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Consolidated "Customs and Immigration at LAX" thread

Consolidated "Customs and Immigration at LAX" thread

Old Jul 31, 2022, 4:26 pm
  #256  
 
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Originally Posted by Colin
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.
I wouldn't be so sure there is no one forcing them to do so... Just because you don't see the US custom agents doesn't mean they are not watching you.
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Old Feb 4, 2023, 5:07 pm
  #257  
 
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Customs facility at LAX TBIT Midfield Concourse

The LAX terminal map shows a CBP/TSA checkpoint in the Midfield Satellite Concourse that looks like it can be used for connecting passengers:

https://maps.lawa.org/?s=eyJtYXBSZW5...0sIm9yZCI6MX19

This is also referenced on Air Tahiti Nui's website:

https://www.airtahitinui.com/seamless-connection-lax

Mom will be coming into Midfield gates on Air Tahiti Nui with a tight connection to a Delta flight on a separate ticket, with no checked luggage. I am worried about her making the connection, as she has no Global Entry. Thinking using this CBP checkpoint, might save her time as she'd avoid potential crowds at the main TBIT passport control.

My question is, are any connecting passengers allowed to use this facility, or just passengers continuing on to Paris/Papeete with Air Tahiti Nui?
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Old Feb 4, 2023, 7:01 pm
  #258  
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Originally Posted by Kumulani
https://www.airtahitinui.com/seamless-connection-lax

Mom will be coming into Midfield gates on Air Tahiti Nui with a tight connection to a Delta flight on a separate ticket, with no checked luggage. I am worried about her making the connection, as she has no Global Entry. Thinking using this CBP checkpoint, might save her time as she'd avoid potential crowds at the main TBIT passport control.

My question is, are any connecting passengers allowed to use this facility, or just passengers continuing on to Paris/Papeete with Air Tahiti Nui?
From then TN website that you linked:
Transit passengers can now clear immigration and TSA (Transportation Security Administration) in a dedicated room with large signs for easy identification and flow.

Passengers disembarking in Los Angeles must still go to the Tom Bradley Terminal to clear immigration and retrieve their baggage.

The connection tunnel is equipped with moving walkways that make it easy to get around. However, you should allow at least 20 minutes for a smooth transfer between the two terminals.
Your mother is not an Air Tahiti Nui passenger in transit on her way to Paris; as far as TN is concerned, she is disembarking at LAX. She will have to use the main immigration and customs facility at TBIT.
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Old Feb 4, 2023, 7:33 pm
  #259  
 
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Originally Posted by Kumulani
My question is, are any connecting passengers allowed to use this facility, or just passengers continuing on to Paris/Papeete with Air Tahiti Nui?
One thing for sure, she must already have the next BP. However...

In my recent UA-IAD-UA midfield CBP-TSA experience (not sure if LAX TBIT MSC is the same), transit TSA there did not ask for ID/BP at all. Presumably CBP would only let people through if they have an onward flight. There lies the problem. CBP knew where I was headed next based on the API the airline provided. But if she's terminating one ticket and beginning another, it may or may not work...
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Old Feb 4, 2023, 9:06 pm
  #260  
 
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Originally Posted by TWA884
Your mother is not an Air Tahiti Nui passenger in transit on her way to Paris; as far as TN is concerned, she is disembarking at LAX. She will have to use the main immigration and customs facility at TBIT.
That wording is exactly what was confusing me though. It does not make clear whether "transit passengers" only includes passengers continuing to Paris on Air Tahiti Nui, or whether it includes passengers "in transit" to other flights.

As it happens, turns out it probably won't matter in this case. Just checked TN flight schedule - the flight she will be on is not continuing to Paris, and TN is not operating any other flights to Paris from LA that day. So, regardless of eligibility to use it, it will most likely be closed when she arrives.

I'm still curious for future reference though, does anyone know anything else about this facility or used it? Are any other airlines that use LAX as an international stopover point like Air New Zealand using it?
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Old Feb 4, 2023, 9:29 pm
  #261  
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Originally Posted by Kumulani
That wording is exactly what was confusing me though. It does not make clear whether "transit passengers" only includes passengers continuing to Paris on Air Tahiti Nui, or whether it includes passengers "in transit" to other flights.
Transit means continuing the journey on the same aircraft and/or same flight number.

