YYJ-SEA what to expect

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Old Feb 5, 19, 8:20 am
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YYJ-SEA what to expect

I'll be travelling YYJ-SEA-BUR on a Saturday. YYJ-SEA @ 1:20PM with a 110 mins layover in SEA. I don't carry a trusted traveler program (Global Entry, TSA pre-check, etc.).

What can I expect in term of customs, checking bags, and wait times? AFAIK, there is no pre-clearance at YYJ.

Thanks in advance for any feedback you may have.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 8:57 am
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You are correct, there is no pre-clearance in YYJ. Are you eligible for the Mobile Passport Control? I believe that usually helps speed things up.

Mobile Passport Control (MPC) allows U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors to use the Mobile Passport app to expedite their entry process into the United States.
https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citize...ssport-control
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Old Feb 5, 19, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by travelmonkey05 View Post
You are correct, there is no pre-clearance in YYJ. Are you eligible for the Mobile Passport Control? I believe that usually helps speed things up.


https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citize...ssport-control
+1 Mobile Passport Control makes a night and day difference when there's a good crowd. We use it routinely flying YLW-SEA. The long line is virtually always the Immigration line, which you get to skip with Mobile Passport Control. (Two of the three in my normal travel party have NEXUS, but the third refuses to get NEXUS on principle.) Mobile Passport is often faster than NEXUS/Global Entry, in fact, because it avoids the ≈1 minute stop at the kiosk. You use the regular Customs line with Mobile Passport; we've had waits as long as five minutes (never longer) but often no wait at all.

As for what to expect: the Q400 will park near the S concourse at SEA. Usually we park over by the Delta hanger and have to take a bus across to the S concourse; occasionally we park right at the S concourse. The bus won't leave until all the gate checked bags are delivered, so you'll have to wait for that. Then there's a long ramp up into the Customs area. If you arrive shortly after a long haul widebody, there may well be a very long line before you go down the escalator into the Immigration area; with NEXUS/Global Entry or Mobile Passport, you can skip that line to go down the escalator, but it's not always clearly signed. Best case is that there haven't been any widebodies arriving recently, in which case the 76 people on a full Q400 don't make a dent in SEA Customs capacity and all the lines will be short.

For re-clearing security: there is a dedicated security line just after Customs that regular departing customers can't access. It's often pretty slow and there's no PreCheck. If you're luck and get PreCheck, it is often faster to take the train as if you were leaving the airport and then go to a regular PreCheck queue in the main terminal. If you don't have PreCheck, definitely use the after-Customs security; SEA regular security is typically truly awful. There is a bag drop to leave any checked bags after Customs/before security.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 2:28 pm
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Pretty good writeup by ashill.

It's a quick trip most of the time, but last time I got delayed by well over an hour by SEA ATC, and barely made my connection.

Skip Starbucks before security and go to Tim Hortons - cheaper and better

They are working on "the Lounge" as someone called the waiting area, and it get pretty crowded, but Free WiFi is good

No jetbridge, and last time in SEA it was a bus gate

Still recall complimentary local beers being served on this puddlejumper when I first flew over 20 years ago

Today's FAs don't know anything about that .....
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Old Feb 5, 19, 7:10 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
No jetbridge, and last time in SEA it was a bus gate

Still recall complimentary local beers being served on this puddlejumper when I first flew over 20 years ago

Today's FAs don't know anything about that .....
Iíve flown YLW-SEA probably ten times and YYJ-SEA once in the last year. Had a bus gate every time but one. Had a jetbridge in YLW the first time I flew AS there ten years ago but never recently, and never at SEA on any Q400.

They always serve the complimentary beer/wine on YLW-SEA but not YYJ (or EAT or presumably YVR) to SEA; too short (for todayís FAs).
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Old Feb 6, 19, 9:01 am
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As for what to expect: the Q400 will park near the S concourse at SEA. Usually we park over by the Delta hanger and have to take a bus across to the S concourse; occasionally we park right at the S concourse. The bus won't leave until all the gate checked bags are delivered, so you'll have to wait for that. Then there's a long ramp up into the Customs area. If you arrive shortly after a long haul widebody, there may well be a very long line before you go down the escalator into the Immigration area; with NEXUS/Global Entry or Mobile Passport, you can skip that line to go down the escalator, but it's not always clearly signed. Best case is that there haven't been any widebodies arriving recently, in which case the 76 people on a full Q400 don't make a dent in SEA Customs capacity and all the lines will be short.

For re-clearing security: there is a dedicated security line just after Customs that regular departing customers can't access. It's often pretty slow and there's no PreCheck. If you're luck and get PreCheck, it is often faster to take the train as if you were leaving the airport and then go to a regular PreCheck queue in the main terminal. If you don't have PreCheck, definitely use the after-Customs security; SEA regular security is typically truly awful. There is a bag drop to leave any checked bags after Customs/before security.
Thank you all, for your feedback/advice. It is much appreciate it.

Whoa, I never knew about Mobile Passport Control..probably because I haven't traveled internationally since 2013 and yes, I am eligible!

I'm trying to get a sense if it's even worth it to check a bag, or travel light and bring a carry-on to avoid any potential delays at the passport control / Customs / security areas given the 110 mins layover at SEA with no trusted traveler programs. The reason for the larger bag so I can pack some winter clothes!

My outbound flight, LAX-SEA-YYJ with Delta has a 2:15 hrs layover at SEA, but I don't think I will run into any delays as I can preclear at LAX and if I checked a bag, I can get it at the finally destination in YYJ.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by graffixx View Post
........

I'm trying to get a sense if it's even worth it to check a bag, or travel light and bring a carry-on to avoid any potential delays at the passport control / Customs / security areas given the 110 mins layover at SEA with no trusted traveler programs. The reason for the larger bag so I can pack some winter clothes!

