B747forever
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Connecting Through Canada From/to Europe/USA

Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:51 pm

What are the procedures when connecting through Canada both from/to Europe and USA?

Will I have to clear Canadian immigration both ways (on my way to the USA and back home to Europe)? Will I also clear US immigration immediately after I have cleared Canadian immigration? When I fly back to Europe will I have to clear Canadian immigration once again? How about the baggage, will I have to pick it up at the connecting airport in Canada?
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Connecting Through Canada From/to Europe/USA

Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:59 pm

Yes on all counts. On the way to the USA you'll have to clear Canadian immigration, collect your baggage, clear customs and then proceed to the US pre-clearance (that's assuming you'll connect to the US flight at some of the airports with US pre-clearance - most likely).
On your way to Europe you'll have to clear Canadian immigration, collect your baggage, clear customs and proceed to the connection conveyor. Once you've placed your baggage there, you can proceed trough security to your European flight.
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B747forever
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RE: Connecting Through Canada From/to Europe/USA

Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:32 pm

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 1):

Thank you very much for the information!
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Connecting Through Canada From/to Europe/USA

Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:45 pm

Quoting B747forever (Reply 2):
Thank you very much for the information!



No problem, however I have a feeling that I misled you on one information. I was thinking about the situation on your way to EU and it's entirely possible that your baggage will be checked trough. However, you'll definitely have to clear immigration.
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RogerThat
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RE: Connecting Through Canada From/to Europe/USA

Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:10 pm

A long time ago, 1997 perhaps, I flew DFW-YVR-SEL-HKG. AA DFW-YVR where I picked up KE to Seoul Kimpo then Hong Kong's Kai Tak. I don't recall clearing Canadian Immigration during my brief connection in YVR. The connecting time was less than anticapted due to a delayed AA departure out of DFW. A CP agent escorted all of us international connectors via an elevated cat-walk.

Is this still the case for US to Asia via Vancouver? Or does it sound like special treatment to prevent a mis-connect?

YVR is a great gateway to Asia.
 
blueflyer
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RE: Connecting Through Canada From/to Europe/USA

Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:43 pm

It's a little bit more nuanced than that.
From the US to Europe via YUL and YYZ, passengers clear Canadian immigration (a breeze) but bags are checked through and passengers do not go through Canadian customs.

From Europe to the US at YYZ, if the connection is within terminal 1, there's no Canadian immigration and customs. Bags need to be collected and passengers can proceed directly to US immigration and customs.

At YUL and at YYZ when the connection doesn't take place solely within terminal 1, passengers collect their luggage and clear first Canadian immigration and customs then US immigration and customs.

Almost all AC flights at YYZ operate at terminal 1. I think a few Jazz flights to the US do not.

I can't speak for other airports, YUL and YYZ are the only two I have transited through between the US and Europe.
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blueflyer
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RE: Connecting Through Canada From/to Europe/USA

Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:55 pm

Quoting RogerThat (Reply 4):
Or does it sound like special treatment to prevent a mis-connect?

I'm going to take an educated guess and go with special treatment. No personal experience at YVR to back it up, but I had a somewhat similar situation at YYZ where our inbound flight came in late and the Canadian immigration counter we were supposed to go through was unattended. An airport official "walked" the small group I was in through the counter, into Canada proper (so to speak) and on to another immigration counter several gates away, without so much as doing a head count or looking back to make sure one of us wasn't making a run of it and exiting the airport without having gone through immigration.

Canadian immigration is very relaxed for flights from the US. My guess is they figure the risk of illegals trying to get into Canada from the US is low. I guess they prioritize their efforts based on perceived risks. One of my toughest immigration checks was right off the jetway at YYZ coming from FRA...
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Viscount724
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RE: Connecting Through Canada From/to Europe/USA

Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:02 am

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 3):
Quoting B747forever (Reply 2):
Thank you very much for the information!



No problem, however I have a feeling that I misled you on one information. I was thinking about the situation on your way to EU and it's entirely possible that your baggage will be checked trough. However, you'll definitely have to clear immigration.

At YUL and YVR, at least AC connecting passengers between the US and international destinations (in both directions) do not have to claim their baggage if it was checked through to the final destination. And at YVR (not sure about YUL) when connecting from an international destination to the US, most passengers (except early morning and after a certain time at night) do not have to clear Canadian immigration. You go directly to US pre-clearance (unless it's a flight that doesn't use pre-clearance like CX to JFK and PR to LAS). US pre-clearance has the option of recalling your checked bags for inspection but in most cases your bags go directly to the connecting flight to the US.

Most airport websites have detailed information about their connecting procedures which are not all the same. The YVR site lets you enter your routing and carriers to obtain the connecting procedure for that combination of carriers and routing.
http://www.yvr.ca/en/navigating-yvr/...guides/connecting-through-yvr.aspx

[Edited 2011-03-15 21:10:01]
 
Gemuser
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RE: Connecting Through Canada From/to Europe/USA

Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:14 am

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 5):
From the US to Europe via YUL and YYZ, passengers clear Canadian immigration (a breeze) but bags are checked through and passengers do not go through Canadian customs.

From Europe to the US at YYZ, if the connection is within terminal 1, there's no Canadian immigration and customs. Bags need to be collected and passengers can proceed directly to US immigration and customs.

Why the differance between east & westbound?

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Julian773
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RE: Connecting Through Canada From/to Europe/USA

Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:25 am

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 5):
It's a little bit more nuanced than that.
From the US to Europe via YUL and YYZ, passengers clear Canadian immigration (a breeze) but bags are checked through and passengers do not go through Canadian customs.

  

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 5):
From Europe to the US at YYZ, if the connection is within terminal 1, there's no Canadian immigration and customs. Bags need to be collected and passengers can proceed directly to US immigration and customs.

  

I flew AC a few times between Europe and the USA via Canada and it's no problem. Only the flight to the US it can be a bit annoying if you are in a hurry. As mentioned before you have to get your baggage re-tagged, put in on another carousel, fill in US immigration cards and clear US customs(in Canada already). On your way back to Europe your baggage gets checked through to your final destination, and if you are transiting in YYZ you don't even have to go through Canadian customs but even if you do it takes 5 minutes at most.

Have a good trip!
 
B747forever
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RE: Connecting Through Canada From/to Europe/USA

Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:45 pm

Thanks once again.

Seems to be quite easy to connect through Canada.
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RJLover
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RE: Connecting Through Canada From/to Europe/USA

Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:32 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 5):
Almost all AC flights at YYZ operate at terminal 1. I think a few Jazz flights to the US do not.

All AC/QK flights are now at T1. Some of the US bound QK/ZX/COx flights are a very long walk away from the 'main' T1, however.
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