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International to international transfer in Miami and through baggage checking

International to international transfer in Miami and through baggage checking

 
Old Aug 8, 10, 2:33 am
  #1  
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International to international transfer in Miami and through baggage checking

I will be doing an international to international transfer in Miami (flying AA) arriving from London Heathrow and connecting to Bogota. Do I need to pick up my checked bags in Miami or is there a similar arrangement as in Houston where I did not need to pick up my bags and clear US customs when I connected from Bogota to Amsterdam on Continental earlier this year?
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Old Aug 8, 10, 12:44 pm
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RE: Do I need to pick up my checked bags in Miami ?
Answer : Yes
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Old Aug 8, 10, 12:49 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Sjoerd View Post
I will be doing an international to international transfer in Miami (flying AA) arriving from London Heathrow and connecting to Bogota. Do I need to pick up my checked bags in Miami or is there a similar arrangement as in Houston where I did not need to pick up my bags and clear US customs when I connected from Bogota to Amsterdam on Continental earlier this year?
Not sure how you did an International to International connection in IAH without having to pass US Immigration, claim your luggage, and clear US Customs. Post 9-11 the United States has required ALL international transit passengers to clear US Immigration and Customs formalities when transiting a US port.

In Miami you will need to follow this procedure.
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Old Aug 8, 10, 2:08 pm
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I have experienced once that from LIM-MIA on LAN and then on from MIA-SDQ on AA (same ticket) that my bags were checked through all the way. I did not have to collect my bags in MIA to clear customs. I did however have to clear immigration and walk through customs (without bags).
This was in 2008

Edit:
I just found that my parents had this experience as well when flying with Virgin Atlantic where they did an international-to-international connection in MIA (Cayman Airways from GCM to MIA and then to LHR with Virgin Atlantic). They did not have to pick up bags in MIA. Details on VS info here
"Bags automatically transferred to international flights."
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Old Aug 8, 10, 2:33 pm
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And a further very recent report, here...

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...lect-bags.html
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Old Aug 8, 10, 2:43 pm
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. . . . .

Last edited by HNL; Aug 8, 10 at 3:44 pm
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Old Aug 8, 10, 2:52 pm
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This is good news indeed!

I'm glad to hear that the baggage exemption is coming back online, if only at MIA. Right after 9/11, it went away....all bags had to be picked up regardless of final destination.

Then, after a few years, they started allowing pax transiting Int'l->USA->Canada to have their bags delivered directly to the Canadian-bound aircraft.

More recently, they seem to be adding more international destinations back onto the list of eligible markets for direct baggage delivery.



Two important points:

1) This program does NOT eliminate the need for clearing US FIS. Arriving travelers must still clear Passport Control and then Customs/Agriculture (though without their checked luggage if applicable). They still must fill out a Customs Declaration and have all applicable visa paperwork as applicable.

2) Seems to be available at MIA only. Perhaps the MIA airport authority negotiated a special deal with CBP/DHS. I hypothesize that MIA has some of the highest numbers of ITI passengers of any major U.S. airport (since it is a major gateway between Caribbean/Central/South America and Europe/Canada).



Evidence supporting #2 above:

- Last year, I came into the country several times at MIA, and many times at other major airports too (DFW, ORD, JFK). Upon arrivial into DFW/ORD/JFK, the arrival video (or PA announcement) said "all travelers must claim your luggage here at ORD/DFW/JFK, regardless of your final destination."

But upon arrival into MIA, the announcement each time said, "If you are connecting directly to an international flight, please see the agent at the aircraft door to check if you will need to pick up your luggage here at MIA."


So, I think MIA might have a special arrangement with CBP given high levels of ITI pax.

