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Consolidated "Customs and Immigration at LAX" thread

Consolidated "Customs and Immigration at LAX" thread

Old Sep 3, 2019, 12:29 pm
  #241  
 
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For AA purpose, you can think of T4 and TBIT as one terminal but different concourse. If you arrive at Gate 41 or 43, you *may* use the T4 immigration if during the hours it is staffed. If you arrive really early or after 5pm, you just take a short walk to TBIT and clear immigration there. Baggage claim is before you clear custom so it clearly has to be located where you clear immigration.

US Citizens and permanent residents can usually clear TBIT immigration using self-service kiosks in no more than 20~30 minutes. The line moves really fast. Global Entry can clear in as little as 30 seconds after entering the TBIT immigration holding area (I've done it several times).

Foreign visitors must queue and have face to face interview with immigration official and get photo and finger prints taken. There is a transit lane for priority handling but otherwise there is no preference lane... all visitors get in the same line and the wait time various by time of day. It can get really long during peak European and Asian arrival banks. My experience picking up people with foreign passport at TBIT is that it generally takes about 40 minutes to 1 hour to clear immigration. After that, you still have to clear customs.

Customs is hit or miss at TBIT. Sometimes, the bags come out before you get there, sometimes, it is one hour wait AFTER you clear immigration. If you have nothing to declare, it usually won't take more than 10 minutes to exit custom area after you retrieve your checked luggage. If you declare something, it can take about 30 minutes depending on time of day.
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Old Nov 2, 2019, 5:23 pm
  #242  
 
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I'm a UK passport holder who visits the U.S. regularly. At JFK they have allowed returning ESTA visitors to use the kiosks as well. Is that not the case at LAX? It's only first time visitors or particular visa holders that are automatically routed to a manual inspection. Last time I gave the slip to the officer, stated how long I was visiting and had my passport stamped very quickly.
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Old Nov 30, 2019, 1:26 am
  #243  
 
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My experience last week at TBIT arriving on a DY flight from MAD was about an 45minute wait at immigration.
The minute we landed we walked, very quickly, to immigration, completed the weird machine that gives you a slip of paper, and then joined the queue. A China Southern had arrived before us and the queues looked horrendous, though they did move.. slowly.
Customs was a walkthrough and we headed up to T4 to have a couple beers.
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Old Jan 16, 2020, 7:12 pm
  #244  
 
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Does T2 have Global Entry kiosks? I am planning on flying Virgin Atlantic which comes into T2 and not TBIT.
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Old Jan 16, 2020, 7:26 pm
  #245  
 
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yes, of course
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 9:12 am
  #246  
 
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lax???? Delays at customs like sfo?

Not sure where to post this.

I've been reading about loooong lines at sfo (6-8 hours) at least for those without global entry (I hope this is true). Anyway haven't seen any reports about LAX and wonder what the situation is there.
I'll be arriving from kul-nrt soon with no travel china/hong kong but it looks like the delays affect everyone due to increased processing time for some.
I do have global entry.
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 11:07 am
  #247  
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As the new rules requiring air carriers to confirm recent travel for non-US Nationals kick in and the number of people who attempt to travel knowing that there will be issues winds down, coupled with the simple fact that nonstop arrivals from China are just about done and arrivals from Hon Kong and the Republic (Taiwan) are way down, the delays at CBP will likely be greatly reduced.

In fact, the elimination of China and reduction of non-China Asia traffic will substantially reduce congestion at CBP.
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 5:57 pm
  #248  
 
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Sadly your response has nothing to do with my question. AFAICT delays are being caused due to questions about travel in the prior 14 days not just direct flights from China (eg lots of people connect, etc,)

Has anyone arrived at lax in the last day or so who can comment on what is going on RIGHT NOW in terms of ?unusual wait times?


Originally Posted by Often1
As the new rules requiring air carriers to confirm recent travel for non-US Nationals kick in and the number of people who attempt to travel knowing that there will be issues winds down, coupled with the simple fact that nonstop arrivals from China are just about done and arrivals from Hon Kong and the Republic (Taiwan) are way down, the delays at CBP will likely be greatly reduced.

