like just a few months after the september 11 incident. Went through it a couple of times myself while flying ADD-IAD with a stopover at EWR (we had to get off the plane, go through immigration, claim luggage, customs, then recheck luggage, go through security - with shoes off - and back onto the same plane that got us there). Quiet an annoyance even at that time of the day (was early in the morning both times)... can't imagine what happens during peak times at places like MIA and EWR.
 
TBCITDG
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 5:17 am

RE: American New Visa Rules

Wed Feb 25, 2004 2:43 pm

Would it therefore be better for passengers to go via Europe as opposed to flying to the states. Someone help me out re garding flight times/distances.
If I had to go to Tokyo for example, would it be faster for me to go to LHR and not LAX??
If I had to go to Canada, would I be better of going to MAD,LHR,CDG etc etc?
 
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QB737
Posts: 290
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RE: American New Visa Rules

Wed Feb 25, 2004 3:24 pm

If I had to go to Canada, would I be better of going to MAD,LHR,CDG etc etc?

Wait until AC gets their 345 and you will fly SYD-YVR non stop.

Benoît Big grin

Ben YVR
 
contrails
Posts: 1310
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2000 11:53 pm

RE: American New Visa Rules

Thu Feb 26, 2004 12:41 am

I don't think I'd call this visa policy paranoia or hysteria. It is part of a continuing response to what happened on September 11, 2001. Just yesterday CIA Director Tenet told a congressional committee that such attacks are still possible. I think there is actually some logic to this visa policy change. Yes, people are inconvenienced, but we are inconvenienced any time we go to the airport.

This policy change doesn't bother me nearly as much as the way the BA flights were handled recently, as well as some other incidents in which people were delayed for hours in "reverse screenings" for reasons that, imo, seemed questionable. But these things have to be done, as Legacyins said, for national security.

I believe that reacting to the terrorist threat must be a constantly evolving discipline. What is being done today may have to be changed tomorrow. TSA, DHS, and the other agencies charged with protecting us are still in the learning curve on this, and I suspect will remain that way for some time to come. This visa policy is a response to a deadly serious threat. It's a dangerous world out there.
Flying Colors Forever!
 
slider
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:42 pm

RE: American New Visa Rules

Thu Feb 26, 2004 1:06 am

I could certainly get on a rant here, but I'll digress and keep most of it off this thread.

The TWOV program will come back eventually when the Feds can more closely ensure some security in the process. With that said, I think the TSA and Co. have been so monumentally incompetent that I don't truly feel that point will occur.

However, the instances of TWOV passengers absconding once "in country" are more frequent than one might think. Once an inbound person cleared Customs, they went back into circulation in the airport, sometimes even unescorted, or escorted by a contract service person who allowed them to step outside for a smoke, never to be seen again. The TWOV process was rather arduous and cumbersome for the carriers, but can be a revenue source as well. For now, there certainly are passengers that are avoiding US carriers because of the situation.

Regardless, there's a heck of a lot more TRUE security measures that are necessary. And Yulguy- that's one of the drivers behind eliminating the transborder pre-clearance process.
 
TonyBurr
Posts: 1059
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:00 pm

RE: American New Visa Rules

Thu Feb 26, 2004 1:14 am

It is ridiculous! I am sure it is effecting the revenue of the airlines, but what can they do.

The US is not the only country to do this. I often fly from the states to Toronto and on to England. Canada makes me go through Immigration and Customs in both directions even if I am just transiting to a flight to the US. Euopre has a better system. But Canada has always done this I believe.
 
Guest

RE: American New Visa Rules

Thu Feb 26, 2004 1:14 am

Paranoia indeed @ Yulguy!
But as long as I have possibility to change my travel destinations, I have the choice to ignore the US.
Ok, lots of people would say: "stay at home or go to hell" or something like that, but american tourism-industry is crying since 2001  Wink/being sarcastic
Continue crying, dudes.
 
Olympus69
Posts: 1571
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 11:21 pm

RE: American New Visa Rules

Thu Feb 26, 2004 6:41 am

If I had to go to Tokyo for example, would it be faster for me to go to LHR and not LAX??
If I had to go to Canada, would I be better of going to MAD,LHR,CDG etc etc?


CBCITDG,

I don't understand. Why would you want to do any of those things to get from Australia to Tokyo or Canada?

OTOH, if you meant going from Latin America to say, Canada, there must be plenty of places in South or Central America or Mexico or the Caribbean where you can connect with airlines flying to Canada without having to go through the USA or cross the Atlantic twice.
 
netdhaka
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 2:13 am

RE: American New Visa Rules

Thu Feb 26, 2004 6:59 am

Changes in visa regulations are not causing any major impact on revenue. That’s why we don’t see any protest from any major airlines. I am sure it is having some sort of impact revenue wise, but not to the extent that would cause significant downfall. As long as there are no significant impacts on revenue, things of this nature will not bother any big airlines.
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12389
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: American New Visa Rules

Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:38 am

Reasons for suspending the TWOV program:
1) to get a chance to catch potential terrorists in transit,
2) prevent terrorists, others not qualified to enter the USA (certain persons with criminal records for example) or economic immigrants to use a "side door" to enter the USA, as SLIDER noted. Illegal economic immigration is very common into the USA and we need to take actions to make sure they don't get in and get exploited;
3) allow for another examination by US/TSA standards of the luggage and carry on any passanger, to look for bombs, weapons, other counterband.
I believe TWOV is still available for citizens of all EC and some other countries that don't need a US visa to come here for up to 3 months anyway. By later this year, electronicaly readable passports will be required, with important identification information and digital photos that can be read at immigration and customs. Then probably more people will be able to TWOV!
 
sllevin
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: American New Visa Rules

Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:09 am

As another poster said, the elimination of TWOV simply hasn't been all that large. The number of people who require visas for US entry that are merely transiting the US is minimal. That's why, in large part, US airports have never developed sterile, airside transit areas like airports in other countries -- there's never been a need.

Steve

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