AF77 PPT - CDG (with 2-hour re-fueling stop in LAX)...

Old Feb 12, 15, 2:56 am
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AF77 PPT - CDG (with 2-hour re-fueling stop in LAX)...

So, if I am traveling from Papeete to Paris - CDG, there is a 2-hour stop in LAX without changing plane, but all passengers must deplane.

I have heard some horror stories in terms of the inconveniences for those who have stop in USA on their way from a non-US country to another non-US country. So my worry is, will I have to take my luggage out and re-check my luggage at LAX even though I am not entering into USA?

I have had flight at TBIT in LAX before, and once passengers (regardless of where the final destination is) deplane from the aircraft, everyone must walk to immigration in the 2nd floor as if they're entering USA (clearly not the case for those who travel from PPT to CDG on the same AF77 aircraft like me)....

as far as I know, there is no transit area at TBIT in LAX for passengers who travel from a non-US country to another non-US country.

Maybe someone can clarify my worries. Thank you in advance.
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Old Feb 12, 15, 4:08 am
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Originally Posted by uclacolumbiaunc View Post
as far as I know, there is no transit area at TBIT in LAX for passengers who travel from a non-US country to another non-US country.
In the past, Air New Zealand had negotiated a special arrangement with the US authorities such that people on NZ1 (LHR-LAX-AKL) and NZ2 (AKL-LAX-LHR) that are transiting could avoid the immigration process - but they still needed to get off the plane.

This is no longer the case - though NZ does give "Transit Cards" to its transit passengers on these flights, presumably so that they can demonstrate their entitlement to follow the transit path. For these NZ passengers, their luggage remains on the plane so they do not need to worry about that - but this may not be the case for other same-plane-transit passengers, such as AF PPT-LAX-CDG.

Whether Air France has anything similar in place for its (presumably far fewer) transit passengers, I don't know. But you can expect that you will have to speak to a USBCP official, and you will have to clear security at LAX.

Hopefully someone else will be along with recent personal experience. But I wouldn't worry - AF is not going to leave you and any other transiting passengers behind.

The second page in this file seems to suggest that all transit pax clear the "normal" main CBP point, but then loop back to the airside departures area, rather than following the arrivals path to baggage reclaim.
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Old Feb 12, 15, 8:30 am
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You may have a look at the end of this report: http://flight-report.com/fr/report-7180.html illustrating the transit procedure.
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Old Feb 12, 15, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by saraoutou View Post
You may have a look at the end of this report: http://flight-report.com/fr/report-7180.html illustrating the transit procedure.
Sorry but I don't speak fluent French.. So this report in French provides little help.... though the pictures show he went out to the check in area of TBIT. so I guess he had to clear the immigration (i.e. get his passport stamped?) to get out of airside to reach landside of check in area? Why does USA make you enter US even if your final destination is france?

I don't have any clue in terms of how the checked luggage is handled from the report..... can you shed some light about it?
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Old Feb 12, 15, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by uclacolumbiaunc View Post
Sorry but I don't speak fluent French.. So this report in French provides little help....
May I recommend Google Chrome? Comes with automatic translation of any webpage into the language of your choice.
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Old Feb 12, 15, 12:44 pm
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Originally Posted by uclacolumbiaunc View Post
So, if I am traveling from Papeete to Paris - CDG, there is a 2-hour stop in LAX without changing plane, but all passengers must deplane.

I have heard some horror stories in terms of the inconveniences for those who have stop in USA on their way from a non-US country to another non-US country. So my worry is, will I have to take my luggage out and re-check my luggage at LAX even though I am not entering into USA?

I have had flight at TBIT in LAX before, and once passengers (regardless of where the final destination is) deplane from the aircraft, everyone must walk to immigration in the 2nd floor as if they're entering USA (clearly not the case for those who travel from PPT to CDG on the same AF77 aircraft like me)....

as far as I know, there is no transit area at TBIT in LAX for passengers who travel from a non-US country to another non-US country.