From Air Tahiti Nui:
For passengers ticketed Auckland-Los Angeles (TN102) and connecting with Los Angeles-Paris (TN8) flight, or ticketed Paris-Los Angeles (TN7) and connecting with Los Angeles-Auckland (TN101) flight
  • Transit procedure at Los Angeles (LAX) is not available for either of these combinations.
    • Collect bags at Los Angeles from baggage carousel, proceed to immigration/customs, and then enter the USA
    • Proceed to check-in counters to check-in for the connecting TN flight to continue your journey.
    • Ensure you have the relevant visa (or visa waiver) and entry permits for the USA
10 commonly confused air travel terms to get straight
You are in transit if you return to the same aircraft after your brief stopover at the airport and continue on your journey. In such cases, usually only one ticket is issued. It is a transfer if you change planes or airlines.
Law Insider - Transit Passenger definition
Transit Passenger means a passenger who arrives at the airport in an aircraft and departs from the airport in the same aircraft, where such an aircraft is operating a through flight transiting the airport, and includes a passenger in transit through the airport who has to depart in a substituted aircraft because the aircraft on which the passenger arrived has been declared unserviceable.
How do you define a transfer-transit passenger?
​​​​​​​Passengers who have a stopover of under 24 hours anywhere between the starting point and final destination of their journey and then board a connecting flight with the same or a different airline are referred to as transfer passengers. Passengers who land between the starting point and final destination of their journey and then board a connecting flight with the same flight number are referred to as transit passengers.
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Old Feb 6, 2023, 2:47 pm
  #262  
 
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Originally Posted by Kumulani
That wording is exactly what was confusing me though. It does not make clear whether "transit passengers" only includes passengers continuing to Paris on Air Tahiti Nui, or whether it includes passengers "in transit" to other flights.

As it happens, turns out it probably won't matter in this case. Just checked TN flight schedule - the flight she will be on is not continuing to Paris, and TN is not operating any other flights to Paris from LA that day. So, regardless of eligibility to use it, it will most likely be closed when she arrives.

I'm still curious for future reference though, does anyone know anything else about this facility or used it? Are any other airlines that use LAX as an international stopover point like Air New Zealand using it?
TWA884 already covered it but your mom is not a transit passenger.

The transit passport control is currently only used by Air France and Tahiti Air Nui. It's one of the key reason why AF decided to move from TBIT to TBIT West and build its lounge there.

NZ used to have a similar arrangement in T2 but gave that up when it move to TBIT. But NZ discontinued its LAX-LHR flight awhile ago so they have no need for transit passport control.

Last edited by bzcat; Feb 6, 2023 at 3:01 pm
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Old Feb 7, 2023, 9:38 am
  #263  
 
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Originally Posted by Kumulani
Mom will be coming into Midfield gates on Air Tahiti Nui with a tight connection to a Delta flight on a separate ticket, with no checked luggage. I am worried about her making the connection, as she has no Global Entry.
We came back on a Tuesday night to TBIT back a few weeks ago. Custom was almost empty. It took about 32 min to get from the plane to just outside Terminal 3 (to take the Pink Shuttle). The reason it took so long was not because of custom, or waiting for checked luggage, it was because they made everyone walks a LONG way from the plane to the custom clearing area. We pretty much walked the length of the terminal, went down on escalator, and walked all the way back to the same place just under where we exited the plane and then walked some more. On my fitness tracker, we walked 0.88 miles in total from plane to T3.
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Old Mar 28, 2023, 3:50 pm
  #264  
 
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Does Ua still have their own CBP at T6/T7?
been many years so not sure
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Old Mar 28, 2023, 5:52 pm
  #265  
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Originally Posted by cbrown5294
Does Ua still have their own CBP at T6/T7?
Yes.
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Old Jun 18, 2023, 4:39 pm
  #266  
 