Let's also not overlook the fact that many travelers coming from Latin America tend to travel with ridiculous amounts of luggage, and unconventional baggage (oversize, boxes, cartons, etc) that are a big nuisance for handlers. Big, bulky, unusual-shaped bags are also a red flag for Customs, which could result in a LOT of CBP resources wasted searching the luggage of passengers who are simply transiting the USA on the way to another international destination.
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Old Aug 8, 10, 3:01 pm
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
2) Seems to be available at MIA only
ITI is alive and well at DFW too and has been for a while. I first became aware of it when travelling MEX-DFW-LHR in November 2008. The red ITI tags were put on the luggage in MEX and I never saw the bags again until arrival at LHR. I also did EZE-DFW-MEX both ways in 2009 without collecting bags. It certainly makes things easier.
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Old Aug 9, 10, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by HNL View Post
Not sure how you did an International to International connection in IAH without having to pass US Immigration, claim your luggage, and clear US Customs. Post 9-11 the United States has required ALL international transit passengers to clear US Immigration and Customs formalities when transiting a US port.
I did clear immigration in Houston but did not have to pick up my checked bags and hence did not need to clear customs with those bags when I did the BOG - IAH - AMS transfer earlier this year.
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Old Aug 11, 10, 4:20 am
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Originally Posted by britenbsas View Post
ITI is alive and well at DFW too and has been for a while. I first became aware of it when travelling MEX-DFW-LHR in November 2008. The red ITI tags were put on the luggage in MEX and I never saw the bags again until arrival at LHR. I also did EZE-DFW-MEX both ways in 2009 without collecting bags. It certainly makes things easier.

Guys:

Just be careful because itís not a permanent situation. Sometimes (at MIA or DFW) they make you pick up your bags and sometimes they make the transfer automatically.

I think its parte of the random game they play to make it harder on possible terrorist acts.

One way to know if the International Transfer program is on for the day you are travelling is if they put an IT red label on your luggage at the original check-in counter. Then you can be sure you donít have to pick up your bags and they will be transferred automatically.
If no red label, I would hang around the carrousel just in caseÖ

Cheers
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Old Aug 11, 10, 7:04 am
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Originally Posted by Cometintintin View Post
I think it is part of the random game they play to make it harder on possible terrorist acts.
Which once again illustrates the stupidity of (many of) the anti-terrorism measures..... How does giving a passenger access to his bags during a transfer make the country safer?
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Old Aug 11, 10, 8:18 am
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While related to Security but OT, last time flying out of GRU in late May paxs just waved onto the a/c without an additional screening (the flight was already about an hour late). Not sure if GRU said the heck with it this time we need the gate or if its now just a random secondary screening.
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Old Aug 12, 10, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Sjoerd View Post
Which once again illustrates the stupidity of (many of) the anti-terrorism measures..... How does giving a passenger access to his bags during a transfer make the country safer?
It's not the giving the passenger access to the bags that increases security, but the fact that between the baggage carousel and the transfer baggage re-check desks is Customs inspection. This means a Customs officer gets to eyeball each passenger and their bags, go through their passport, ask them questions, and optionally inspect the checked bags in the passenger's presence.
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Old Aug 12, 10, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
It's not the giving the passenger access to the bags that increases security, but the fact that between the baggage carousel and the transfer baggage re-check desks is Customs inspection. This means a Customs officer gets to eyeball each passenger and their bags, go through their passport, ask them questions, and optionally inspect the checked bags in the passenger's presence.
But what's the point if this. Customs officers are there to look for illegal or taxable goods entering teh country. Not to detect for bombs. Even if they could also look for bombs, what's the point. We don't have them inspect bags for domestic flights, not domestic to international, so why do they need to do international to international.

If we don't trust foreign airports to properly screen, then just x ray it in the US. Wouldn't a LHR-MIA-SDQ bag then get the same inspection as a DFW-MIA-SDQ bag.
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Old Aug 12, 10, 5:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Sjoerd View Post
I did clear immigration in Houston but did not have to pick up my checked bags and hence did not need to clear customs with those bags when I did the BOG - IAH - AMS transfer earlier this year.
Just passed through Houston a couple days back.

There is a separate lane for "transit pax". This lane can also be used by pax who have no checked luggage (but ending their travel in the USA).
There are actually 3 lanes = one for US citizens, two for non-US-citizens.
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