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In Town Check In For US Flights suspended from 26 Oct

In Town Check In For US Flights suspended from 26 Oct

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Old May 4, 18, 8:32 pm
  #91  
 
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Originally Posted by QRC3288 View Post
I am actually American. But living abroad. And the US deserves all the criticism it gets about this situation. "My country" is indeed the USA.

To fully describe what happened is mind-boggling (and quite sad, to this American who loves his country), but I am not saying this just out of thin air. I had a front row seat to some of this in action; two companies I am very closely aligned with are suffice to say "very interested parties" in this legislation. To sum up a long story, your inability to use the Airport Express flying to the USA on Cathay but not other carriers is a 3 degree removed byproduct of the decision to impose the laptop-in-cabin-compartment ban on ME Airlines last year. Many of you will recall how laptops and large electronic devices were forced into the cargo hold on certain airlines. Against vehement (and accurate) industry claims that lithium batteries were a huge risk in the cargo hold, this policy was mind-bogglingly still implemented. I am still in shock they proceeded with that given how that decision demonstrably made flights less safe. It then became obvious the FAA was going to contradict the administration and recommend no laptops in the cargo hold, so some face saving was needed. Foreign carriers were rounded up arbitrarily and told to implement these new procedures - dreamt up I kid you not in less than 24 hours - which include your "interview" at the airport. I fly to the US at least 6, as many as 12 times a year. I've done this interview a number of times now. This "interview" you'll have at the airport as mandated by the TSA is pure security theater. Not to mention a waste of money and time. Compare it to Israel, where I also fly once in a while. Now that's a real interview over there, and real security. It can take a helluva of a long time but I indeed feel like they're accomplishing the goals of security. This thing at CX in Hong Kong mandated by the TSA is pretty much the polar opposite of substance.

It was supposed to be implemented on all airlines. Some airlines signed up. But now, it appears actually it's just going to be randomly implemented to some airlines and not others. None of the US carriers have it (....subsidies come in all forms, and the hypocrisy of US big 3 airlines is hilarious), Cathay does, and some but not all foreign carriers do. It's a mess. And it's embarrassing.

Anyway, I realize my curt few lines didn't summarize that. But I saw the policy get made. It was madness and very third-world. I agree there is a positive purpose to FT, but FT is also about being a frequent flier and difficulties. I flew to the US last year 13 times. Implementing this policy genuinely has a small but real impact on me. It's a shame when something wastes your time, there's no way to get out of it, you know it's a sham, you know the lack of thinking behind the implementation, but you still have to do it. Aka "it was better before".
I agree with all of this, except that I am American and live in the U.S. (most of the time), making 6-10 trips per year to India via HKG.

The "security interview" is about as effective as the airline security questions we were all asked at check in in the U.S., pre 9/11. Plain stupid and a waste of time.
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Old May 4, 18, 9:32 pm
  #92  
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Originally Posted by CommittedLurker View Post
I agree with all of this, except that I am American and live in the U.S. (most of the time), making 6-10 trips per year to India via HKG.

The "security interview" is about as effective as the airline security questions we were all asked at check in in the U.S., pre 9/11. Plain stupid and a waste of time.
and the funny part is if you dont fly cx you can easily avoid that. I wasnt asked when i flew syd hnd//nrt sfo over xmas
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Old May 5, 18, 12:56 am
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Originally Posted by kaka View Post

and the funny part is if you dont fly cx you can easily avoid that. I wasnt asked when i flew syd hnd//nrt sfo over xmas
Some airlines were granted waiver to implement this later. For example KE/OZ has delayed this until KE moved to T2 at ICN. I'm not sure about JL, but ANA has an announcement dated Apr 24th that you now have to do the interview when flying with them.
​​​​http://www.ana.co.jp/en/au/internati..._question.html

So I think eventually you will come across this kinda random interview flying to the US whoever you fly with
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Last edited by patrickw; May 6, 18 at 4:42 am Reason: fixing the link
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Old May 5, 18, 8:03 pm
  #94  
 
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I had a casual chat with one of the security guys before check in, remarking to him about how silly some of the questions were... To be fair, he said that a number of non-frequent travelers actually have had stuff given to them by friends or other people and do not know what is in the bags... so while the questions seems pretty silly to us, I guess it does help in some ways...
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Old May 5, 18, 8:16 pm
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Originally Posted by tfung View Post
I had a casual chat with one of the security guys before check in, remarking to him about how silly some of the questions were... To be fair, he said that a number of non-frequent travelers actually have had stuff given to them by friends or other people and do not know what is in the bags... so while the questions seems pretty silly to us, I guess it does help in some ways...
This is very true, inexperienced and first time flyers think it's ok (despite the many warnings) to have items they did not pack themselves in their luggage. They may not realize that the consequenses and penalties fall on them and not the person who asked them to carry the items.

Personally if someone asks me to bring something for them, I say ok if I have the space but will tell them that I will open and read and prod every single item to make sure I won't get into trouble.
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Old May 6, 18, 3:04 am
  #96  
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Originally Posted by tfung View Post
I had a casual chat with one of the security guys before check in, remarking to him about how silly some of the questions were... To be fair, he said that a number of non-frequent travelers actually have had stuff given to them by friends or other people and do not know what is in the bags... so while the questions seems pretty silly to us, I guess it does help in some ways...
I was never really sure why the US would "outsource" its security to local staff, especially at Middle Eastern locations if they are so worried about threats from flyers. HK people (who may never have been to the US) conducting security checks on HK people, and Americans, is a bit hypocritical, after all regular HK security is happy to let them on the plane.

