trident2e
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 3:38 am

Clearing US Immigration At DUB

Wed Dec 22, 2004 8:39 pm

Does anyone have experience of clearing US Immigration at DUB enroute to one of EI's US destinations? How is it similar or different to Immigration in the USA, and what happens when you arrive at your destination? Are the benefits of doing it this way enough to persuade me to try it?
 
tnsaf
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 10:58 pm

RE: Clearing US Immigration At DUB

Wed Dec 22, 2004 9:55 pm

We were not actually aware that there was pre-clearance and spent a little too long at the Duty Free shops. We might have left it too late if we had bought that extra bottle of Irish Whisky!

If you have used pre-clearance in Canada its not a lot different. It meant not going through the hassle in Chicago on arrival which was nice. The process was a little more relaxed than the mad rush to get through the line at most US arrivals airports. It saved a little time on the connection.

Overall a positive experience the folks were quite pleasant.
700 hours and counting...
 
764
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2001 6:34 pm

RE: Clearing US Immigration At DUB

Wed Dec 22, 2004 10:46 pm

Actually before 2001 preclearing was planned to be inaugurated for all flights from the EU to the US, starting with Dublin, London, Frankfurt in 2002, Munich, Paris, Manchester, Amsterdam and Brussels in 2003 and all flights by 2007. That plan was unfortunately abandoned. I didn't even know it was in place in DUB.

It definitely is a nice plan, because precleared flights can go to US domestic terminals rather than the international ones. In Chicago that would mean Terminal 3 for AA and Terminal 1 for UA, which would dramatically reduce minimum connection times. Also, you wouldn't have to pick up your luggage and carry it through customs at your point of entry.

The biggest advantage IMO is though, that you can have transatlantic flights into airports that are not usual points of entry. For example, a flight from LHR to LGA was planned originally.

All in all it is a great idea and it also helps US Homeland Security, because they can clear or refuse people long before they get to the US. And they would never have to turn a flight around or divert it to Bangor, just because they have some questionable passenger on board.

I really liked preclearing in Toronto and I would love to see it in Europe.
 
TWAL1011
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2003 12:39 pm

RE: Clearing US Immigration At DUB

Thu Dec 23, 2004 12:04 am

I used DUB pre-clearance just yesterday. I travel out of DUB/SNN several times a year and the service is pretty convenient. You have to budget your pre-flight time wisely for duty-free shopping, eating and drinking. You can't wait until the last minute to head to the gate. The pre-clearance is for Immigration only. Upon arrival into the US you will still arrive at an international facility. You will bypass immigration to the baggage area - but you must still pass through US Customs & Agriculture inspection before making any connections. You save time in the immigration line but then you just stand around the baggage claim area waiting for your bags. I would say overall the time saved is negligible.

It is somewhat convenient - but I would not go out of my way for it. Plus, they are real US Homeland Security Border Protection officers - if you think to use the facility to get around any immigration procedures - you are mistaken.

The program was put into place well over 10 years ago to stop illegal Irish immigrants who were being refused admission in large numbers every day after arriving from trans-Atlantic flights. It was cost effective for the airlines and immigration to prevent this by basing US immigration agents in Ireland. It is for this reason the facility exists. And it works - a significant number of non-US citizens are stopped from taking trans-Atlantic flights every year to make it cost effective.
 
trident2e
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 3:38 am

RE: Clearing US Immigration At DUB

Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:08 am

TWAL1011 - thanks for the insight, very useful indeed. I had no doubt that the staff used in Ireland were 'real' and really was considering it as a way of avoiding those sometimes long lines after a tiring flight.
 
BigOrange
Posts: 2291
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 2:20 am

RE: Clearing US Immigration At DUB

Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:21 am

I used the facility in 1995.

I found the guy who processed me, tougher than anyone on this side of the Atlantic!

Overall though I liked the process, and wish they would install US Immigration in the UK!