Thursday, July 21, 2011

Do I have to go through customs in the States, given that I only have connecting flights there

Do I have to go through customs in the States, given that I only have connecting flights there?
OK, so I'm in Toronto and I decided to take an impromptu trip to Belize. I booked my tickets on which I found by searching for my date of departure. Unfortunately what I thought I was doing with my own naive approach was finding the soonest *arrival* date. Well, there aren't that many flights to Belize City, and Orbitz now has me bouncing through several American airports, seemingly just to keep me in the airport system until there's an ACTUAL flight to Belize, in this case from NYC. My itinerary follows: Departure times Toronto 5:45PM Friday Cincinnati 9:10AM Saturday Boston 2:05PM Saturday NYC 1:10AM Sunday I didn't want to take the time to type all the arrival times, but you get the picture. It's a bit funny, if depressing, to imagine this journey for me and how it came about. Anyway, since I have domestic connecting flights, are they going to make me go through customs & immigration in Cincinnati even though I won't be leaving the airport? I hate going through American customs (SO unfriendly - I'm Canadian, not Iranian!), and I'm sure that this weird flight pattern would look suspicious, so I'm REALLY hoping that I can skip the American customs.
Air Travel - 7 Answers
Random Answers, Critics, Comments, Opinions :
1 :
That itenerary makes no sense. Yes, you have to go through customs. Just tell them you're transfering through the county, they usually go easier on you. But your itinerary might raise some eyebrows.
2 :
You should go through US Immigration & Customs in Toronto before your flight departs for the USA. That is true even if your final destination is outside the USA. Hope you have a good trip, and that the Immigration Officers have grown a sense of politeness by then!
3 :
That's not a fun trip! Yikes, you're touring the East Coast before getting down to Belize finally. You could probably fly to Australia in less time! One bit of good news; you can clear U.S. Customs in Toronto before boarding your flight to the U.S. There aren't that many airports outside the U.S. that have this so you're lucky! Very convenient. I did it a few years ago. When you fill in the forms, your "U.S. address" will be "Transit to Belize". Technically, you don't "transit" the U.S. You enter and exit the same day perhaps, but it isn't like in Europe, where if you stay in the secured, checked in area of the airport with an onward ticket, you don't have to go through the formalities. The U.S. makes you do the whole song and dance routine. Good luck with Customs. My experience in Toronto was good and quick. Hopefully yours' will be too.
4 :
Yes if you embark the plane there..
5 :
You will go through customs at the Toronto airport. At least you will do it right away, and get it over and done with! I've always found them to be nicer up there in Canada, than down here. Hopefully you will find it to be the same! That is the craziest itinerary I have ever seen! Good luck, and have fun!
6 :
You'll go through US Customs once. When you land in Cincinnati, you have to leave the international area to take the flight to Boston. That's when you'll go through customs. Airports are divided up between international terminals and domestic terminals. If your connecting flight was another international flight and your luggage was checked through, then you wouldn't have to go through customs. You'd remain in the international terminal. However, since you are transferring to a domestic flight (Boston), you have to leave the international area, which means going through customs.
7 :
Holy cow. You did get stuffed around by Orbitz. You should've just flown straight to NY. Unfortunately, you'll have to go through Border Pre-clearance in Toronto. America is the only contry that makes you do this as far as I know. I can't stand the US Customs either.

Search News