JFK t7 arrivals - what can be done?

Old Sep 2, 15, 11:03 am
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JFK t7 arrivals - what can be done?

Yet another unacceptable wait last night (BA181). 85 mins to clear immigration - line went up the ramp and round the corner.

On the flight there was an announcement that T7 is "owned and operated by BA".

So why can't BA do more to improve the shameful arrivals experience?

A fast track for premium cabins?
Demanding more border force staff?
eGates or at least some automation?
Scheduling arrivals ahead of CX planes not 10 mins behind them?

Given its BA's largest business route it beggars belief....
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Old Sep 2, 15, 11:16 am
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The queue is so appalling (with a significant chance that the HK plane will get in first) that I now do almost anything to avoid that last BA flight out of LHR.

Last time I wrote to CBP asking why not all the booths were staffed given that the arrival schedule is predictable. I got a very frosty reply...

I guess all we have to hope is that the UK gets GE before HK does...
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Old Sep 2, 15, 11:22 am
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CBP Staffing is the issue I think. A couple of weeks ago I was the 16th person off the 179 and the 16th person in the queue. 3 officers on the none US Section. 45 minutes to get the first 16 passengers processed. I sometimes wonder if the WT pax are still in the queue.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 11:24 am
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I managed to skip the whole queue in JFK T1 on Saturday(and it was about 500 people, most of which Chinese tourists just landed on air China 747) on AZ - got a special services welcome and saying we need to rush to catch myconnection in 70 minutes from door open to T2 DL flight and I made it with time to spare. Still could not believe how organised sky team got their act together.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 11:27 am
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To be fair to BA, they probably have very little influence over the CBP/DHS side of things.

However, the departures experience in Fast Track is also pretty depressing and almost certainly the slowest of any across the US - something approaching 45 minutes through the single, disorganised checkpoint for me last time. That's certainly something BA could press the TSA on.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by FoxtrotOscar View Post
So why can't BA do more to improve the shameful arrivals experience?
A fast track for premium cabins?
This is against US immigration rules. They cannot give preferential treatment to anyone. No US airport has a fast track.

That is the main attraction of using US pre-clearance in Dublin (US or AA flights) or Shannon (LCY-JFK morning flight) or AA flights which get into T8. If I have to fly BA, I get on the morning flights only.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 11:46 am
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The fast track is getting off before anyone else.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by KenJohn View Post
This is against US immigration rules. They cannot give preferential treatment to anyone. No US airport has a fast track.

That is the main attraction of using US pre-clearance in Dublin (US or AA flights) or Shannon (LCY-JFK morning flight) or AA flights which get into T8. If I have to fly BA, I get on the morning flights only.
We should rescind fast track for the ungrateful colonials at LHR T5 until this is rectified!
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Old Sep 2, 15, 12:03 pm
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I found a similar situation 2 weeks ago at SFO - a CX plane had arrived in front and only just over half of the officers for non-US immigration were on duty. The queue was going nowhere fast and WT pax were stretching back a long way.

Fortunately however a very proactive lady went along the queue asking if there were any second-time ESTA visitors, of which I was one, and we were invited to use the automated kiosks normally used by US citizens. That probably saved at least 15-20 minutes for me and effectively was a kind of fast-track.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by KenJohn View Post
This is against US immigration rules. They cannot give preferential treatment to anyone. No US airport has a fast track.

That is the main attraction of using US pre-clearance in Dublin (US or AA flights) or Shannon (LCY-JFK morning flight) or AA flights which get into T8. If I have to fly BA, I get on the morning flights only.
Not quite true. Everyone on BA3 usually gets put into the crew/diplomat/US citizen line if there is a backlog for visitors. Admittedly can still take 20 mins but better than the alternative. Anyone know if there are plans to put in the automated machines at T7?
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Old Sep 2, 15, 12:09 pm
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Does T7 have APC kiosks yet? Long time since I've been through there (though I'm on my way again on an IB flight next week) I have a US passport if it matters.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by LupineChemist View Post
Does T7 have APC kiosks yet? Long time since I've been through there (though I'm on my way again on an IB flight next week) I have a US passport if it matters.
Didn't see any
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Old Sep 2, 15, 1:02 pm
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No, it doesn't yet.

I flew into T7 last month and arrived just after the IB flight - I was second off the plane but first into a queue that was already up the ramp, however I was through in about 25 mins. Every booth had an agent - never seen that at T7 before.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 1:14 pm
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I can sympathise with this (or should it be sympathize?) Went over on BA3 last year and it landed at the same time as an IB. Mrs. stifle and I did some shameless weaving through the slow-moving Spaniards and managed to clear ourselves in within half an hour of doors open.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by FoxtrotOscar View Post
We should rescind fast track for the ungrateful colonials at LHR T5 until this is rectified!
Given how understaffed T5 fast track was the past few times I've arrived at T5, it's often slower than the normal track.
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