Maybe someone can clarify my worries. Thank you in advance.
Originally Posted by uclacolumbiaunc View Post
Sorry but I don't speak fluent French.. So this report in French provides little help.... though the pictures show he went out to the check in area of TBIT. so I guess he had to clear the immigration (i.e. get his passport stamped?) to get out of airside to reach landside of check in area? Why does USA make you enter US even if your final destination is france?

I don't have any clue in terms of how the checked luggage is handled from the report..... can you shed some light about it?
You don't have to worry about anything
Indeed, you have to pass US immigration, as if you were ending your trip in LAX and entering the USA. I know it is a big annoyance, but this procedure is in place (I think) since 9/11/2001 in order for the US authorities to screen and clear any person boarding a plane from (and to) the USA. This procedure is for all airlines which has a US stop point.
For your luggage, I'm pretty sure you don't have to claim and re-check them in LAX.
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Old Feb 12, 15, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
You don't have to worry about anything
Indeed, you have to pass US immigration, as if you were ending your trip in LAX and entering the USA. I know it is a big annoyance, but this procedure is in place (I think) since 9/11/2001 in order for the US authorities to screen and clear any person boarding a plane from (and to) the USA. This procedure is for all airlines which has a US stop point.
For your luggage, I'm pretty sure you don't have to claim and re-check them in LAX.
So basically, if you are a citizen of a country that requires a US visa to enter US, you need to apply for US visa for the same trip even if you don't intend to spend time in US.... ? I am surprised this hasn't scared a lot of airlines away for flights needing refueling stop in US between two non-US countries (like PPT-CDG or AKL-LHR).... but I guess they don't have many choice since stopping in Canada would make the flight time longer.

Can someone confirm if checked bags do not have to be picked up and rechecked?
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Old Feb 13, 15, 12:06 am
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Originally Posted by uclacolumbiaunc View Post
So basically, if you are a citizen of a country that requires a US visa to enter US, you need to apply for US visa for the same trip even if you don't intend to spend time in US.... ?
Indeed. But as we said, US airports do not have anymore international transit area and so connecting pax are not segregated from departing pax (intl or domestic) and so, technically, you are entering the USA during your transit. Note that some EU countries also require transit visas for some citizenships when transiting between 2 international flights. We are in a complicated world

Originally Posted by uclacolumbiaunc View Post
I am surprised this hasn't scared a lot of airlines away for flights needing refueling stop in US between two non-US countries (like PPT-CDG or AKL-LHR).... but I guess they don't have many choice since stopping in Canada would make the flight time longer.
In general, and particularly in the case of the CDG-LAX-PPT route, you cannot consider the intermediate stopping point as just a refueling stop. Of course they refuel but it is also a way to embark new pax at the stopping point (in addition to the continuing pax) and so to improve the financial performance of the route overall. Of course, to be able to do this, you need to have the adequate traffic rights including the right to sell tickets on each sectors.
To come back to CDG-LAX-PPT, the daily demand for CDG-PPT is not enough to have a viable route (especially knowing its length). As it is a very long route, you need to stop somewhere for crew change, refueling and disembarking/embarking pax and the US/LAX is clearly the best choice. Wealthy country and large catchment area, high yields, you can also connect here from other places in the US, etc. SFO could be another stopping point (and has been used in the past by Corsair I think) but there is more demand from/to LAX.
Mexico stop : clearly not interesting due to a likely very low demand for Mexico-PPT and lower yields.
Canada stop : there has been long rumors on aviation forums that a stop in YVR would make sense, for the PPT route, to avoid the US immigration transit, but Canada is a small country by population and so the economic of the route would be impaired IMO.
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Old Feb 13, 15, 2:16 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak
Canada stop : there has been long rumors on aviation forums that a stop in YVR would make sense, for the PPT route, to avoid the US immigration transit.
actually, this makes very little sense to me considering that Canada formalities are by no means lighter than the U.S. I think many internet fora seem to think of US immigration as one of a kind while in fact it is not that different from a number of other countries and a few are worse. Plus as you say, on such a long route, geographical logic also has to be of paramount importance as are available connections.
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Old Feb 13, 15, 2:39 am
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
actually, this makes very little sense to me considering that Canada formalities are by no means lighter than the U.S.
IIRC, YVR allows for the bypassing of Canadian immigration (at any rate for US-bound pax, although I am not sure whether this is true for all international connnections). However, I would expect the economics of a PPT-YVR-CDG route to be worse than PPT-LAX-CDG.
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Old Feb 13, 15, 3:37 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
Indeed. But as we said, US airports do not have anymore international transit area and so connecting pax are not segregated from departing pax (intl or domestic) and so, technically, you are entering the USA during your transit. Note that some EU countries also require transit visas for some citizenships when transiting between 2 international flights. We are in a complicated world


