hamad
Posts: 731
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2000 6:29 am

US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entry?

Fri May 29, 2009 7:03 am

I am so used to clearing customs at IAD for the last 10 years, I ljust adapted to their attitude which can be reasonable at times, and other times, lets say "difficult". A year after i moved back to Dubai, I would like to go back to the USA and visit. This Time i won't be going to IAD area, but i will go to Phoenix, AZ, my favorite city.

Looking at tickets and connection possibilities, i was faced with few delimmas. since I still hold my silver status with United Airlines, thus with *A, I would like to take United International Business, however i am confused on were would I clear customs as my first point of entry to the USA. (being used to IAD, I would like to experience clearing customs at other parts of that wonderful country)

1 - Should i clear customs at IAD since i am used to it?
2- Should I clear customs at ORD?
3- Should I clear Customs at DEN (if i take the LH code share)?

or should i just

4- take British Airways from Dubai, connect via LHR and just clear customs in Phoenix?

My questions are in terms of convinience of the Airport, attitude of immigration officers, finally ease of connecting to domestic flights from international, and finally the convinience of United Red Carpet club at the same airport. (all from the prospective of a non US citizen)

any opinions would be greatly appreciated


**** My own Airline to JFK (out of the question)

[Edited 2009-05-29 00:05:59]
PHX - i miss spotting
 
FlySSC
Posts: 5179
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 1:38 am

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Fri May 29, 2009 8:54 am

I avoid LHR like plague.
ORD is not my favorite for connecting in the U.S, neither is IAD.

The friendliest staff at immigration/customs in the U.S, from my experience, is at SFO and surprisingly IAH.

The worst I met are at LAX, EWR, BOS & MIA.

Quoting HAMAD (Thread starter):
Should I clear Customs at DEN

You could try this option ... never been there.
 
The777Man
Posts: 5913
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Fri May 29, 2009 8:55 am

It's probably easier to clear immigration and customs at IAD than ORd since at ORD, you need to change terminals to get to your next flight (although there is a train).

I have no experience of going thru immigration and customs in DEN or PHX.

Good luck!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
deltairlines
Posts: 6875
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Fri May 29, 2009 1:10 pm

IAD midfield terminal can be difficult for clearing customs - some very long lines there.

DEN is probably your best bet - clear FIS on Concourse A, then take a short tram ride (or walk) to Concourse B. Plus, you get the long flight done (more time in Business Class) and it's maybe 90 minutes down to PHX.
 
hamad
Posts: 731
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2000 6:29 am

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Fri May 29, 2009 1:30 pm

IAD can be always chaotic. If u arrive (from my experience) before 2 pm. Then u dont wait that long, but arrive after that. Then u r standing for god knows how long ; that is if they let u deplane.
I never experienced the united's customs in terminal c at IAD, only the one were all international flights gets to.
PHX - i miss spotting
 
Qantasistheway
Posts: 280
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 12:30 pm

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Fri May 29, 2009 5:51 pm



Quoting FlySSC (Reply 1):
I avoid LHR like plague.

Why? Transferring at LHR is totally easy because of Terminal 5. The lounges are great and the it is one of the easiest places to transfer in Europe. The other terminals do tell another story though.

I think that if you want to take a new airline just choose that. I don't think that the US immigration should have too much to do with that.
 
The777Man
Posts: 5913
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Fri May 29, 2009 5:56 pm

Terminal C gets a bit crowded sometimes but I assume you would arrive in the morning since you are coming from DXB ? Then it's not so busy to go trhu immigration and customs there.

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
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DesertFlyer
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:05 pm

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Fri May 29, 2009 9:57 pm

Customs in PHX for the 747 can get quite backed up since a couple Mexico flight come in right around the same time. I would try DEN personally since it is one of my favorite airports in the US.
 
HT
Posts: 5857
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Fri May 29, 2009 10:14 pm



Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 3):
DEN is probably your best bet - clear FIS on Concourse A, then take a short tram ride (or walk) to Concourse B. Plus, you get the long flight done (more time in Business Class) and it's maybe 90 minutes down to PHX.

 checkmark 
In order to be sure to make the connection, the OP should look into allowing around 2 hours to make the connection. I have seen people on a 1h45min connection miss their flights, due to lenghty queues at security after baggage recheck.
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
thegman
Posts: 502
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:30 am

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Sat May 30, 2009 2:05 am

Why not something like:
DXB-MUC-CLT-PHX
OR
DXB-FRA-CLT-PHX

Easily do able with *A on LH and US.
 
AA757MIA
Posts: 262
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 2:04 am

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Sat May 30, 2009 3:29 am

Quoting TheGMan (Reply 9):
I would try DEN personally since it is one of my favorite airports in the US.

  

Nicest airport in America!

[Edited 2009-05-29 20:29:56]
 
skord
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:26 pm

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Sat May 30, 2009 4:19 am

Not wishing to hijack this thread, but of the big, main, US airports JFK,EWR, BOS, ATL ORD, SFO etc, which are considered the best for Immigration and Customs, and which are the worst? (im thinking specifically East Coast)
 
iairallie
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 5:42 am

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Sat May 30, 2009 7:49 am



Quoting DesertFlyer (Reply 7):
I would try DEN personally since it is one of my favorite airports in the US.

One of my favorites too. The main concourse ticket area is so beautiful. I love the tented "mountain" look.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
Viscount724
Posts: 18858
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Sun May 31, 2009 3:04 am



Quoting FlySSC (Reply 1):
I avoid LHR like plague.

A BA-BA connection is no problem since T5 opened. Otherwise I also avoid LHR but I've connected on BA at T5 4 times and had no problems. If it wasn't for your preference to use Star Alliance carriers, BA would seem the most convenient (and probably fastest, depending on their connections from/to DXB). I can't imagine customs at PHX would involve long waits, and avoiding several hours on a US domestic flight with minimal service would be a big advantage, as well as avoidng a double-connection.

You could also fly EK nonstop DXB-LAX or DXB-SFO with a short connecting flight to PHX.
 
hamad
Posts: 731
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2000 6:29 am

RE: US Customs, Which Should Be My First T Of Entr

Sun May 31, 2009 4:19 am



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
You could also fly EK nonstop DXB-LAX or DXB-SFO with a short connecting flight to PHX

that is an option i have been thinking about too.

however, the most convinient option for me is DXB - IAD - PHX ... IAD - PHX is a long connection, 12 hours, mean while during that time i can go into the city , visit with one of my friends and then go to the airport back in the afternoon. Wow, the thought it self brings fresh memories to my mind.
PHX - i miss spotting

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