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UA=>AC in YYZ; why can't I clear customs airside?

UA=>AC in YYZ; why can't I clear customs airside?

Old Apr 25, 19, 5:28 pm
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UA=>AC in YYZ; why can't I clear customs airside?

UA, bless their cold, terribly slow wifi'd heart, recently launched their SFO-YYZ flights twice daily, which I've gladly swapped in for AC.

On arrival with carry-on bags only, I was told I needed to leave the sterile area and reclear security rather than use the airside domestic transfer desk - was told this is for customers arriving on an AC flight.

I get that United may not have the set-up to have checked bags cleared through to domestic flights behind the scenes, but not allowing passengers without bags to use the airside customs desk seems entirely pointless. Ended up spending about 40 minutes finding my way to and waiting in a Monday AM "Pearson Priority" security line back to my domestic air canada flight. What gives??
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Old Apr 25, 19, 5:38 pm
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I doubt United has any say in the matter. This is most likely a decision by the YYZ airport authority, fueled by Air Canada's monopolistic behaviour.
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Old Apr 25, 19, 5:40 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
I doubt United has any say in the matter. This is most likely a decision by the YYZ airport authority, fueled by Air Canada's monopolistic behaviour.
I tend to agree United does not have a say in it. Very bad behaviour by pearson/AC if true.
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Old Apr 25, 19, 6:12 pm
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I have stayed airside in YYZ connecting UA --> AC. Was your AC flight intl? or domestic?
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Old Apr 25, 19, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
I have stayed airside in YYZ connecting UA --> AC. Was your AC flight intl? or domestic?
onward AC was domestic (onward to a Canadian city). the matrons directing people refused to let me pass. there some reference to this being a recent mandate (I assume folks who have taken UA metal from ORD, EWR, IAH and DEN have all had prior experience with whether there at least was at one time access)
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Old Apr 25, 19, 6:29 pm
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Maybe this thread would have better insight on why OSS wasn't working for you: One Stop Security
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Old Apr 25, 19, 6:38 pm
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Originally Posted by hirohito888 View Post
Maybe this thread would have better insight on why OSS wasn't working for you: One Stop Security
That would both be an assertion that the matron was wrong about the airside option being for AC only as well as a question around an OSS failure.
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Old Apr 25, 19, 7:56 pm
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AS this is about XYZ customs / immigration procedures, this seems a better fit for the Canada forum.

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Old Apr 25, 19, 10:34 pm
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Originally Posted by aCavalierInCoach View Post
onward AC was domestic (onward to a Canadian city). the matrons directing people refused to let me pass. there some reference to this being a recent mandate (I assume folks who have taken UA metal from ORD, EWR, IAH and DEN have all had prior experience with whether there at least was at one time access)
No, the "matrons" did the right thing, as the bypass is indeed for AC passengers only. It's always been that way - I don't think it's ever been opened up to UA before. I've had the same experience, on a UA arriving flight - and I've also been on the other side, back when I was an AC SE, before I switched to UA.

AC is footing the bill, which is why they have it for their passengers only. Although you may have only had a carry-on, AC is also the only airline at YYZ which will automatically transfer your checked bags to your onward domestic or INT'l flight - all other airlines must clear immigration, and then pick up your bag at the belt, clear customs, and drop it off before you re-enter the domestic terminal through a security check point. I believe it was back in '15 when AC started this process, for automated baggage transfer.

Think of it as a perk for flying the airline who invests in an airport; like US airports with GS-only check-in lounges and security access points. AC has the similar lounge they built for SE's, at YYZ. AC also offers BMW service to some of their top elites transferring from a domestic to INT'L flight, so they don't have to take the long walk - just like UA does for some GS pax only on United flights.