In general, and particularly in the case of the CDG-LAX-PPT route, you cannot consider the intermediate stopping point as just a refueling stop. Of course they refuel but it is also a way to embark new pax at the stopping point (in addition to the continuing pax) and so to improve the financial performance of the route overall. Of course, to be able to do this, you need to have the adequate traffic rights including the right to sell tickets on each sectors.
To come back to CDG-LAX-PPT, the daily demand for CDG-PPT is not enough to have a viable route (especially knowing its length). As it is a very long route, you need to stop somewhere for crew change, refueling and disembarking/embarking pax and the US/LAX is clearly the best choice. Wealthy country and large catchment area, high yields, you can also connect here from other places in the US, etc. SFO could be another stopping point (and has been used in the past by Corsair I think) but there is more demand from/to LAX.
Mexico stop : clearly not interesting due to a likely very low demand for Mexico-PPT and lower yields.
Canada stop : there has been long rumors on aviation forums that a stop in YVR would make sense, for the PPT route, to avoid the US immigration transit, but Canada is a small country by population and so the economic of the route would be impaired IMO.
So, checked luggage will go all the way from PPT to CDG without me having to take it out and recheck at LAX?
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Old Feb 13, 15, 4:48 am
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Well you can go via AKL or via SCL if you want to avoid the US. But it's adding a couple of hours ...
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Old Feb 14, 15, 10:23 am
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Originally Posted by uclacolumbiaunc View Post
So, checked luggage will go all the way from PPT to CDG without me having to take it out and recheck at LAX?
No. Under normal circumstances you have to claim your bag, clear customs, and then re-check it at the baggage re-check desk right after you go through customs, no need to go to the check-in counter. If, upon arrival, AF ground staff advises you differently, then consider it a bonus.

Last edited by SDQBound; Feb 14, 15 at 10:31 am
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Old Feb 14, 15, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by B7e7US View Post
No. Under normal circumstances you have to claim your bag, clear customs, and then re-check it at the baggage re-check desk right after you go through customs, no need to go to the check-in counter. If, upon arrival, AF ground staff advises you differently, then consider it a bonus.
Are you really sure of this (is this based on your personal experience) ? This is not the information I heard in the case of this specific same-plane continuing flight (intl to intl). AFAIK, you are disembarking will all your carry-on but you do not have to claim and re-check bags. But, as this is not based on my own experience, I'm ready to hear a different reality. Of course it would be entirely different if, at LAX, you are taking a later AF flight or if changing from AF to TN (or vice-versa).

Last edited by Goldorak; Feb 14, 15 at 1:18 pm
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Old Feb 14, 15, 2:22 pm
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Originally Posted by B7e7US View Post
No. Under normal circumstances you have to claim your bag, clear customs, and then re-check it at the baggage re-check desk right after you go through customs, no need to go to the check-in counter. If, upon arrival, AF ground staff advises you differently, then consider it a bonus.
I'm also a bit surprised. Sadly never been to PPT but with NZ you definitely do not need to collect/recheck luggage at all when continuing on the same flight (NZ 1 or 2).
http://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/conne...at-los-angeles (towards middle of the page "changes to..." although that part has not changed)
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