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BA3 LCY-JFK to lose US preclearance in Shannon [from 28 October 2012]

BA3 LCY-JFK to lose US preclearance in Shannon [from 28 October 2012]

Old Jan 28, 13, 3:54 am
  #151  
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OK - why is this service of clearing US Customs and Immigration being offered in Ireland only? Why is it not offered here and what is stopping it?

I can recall that it was trialled at LHR and offered by Pan Am, TWA, and BA passengers (1988 comes to mind) - I am honestly unsure if VS were even at LHR back then. They did this in T3 and I imagine in T4 - I was only just in BA as BCAL were taken over in 1988 so how come alone in Europe Ireland has this facility?
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Old Jan 28, 13, 4:06 am
  #152  
 
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There's probably a few reasons...

1- If you put CBP at LHR, where would you put it? T5C? T5B? You'd lose significant operational flexibility either way.
2- If they built it for BA (the biggest transatlantic operator at LHR), the US airlines in T3, T1 (soon T2) and T4 will demand it from their government too as they would see BA getting (quite rightly) an unfair competitive advantage.
3- Gatwick would want it as well, as would MAN.

So it's all a bit difficult to do on the scale that the UK would require.
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Old Jan 28, 13, 4:10 am
  #153  
 
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE View Post
OK - why is this service of clearing US Customs and Immigration being offered in Ireland only? Why is it not offered here and what is stopping it?

I can recall that it was trialled at LHR and offered by Pan Am, TWA, and BA passengers (1988 comes to mind) - I am honestly unsure if VS were even at LHR back then. They did this in T3 and I imagine in T4 - I was only just in BA as BCAL were taken over in 1988 so how come alone in Europe Ireland has this facility?
Probably down to pax numbers. There's only a few flights daily to the US from SNN and DUB, whereas the number of daily flights from LHR to US destinations is several dozen. So to spread the pax out over the US destinations (even if they only have one lane open when a couple of 747s roll up together and disgorge 600 people) probably makes some sense rather than do it at LHR where you will have thousands (and probably still only one lane open for half a dozen 747s!)
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Old Jan 28, 13, 4:12 am
  #154  
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE View Post
Why is it not offered here and what is stopping it?
This topic gets raised from time to time. This passenger-friendly offer would be welcomed by so many but the concensus is that it would be impractical.

The US authorities would require a secure litle bit of America with separate holding area for cleared passengers in each terminal. No problem at SNN and DUB, but Heathrow Mall Ltd would not agree to space being made available in each terminal. A separate terminal used by all participating TATL carriers could be an answer, but who's going to give up the CCR and other T5 facilities?

I prefer BA1 to LHR flights for the immigration facility. And when I can combine the US and Canada on the same ticket, I make sure I get to YYZ (or wherever) first for similar reasons.

ETA that others type faster than I do!
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Old Jan 28, 13, 8:00 am
  #155  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Welcome to FlyerTalk and the BA forum, Plymothian. It's good to see you here and please stick around and contribute to this vibrant bulletin board. I'm glad you enjoyed the service. I've often seen reports of the flight not having many passengers, and I notice you went close to New Years Day, though it's usually been a bit fuller on my trips. The thought of a deserted T7 sounds good though! I hope you had a good time in New York.
Thanks for the welcome corporate-wage-slave and yes, we had a great time in New York!
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Old Jan 31, 13, 1:52 am
  #156  
 
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Preclearacne could be a carrot to reduce load at heathrow. Offer it from LGW and see if airlines move.
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Old Dec 11, 14, 3:17 am
  #157  
 
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Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but wanted to share a recent (02 December) experience on BA003. We had an unusually slow trans-Atlantic crossing (very strong headwinds, but not at all bumpy), and arrived at JFK behind some very crowded CX and BA (ex-LHR) flights, and the T7 customs hall was backed up further than I've ever seen it. My wife and I have Global Entry access, so had no wait at all, but it appeared that there were only 2 or 3 immigration agents handling literally hundreds of arriving passengers (both U.S. citizens and visitors). We waited 35 minutes for BA003 luggage to arrive, and even then we noted that other than the crew, there were only a handful of passengers waiting at the luggage belt, so fear that our fellow passengers (the flight was full, all 32 seats filled) were stuck in line waiting for immigration agents to process them. Between the fuel stop in SNN, flying across the pond on a smaller, slower plane, having to queue for customs like everyone else, and having normal (aka slow) checked luggage delivery, I think that this flight took at least 2 hours longer than an ex-LHR nonstop.

