One of the biggest drawbacks of connecting from an international flight onto a domestic flight in the US is the fact that at the first point of entry into the United States, you must go through passport control, pick-up your bags then go through customs, and then recheck your bags for your next flight. In Europe (as I've only been to europe and don't know about other places except for Russia where everything is even worse than US) there is no need to do this, and connections are much more seemless. Many experienced travellers probably prefer connecting in Europe (if possible) in order to bypass this problem so that when flying to the US, their first point of entry is their final destination. I.E. (via Europe) SVO-AMS-DTW, not (via US) SVO-JFK-DTW.
I was just reading about Delta and their hub expansion at JFK, and I was wondering... could delta prescreen passengers in (let's say CDG) so that when in JFK they don't have to go through passport control and customs?
I read somewhere that int. flights from Ireland to the US are prescreened in Ireland so that there is no need for immigration facilities when arriving in the US from Ireland (Is this true?). If this is the case, is it possible to open prescreening areas for US airlines in European cities so that connecting within the US is easier and therefore competitive with European airlines who HUB in europe? (If this is not clear, basically I mean to be prescreened for entry into the United States in let's say AMS so that upon arrival in DTW, you can go directly to your next gate and not have to shlep bags or anything and go through passport and customs). Of course this wouldn't be provided at every airport, but as is NW's case, if they did so in AMS, then many passengers would connect better.
I don't know how this would work out logistically, but does anybody agree that this would make connecting in the US better? Has anybody else hypothetically thought of how to bypass the whole connecting process in the US, and how to improve on it? Any thoughts appreciated.