First Time AUH preclearance help!

Old Mar 29, 14, 9:26 am
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First Time AUH preclearance help!

So this is only my 2nd time returning to the US from India and my first time going through AUH. I've been reading about the US Pre-Clearance and I am beyond confused.

I am a US citizen by birth carrying a US passport. I have been in India with my husband for 1 year. He is following at a later time. My flight is BOM-AUH-JFK on EY 205 & EY 101.

We called Etihad and at first the man said yes, I would have to re-check my luggage in AUH. (?!) Then he pulled my itinerary and said "no you don't re-check". So which is it???

I will go to BOM, check-in and check my luggage, then arrive at AUH and go through this pre-clearance and then on to my next flight to JFK which is final destination and pick up my luggage at JFK only?

Or am I checking luggage in BOM, going through pre-clearance, picking up luggage, re-checking and THEN proceeding to flight to JFK and then picking AGAIN upon arrival in JFK?

I do not have any terminal transfers at AUH. I arrive in Terminal 3 and depart from Terminal 3.

Can anyone help and give me an idea of how this transit is going to go? I'm quite nervous now!
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Old Mar 29, 14, 5:53 pm
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Have a look at these threads:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/etiha...ad-flight.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/22336528-post8.html
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Old Mar 29, 14, 10:50 pm
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Don't know how it works in AUH, but in Canada you get screened for immigration purposes at pre-clearance.

Rarely does this include a customs search of the bags but it is indeed a possibility.

I wouldn't worry about the bag search unless your question is a.process one. Either way you should be ok.
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Old Mar 30, 14, 3:08 am
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You'll be shown your luggage on a monitor.
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Old Mar 31, 14, 10:39 am
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Preclearance at Abu Dhabi

I went through this process in February this year, flying from Chennai, India to JFK, on US passport. Etihad MAA-AUH-JFK. Here is how it worked.
Checked in at Chennai, checked two bags through to JFK. landed at AUH T1, walked to T3 where the JFK flight was to take off from. Just before entering T3, went through local (Abu Dhabi) security with my carry-on bag. Then walked to a new TSA security line for US bound passengers (there were three flights to US taking off close to each other).
Once through TSA (standard procedure- belts off, shoes off, laptops out), on to the CBP pre-clearance area. Went through the process one would normally go through on arrival at a US port on an international flight. CBP officers checked passports, fingerprinted non-US passport holders, held up a few passengers. This process was tedious, delayed all flights as there were not enough CBP agents to handle the crowd. But everyone allowed managed to get on their flights.
Anyway, once I landed at JFK, it was as if I landed on a US domestic flight. No immigration of customs, just picked up my checked bags and was outside.
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Old Apr 7, 14, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by pgiyer View Post
I went through this process in February this year, flying from Chennai, India to JFK, on US passport. Etihad MAA-AUH-JFK. Here is how it worked.
Checked in at Chennai, checked two bags through to JFK. landed at AUH T1, walked to T3 where the JFK flight was to take off from. Just before entering T3, went through local (Abu Dhabi) security with my carry-on bag. Then walked to a new TSA security line for US bound passengers (there were three flights to US taking off close to each other).
Once through TSA (standard procedure- belts off, shoes off, laptops out), on to the CBP pre-clearance area. Went through the process one would normally go through on arrival at a US port on an international flight. CBP officers checked passports, fingerprinted non-US passport holders, held up a few passengers. This process was tedious, delayed all flights as there were not enough CBP agents to handle the crowd. But everyone allowed managed to get on their flights.
Anyway, once I landed at JFK, it was as if I landed on a US domestic flight. No immigration of customs, just picked up my checked bags and was outside.
You did not have to show your bags to customs at AUH?
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Old Apr 7, 14, 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
You did not have to show your bags to customs at AUH?
US Customs will show you a photo of your baggage during your Immigration/Customs interview with the agent. Basically you'll do a visual claim of the luggage on the monitor TSA has taken while processing all the checked luggage. Quite impressive logistically they're able to make this work.
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Old Apr 7, 14, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by TrAAveller View Post
US Customs will show you a photo of your baggage during your Immigration/Customs interview with the agent. Basically you'll do a visual claim of the luggage on the monitor TSA has taken while processing all the checked luggage. Quite impressive logistically they're able to make this work.
Yes, that is what I saw as well. Moreover, when I replied that I have some gift items I bought overseas, I was asked to identify the bag it was packed in (on the screen). Don't know if that means anything or if they run random checks based on the reply.
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Old Apr 7, 14, 5:55 pm
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To those who have gone through this process - in your opinion is it good to have such a facility? Some acquaintances missed their onward flight due to delays from this check.
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Old Apr 7, 14, 6:21 pm
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
To those who have gone through this process - in your opinion is it good to have such a facility? Some acquaintances missed their onward flight due to delays from this check.
It's a sort of curse for most passengers who won't have an admissibility problem. Even with GE kiosks to get placed there, it won't make much of a difference in improving things for most US-bound passengers on these non-stop flights out of AUH. The US CBP Pre-Clearance mess there is the reason my advice is to consider avoiding the EY flights from AUH to the US that use CBP PreClearance.

For US citizens, US LPRs and others who are GE and/or APC kiosk enabled, US CBP PreClearance at AUH is a drag compared to doing the CBP clearance at a US airport for these (CBP PreClearance) flights from AUH.
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Old Apr 7, 14, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
It's a sort of curse for most passengers who won't have an admissibility problem. Even with GE kiosks to get placed there, it won't make much of a difference in improving things for most US-bound passengers on these non-stop flights out of AUH. The US CBP Pre-Clearance mess there is the reason my advice is to consider avoiding the EY flights from AUH to the US that use CBP PreClearance.
For those who have a domestic flight in the US, there is really no difference. But since EY has flights to DFW I could be impacted.

I hope EY has changed timings for flights from India to AUH to give more time for this.

I heard that the US was funding this, is there any benefit to doing that?
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Old Apr 7, 14, 6:33 pm
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
For those who have a domestic flight in the US, there is really no difference. But since EY has flights to DFW I could be impacted.
Even for those who have a domestic US onward connection, there is a difference when the flights have been substantially delayed to the point that the onward flight in the US is missed because of the delays related to this at AUH. [I've seen this happen repeatedly now; fortunately, even on separate tickets, US airlines tend to be flexible with "flat tire" rule type situations.]

Originally Posted by UA Fan
I hope EY has changed timings for flights from India to AUH to give more time for this.
They have, but not that much to eliminate this problem.

Originally Posted by UA Fan
I heard that the US was funding this, is there any benefit to doing that?
UAE parties are funding the bulk of this IIRC.
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Old Apr 7, 14, 8:21 pm
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
To those who have gone through this process - in your opinion is it good to have such a facility? Some acquaintances missed their onward flight due to delays from this check.
I have posted a thread about this
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/pract...tmare-auh.html

My experience was awful, I thought it would have been much easier to clear immigration and customs at a US airport. Most of the trouble had to do with undermanned, disorganized US CBP people; nothing to do with Etihad.
It maybe the situation will improve as time goes on, but I plan to avoid AUH as a transit point to US for now.
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