I'm certain that it can take at least that long to travel across London for those working close to LCY, and these days security at LHR T5 can be pretty horrendous, but I advise that if you have a choice, that BA001 might be vastly preferable to BA003 if you are wanting to guarantee a smoother arrival experience. YMMV.
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Old Mar 21, 15, 8:09 am
  #158  
 
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My arrival experience on BA3 yesterday was initially quite worrying. I was first off the plane and walked into a rammed immigration hall (the queue filled the hall and was some way up the ramp).

I did see 3 x uniformed BA staff heading up the ramp but they didn't talk to me. Then, maybe 10 minutes later - the queue hadn't moved - but I heard my name called and I was plucked out of the queue into an empty diplomatic line. I suspect the other passengers were caught nearer to the plane as I did see a load of them going through US immigration.

Then I saw the purser from the flight who was checking I was being looked after. Great service but I'm still not clear quite what the SOP is supposed to be
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Old Mar 21, 15, 8:52 am
  #159  
 
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I'm on BA3 in a couple of weeks and I've only got a 12 hour layover so priority is hotel & sleep and I could do without the fabled immigration queues.

I've read somewhere that as I've got an ESTA, a biometric passport and have previously been granted access (using the same ESTA and passport) that there are automated machines rather than having to queue for an agent - is this right?
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Old Mar 21, 15, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by AyeCaramba View Post
I'm on BA3 in a couple of weeks and I've only got a 12 hour layover so priority is hotel & sleep and I could do without the fabled immigration queues.

I've read somewhere that as I've got an ESTA, a biometric passport and have previously been granted access (using the same ESTA and passport) that there are automated machines rather than having to queue for an agent - is this right?
Incorrect. Yes that is the case at some terminals in some US airports. Not at T7 in JFK last time I went through I'm afraid.
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Old Mar 21, 15, 10:26 am
  #161  
 
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Just out of interest, do BAW1 and 3 arrive at the same gate and do the 2 and 4 leave from the gate in the corner of T7?
AQ
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Old Mar 21, 15, 12:12 pm
  #162  
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Originally Posted by TabTraveller View Post
Incorrect. Yes that is the case at some terminals in some US airports. Not at T7 in JFK last time I went through I'm afraid.
And some airport that do have APC restrict it to US and Canadian passports (IAH for example).
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Old Mar 21, 15, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by alwaysquestions View Post
Just out of interest, do BAW1 and 3 arrive at the same gate and do the 2 and 4 leave from the gate in the corner of T7?
AQ
The CWLCY flights tend to use Gate 1, which is in the corner near the Concorde room.

They sometimes use Gate 11/12 which is around at the other side of the building.
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Old Mar 21, 15, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Speedbird876 View Post
The CWLCY flights tend to use Gate 1, which is in the corner near the Concorde room.

They sometimes use Gate 11/12 which is around at the other side of the building.
Thanks BAW876
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Old Mar 21, 15, 3:31 pm
  #165  
 
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Originally Posted by ThatT1Feeling View Post
My arrival experience on BA3 yesterday was initially quite worrying. I was first off the plane and walked into a rammed immigration hall (the queue filled the hall and was some way up the ramp).

I did see 3 x uniformed BA staff heading up the ramp but they didn't talk to me. Then, maybe 10 minutes later - the queue hadn't moved - but I heard my name called and I was plucked out of the queue into an empty diplomatic line. I suspect the other passengers were caught nearer to the plane as I did see a load of them going through US immigration.

Then I saw the purser from the flight who was checking I was being looked after. Great service but I'm still not clear quite what the SOP is supposed to be
Back in January, I was told by one of the CCR staff at JFK that certain individuals had got into trouble for expediting BA3 pax through immigration on arrival, and that it wouldn't be happening any more. Clearly from your recent experience it is happening, but as for SOP I'd love to know what the official line is.

I've never been tempted to take the 003. With no guarantee that you won't end up at the back of a queue after a slower flight, I don't see the point of it.
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