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-   -   AC Drops Domestic flight @ Canadian Customs (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-canada-aeroplan/1980406-ac-drops-domestic-flight-canadian-customs.html)

petvan Jul 27, 19 2:22 pm

AC Drops Domestic flight @ Canadian Customs
 
ACA 419 from YUL to YYZ on Friday ended on an interesting note. After an unusually long walk for a domestic flight to the baggage area, we emerged at the business end of canadian customs.

Some folks, not AC, herded us into a group and told us to stand by, we'd be escorted, but 5 minutes and 30% of the passengers present later, they just said we'd have to clear customs.

Clearing customs without a passport nor any forms nor having actually left the country was interesting (possibly unlawful) and the customs folks weren't particularly empathetic. It was a tad of a free for all while we spread out, found forms, plugged incomplete details in and tried to get past an agent with just a drivers license. I don't know how it went for folks who travel less frequently or who possibly might be very unfamiliar with Canada or who might have had a reason for not enjoying having an agent vet their details.

I believe AC blew the mission here entirely and both in the routing from the gate and secondarily in allowing us to get to the wrong side of customs and finally by not providing any guidance at all.

Was a new one for me!

P

stevendorechester Jul 27, 19 2:41 pm

I don' t think CBSA has any authority over Canadian citizens on domestic flights, not does anybody who works for the airport ( who isn' t a police officer ) have the authority to stop you once you' ve exited the plane. If anything the airline would be fined. I could be wrong, but I wonder what would happen if a Canadian citizen just kept walking and refused to answer questions or produce i.d., since they never left the country in the first place.

james dean Jul 27, 19 2:56 pm

YEP, AC is probably looking at a fine here & loosing their Customs bond $$ on this one....
I heard that a Jazz flight from SEA-YVR parked and off-loaded at domestic a few years ago in YVR, same gong show...except worse since the PAX needed to clear customs.

smallmj Jul 27, 19 5:41 pm

I wonder if they parked at a swing gate that somebody forgot to swing?

Sean Peever Jul 27, 19 5:46 pm

happens a few times a year on the domestic leg of AC 33 from YYZ - YVR. I've been on it twice over the years when it happened. Super annoying. CBSA just confirmed if you were a canadian citizen you were good to go through.

colombianbrew Jul 27, 19 5:53 pm

I imagine if you stopped short of the customs hall and demanded to be let out a different way they’d have to accommodate you but as soon as you go to an officer you are at a port of entry and subject to search. It’s kind of like land borders. Even if you don’t mean to cross and don’t want to, there is a point of no return and if you get lost you have to turn around through customs

eigenvector Jul 27, 19 6:04 pm


Originally Posted by stevendorechester (Post 31349331)
I don' t think CBSA has any authority over Canadian citizens on domestic flights, not does anybody who works for the airport ( who isn' t a police officer ) have the authority to stop you once you' ve exited the plane. If anything the airline would be fined. I could be wrong, but I wonder what would happen if a Canadian citizen just kept walking and refused to answer questions or produce i.d., since they never left the country in the first place.

You're welcome to try turning up at a Canadian port of entry, trying to walk through and refusing to answer any questions, but I personally don't enjoy being forcibly detained and quite likely beaten/injured in the process. Many of us here have not forgotten the man who unfortunately lost his life at YVR in 2007 after getting frustrated/agitated with CBSA.

Adam Smith Jul 27, 19 6:29 pm


Originally Posted by james dean (Post 31349371)
YEP, AC is probably looking at a fine here & loosing their Customs bond $$ on this one....

"Customs bond $$"? On a domestic flight, that should be what, $0?

5mm Jul 27, 19 6:48 pm


Originally Posted by james dean (Post 31349371)
YEP, AC is probably looking at a fine here & loosing their Customs bond $$ on this one....
.

Doesn’t it depended on who assigns the gates? This could be more of a YYZ problem, then AC’s.

dav662 Jul 27, 19 8:43 pm

Now at Canada Border as some of you have said the CABC absolutely have no authority on domestic travellers. Most of them do not even have a passport to travel and also there is no item that is that they can confiscate or stop you from carrying. So I do not know how they would search the passenger in this case?

eigenvector Jul 27, 19 8:57 pm


Originally Posted by dav662 (Post 31350043)
Now at Canada Border as some of you have said the CABC absolutely have no authority on domestic travellers. Most of them do not even have a passport to travel and also there is no item that is that they can confiscate or stop you from carrying. So I do not know how they would search the passenger in this case?

Except they don't consider you - a person in the international arrivals area of a Canadian airport - a domestic traveler and they are the ones who get to make the rules.

WoodlandCreature Jul 27, 19 10:22 pm


Originally Posted by Sean Peever (Post 31349757)
happens a few times a year on the domestic leg of AC 33 from YYZ - YVR. I've been on it twice over the years when it happened. Super annoying. CBSA just confirmed if you were a canadian citizen you were good to go through.

Yup, exactly that happened to me and a dozen others who were first off the plane a few months ago. Apparently, a tardy AC agent arrived to correctly divert the majority of the passengers, but the group I was with ended up having to fill out forms and pass through border procedures, just as the OP described.

Fiordland Jul 27, 19 10:41 pm


Originally Posted by WoodlandCreature (Post 31350180)
Yup, exactly that happened to me and a dozen others who were first off the plane a few months ago. Apparently, a tardy AC agent arrived to correctly divert the majority of the passengers, but the group I was with ended up having to fill out forms and pass through border procedures, just as the OP described.

At the airports with separate international departure halls (eg. YVR, YYZ, etc.) on a daily basis they must have all sorts of people who were bumped or re-accommodated for one reason or another and have to go through customers to get back land-side. Not having a passport is the one odd this about a domestic flight ended up on an international gate.

skybluesea Jul 28, 19 1:50 am


Originally Posted by dav662 (Post 31350043)
Now at Canada Border as some of you have said the CABC absolutely have no authority on domestic travellers. Most of them do not even have a passport to travel and also there is no item that is that they can confiscate or stop you from carrying. So I do not know how they would search the passenger in this case?

it’s remarkable such statements are made with NO factual basis or evidence in support. Without getting too far off the thread In 2016 Parliament amended various statutes to create something called “Customs Controlled Area”.
https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publicat...f5156-eng.html

while threshold for inspection for anyone domestic who is present in CCA. Including both passengers and ground staff, is much higher than arriving foreign travelers, Parliament allowed the authority necessary to intervene in this situation.

In practice, this inadvertent mixing happens routinely, including to me at YUL couple years ago and CBSA just asks where you came from and waive you through.

btw...AC was heavily involved in lobbying for the CCA change as it has facilitated simpler airport processing -I will say no more as getting really off topic to explain these details.

Ew/oQ Jul 28, 19 6:30 am

Slightly off topic…
Years ago (may have been before 911) flying AC from YYZ to YSJ, due to weather we were diverted to BOS for refueling. While no one was allowed off the plane we were told we would have to fill in customs forms upon landing in Toronto. No one met us in the terminal upon landing and thus we skipped inspection.


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