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Advice needed- Downgraded due to US immigration queue

Advice needed- Downgraded due to US immigration queue

Old Apr 18, 22, 7:45 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by Geordie405 View Post
I don't recall seeing the orange Express Connections cards in a long time, but that may be just as much COVID related as anything else. I mean that in the sense that with so few international flights operating and passenger numbers down there wasn't the need for them.
I also don't recall these recently, though I haven't looked closely since getting Global Entry. The purple-vested OneWorld team at the airports handing out connection cards was much appreciated at LAX and JFK. Was that service ever in DFW?
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Old Apr 18, 22, 10:14 pm
  #47  
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I was more shocked at the lack of facilities for people on short connections. Ive a friend who works for BA at LHR, and if they know passengers (particularly status/F pax etc) are at risk of missing a connection, say due to a late arriving aircraft, they do all they can to meet them at the gate, bus them to where they need to be, basically make a hell of an effort to ensure they make their connection. Maybe I am crazy, but why not something similar in the US???

People go on about ‘US customer service’ and how great it is… but in US airports it is crappy and actually makes us in good old Blighty look fantastic.
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Old Apr 18, 22, 10:41 pm
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by hungry View Post
I was more shocked at the lack of facilities for people on short connections. Ive a friend who works for BA at LHR, and if they know passengers (particularly status/F pax etc) are at risk of missing a connection, say due to a late arriving aircraft, they do all they can to meet them at the gate, bus them to where they need to be, basically make a hell of an effort to ensure they make their connection. Maybe I am crazy, but why not something similar in the US???

People go on about US customer service and how great it is but in US airports it is crappy and actually makes us in good old Blighty look fantastic.
​​​​​​It is not all black and white. US airports will check you in if there is a fighting chance you might get to the gate whereas many places in Europe will not. T5 is the anti-example that, I think, closes down the arguments that you should have left more time: at some point, the airline can decide you did not leave enough time so the bare minimum they can do is to grant you leeway if you left the time they demanded.

The real problem is that US immigration is really, really variable. They need to up their game a bit.
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Old Apr 18, 22, 11:24 pm
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by hungry View Post
I was more shocked at the lack of facilities for people on short connections. Ive a friend who works for BA at LHR, and if they know passengers (particularly status/F pax etc) are at risk of missing a connection, say due to a late arriving aircraft, they do all they can to meet them at the gate, bus them to where they need to be, basically make a hell of an effort to ensure they make their connection. Maybe I am crazy, but why not something similar in the US???

People go on about US customer service and how great it is but in US airports it is crappy and actually makes us in good old Blighty look fantastic.
I don't think many US frequent fliers would be going on about how great US customer service is, especially in 2022.

The thing you're describing does exist with AA/DL, but typically only for their top-tier members.
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Old Apr 19, 22, 12:54 am
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by _nate View Post
​​​​​The real problem is that US immigration is really, really variable. They need to up their game a bit.
Why would they though? Its a publicly funded service so unless you have the political appetite to put more money into that then it will limp along as a bare-bones service with staff feeling able to abuse passengers, like Orbitmic has described.

Also, US citizens are treated separately and prioritised to a certain extent and theyre all that matter. Everyone is treated as a potential migrant with strong aspirations to infiltrate and move permanently to the good ole US of A, or it can certainly feel like that.
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Old Apr 19, 22, 1:17 am
  #51  
 
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Notwithstanding the above, and I agree in large parts with what orbitmic and others have said and in fact have previously on one occasion spent longer in the MIA immigration hall than on the plane (during a US govt furlough), since the start of this year I have been through US immigration at MIA x2, JFK and IAD and have not waited longer than 3 mins (admittedly I was in F and so amongst the first off the plane on all of those flights). In fact, on only 1 occasion was my passport stamped and on only 1 (different) occasion were my electronic fingerprints taken. The new light touch approach seems to be working and I am starting to wonder if I neednt have bothered applying for GE for which I have just been conditionally approved.

I cant speak to DFW but will be connecting through there with my family in the summer so have read the above with interest but I suppose my point is that it isnt all totally bleak!
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Old Apr 19, 22, 1:38 am
  #52  
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Originally Posted by hungry View Post

People go on about US customer service and how great it is...
Do they?? Wow!!! OT but Ill admit thats not anywhere near the top of my list for countries with good customer service. (though people will go out of their way when they expect a big tip but thats more transactional)
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Old Apr 19, 22, 10:47 am
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by choosethedrew View Post
Why would they though? It’s a publicly funded service so unless you have the political appetite to put more money into that then it will limp along as a bare-bones service with staff feeling able to abuse passengers, like Orbitmic has described.

