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LAX immigration processing times NZ2 AKL-LHR?

LAX immigration processing times NZ2 AKL-LHR?

Old Jul 7, 18, 5:28 pm
  #1  
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LAX immigration processing times NZ2 AKL-LHR?

Hi flyers
Does anyone know how quickly immigration are currently processing in LAX or have any tips? I fly in 10 days alone, pregnant and with a 3 year old in economy. I have a 2hr15 transit in LAX, timing has always been tight and stressful through transit in the past & with longer transit times but Iím really worried about making it through and ideally have a few minutes to refresh in the lounge. Itís a shame this is now the only Airnz route NZ-UK. I find the partner flights lacking by comparison....
Any info gratefully appreciated

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Old Jul 7, 18, 10:56 pm
  #2  
 
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Its still rubbish.
Ring Air NZ and talk to them about being an escorted passenger at LA if possible - they did that for my wife in similar circumstances. Sadly it seems random depending on who you strike on the phone.

BCE
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Old Jul 8, 18, 2:15 am
  #3  
 
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We travelled on Business on NZ2 AKL-LHR and was the first out of the plane. Customs was a 40 minute queue and one has to literally walk out briefly to land side before taking the elevators back to air side for security again. That took another 40 minutes. It might be worth checking the land side security queue rather than the transit queue. But it can be hit and miss.

All in all there was less than 10 minutes remaining when we got through security to catch our breath for a drink of water before we had to board the plane again.

Suggestion is for you to get some assistance from staff with your situation, not your fault - just a terrible airport to transit through.

Good luck!

Last edited by dadig; Jul 8, 18 at 2:21 am
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Old Jul 8, 18, 1:27 pm
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Thanks, thatís a good idea,I will give them a call, fingers crossed!

Originally Posted by bce1 View Post
Its still rubbish.
Ring Air NZ and talk to them about being an escorted passenger at LA if possible - they did that for my wife in similar circumstances. Sadly it seems random depending on who you strike on the phone.

BCE
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Old Jul 8, 18, 1:35 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by bce1 View Post
Its still rubbish.
Ring Air NZ and talk to them about being an escorted passenger at LA if possible - they did that for my wife in similar circumstances. Sadly it seems random depending on who you strike on the phone.

BCE
Originally Posted by dadig View Post
We travelled on Business on NZ2 AKL-LHR and was the first out of the plane. Customs was a 40 minute queue and one has to literally walk out briefly to land side before taking the elevators back to air side for security again. That took another 40 minutes. It might be worth checking the land side security queue rather than the transit queue. But it can be hit and miss.

All in all there was less than 10 minutes remaining when we got through security to catch our breath for a drink of water before we had to board the plane again.

Suggestion is for you to get some assistance from staff with your situation, not your fault - just a terrible airport to transit through.

Good luck!
As I thought - Iíd be lucky to even clear security before they are boarding ! Thanks for your suggestion, I hadn't thought of this. I will call Airnz and hope for the best.
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Old Jul 8, 18, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Jazz10 View Post




As I thought - Iíd be lucky to even clear security before they are boarding ! Thanks for your suggestion, I hadn't thought of this. I will call Airnz and hope for the best.
You will never miss your flight. Security is the known bottleneck and it's not uncommon to see airline staff at the TSA queues pulling people out of queues to expedite them.

I haven't flown AKL-LAX since this time last year but have been to LAX a few times since. My experience last year was around 70 mins from plane to Koru, recent LAX experiences have been better for clearing CBP and TSA security outbound.

On my last flight back from LAX in Jan they had moved to the new TSA security screening setup which is far more efficient than the old setup. Took less than 10 mins to get through screening mid afternoon at the same time as the NZ2 transit was occurring. It does however depend if you strike a day where they're using full body screening and more extensive security measures (ie removing shoes etc) as days where they're not interested in people removing shoes, belts etc and only using metal detectors are so much quicker.

My experience is that they also don't always have a dedicated transit queue for security, it seems to depend on the day.

I don't think the process is as bad as some people make out (maybe I'm just used to it by now!) but it's definitely not enjoyable and if you can get help it will make life better.
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Old Jul 8, 18, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
You will never miss your flight. Security is the known bottleneck and it's not uncommon to see airline staff at the TSA queues pulling people out of queues to expedite them.

I haven't flown AKL-LAX since this time last year but have been to LAX a few times since. My experience last year was around 70 mins from plane to Koru, recent LAX experiences have been better for clearing CBP and TSA security outbound.

On my last flight back from LAX in Jan they had moved to the new TSA security screening setup which is far more efficient than the old setup. Took less than 10 mins to get through screening mid afternoon at the same time as the NZ2 transit was occurring. It does however depend if you strike a day where they're using full body screening and more extensive security measures (ie removing shoes etc) as days where they're not interested in people removing shoes, belts etc and only using metal detectors are so much quicker.

My experience is that they also don't always have a dedicated transit queue for security, it seems to depend on the day.

