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Baggage claim (intl to intl US connection)

Baggage claim (intl to intl US connection)

Old Oct 11, 17, 5:20 pm
  #1  
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Baggage claim (intl to intl US connection)

Hi guys and gals

I've decided I'm going to use American Airlines as my carrier of choice to head to London in March/April next year but I had a quick question.

On the first leg it'll be SYD > LAX > JFK > LHR.

I've read in passing about having to collect baggage in the US. Could anyone assist me with this leg and my return of LHR > LAX > SYD.

It's the best route/times that I've seen so far for a great price but I don't want to miss out on correct info and stuff myself up as the connection times are short.

Also, would I need a visa (not leaving the airport).

I've never done a connection in the US so I'm a little confused
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Old Oct 11, 17, 5:25 pm
  #2  
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The US does not recognize the concept of transit. Thus, on your outbound, you will enter the US at LAX where you will pass through an immigration check, collect your bags, pass through a Customs check, drop your bags with AA just after Customs (presuming that they are taggged onwards to JFK and LHR), pass through a security checkpoint and then head to your departure gate for JFK. At JFK, you will simply head to your LHR gate as there is no exit passport control.

On the return same thing in reverse. US immigration & customs at LAX and then on to SYD.

Whether you require a visa is dependent on your citizenship, nationality and other factors. But, whether you are leaving the airport is irrelevant to whether you require a visa. The question is whether you would require a visa to head into downtown Los Angeles. If so, you will require one for these US connections.
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Old Oct 11, 17, 5:41 pm
  #3  
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Thanks for the note. I'm Australian so I'm not sure if I would need a visa just to transit through. I don't want to get stuck in a pit at the airport or in LA.
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Old Oct 11, 17, 6:29 pm
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You will almost certainly require a visa, since there aren't any 'international transit' zones in US airports as the previous poster indicated. You will be entering the US (on the outbound leg, you'll be in the US for 7-8 hours, depending on your connection time at LAX).
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Old Oct 11, 17, 7:20 pm
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For Australia probably just need ESTA instead of a full visa as Oz is a visa waiver country.
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Old Oct 11, 17, 7:57 pm
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Here's where to learn about, and apply for an ESTA - https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

The process is painless, costs ~USD15 (IIRC) and is quick
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Old Oct 12, 17, 12:10 am
  #7  
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At LAX you'll be required to clear immigration, recover your bags, clear customs. You can then drop your bags on your way out of customs for recheck. After that, security to return airside.

(There are iirc two US airports where you can in fact have bags checked through without recovering bags international to international - DFW and MIA.)

For the most accurate visitor and visa requirements, use IATA TIMATIC, which is what the airlines use. You can use this version courtesy of United Airlines: TIMATIC.

Last edited by JDiver; Oct 12, 17 at 9:58 am
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Old Oct 12, 17, 3:13 am
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Just out of curiosity. What are your travel dates and what are you paying for the AA ticket? Is it one ticket or 2 tickets? Just made a quick search on Matrix and found prices beginning at AU$ 1282 with QR and only above AU$ 1300 with BA or CX. Wouldnīt this be more convenient for you flying via HKG or SIN? Itīs also just 1 stop and you could avoid the US immigration procedure.

Cheers
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Old Oct 12, 17, 7:22 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyWithKaeMarie View Post
Hi guys and gals

I've decided I'm going to use American Airlines as my carrier of choice to head to London in March/April next year but I had a quick question.

On the first leg it'll be SYD > LAX > JFK > LHR.

I've read in passing about having to collect baggage in the US. Could anyone assist me with this leg and my return of LHR > LAX > SYD.

It's the best route/times that I've seen so far for a great price but I don't want to miss out on correct info and stuff myself up as the connection times are short.

Also, would I need a visa (not leaving the airport).

I've never done a connection in the US so I'm a little confused
Originally Posted by FlyWithKaeMarie View Post
Thanks for the note. I'm Australian so I'm not sure if I would need a visa just to transit through. I don't want to get stuck in a pit at the airport or in LA.
Australia is one of visa wavier program countries by the U.S., so if you hold Australian passport then you do not have to obtain the U.S. visa for international transit in the U.S.

However, all people who will be using visa wavier program must register prior to the travel at Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) currently costs US$14. Do not forget to do this prior to the travel. If you forget to do ESTA then you will be denied boarding at SYD for a flight to LAX.

All information is available at the US Embassy at Australia website. You should go to the website and read on it, all information you need to know is there.

