Crazy Slow Immigration at JFK 7

Old Sep 20, 19, 11:49 am
  #1  
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Crazy Slow Immigration at JFK 7

Took almost 2 hours to get through today and I was near the front of the flight

At one stage there were only 2 immigration officers serving our side and one of those seemed to be dealing with priority passengers (? global entry)

Then the only one left went off for a drink leaving us officer less for a bit

He was clapped by the tired queue on his return

Do BA have any influence on the service offered

There were 2 BA ladies in BA uniform achieving previous little
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Old Sep 20, 19, 12:22 pm
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I've spent excessive amounts of time entering the UK border, including 45 minutes for "Fast" track once. CDG only had two agents managing the non-priority queue (exiting Schengen) last month when I was flying through as well which could seriously affect connecting flights. At least the USA doesn't bother with departure immigration when you fly home.

I don't think the airline can do squat about it except increase MCTwhich doesn't fix it, but alleviates stress over making it to your onward flight.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 2:10 pm
  #3  
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Look into getting Global Entry if you're a UK citizen. CBP isn't accountable to anyone.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 2:35 pm
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it is very frustrating and i've encountered this in the EU too (american here) -- waited two hours at BCN once because there was one officer serving non-EU and i was behind a turkish airlines widebody flight. and made more frustrating because they would turn their overhead light off and just chat away in plain view. but like you, i have seen the T7 queue become equally horrid and feel guilty passing by to global entry because we have all been there!
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Old Sep 20, 19, 3:20 pm
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Over at JFK T8 today, the normal 20 seconds immigration for me, after what was a wickedly fast 6hr 45min crossing on the 105. Then, of course, the inevitable JFK crawl to the already occupied gate...which was only about 10-15min wait in total.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 5:36 pm
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Iíve decided that my next NY trip may see me heading to EWR instead. Faster immigration queues and a relatively cheap and fast train to Penn Station. Taxi from there to the hotel.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 7:08 pm
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Global Entry is very worthwhile. Last five years, costs about £100 from memory. Has never taken me more than 5-10 mins to enter the US since gaining it.

Unlike today, when I queued for 1h50m to get into Canada at YVR...
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Old Sep 20, 19, 11:38 pm
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BWI the other evening we arrived a few minutes early. Got to immigration, not a CBP officer in sight. Queues built up (including GE, diplomats, etc), until at 7pm (not quite precisely) out sauntered one officer who lethargically made it to the ESTA end of the booths (1 out of 28 or so), the GE end had to wait another minute or so.

Not sure what they would have done if everyone had just walked through immigration unchallenged... .
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Old Sep 21, 19, 2:16 am
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JFK T7 is the only airport where I had to wait once about 20min for immigration since I have GE.

For whatever reason, everybody got a full passport check with the usual questions. That being said, had to wait another 45min for my wife who did not have GE.

In any case, and always at LAX, GE saves me 1,5 hours when entering the US (and at LAX the customs queue is sometimes awfully long as well, especially when flights from Asia arrive at TBIT)
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Old Sep 21, 19, 2:53 am
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The small and not-that-helpful piece of information I can give about this is that BA's New York management are painfully aware of this, and have been all the way back to 9/11. There isn't a lot they can do about this, there are a lot of factors involved here (staffing levels, overtime restrictions, break rules, furloughs directly and indirect longer term consequences of furloughs, staff turnover, CBP management versus the front line, unions, individual characters). Every so often, at the airport roundtable meetings, BA raises issues about CBP delays, and sometimes they are acted upon, sometimes it is difficult to point to any improvement. If things get sticky in CBP then BA often then have issues with rebooking people on connections, they occasionally have had problems getting crew through immigration swiftly enough (e.g. when disembarkation is delayed) which then has implications for minimum rest periods. So BA would dearly love to see improvements here, but all they can do at the moment is act on the margins. I suspect we may need to get to some sort of real meltdown day until the DHS in Washington gives this terminal the space and people necessary to do the job efficiently. And therein lies the key problem: T7 won't be long in this world, so investment is going to be problematic.

I should also point out that for every bad day there is a good day, when people can sail out of T7 in a low number of minutes.
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Old Sep 21, 19, 3:53 am
  #11  
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Not sure if this is what's happened here - https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2019/...rder-slowdown/
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Old Sep 21, 19, 4:06 am
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This is exactly the reason I use DL into T4 at JFK. The longest it has ever taken me to get through that terminal was 30 minutes with the dreaded X, otherwise it's about 15 minutes on average.

I may use EWR if I have to fly BA to the States, but I will avoid T7 at all costs until BA move.

Last edited by jayjaygee; Sep 21, 19 at 4:06 am Reason: spelling
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Old Sep 21, 19, 4:40 am
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Originally Posted by FeedbirdNiner View Post
Global Entry is very worthwhile. Last five years, costs about £100 from memory. Has never taken me more than 5-10 mins to enter the US since gaining it.

Unlike today, when I queued for 1h50m to get into Canada at YVR...
Slightly less - $100 for Brits. And Americans/Canadians can get NEXUS for $50 which comes with no line in Canada as well.

Unless one had a colored past or some deep moral objection to paying for speedy immigration, Global Entry is very worthwhile.
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Last edited by Agneisse; Sep 21, 19 at 4:46 am
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Old Sep 21, 19, 5:20 am
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Brutally slow immigration isn't unique to JFK, but it certainly motivated me to get Global Entry, especially with various travel rewards credit cards giving a credit for it. Might as well take advantage of it!
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Old Sep 21, 19, 5:26 am
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Originally Posted by PAL62V View Post
Iíve decided that my next NY trip may see me heading to EWR instead. Faster immigration queues and a relatively cheap and fast train to Penn Station. Taxi from there to the hotel.
It's a lottery. I've recently (over the past three months) experienced close to 2-hour wait times at JFK T8 (AA), T7 (BA), T4 (DL/VS) and EWR... And there are certain types of visas which are not eligible for Global Entry etc. regardless of nationality.
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