View Full Version : Transit at USA airports

Brian H
15th May 2008, 14:55
I am fly from London to Honolulu in early June, and will change flights at Los Angeles on the outward leg, and San Francisco on the return. Any advice would be appreciated. Will my luggage have to be collected at Los Angeles on the outward, and can it be checked through to London on the return.

15th May 2008, 15:28
Yes, you clear at your point of entry. All passengers will reclaim their bags and clear customs, you then drop them back to the airline as you leave the customs hall. On return bags will go straight to London.

15th May 2008, 16:09
...if you're lucky....

15th May 2008, 16:55
-allow yourself at least 2 hrs for making the connection, evtl. even longer in LAX

-don't lock your bags

-don't put anything valuable ino your luggage

-fill out your forms supercorrectly

-don't show humour at the border inquisition

- Good Luck!

16th May 2008, 08:52
Make sure your bags have TSA appeoved locks. Other wise don't lock your bags - the TSA will bust them open and leave a nice letter inside saying that they are not responsible....

When completing your visa waiver from and you get to the part asking for your US address write 'in transit' across the lines. If you leave it blank the Border Control people will ask you loads and loads of irrelevant questions. Have your onward boarding card ready but do not present it unless asked - presenting when not asked for just confuses the agent.

Just remember at all times that the US have no real concept of International Transit and in effect you have to 'land' in the US and leave again. Patience and politeness at all times no matter what!

16th May 2008, 13:21
Better to be going home via San Francisco,much less stressful happy enviroment than LAX.:( The local BART train system connects right to the SFO Airport, if time permits!!. I remember it as approx 25mins into the heart of downtown. Much better than hanging out at the airport

16th May 2008, 13:39
When completing your visa waiver from and you get to the part asking for your US address write 'in transit' across the lines.

Last I heard, Hawaii is part of the US! So write in your hotel address in Honolulu.


17th May 2008, 14:48
Ozzy is correct. On your outbound, enter your hotel/address in Honolulu as your ultimate destination. You pick up and recheck your bags at LAX because once you enter the US, everything is domestic, even if it is marked as a checked-through flight. Leave plenty of time for this, especially if you have to change terminals (i.e. from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2, or something like that). A 3 hour transit should be be sufficient.

On your inbound, your luggage is checked straight through, and I have to echo the sentiments of the others - Use TSA-approved locks, do not leave ANYTHING valuable in your luggage (regardless of the TSA being a federal authority, it's generally still filled with scum downstairs who will happily relieve you of your valuables).


18th May 2008, 05:58
Best thing would be to avoid the unfriendly USofA and their rude treatment of "aliens". Travel through Canada to Honolulu!

Brian H
18th May 2008, 09:17
Thanks for the advice, have over 4 hours transit time at both so should be ok. Luggage has TSA approved locks.

25th May 2008, 14:45
fendant, the only problem with flying via Canada is that you have to contend with the vileness of Air Canada. Even Canadians don't like flying that airline... and it's their flag carrier.