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Clearing customs in the USA

(13 Posts)
daftasabrush Tue 26-Jun-07 21:02:55

When you fly to America and have to change aircraft before continuing your journey, do you clear customs when you arrive at your final destination. We have only got 90 minutes between landing and catching the next flight so its going to be very tight if you have to clear customs and security. Does anyone know please. We are flying to chicago then changing for an onward flight to Orlando.

mamama Tue 26-Jun-07 23:29:34


You have to go through immigration, claim your baggage, do a customs declaration, and recheck you bags.

Are you flying to Ohare? I live in Chicago so have used O'Hare (& Midway) lots of times. I think 90 minutes is cutting it a bit fine, tbh. I might do it if I were alone but probably not with kids. O'Hare is notorious for delays although almost all flights from the UK land a bit early (10- 30 minutes).

You will land at Terminal 5 and will need to transfer to a different terminal (monorail) and then check-in again. The domestic terminals (1-3) are great - lots of shops, places for coffee etc.

alipiggie Tue 26-Jun-07 23:38:26

I go along with mamama on that one - 90 minutes it not leaving yourselves very long to clear Security/Immigration/Customs. Particularly as you can expect questions to be asked as we're still on Orange (high) alert over here. My mum just flew into Orlando from Manchester and had a 15min chat so to speak with the Immigration Services.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 27-Jun-07 10:24:29

When do you leave for the US?. If its not for a week or two yet I would now see if there is a later flight available on the airline you've booked from O'Hare to Orlando.

In all likelihood you will not make this same day connection. Ninety minutes is cutting it way too fine - I would have suggested at least a 2 hour wait before tranferring to the next plane as it can take so long these days.

As mamama has correctly surmised you will clear Immigration, collect your luggage from the carousel and then clear customs at O'Hare. You will then have to go to the correct domestic terminal for your airline, recheck your luggage and go through security again.

When do you eventually get to Orlando you only need to collect your luggage.

daftasabrush Wed 27-Jun-07 22:07:55

Thankyou for your replies. We are going next week. It is chicago Ohare mamama. We are going without kids . It is actually a short trip DH won so we have had no say in the times of the flights etc. I hope it we can clear through it on time to catch the connecting flights.

mamama Thu 28-Jun-07 14:35:20

Oooo, no kids, daft! Lucky you

The good thing about chicago is that there are so man connecting flights that even if you miss yours, you'll be able to catch another one.

Hope you enjoy your trip


daftasabrush Thu 28-Jun-07 18:30:57

Thanks mamama. Lucky you living out there! DO you know if you are connecting with the same airline do you still have to collect your luggage and re-check or do they do that automatically?

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 28-Jun-07 18:39:51

"Do you know if you are connecting with the same airline do you still have to collect your luggage and re-check or do they do that automatically?"

You have to reclaim your baggage upon arrival in International arrivals and then take it to the domestic terminal to check it in again. I would not think they will allow you to put your luggage onto the transfer carousel because of the limited amount of time you have between flights.

Hopefully you won't have too much hassle getting another flight to Orlando.

daftasabrush Thu 28-Jun-07 20:22:25

Thanks Attilla, I guess it will all come out in the wash.

mamama Thu 28-Jun-07 20:25:25

You must claim you bags and check them in again yourself. It's an immigration/ security thing.

You will arrive at Terminal 5. All domestic flights go from Terminals 1 - 3 and I am pretty sure you will have to take all you luggage there yourself. Which airline are you flying with?

LilyLoo Thu 28-Jun-07 20:29:23

sorry gatecrash mamama just wanted to say thanks for your info for Chicago , we had a lovely time and your tips were very useful especially the cocktails at the Hancock tower. Your lucky to live their.

daftasabrush Thu 28-Jun-07 20:53:20

We are flying with American Airlines mamama

mamama Fri 29-Jun-07 06:52:05

Oh lilyloo - I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip.

Daft - you could call American and see what they say about rechecking luggage etc - then at least you know what to expect when you land.

Hope you have a good holiday

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