I don't think the process is as bad as some people make out (maybe I'm just used to it by now!) but it's definitely not enjoyable and if you can get help it will make life better.
Compared to the queues at Wellington Domestic for example it is really bad. Its really a funding a thing (I think) would like to know how many machines and staff per pax in NZ vs US. My guess is NZ has a better ratio.
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Old Jul 8, 18, 3:43 pm
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Originally Posted by nzkarit View Post
Compared to the queues at Wellington Domestic for example it is really bad. Its really a funding a thing (I think) would like to know how many machines and staff per pax in NZ vs US. My guess is NZ has a better ratio.
I don't think you can really compare it to Wellington domestic though. Having said that Wellington does get really long queues at times - I've encountered screening queues for the Northern Pier back to the Relay store taking well over 20 mins to get through when you've had 2 x JQ and 2 x NZ flights using this pier at the same time.

TSA screening just seems to be really inefficient at lots of airports. Staff levels seem to be OK, they just seem to be really slow at processing people. The experience particularly at TBIT is also not a great one when many pax who aren't aware of US requirements with shoes / belts off and LAGs and electronics to stay in bags and end up wasting time because they don't know what they need to do, and then being shouted at by staff when they get it wrong. I've always found T7 for UA to be really quick and a great experience.
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Old Jul 8, 18, 3:59 pm
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The problem is two-fold.

First, the US does not have transit (with some very limited exceptions, not present here). Thus, you are entering the US just as though terminating at LAX or connecting to a US destination.

Second, expedited security in the US means Pre-Check and depending on your citizenship and the frequency with which you fly, it may not be possible or economically feasible. Pre-Check moves approximately 7-8 passengers in the same time as standard security lines.

Thus, the truly inconvenienced are the miniscule subset of LAX passengers who are connecting international-international and who do not have Pre-Check (Global Entry includes access to Pre-Check).
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Old Jul 8, 18, 4:35 pm
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My wife and I transited LAX a couple of years back with our 2 year old. We were in the immigration line for only 5 minutes before the TSA staff pulled us out and took us to the front. They are not completely inhumane. Although I guess you couldn't rely on that happening....
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Old Jul 8, 18, 11:23 pm
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AirNZ will not leave you behind on this transit.
They have staff that make sure all their connecting passengers get through.
You may not have too much time to make a lounge visit.
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Old Jul 9, 18, 5:06 pm
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You went too far out: didn't you see the transit security just past the baggage drop off stations? It's as you walk up the long ramp, but right on your right. Signage that says something like Gates 30-180. Short (or no) queue and to the lounge in less than 5 minutes.

Originally Posted by dadig View Post
We travelled on Business on NZ2 AKL-LHR and was the first out of the plane. Customs was a 40 minute queue and one has to literally walk out briefly to land side before taking the elevators back to air side for security again. That took another 40 minutes. It might be worth checking the land side security queue rather than the transit queue. But it can be hit and miss.
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Old Jul 9, 18, 5:28 pm
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Originally Posted by jawnbc View Post
You went too far out: didn't you see the transit security just past the baggage drop off stations? It's as you walk up the long ramp, but right on your right. Signage that says something like Gates 30-180. Short (or no) queue and to the lounge in less than 5 minutes.
You don't go anywhere near this area if you're transiting on NZ1/NZ2 as you don't drop down to the baggage hall. You need to go through the transit exit at the right hand end of the CBP area where you present your blue transit card, get your name ticked off, get your boarding pass stamped and then walk out to end up landside on the ground floor check-in area.

I have no idea what Air NZ would do if people ignore the transit staff who stand behind CBP directing you this way (and subsequently not being able to hand it your transit card or be checked off the list) but I assume there would be some people who ignore all the signs and staff.
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Old Jul 9, 18, 11:20 pm
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Originally Posted by jawnbc View Post
You went too far out: didn't you see the transit security just past the baggage drop off stations? It's as you walk up the long ramp, but right on your right. Signage that says something like Gates 30-180. Short (or no) queue and to the lounge in less than 5 minutes.
Nope but there is a ramp, you'll know this immediately after immigration as there are windows to the left overlooking the baggage hall - we get stamped on the boarding pass as "transit" by ground staff in exchange of the transit card, what happens next is either you end up in landside for the transit security screening (up the lifts along with other departing flights) or it is back to general security screening on the far end via escalators
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Old Jul 9, 18, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
You don't go anywhere near this area if you're transiting on NZ1/NZ2 as you don't drop down to the baggage hall. You need to go through the transit exit at the right hand end of the CBP area where you present your blue transit card, get your name ticked off, get your boarding pass stamped and then walk out to end up landside on the ground floor check-in area.

I have no idea what Air NZ would do if people ignore the transit staff who stand behind CBP directing you this way (and subsequently not being able to hand it your transit card or be checked off the list) but I assume there would be some people who ignore all the signs and staff.
If you can believe it- I have been one of those people who missed the transit staff and ended up in the baggage hall (I was alone with fractious toddler so may have been distracted). Strangely enough, I made it to the lounge before most of the flight, where the Airnz lady at the desk looked a little alarmed and took my transit card off me and made various calls. Another (pregnant) time I fainted in the very long, immigration queue. I have requested assistance so letís hope it works out!!
Thanks for the helpful replies from all.

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