However this recent thread in the BA forum shows what the US can do if it really wants to conduct security checks.
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Old May 6, 18, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
I was never really sure why the US would "outsource" its security to local staff, especially at Middle Eastern locations if they are so worried about threats from flyers. HK people (who may never have been to the US) conducting security checks on HK people, and Americans, is a bit hypocritical, after all regular HK security is happy to let them on the plane.

However this recent thread in the BA forum shows what the US can do if it really wants to conduct security checks.
Got me curious but link is dead for me on mobile (“page doesn’t exist”)
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Old May 6, 18, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by gpia View Post


Got me curious but link is dead for me on mobile (“page doesn’t exist”)
Most likely due to the repeated https://

try search google:

Homeland Security interview (after CAI-LHR before allowing LHR-JFK)

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Old May 6, 18, 9:12 am
  #99  
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On the desktop the link looks and works just fine. I guess some problem with parsing links in the new mobile skin...
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Old May 8, 18, 8:50 pm
  #100  
 
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Originally Posted by CommittedLurker View Post
I agree with all of this, except that I am American and live in the U.S. (most of the time), making 6-10 trips per year to India via HKG.
The "security interview" is about as effective as the airline security questions we were all asked at check in in the U.S., pre 9/11. Plain stupid and a waste of time.
Yes and I fail to see why the check-in agents can't ask these questions like they used to on the US carriers. How different are those questions than asking about having lithium batteries?

The most annoying aspect of these changes are the need for the printed itinerary. First time I went to the J class line, the officer asked for my printed itinerary, I said "What????" At that point there were agents outside of the regular line offering to print some itinerary card. Other times, I've showed them the booking from the CX mobile app. Last time I flew out of HKG in March, my flight was delayed and the booking removed from the mobile app and there were no agents stationed to print itineraries. It got sorted out when I told the officer I had nothing and he signaled an agent from behind the desk who found my booking and gave the officer a verbal ok. But still after nearly 6 months into this new policy its still being managed the same as the initial rollout and not really a welcome for us frequent travelers who fall short of DM. I'm sure the F check-in is a better experience.

BTW, what are people doing with the collection of purple stickers accumulating on the BP? Do you just pull them off or can they be "helpful" as a badge showing you're not a rookie?
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Old May 8, 18, 9:42 pm
  #101  
 
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Originally Posted by synthkeys View Post
First time I went to the J class line, the officer asked for my printed itinerary, I said "What????" At that point there were agents outside of the regular line offering to print some itinerary card.
What about those of us who don't have a printed itinerary and keep everything on our phones?
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Old May 8, 18, 9:49 pm
  #102  
 
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Originally Posted by synthkeys View Post
Yes and I fail to see why the check-in agents can't ask these questions like they used to on the US carriers. How different are those questions than asking about having lithium batteries?

The most annoying aspect of these changes are the need for the printed itinerary. First time I went to the J class line, the officer asked for my printed itinerary, I said "What????" At that point there were agents outside of the regular line offering to print some itinerary card. Other times, I've showed them the booking from the CX mobile app. Last time I flew out of HKG in March, my flight was delayed and the booking removed from the mobile app and there were no agents stationed to print itineraries. It got sorted out when I told the officer I had nothing and he signaled an agent from behind the desk who found my booking and gave the officer a verbal ok. But still after nearly 6 months into this new policy its still being managed the same as the initial rollout and not really a welcome for us frequent travelers who fall short of DM. I'm sure the F check-in is a better experience.

BTW, what are people doing with the collection of purple stickers accumulating on the BP? Do you just pull them off or can they be "helpful" as a badge showing you're not a rookie?
This is exactly what happened to me as well (except that I went directly to the U.S. bound zone, across the F check-in). The middle-aged local security guy asked me to prove that I am actually flying to the U.S. with print itin, I was like "what?".

I believe US bound flights are not eligible for F check-in at HKIA. I was told everyone regardless of class of services should head to the designated area (IIRC Aisle C, near the departure security check), and thus no priority lanes.

I remove the purple sticker every time anyway.

Originally Posted by Majuki View Post
What about those of us who don't have a printed itinerary and keep everything on our phones?
Most of the time, an email confirmation is fine. (CX's your flight is ready for check in/departing soon email etc).
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Old May 8, 18, 9:54 pm
  #103  
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Originally Posted by Majuki View Post
What about those of us who don't have a printed itinerary and keep everything on our phones?
"CX has it in the system"
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Old May 9, 18, 2:05 am
  #104  
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You guys may not be doing it correctly

You can still head to the white zone for F check in. One of the graceful PST ladies in long skirts will escort you to the dedicated (one and only one) F check in desk for US flights.

I also see a quite notable correlation between accumulated # of stickers and degree/# of f***s given by the security people for questioning.
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Old Jun 27, 18, 12:28 pm
  #105  
 
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In town check in is coming back from 29th JUN 2018.

https://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_...s-flights.html
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