My outbound flight, LAX-SEA-YYJ with Delta has a 2:15 hrs layover at SEA, but I don't think I will run into any delays as I can preclear at LAX and if I checked a bag, I can get it at the finally destination in YYJ.
The bag should not slow you down, as you have to pass through Immigration before picking up the bag, and all you have to do is carry it through Customs and drop in on the belt to take it to the next plane. In fact, the bag is more likely to make the connection than you (not suggesting you won't)

Well, technically you won't "preclear" at LAX - they probably won't even check your passport until you are at SEA, and you will clear Canadian Immigration and Customs at YYJ - since I'm carryon only, I tend to be the first one at Immigration
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Old Feb 6, 19, 11:39 am
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On the outbound (LAX-SEA-YYJ), baggage claim at YYJ is incredibly simple (1 carousel) if you do decide to check a bag.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by graffixx View Post
I'm trying to get a sense if it's even worth it to check a bag, or travel light and bring a carry-on to avoid any potential delays at the passport control / Customs / security areas given the 110 mins layover at SEA with no trusted traveler programs. The reason for the larger bag so I can pack some winter clothes!

My outbound flight, LAX-SEA-YYJ with Delta has a 2:15 hrs layover at SEA, but I don't think I will run into any delays as I can preclear at LAX and if I checked a bag, I can get it at the finally destination in YYJ.
Yeah, 2:15 in SEA on the outbound is a cinch. The outbound is just like a domestic connection except Delta will need to verify your passport (at checkin or, if you get a mobile/print-at-home boarding pass, at the departure gate) and then see it again as you board. No customs or security in SEA on the outbound. 1:50 in SEA on the return is plenty of time but not quite as sure a thing if there's a delay.

I wouldn't worry about checking a bag timing-wise on the return (plenty of time with or without a checked bag), though I generally prefer to avoid it; I have not checked a bag for a Canada-SEA-XXX connection, so I don't know how quick AS is delivering bags there, but they're generally quick for domestic arrivals in SEA. Of course, if in coach you'll be subject to bag fees with Delta unless you're a Delta/Delta partner elite or Delta credit card holder, and you'll be subject to bag fees with Alaska unless you're an Alaska elite or credit card holder.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 10:31 am
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Thank you everyone for your insights!
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Old Feb 8, 19, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by ashill View Post
Yeah, 2:15 in SEA on the outbound is a cinch. The outbound is just like a domestic connection except Delta will need to verify your passport (at checkin or, if you get a mobile/print-at-home boarding pass, at the departure gate) and then see it again as you board. No customs or security in SEA on the outbound. 1:50 in SEA on the return is plenty of time but not quite as sure a thing if there's a delay.

I wouldn't worry about checking a bag timing-wise on the return (plenty of time with or without a checked bag), though I generally prefer to avoid it; I have not checked a bag for a Canada-SEA-XXX connection, so I don't know how quick AS is delivering bags there, but they're generally quick for domestic arrivals in SEA. Of course, if in coach you'll be subject to bag fees with Delta unless you're a Delta/Delta partner elite or Delta credit card holder, and you'll be subject to bag fees with Alaska unless you're an Alaska elite or credit card holder.
Alaska maintains a 20 minute bag guarantee on all of their routes. I check baggage YLW-SEA-XXX quite often. The only thing I dislike at SEA is clearing security which does not have TSA Pre. It can be lengthy for onwaed travel especially with a few international wide-bodies in at the same time. I have global entry & TSA Pre which is extended to my partner if we are on the same PNR. He uses Mobile Passport. We just go landside and then clear through TSA Pre on the departure level.

James
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Old Feb 8, 19, 12:09 pm
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it's been so long since I've flown that route, that all I can offer is "You mean the Horizon Metroliner doesn't stop at CLM to clear customs any more" (aka ancient memories)
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Old Feb 8, 19, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by CZBB View Post

it's been so long since I've flown that route, that all I can offer is "You mean the Horizon Metroliner doesn't stop at CLM to clear customs any more" (aka ancient memories)
Must be a VERY long time ago, because I've been flying YYJ-SEA for over 20 years (YYJ to SFO/YYC/YVR as well), and while I've toyed with flying to Port Angeles and taking the ferry, never did (not anymore, route was discontinued long time ago). But in all those years never saw CLM as a connecting point

Oh, also flew BFE-YYJ and BFE-Ogden Point (since there is no three letter code for it) as well as the float plane from Inner Harbour to Lake Union.
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Old Feb 11, 19, 10:51 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Must be a VERY long time ago, because I've been flying YYJ-SEA for over 20 years (YYJ to SFO/YYC/YVR as well), and while I've toyed with flying to Port Angeles and taking the ferry, never did (not anymore, route was discontinued long time ago). But in all those years never saw CLM as a connecting point

Oh, also flew BFE-YYJ and BFE-Ogden Point (since there is no three letter code for it) as well as the float plane from Inner Harbour to Lake Union.
In the time after Pacific Western flew the route (mid 80s - mid 90s), there were three different airlines that operated from YYJ-CLM-SEA, with CLM used at the customs/immigration stop. I think it was done that way, because at that period in time, Seattle lacked enough Immigration facilities. I've flown the route on Horizon (Metroliners, I also think they used Do328s), AirBC (DHC6 on wheels), and San Juan Air (EMB-110 Banderante)

I haven't done BFI-YYJ commercially, but I've done it privately a number of times, I always felt for the guy at Whitby Approach (118.2 IIRC) as that frequency always seemed hellishly busy And oddly, while Shoal Point heliport doesn't have an IATA code, it does have an ICAO one, CBF7
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