we will always treat you with, courtesy, dignity and respect
reads the propaganda behind the desk at US customs and immigration
What a fing joke
What it should read is, we will take every opportunity too be down right rude, obnoxious and obstructive. We will not treat you as a fellow proffesional entering our country but as a terrorist suspect. We have absolutly no knowledge of our own rules and regulations and we will change them too suit ourselves at any point.
And its only going to get worse!
Its about time we started finger printing and photgraphing all us citizens before the enter the UK, what's more they should all be made too go through the farce-ickle visa application process which all foreign nationals must endure before they may even travel to the US
Too see US crews complain when they have too have there passports taken too immigration truly is a joke, they should have too endure the same disgracefull behaviour we have too when we enter the USA.
Even syria, an axis of evil state, does not allow its immigration and customs agents behave in an appalling a manner as the US does.
Traveling to the US is a thoroughly miserable experiance!!
Have to agree that US immigrations have gone from bad to worse over the last couple of years!! I only fly into DFW now (as a Pax) where they are still friendly and courteous! and avoid all other airports!
Darth-Vader I support and back you 100%, I too have nothing but bad experiance whilst using US immigration, although I must add that a few officials are not too bad. Personally if I had no need to fly to the US I certainly would never like to go there. Europe and the far east any day for me.
Misery's generally born of the traveller, not of the destination.
I've flown into the US about six times in the past year, at a variety of airports. I follow the CBP instructions, have all documents ready and treat the officer with that same courtesy, dignity and respect. Which is always reciprocated. It's really not too hard, young Vader.
I too would like to see simpler processes and shorter lines in the arrivals halls. And the forthcoming biometric requirements are ahead of (market-mature) technologies. But if you're seriously suggesting the US immigration experience is the world's worst, you need to see more of this planet.
I pitched up at JFK once, just behind a 747-load of people back from visiting the Old Sod, and when I finally got to the head of the queue an hour later I felt as if we had fought and lost the Veet Namm Warr fur nuthin'.
This fat, rude semi-moron of an immigration official gave me the Third Degree about what I had been up to in Africa and what I was bringing with me, as if I was an obvious reprobate and then, dissatisfied with my answers, I guess, put his stamp on the first page of my passport so that I had something to remember the rude bastard by until the almost-new passport finally expired.
nine years later.
If this was how he treated a citizen, God only knows how he behaved towards aliens. Well, New Yorkers have always been oddly proud of their lack of manners, as if that proved something positive about their place in the world.
In general, yes, it's kind of stupid to have zenophobes staffing our US border posts.
I have always been treated with great courtesy entering the UK, but then Indians generally are a very polite people.
Location: USA (Naturalized but bits still British!)
Having emigrated from the UK to the US a long time ago, I have had the "pleasure" of entering each country as a"foreigner".
Both sides of the Atlantic (immigration employees that is) and at various other country's point of entry have reinforced my idea that immigration people are (like customs people too) bred on an island in the middle of the ocean and then dispatched to which ever country requires them. Each persons ability to interpret the rule book differently is amazing and the desire to push people to get an adverse reaction is rampant.
Now, picture the first coinciding arrival of two or three A380's at JFK or Heathrow and see how long those lines will be
Chuks, I love your last sentance! Arriving back in my mother country once,for a vacation, with British passport in one hand and my new US Citizen wife in the other only to be give the third degree by a barely understandable bloke in a Turban did ruffle the feathers somewhat. I cant spell PC, sorry!
I don't know if my recent trip to America was unusual, but I was off the aircraft, and outside the terminal within 20 minutes.
If only this was the case when ever I returned to the U.K.
Last time through Gatwick.- queue to get through immigration 25 minutes, wait for baggage to start arriving on to the carousel another 10 minutes. Then a mad struggle to get my bag as there were 2 carousels in use for one flight. To put it bluntly. Total bloody chaos. Give me the American airport system any day.
