Passengers & SLF (Self Loading Freight) If you are regularly a passenger on any airline then why not post your questions here?

US Transit

Old 13th Feb 2020, 19:29
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: There and here
Posts: 1,735
US Transit

I have a flight that will give me a 9hr transit in a gateway US airport. Not wanting to spend all that time within the terminals and assuming that I'll be going through US Immigration anyway, despite being a transit passenger, will it be any problem to go out of the airport for 2-3 hrs to meet up with a buddy ? I'm not quite sure either way, so thought I'd pose the question to the well-travelled ppruners for advice :-)
SpringHeeledJack is online now  
Old 13th Feb 2020, 21:01
  #2 (permalink)  
Paxing All Over The World
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hertfordshire, UK.
Age: 63
Posts: 8,999
And that gateway airport would be???
The time of day you will have there???
PAXboy is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2020, 21:20
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: uk
Posts: 521
If you have a valid US ESTA and you go through immigration you’ll be in the USA so do whatever you can do in the time/space available to you.
deltahotel is offline  
Old 14th Feb 2020, 06:30
  #4 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: There and here
Posts: 1,735
Thanks for the replies. My question is from an immigration standpoint rather than how busy/friendly the airport is.

If my bags are checked through it should be relatively easy, although that will mean going through security and immigration again later, but better that than festering in the terminals for hours on end.

I think the USA is the only country I know where transit passengers have to go through immigration, rather than be 'just passing through'. This time it will be an advantage for me hopefully! :-)
SpringHeeledJack is online now  
Old 14th Feb 2020, 08:59
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: France
Posts: 377
So name the airport and shame the devil!
Alsacienne is online now  
Old 14th Feb 2020, 09:00
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ferrara
Posts: 1,097
Done this loads of times - the main issue is transport on the land-side - I've hired a car and gone shopping/lunching at Houston, Dallas, SF and LA - you need a 6 hour lay over to manage that comfortably and have the car etc booked ahead.
Asturias56 is offline  
Old 14th Feb 2020, 15:48
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: London
Posts: 499
Can you transit US airports without going through immigration these days? I thought that they ended this after 911. You will therefore end up airside (unless you have to go through security which used to be the case at ATL & may still be at Orlando (I'm not certain on this.)). So yes, you can meet your buddy.
Peter47 is offline  
Old 14th Feb 2020, 17:35
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ferrara
Posts: 1,097
I think you HAVE to pass US Immigration in transit as well as arrival................
Asturias56 is offline  
Old 14th Feb 2020, 18:26
  #9 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: There and here
Posts: 1,735
Yes you do have to pass immigration, but this was the case 30 years ago or more, even if you had a short transit time, say to go from Miami to one of the Caribbean Islands. In other countries, you sit in a transit lounge and are technically not in said country, but afaik, the US always had this policy of insisting transit passengers to go in and then out of immigration when not actually entering the country.
SpringHeeledJack is online now  
Old 14th Feb 2020, 18:33
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: E.Wash State
Posts: 604
You are correct, SHJack. So after your buddy visit, you will simply return to the airport, enter TSA security, where you have to produce your boarding pass and your passportID, and then head out to the gate for your next flight, be it international or USdomestic.

I've yet to see a US airport where the procedure is any different. The variations come at the point where you enter the US originally -- some are reasonably organized (IAH) and others are simply 3rd-world chaotic (EWR).
obgraham is offline  
Old 15th Feb 2020, 12:57
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Age: 62
Posts: 323
SHJ
If you say your bags will be checked through then I take it your onward destination is a country outside the USA?

If not then you will have to claim all your bags and go through immigration and then recheck those in for your onward flight...

If you have 9 hours layover then of course you can clear air-side, and spend your time outside the airport if you wish then come back later to fly on...
It is no problem to leave the airport as long as you clear out in the normal way (ESTA needed)
rog747 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.