Also, US citizens are treated separately and prioritised to a certain extent and they’re all that matter. Everyone is treated as a potential migrant with strong aspirations to infiltrate and move permanently to the good ole US of A, or it can certainly feel like that.
I think CBP has upped its game significantly over the years. For me the most notable improvements began at ORD where they had combined immigration and customs for HBO passengers. That has progressed over recent years to "Simplified Arrivals" where the use of biometrics and combining the immigration and customs aspects of border control (usually) means a quicker, more seamless entry into the USA. I also think that the ESTA scheme has helped a lot too. It got rid of the need to complete the green VWP form on the plane, and all the mistakes and confusion that go with that. I lost count of the number of times I saw people being sent away from the booth to either complete or correct the form. For a lot of airports the blue Customs Declaration form has also been abolished and so for most airline passengers the process now is simply completing the ESTA online and then flying. Things like Mobile Passport and the passport kiosks have helped significantly too.

You are right though that the topic of illegal immigration is in constant focus here in the USA - but it's just the same in the UK if I may say so. I am thinking of Enoch Powell, Windrush, Brexit, Rwanda etc. That aside, until recently, US passport holders weren't able to use the e-gates when entering the UK and I would queue up at Heathrow with my wife and family and witness them being asked the exact same questions as I'd be asked entering the USA: why are you coming to the UK, how long will you be here for, where are you staying, do you have (and please show me) your return ticket etc. I think the UK and US are very similar in that regard: both are seen as a promised land for potential migrants.
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Old Apr 19, 22, 12:41 pm
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by Geordie405 View Post
I think CBP has upped its game significantly over the years. For me the most notable improvements began at ORD where they had combined immigration and customs for HBO passengers. That has progressed over recent years to "Simplified Arrivals" where the use of biometrics and combining the immigration and customs aspects of border control (usually) means a quicker, more seamless entry into the USA. I also think that the ESTA scheme has helped a lot too. It got rid of the need to complete the green VWP form on the plane, and all the mistakes and confusion that go with that. I lost count of the number of times I saw people being sent away from the booth to either complete or correct the form. For a lot of airports the blue Customs Declaration form has also been abolished and so for most airline passengers the process now is simply completing the ESTA online and then flying. Things like Mobile Passport and the passport kiosks have helped significantly too
I can't argue with any of those process changes but I have had far worse waits of late than ever before, as a UK passport holder. On a recent arrival at JFK there were four 6 out of 57 booths manned! After, I checked the airport wait times website and it said 9 booths were open, but there definitely weren't as I counted them over the hours to pass the time. And I was one of the lucky ones waiting 'only' 2 hours, looking at the amount of officers on duty and the huge queue that was amassing, I would estimate that those at the rear were headed for a wait of around 5 hours unless they opened many, many more booths.

Originally Posted by Geordie405 View Post
You are right though that the topic of illegal immigration is in constant focus here in the USA - but it's just the same in the UK if I may say so. I am thinking of Enoch Powell, Windrush, Brexit, Rwanda etc. That aside, until recently, US passport holders weren't able to use the e-gates when entering the UK and I would queue up at Heathrow with my wife and family and witness them being asked the exact same questions as I'd be asked entering the USA: why are you coming to the UK, how long will you be here for, where are you staying, do you have (and please show me) your return ticket etc. I think the UK and US are very similar in that regard: both are seen as a promised land for potential migrants.
It is a big focus here (sadly - but I don't want to stray into this area!) too, you are correct. Egates are a massive improvement for US passport holders, but even before, I can't recall a time when the other half, who only had a US passport for at least 15 years, waited anything approaching what non-US passport holders experience entering the US.
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Old Apr 19, 22, 12:56 pm
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by crazy8534 View Post
Notwithstanding the above, and I agree in large parts with what orbitmic and others have said and in fact have previously on one occasion spent longer in the MIA immigration hall than on the plane (during a US govt furlough), since the start of this year I have been through US immigration at MIA x2, JFK and IAD and have not waited longer than 3 mins (admittedly I was in F and so amongst the first off the plane on all of those flights). In fact, on only 1 occasion was my passport stamped and on only 1 (different) occasion were my electronic fingerprints taken. The new light touch approach seems to be working and I am starting to wonder if I neednt have bothered applying for GE for which I have just been conditionally approved.