Haven't noticed any difference, going in, before or after 9/11, immigration usually ok sometimes a bit of a wait sometimes not. Had a bit of trouble coming out of Houston when madame was denied entry through security because she was breaking federal rules,they got a bit uppity when we didn't seem to understand what they were getting at. Anyway when we realised that carrying a video camera on one shoulder, a handbag on the other and pulling a carry on was a federal offence, it was sorted. Apparantly you can only have two articles not three, why we had to wait ten minutes for a supervisor to arrive to tell us this was a bit frustrating but, what the hell we were on our way home!!
On my last trip (land border) into the States I as usual had to visit the immigration office as I am a permanent resident not a Canadian citizen.
The first guy I met was v. courteous and I thought they were serious about the customer charter posted beside the desk. I had to wait a few minutes and then was called back to the desk by a heinous wench who showed nothing had changed after all I got in when the guy I dealt with first reappeared and took over from her.
I believe there are folks in Canada who have lived here 30+ years without taking the citizenship exam coz they can't be bothered and PRs used to have the same border privileges as citizens. The next time they visit the states they will be making their application the next day!
Getting through the US Immigration Service has never been a truly pleasant experience (and I've been doing it since 1968!). However I really cannot see why treating US crews entering the UK in the same manner will serve any useful purpose. It's hardly their fault!
If some of you bother to read the immigration rules the U.S. INS has to work by, you will find that they are required by regulation to treat anyone attempting to enter the country as an illegal immigrant until proven otherwise.
I couldn't agree less with Scimitar. Probably the only effective way of making the US authorities understand how much they are pissing off the rest of the travelling world is to treat their travelling nationals in the same way - passengers as well as crew.
The contrast between a crewmember entering the US and one arriving LHR couldn't be greater. I'm not sure if US crewmembers have to have a visa to enter UK as we do to enter US but isn't the whole point of having a visa the fact that your background has been examined at the embassy in advance so you don't need so much scrutiny when actually arriving in the country?
On a slightly different tack, arriving as a crewmember at LHR ( don't know if its the same at other UK stations) crew proceed from the aircraft side to Queens Building, chuck a customs form in the box, then drive out of a security gate manned by a bored individual who may or may not make a cursory inspection of ID cards. There's no apparent immigration control! No one wants to see the Gen Dec as in the rest of the world; it just seems that any Tom, Dick or Harriet could arrive as a crewmember and no one gives a toss!
The US is way over the top but the UK seems to go as far the other way in terms of laxity.
Misery's generally born of the traveller, not of the destination
this is true sometimes, not all the times. I don't doubt you match all the "right" requirements: speak a very good English,"look" the right way, are born in the "right" place etc. Being a US "aficionado" too (as part of a crew and as a pax), I must say that there are situations where being polite doesn't save you from rude and less than polite treatment. Examples? Try to go through immigration, as a crew, when you are born in, say, Morocco. Not Moroccan, born in Morocco, maybe because your father was a diplomat there at the moment of your birth. Two hours in the company of those fine individuals, every time you land in US, granted. So much for the Crew Visa (why do we have to waste hours of OUR free time to get it if it doesn't prove anything?) As a result, in my company, those born in the "wrong" place of the planet can ask not to be rostered to the Land of the Free. Some time ago, we had to take back from ATL to Europe a 24 years old in tears. Right "race", right "colour", right "POB", contact of his pal at hand, a job back home he could prove. His crime: he actually owned a ...gasp...shudder...guitar!. Yes, the guy had saved for 2 years to see his best pal (who was waiting for him at the apt), but was sent back because (sit tight, this one is a new height in stupidity) owning a guitar he could have attempted to work and earn a living with it in the USA. We only have to be grateful that they didn't realise yet that as we enter we are carrying apparatus, like say, hands or brains, that you could use to earn a living, or you would be invited to drop it at the apt and get it back on your way to EU (well, maybe in the case of brain-dropping you could then at least attempt to land a job as an immigration officer )