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
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.