Lines for non U.S. citizen passport control can get long and sometime slow. If I were you I will put extra time transit at LAX, not minimum legal connection time set by airlines.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by EDDMflyer View Post
Just out of curiosity. What are your travel dates and what are you paying for the AA ticket? Is it one ticket or 2 tickets? Just made a quick search on Matrix and found prices beginning at AU$ 1282 with QR and only above AU$ 1300 with BA or CX. Wouldnīt this be more convenient for you flying via HKG or SIN? Itīs also just 1 stop and you could avoid the US immigration procedure.
Seriously; as an American it boggles my mind as to why anyone would choose a longer route in order to deal with our customs/immigration, our airports, and our airlines. Between the ME3, CX/SQ, BA, etc. I wouldn't even consider the long way - even at a price difference of a couple grand.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 9:24 am
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Originally Posted by EDDMflyer View Post
Just out of curiosity. What are your travel dates and what are you paying for the AA ticket? Is it one ticket or 2 tickets? Just made a quick search on Matrix and found prices beginning at AU$ 1282 with QR and only above AU$ 1300 with BA or CX. Wouldnīt this be more convenient for you flying via HKG or SIN? Itīs also just 1 stop and you could avoid the US immigration procedure.

Cheers
I'm also struggling to believe that American is the cheapest option, it's not consistent with the number of less profit focused airlines plying the kangaroo route
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Old Oct 12, 17, 9:37 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by FlyWithKaeMarie View Post
Thanks for the note. I'm Australian so I'm not sure if I would need a visa just to transit through. I don't want to get stuck in a pit at the airport or in LA.
Please understand that there is no such thing as "transit" in the US. Whatever documents you require to enter the US if you were visiting here, you will require in order to connect at LAX and JFK.
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Old Oct 23, 17, 8:08 pm
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I know that this is a couple of weeks old but I haven't been able to get onto FlyerTalk for a while.

I did some more research myself and understand the "transit" in LAX and how it works.

For the questions asking why I'm choosing AA and "going out of my way" the flights are pretty much the same length of time if I went through the middle east or asia.

I'm flying business class March 29th to April 11th. Prices are getting ridiculous. The cheapest was Vietnam Airlines but that includes a 15 hour layover on the way home. Even with lounge access, no thanks.

Qantas was $7k. Singapore was $6.7k Etihad and Emirates were $7k etc.
American was $6k even.

Plus, this isn't the first time I'm flying to Europe and I'm either going through Asia or Dubai. I don't have an issue with this, but I'm the kind of person who actually really loves the flying and the airports and going to the US would be a new adventure to me - even if it's a little more hassle to some. I'm flying solo so idc about lines etc.
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Old Oct 23, 17, 9:38 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by FlyWithKaeMarie View Post
I know that this is a couple of weeks old but I haven't been able to get onto FlyerTalk for a while.

I did some more research myself and understand the "transit" in LAX and how it works.

For the questions asking why I'm choosing AA and "going out of my way" the flights are pretty much the same length of time if I went through the middle east or asia.

I'm flying business class March 29th to April 11th. Prices are getting ridiculous. The cheapest was Vietnam Airlines but that includes a 15 hour layover on the way home. Even with lounge access, no thanks.

Qantas was $7k. Singapore was $6.7k Etihad and Emirates were $7k etc.
American was $6k even.

Plus, this isn't the first time I'm flying to Europe and I'm either going through Asia or Dubai. I don't have an issue with this, but I'm the kind of person who actually really loves the flying and the airports and going to the US would be a new adventure to me - even if it's a little more hassle to some. I'm flying solo so idc about lines etc.
AAs fastest journey time is significantly longer at 33:45 vs SQ 25:45

I would not go via USA unless wating to visit the USA due to the hassles of connecting in the USA plus the additional travel time

( Dubai is in Asia )
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Old Oct 23, 17, 9:48 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyWithKaeMarie View Post
Hi guys and gals

I've decided I'm going to use American Airlines as my carrier of choice to head to London in March/April next year but I had a quick question.

On the first leg it'll be SYD > LAX > JFK > LHR.

I've read in passing about having to collect baggage in the US. Could anyone assist me with this leg and my return of LHR > LAX > SYD.

It's the best route/times that I've seen so far for a great price but I don't want to miss out on correct info and stuff myself up as the connection times are short.

Also, would I need a visa (not leaving the airport).

I've never done a connection in the US so I'm a little confused
If you fly via through the US, you will have to go through Immigration (etc) then make your connection.

Suggestion: Why not build a little time in your schedule for a day in Los Angeles or New York?
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