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What is going on at TBIT

Last Tuesday late morning arrived on JAL from HND. I was at the front of the plane near the exit and walked out and never stopped walking till immigration which took all of about 1 minute to go through. Then walked all the way to the baggage carousel without stopping. What's with that. My bag came off within a couple minutes and then I walked out to wait which seemed like forever after that trek through the airport. How can a guy plan a pickup under those circumstances?
Been all over the world and I don't think I have ever sailed through any airport that fast.
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Old Jun 18, 2023, 7:54 pm
  #267  
 
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Originally Posted by bundubasher
Last Tuesday late morning arrived on JAL from HND. I was at the front of the plane near the exit and walked out and never stopped walking till immigration which took all of about 1 minute to go through. Then walked all the way to the baggage carousel without stopping. What's with that. My bag came off within a couple minutes and then I walked out to wait which seemed like forever after that trek through the airport. How can a guy plan a pickup under those circumstances?
Been all over the world and I don't think I have ever sailed through any airport that fast.
This is pretty much the case whenever I come home via LAX / TBIT. With the change in Global Entry, there's no need to even have a passport in hand - just walk up to the camera and a few seconds later, you're done and waved through. There's been absolutely no customs stop/questions/etc. for the last couple of years so I can be off the plane and at the curb in about the same time as a domestic flight. With no checked bags, it's an even quicker exercise.
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Old Jun 18, 2023, 10:03 pm
  #268  
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Originally Posted by bundubasher (Post # 276)
Been all over the world and I don't think I have ever sailed through any airport that fast.
Originally Posted by OskiBear (Post # 277)
This is pretty much the case whenever I come home via LAX / TBIT. With the change in Global Entry, there's no need to even have a passport in hand - just walk up to the camera and a few seconds later, you're done and waved through. There's been absolutely no customs stop/questions/etc. for the last couple of years so I can be off the plane and at the curb in about the same time as a domestic flight. With no checked bags, it's an even quicker exercise.
How would that compare to a U.S. citizen who does not have Global Entry (GE), but does have the Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app?
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Old Jun 20, 2023, 4:58 pm
  #269  
 
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I came back from LHR on Sunday. It took about 15 seconds to clear immigration with the GE photo scan and since I had only carry on, was out to the curb in about 3 minutes from the time I went down the escalator to the immigration hall. The walk from Gate 159 to the escalator to immigration hall was much longer

The photo scan was quick but the screen flashed a message saying "proceed to officer" which just means exit in the direction of the CPB agents sitting at the end of the GE kiosk area. But most people assume means they had to get release by the CPB agents sitting there so people just queued up in front of the desk instead of walking out and a big line started to form. The officers had to keep telling people to just go and not stop. They probably should change the wording on the screen to "proceed to exit".

Edit: I guess "proceed to officer" may be intentionally ambiguous so the CPB agents can still stop you and perform secondary screening if they see you are acting funny?

Last edited by bzcat; Jun 20, 2023 at 5:08 pm
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Old Jun 21, 2023, 8:53 am
  #270  
 
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Originally Posted by bzcat
I came back from LHR on Sunday. It took about 15 seconds to clear immigration with the GE photo scan and since I had only carry on, was out to the curb in about 3 minutes from the time I went down the escalator to the immigration hall. The walk from Gate 159 to the escalator to immigration hall was much longer

The photo scan was quick but the screen flashed a message saying "proceed to officer" which just means exit in the direction of the CPB agents sitting at the end of the GE kiosk area. But most people assume means they had to get release by the CPB agents sitting there so people just queued up in front of the desk instead of walking out and a big line started to form. The officers had to keep telling people to just go and not stop. They probably should change the wording on the screen to "proceed to exit".

Edit: I guess "proceed to officer" may be intentionally ambiguous so the CPB agents can still stop you and perform secondary screening if they see you are acting funny?
In the new GE set-up, the CBP agents have been calling out my name. I guess it pops up on their monitor. So, it had been a relatively good flow in the past...you get the machine to clear you and then as you walk to the exit/agent, the agent calls out "OskiBear" and you sort of mutually acknowledge each other and proceed. I did notice on Sunday that the officer wasn't actively calling out names so I slowed as I approached him and made eye contact at which point he then called my name and I moved on. I always figured that was a necessary step.
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