I cant speak to DFW but will be connecting through there with my family in the summer so have read the above with interest but I suppose my point is that it isnt all totally bleak!
Believe me, you may still want that Global Entry. I passed through MIA immigration yesterday and spent twice as long in the queue as on the flight (from CUN). They had six counters open when we got there and there was already a long line then they proceeded to close three and it really started moving at a snails pace. Thankfully we had a long connection and the Flagship lounge wasnt anything to write home about!
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Old Apr 19, 22, 1:17 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by choosethedrew View Post
I can't argue with any of those process changes but I have had far worse waits of late than ever before, as a UK passport holder. On a recent arrival at JFK there were four 6 out of 57 booths manned! After, I checked the airport wait times website and it said 9 booths were open, but there definitely weren't as I counted them over the hours to pass the time. And I was one of the lucky ones waiting 'only' 2 hours, looking at the amount of officers on duty and the huge queue that was amassing, I would estimate that those at the rear were headed for a wait of around 5 hours unless they opened many, many more booths.

It is a big focus here (sadly - but I don't want to stray into this area!) too, you are correct. Egates are a massive improvement for US passport holders, but even before, I can't recall a time when the other half, who only had a US passport for at least 15 years, waited anything approaching what non-US passport holders experience entering the US.
I have to agree on both points. I can't imagine waiting two hours, let alone five to clear immigration. That would be hell.
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Old Apr 19, 22, 10:24 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by _nate View Post
​​​​​​
The real problem is that US immigration is really, really variable. They need to up their game a bit.
Seems to be some element of pot calling a kettle black. I recently flew SYD-LAX , LAX-ORD and ORD-LHR ; I had warned my foster son on arrival to LAX that queues for immigration can be really bad. On arrival, ended up finding an almost empty immigration hall and a total of 6 people ahead of us. Were through immigration and had collected baggage within 20 minutes of arrival. If we had been connecting same day, then would have had loads of time to spare

Security for departures at LAX and at ord - only hold up was how long it took to take shoes off

Arrived into Heathrow T2 and then joined a 55 minute queue for the self service immigration - this was using a UK passport to enter UK
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Old Apr 20, 22, 12:02 am
  #58  
 
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Bringing this back to the OP's original question..

While I don't think there is much to gain from the airlines involved, the OP stated this was a BA Holidays package. Would this not give the OP some address against BA Holidays as a package provider via the "Package travel and linked travel arrangements regulations 2018" as essential they were not given what they paid for?

Granted this may flag up the extra Avios & TPs, but they would surely at worst only loose the points for the economy flight due to original routing credits.
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Old Apr 20, 22, 1:06 am
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by Akoz View Post
Bringing this back to the OP's original question..

While I don't think there is much to gain from the airlines involved, the OP stated this was a BA Holidays package. Would this not give the OP some address against BA Holidays as a package provider via the "Package travel and linked travel arrangements regulations 2018" as essential they were not given what they paid for?

Granted this may flag up the extra Avios & TPs, but they would surely at worst only loose the points for the economy flight due to original routing credits.
Would original route credit not apply also?
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Old Apr 21, 22, 4:22 pm
  #60  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Seems to be some element of pot calling a kettle black. I recently flew SYD-LAX , LAX-ORD and ORD-LHR ; I had warned my foster son on arrival to LAX that queues for immigration can be really bad. On arrival, ended up finding an almost empty immigration hall and a total of 6 people ahead of us. Were through immigration and had collected baggage within 20 minutes of arrival. If we had been connecting same day, then would have had loads of time to spare

Security for departures at LAX and at ord - only hold up was how long it took to take shoes off

Arrived into Heathrow T2 and then joined a 55 minute queue for the self service immigration - this was using a UK passport to enter UK
At the moment, youre right - certain UK terminals are a mess.

However, when things were working normally, a US passport holder would be out of a UK airport faster than a UK passport holder out of a US one, as a general rule. As to whether things go back to that anytime soon, who knows.
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