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YEG-YYZ-LGA - customs/immgration done in Canada or LGA?

YEG-YYZ-LGA - customs/immgration done in Canada or LGA?

Old Dec 5, 11, 1:22 pm
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YEG-YYZ-LGA - customs/immgration done in Canada or LGA?

I'll be taking an Air Canada flight from YEG to LGA (connecting in YYZ). I vaguely remember having taken Canada to USA flights before where immigration/customs was done beforehand in Canada, rather than upon arriving in the USA. However, I've never taken AC.

Does anybody know if this route would do the immigration/customs in YEG or YZZ, or will I have to do it at LGA? I'll be very tight on time and just trying to figure out in which case (if any) these checks are done before departing Canada.

Thanks.
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Old Dec 5, 11, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by flyertalker543 View Post
I'll be taking an Air Canada flight from YEG to LGA (connecting in YYZ). I vaguely remember having taken Canada to USA flights before where immigration/customs was beforehand in Canada, rather than upon arriving in the USA. However, I've never taken AC.

Does anybody know if this route would do the immigration/customs in YEG or YZZ, or will I have to do it at LGA? I'll be very tight on time and just trying to figure out in which case (if any) it's possible do these checks before departing Canada.

Thanks.
Youll clear US customs and immigration at YYZ.
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Old Dec 5, 11, 2:30 pm
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At YYZ, LGA does not have Immigration officials, but almost all major Cdn airports clear US bound passengers (Toronto Island airport being one notable exception).

If you plan to travel to or through the US on a regular basis, I would highly recommend the Nexus card for transborder travel (which also gets you the Global Entry for entry into the US from other International destinations).
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Old Dec 5, 11, 2:43 pm
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Just follow the overhead US connection sign. You collect your checked luggage at the US connection area which leads you directly to the US CBP processing. You need to show your boarding pass and luggage tag to enter. You do not collect you bags at the "usual" domestic arrival claim area.
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Old Dec 5, 11, 3:25 pm
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Thanks for the replies. Great to hear - it answers my question perfectly.

I'm actually a US citizen, just haven't don't much Canada to USA travel.
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Old Dec 5, 11, 5:59 pm
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Originally Posted by flyertalker543 View Post
Thanks for the replies. Great to hear - it answers my question perfectly.

I'm actually a US citizen, just haven't don't much Canada to USA travel.
You should consider GE then. It was worth it for me, even as a Canadian, when I have to go to the US. (I have about 7 passport pages full of US stamps just this year...., and another one of HKG stamps...)
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Old Dec 9, 11, 3:02 am
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If you're checking a bag, consider routing to LGA via YUL or YOW instead if possible: At those airports, you will not have to pick up your bag to walk it through US customs, whereas you do via YYZ.
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Old Dec 15, 11, 9:53 pm
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm trying to buy my ticket now and have one more question:

It seems I have two routing options from YEG to LGA. As mentioned, I'll be very tight on time when arriving into LGA. Both the routings get me into LGA at the same time (the earliest I could find) -- but which would be the more reliable choice?

1. YEG-DEN-LGA (1 hr connection) (operated by United Express/Shuttle America, then UA) (dept 6:10 am)

or

2. YEG-YYZ-LGA (2 1/2 hr connection) (operated by Air Canada, then AC Jazz)
(dept 6am)

I assume choice #2 is better since it gives me more connection time (2hr vs 1hr, since a shorter route), even though I'd have to go through immigration (at YYZ, while with choice #1 I'd be doing it before I leave at YEG)?

thanks for the help

edit.. just want to add: I'll have one checked bag. No Nexus or GE.

Last edited by flyertalker543; Dec 16, 11 at 1:28 am
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Old Dec 15, 11, 10:06 pm
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If you don't have Nexus or GE and are checking bags, you may want to go via DEN. This way you clear in YEG and do not have to worry about checked bags. Also line at customs in YEG will be better than YYZ usually. probably better too if only carry on. You will arrive and depart same terminal in DEN.

If you have Nexus or GE and carry on YYZ would be very easy. Still doable without and checked luggage but you have to pick up luggage, unless that has changed recently (connecting to US in YEG you do not have to pick up luggage).
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Old Dec 15, 11, 11:13 pm
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LGA is not a great airport in bad weather, snow, fog etc can mean a lot of delayed flights. I don't know how urgent / important your activity in LGA is but if it is vital, come in the night before, especially if your travel is in winter.
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Old Dec 15, 11, 11:17 pm
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Originally Posted by emma69 View Post
LGA is not a great airport in bad weather, snow, fog etc can mean a lot of delayed flights. I don't know how urgent / important your activity in LGA is but if it is vital, come in the night before, especially if your travel is in winter.
Thanks for the reply. It's very important, but I have a prior engagement the night before, so the only option is to just to take the first flight and try picking the safest route..
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Old Dec 15, 11, 11:39 pm
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Originally Posted by 7E7 View Post
You will arrive and depart same terminal in DEN.
Yes, though the RJ from YEG will be at the far end of the terminal in DEN with the higher gate numbers. Walk through the terminal can be a good 15 minutes if the mainline flight to LGA is at the other end of the terminal.
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Old Dec 16, 11, 2:00 am
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
Yes, though the RJ from YEG will be at the far end of the terminal in DEN with the higher gate numbers. Walk through the terminal can be a good 15 minutes if the mainline flight to LGA is at the other end of the terminal.
That's helpful to know, thanks. I've decided to go with the YYZ connection. A 2 1/2 YYZ layover seems much safer than a 1 hr DEN connection. I figure even if my first leg is delayed 1 hr, I should be fine at YYZ doing immigration/baggage in 1 1/2 hrs, while DEN would fail. Also, if my connection was cancelled, there's more backup Star Alliance flights going YYZ-EWR/LGA/JFK that can get me there in time.
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