Let's take IAD as a counter-example.... flights arriving from Canadian airports without a pre-clearance area, or International, are handled 2 ways. UA flights land at the C/D midfield, and passengers can stay airside to pickup and re-check their bags, and clear security directly back into the midfield terminal. All other pax on other airlines must head to the main terminal, pick up their bags, re-check, exit into the public area, and re-clear security. Only UA passengers can stay airside - AC pax have to exit the sterile area.

While I was as pissed off as you when I was denied.... I understand why the flagship airline of an airport enjoys extra perks.
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Old Apr 25, 19, 11:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
No, the "matrons" did the right thing, as the bypass is indeed for AC passengers only. It's always been that way - I don't think it's ever been opened up to UA before. I've had the same experience, on a UA arriving flight - and I've also been on the other side, back when I was an AC SE, before I switched to UA.

AC is footing the bill, which is why they have it for their passengers only. Although you may have only had a carry-on, AC is also the only airline at YYZ which will automatically transfer your checked bags to your onward domestic or INT'l flight - all other airlines must clear immigration, and then pick up your bag at the belt, clear customs, and drop it off before you re-enter the domestic terminal through a security check point. I believe it was back in '15 when AC started this process, for automated baggage transfer.
AC may have invested with GTAA and other airports for it to implement the changes necessary, but it is not exclusive to them, it is simply the rules set out by CBSA.

The ITD process requires that the domestic service be either operated by the same carrier as the international service, or the international carrier has to make an agreement with the domestic carrier. UA in this case would have to make an agreement in AC including implementing the necessary changes for baggage transfer. So if this is important to you, complain to UA.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
AS this is about XYZ customs / immigration procedures, this seems a better fit for the Canada forum.

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It is about those procedures specifically in respect to passengers arriving from UA flights.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 10:41 am
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Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
No, the "matrons" did the right thing, as the bypass is indeed for AC passengers only. It's always been that way - I don't think it's ever been opened up to UA before. I've had the same experience, on a UA arriving flight - and I've also been on the other side, back when I was an AC SE, before I switched to UA.

AC is footing the bill, which is why they have it for their passengers only. Although you may have only had a carry-on, AC is also the only airline at YYZ which will automatically transfer your checked bags to your onward domestic or INT'l flight - all other airlines must clear immigration, and then pick up your bag at the belt, clear customs, and drop it off before you re-enter the domestic terminal through a security check point. I believe it was back in '15 when AC started this process, for automated baggage transfer.

Think of it as a perk for flying the airline who invests in an airport; like US airports with GS-only check-in lounges and security access points. AC has the similar lounge they built for SE's, at YYZ. AC also offers BMW service to some of their top elites transferring from a domestic to INT'L flight, so they don't have to take the long walk - just like UA does for some GS pax only on United flights.

Let's take IAD as a counter-example.... flights arriving from Canadian airports without a pre-clearance area, or International, are handled 2 ways. UA flights land at the C/D midfield, and passengers can stay airside to pickup and re-check their bags, and clear security directly back into the midfield terminal. All other pax on other airlines must head to the main terminal, pick up their bags, re-check, exit into the public area, and re-clear security. Only UA passengers can stay airside - AC pax have to exit the sterile area.

While I was as pissed off as you when I was denied.... I understand why the flagship airline of an airport enjoys extra perks.
The IAD counter-example is not really correct. There's nothing different with customs and immigration procedures at the midfield facility at IAD as there is at the main terminal. It's strictly a matter of an additional location for flghts that park on the C concourse (which happen to be only UA flights). Passengers processed midfield are not "airside" after immigration... they have to go through security just like anyone else to get airside though they are deposited onto C instead of the train.

If AC could use UA's gates, they'd have the same situation as UA flights. OTOH, I doubt AC would be interested as they likely feel having a gate by the main terminal is much better.

More to the point... I never thought OSS to be an "airline program" but rather a Canada immigration and security program. If so, I think the problem comes down to UA and AC getting their act together to make it work for *A interlining at YYZ, YUL, etc.