In fact, the elimination of China and reduction of non-China Asia traffic will substantially reduce congestion at CBP.
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Old Feb 5, 2020, 6:34 pm
  #249  
 
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I just pass through LAX TBIT immigration yesterday. My flight was SIN-NRT-LAX and the NRT-LAX sector was pretty light with lots of open seats in Business.

I have global entry and carry on only so I was at curb side in about 15 minutes, which is the normal time it takes to pass through immigration and custom with GE.

GE immigration had no lines and I was able to scan my passport and complete the process and exit to custom as normal with no delays.

The immigration lines for non-GE US citizen and green card holders was a bit longer than I normally observed. The line for kiosks moved very fast (there are lots of empty ones when I walked past to GE) but there is a long line to exit to custom... I guess they are asking extra questions but I cannot confirm because I didn't use the regular immigration kiosk.

I didn't see the visitor line but there was no any extra long queues coming out of that area.

GE custom had no lines at TBIT and the non-GE custom line was normal size.

I had a 24 hour stop over in HKG a week earlier (LAX-DFW-HKG-USM-SIN) so I thought I may get flagged for secondary question but that didn't happen.
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Last edited by bzcat; Feb 5, 2020 at 6:42 pm
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Old Feb 5, 2020, 10:01 pm
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Thank you so much!!
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Old Jul 25, 2022, 5:48 pm
  #251  
 
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Tom Bradley Terminal baggage claim airside and Southwest boarding pass question

Two separate questions.

Does anyone know if the baggage claim for international arrives is airside or landslide? I ask because will be flying JAL and wanted to grab my check bags and run back up to the shops at TBIT before I leave the airport.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Second question. Unrelated to the first. Can I get into Tom Bradley with a valid Southwest Airlines boarding pass day of departure? (different trip). I want to use the Centurion Lounge in TBIT. ty
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Old Jul 25, 2022, 6:15 pm
  #252  
 
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You would have to clear security again in order to go back into the terminal (just like any other airport in the USA), but the TBIT baggage claim isn't accessible to the general public. I don't know the answer for the second question.
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Old Jul 25, 2022, 7:37 pm
  #253  
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Originally Posted by oper8
Does anyone know if the baggage claim for international arrives is airside or landslide? I ask because will be flying JAL and wanted to grab my check bags and run back up to the shops at TBIT before I leave the airport.
When you exit the plane, you will be in sterile walkways, corridors and escalators that are physically separated from the departure area where the shops and gates are located and which will lead you to the customs and immigration facility. Baggage from international flights arrives on carousels in the customs hall. You must take it with you when you complete the passport and customs inspections; you will not be able to reenter the federal inspection facility after you exit. Just about all the shops at TBIT are in the departures area past the TSA security checkpoint. You will not have access to the concourse before going through customs and immigration and you will not be able to reenter the terminal unless you have a boarding pass for a flight departing LAX on the same day.

Originally Posted by oper8
Second question. Unrelated to the first. Can I get into Tom Bradley with a valid Southwest Airlines boarding pass day of departure? (different trip). I want to use the Centurion Lounge in TBIT. ty
You can enter any terminal at LAX with a boarding pass for a flight departing the same day from any terminal at LAX.
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Old Jul 30, 2022, 8:50 pm
  #254  
 
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when we arrived at Bradley last month on Austrian, we cleared immigrations via Global Entry and:

1) we never used our passport in any way (GE machine is facial scan only)
2) customs agent area was completely unstaffed and all such infrastructure removed (everyone just walked through)

i can only guess that selection for customs inspection is based upon an algorithm and perhaps immigrations agent discretion. i suppose selected travelers are told by the immigrations agent to report to report to a dedicated area for customs inspection, but there’s no one forcing them to do so.
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Old Jul 31, 2022, 2:30 pm
  #255  
 
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I'd be willing to bet there's someone watching with facial recognition software at the baggage claim exit and an agent able to spring out quickly and enforce it.
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