Question about transfer in JFK

Old Mar 15, 15, 2:51 pm
  #1  
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Question about transfer in JFK

I'm about to book a flight from TXL to LAX via AMS and JFK (as the prices are lowest this way.)

However, I have a question. The layover in JFK is about 1.30hours until the flight to LAX. Do I have to pick-up my bags and check-in again at JFK or only go through immigration and directly to the next gate?

Do you think 1.5hours is okay or should I try to book a better connection?

I've never had a transit in a US airport before that's why I am somewhat confused.

Thanks for your help!
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Old Mar 15, 15, 4:04 pm
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The procedure is that your clear both immigration and customs at the 1st US entry point, so JFK in your case. It means you have to collect your checked bags in JFK and re-check them just after customs.
I assume you fly KL or DL from AMS to JFK and then DL to LAX ?
If yes, you will be arriving and departing in/from T4 in JFK, but even with staying in the same terminal, 1h30 of connection time is very risky IMO. Lines at immigration can be very long. I'm never confortable with <2hrs for such a connection. On the way back, at a US transit point, it's different because no such formalities and no bags top collect, so you can book with shorter connection times.
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Old Mar 15, 15, 4:06 pm
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You will need to collect your bags at JFK as it's your port of entry into the USA.

After clearing US CBP you can recheck your bags and proceed to the next flight.

1:30 sounds a bit tight but doable. Either way, you will be protected if things don't work out and you miss flights.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Mar 15, 15, 4:28 pm
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Thank you for your answers!

It seems like I have to make the trade off between cheap price-risky connection and more expensive flights with just one stop.
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Old Mar 15, 15, 4:31 pm
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If they are with a single airline, your booking is protected though. As far as I understand, the airline should just book you on the next available flight (if there are none belonging to the airline, they should even book you on a competitor!)

There are many flights between JFK and LAX, so, if it's a matter of price, I don't see a need to pay for something (protection of the flight) that you're already due, by the grace of 'MCT' (minimum connection time), that's set by the airline.

Unless you're booked on the very last flight of that day, I would not worry. Hour-and-a-half seems reasonable, depending on the day you're flying.
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Old Mar 15, 15, 5:25 pm
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To be clear, you will not need to recheck your bags. They should be tagged at TXL all the way through to LAX. At JFK, you will simply claim your bag, carry it through Customs and then drop it at bag drop. No need to wait in line for bag drop.

I do want to make certain that you are on a single ticket, not PNR, but ticket. That will make a difference if you are delayed at JFK.
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Old Mar 16, 15, 2:02 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I do want to make certain that you are on a single ticket, not PNR, but ticket. That will make a difference if you are delayed at JFK.
Can you elaborate on this because I don't follow you here ? For me, what counts, for the protection in case of misconnection, is the single booking, whatever the number of tickets involved in this single booking (because if several carriers are involved in a booking, there are often several ticket numbers).
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Old Mar 16, 15, 3:07 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
(...) It means you have to collect your checked bags in JFK and re-check them just after customs. (...).
I was wondering : what happened if you don't collect the luggage?

I.e. if you willingly or mistakenly leave the tagged-to-destination bag(s) on the belt and go onto your onwards flight?

I tried to get an answer on another forum, but got no answer other than I should search this forum.

On a French forum, one lady said that the bags would follow and get to destination the next day after customs inspection (but this experience dates back to a few years ago).

P.S. Got the answer now. Bags get forwarded by the airline and get there with delay. Some legal issues with customs form though, but if you don't get asked anything, then you go through customs and wait for your bag (1 day to 1 month delay).

Last edited by carnarvon; Mar 16, 15 at 4:47 am Reason: Got the answer.
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Old Mar 16, 15, 10:56 am
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When you arrive at JFK some agent before custom clearance will point you to a "fast lane" for connecting passanger. I have used it many time but it is always hit or miss at JFK. If several plan arrives at the same time it can be a mess.

however as pointed by others if you miss your connection you will be rebook for free on the next one
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Old Mar 16, 15, 11:59 am
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To be clear, you will not need to recheck your bags. They should be tagged at TXL all the way through to LAX. At JFK, you will simply claim your bag, carry it through Customs and then drop it at bag drop. No need to wait in line for bag drop.
This might be a technical distinction, but to me this procedure has always been explained as "rechecking".

One thing that is good to point out about the details though is: The stickers with your final destination will be still on the bag, and should be left there, because they will be used to make sure your bag gets to the right destination. It's just a drop-off indeed.

It brings up the question for me though: suppose you miss/fear you'll miss your connecting flight? Just drop it off and trust the airline to reconcile you? Or get yourself rebooked first and drop it off with new stickers?
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Old Mar 16, 15, 1:02 pm
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See my answer at the DL Forum (although it was challenged, I see no issues with the connection in question).
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Old Mar 16, 15, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by AtlanticX View Post
It brings up the question for me though: suppose you miss/fear you'll miss your connecting flight? Just drop it off and trust the airline to reconcile you? Or get yourself rebooked first and drop it off with new stickers?
There are always agents near the drop-off belt. If you have missed your connection (or if it obvious that you'll miss it), you have to work first with those people to be rebooked and have your bags re-tagged.
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Old Mar 19, 15, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
Can you elaborate on this because I don't follow you here ? For me, what counts, for the protection in case of misconnection, is the single booking, whatever the number of tickets involved in this single booking (because if several carriers are involved in a booking, there are often several ticket numbers).
+1. And when you book a ticket online, you cannot really check before payment if you are on a single ticket or not.
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