Last edited by JimInOhio; Apr 26, 19 at 10:57 am
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Old Apr 26, 19, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
AC is footing the bill, which is why they have it for their passengers only. Although you may have only had a carry-on, AC is also the only airline at YYZ which will automatically transfer your checked bags to your onward domestic or INT'l flight - all other airlines must clear immigration, and then pick up your bag at the belt, clear customs, and drop it off before you re-enter the domestic terminal through a security check point. I believe it was back in '15 when AC started this process, for automated baggage transfer.
.
This isn't correct. If you are flying Westjet from the US to Canada via YYZ you don't have to collect your bags and recheck them. You do go through CBSA, and security tho.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 12:18 pm
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Originally Posted by D582 View Post
AC may have invested with GTAA and other airports for it to implement the changes necessary, but it is not exclusive to them, it is simply the rules set out by CBSA.

The ITD process requires that the domestic service be either operated by the same carrier as the international service, or the international carrier has to make an agreement with the domestic carrier. UA in this case would have to make an agreement in AC including implementing the necessary changes for baggage transfer. So if this is important to you, complain to UA.


Edit: Re-read it further - so it sounds like it's not just a a standard interline agreement, with tickets and APIS being shared, but a more significant agreement directly between UA and AC that would be needed?

As for importance, it doesn't bother me at YYZ, as it was always the process before AC put this in place. It's why I never book flights near the MCT for YYZ. I'm more worried about UA suspending 15 flights a week from YOW, as they remove all ORD service due to UA's fleet capacity issues.

Originally Posted by JimInOhio View Post
The IAD counter-example is not really correct. There's nothing different with customs and immigration procedures at the midfield facility at IAD as there is at the main terminal. It's strictly a matter of an additional location for flghts that park on the C concourse (which happen to be only UA flights). Passengers processed midfield are not "airside" after immigration... they have to go through security just like anyone else to get airside though they are deposited onto C instead of the train.
Originally Posted by JimInOhio View Post

If AC could use UA's gates, they'd have the same situation as UA flights. OTOH, I doubt AC would be interested as they likely feel having a gate by the main terminal is much better.
I suppose I looked at it more as a shortcut - instead of having to funnel into the main immigration/terminal line like at most airports, it's a shortcut for C, as you mentioned. As it's not my home airport, I also made an assumption that C/D was set aside for UA flights only - I didn't know that other airlines could request/bid for gates there either.

I've only ever done UA to UA; if I was doing, say, UA to AC or UA to TK, I would still use the infield immigration, and then have to take transit to A/B?

Originally Posted by emma69 View Post
This isn't correct. If you are flying Westjet from the US to Canada via YYZ you don't have to collect your bags and recheck them. You do go through CBSA, and security tho.
We're just focusing on T1 here, as it's a *A terminal (plus Emirates), not T3. As far as I'm concerned as a *A flyer, T3 is a mystery I'll never experience

Last edited by Absolute; Apr 26, 19 at 12:38 pm
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Old Apr 26, 19, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
....

I suppose I looked at it more as a shortcut - instead of having to funnel into the main immigration/terminal line like at most airports, it's a shortcut for C, as you mentioned. As it's not my home airport, I also made an assumption that C/D was set aside for UA flights only - I didn't know that other airlines could request/bid for gates there either.

....
Sorry, I misled you. Concourse C/D at IAD is UA's turf and not airport assigned as far as gate access goes (to the best of my knowledge). That said, if AC thought it was really important to operate a gate at C, I imagine UA would oblige. The two airlines cooperate on many things. Case in point: at CLE, UA agents handle everything for AC from baggage check, ticketing, BP issuing, gate staffing and I'm sure more. That doesn't even include, most importantly, all of the code-sharing the two airlines do back and forth. So, it comes down to these two *A carriers getting their act together to make travel more seamless for their customers everywhere, including baggage and OSS at YYZ as one example.

Back to IAD, I can see why AC would rather not be out on that remote dump (C/D), though. Being close to the main terminal has to be more appealing to them.
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