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-   -   Consolidated "Customs and Immigration at LAX" thread (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/los-angeles/736477-consolidated-customs-immigration-lax-thread.html)

hoops7k May 14, 11 11:29 pm

Wrong place to ask and cross posted in http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/milea...mium-econ.html There has been a couple answers to your question

gallen5555 May 15, 11 2:19 am


Originally Posted by hoops7k (Post 16387801)
Wrong place to ask and cross posted in http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/milea...mium-econ.html There has been a couple answers to your question

Tell me what forum this should be posted in since I will be on a m/r? I am grateful for any response, but unless I missed it, none of the replies gave any comment that they had direct experience in doing this.

QueenOfCoach May 15, 11 9:19 am


none of the replies gave any comment that they had direct experience in doing this.
I live in Los Angeles County and fly in and out of LAX all the time. I am a US citizen. Every year I fly the very same LHR to LAX flight on AA.

Having said that, from my direct experience there is no way to accurately predict the time needed to clear immigration and customs. Sometime the lines are long, sometimes they are short. It depends on how many jumbo jets arrive at the same time, how many BCP personnel are on duty and if your fellow passengers ahead of you in line have their documents all in order.

From year to year, getting off the very same LHR to LAX flight I can see widely varying immigration lines. It is simply not predictable.

It is for that reason that when I return to the US, I do my best to land at LAX. Then I don't have to worry about connecting to another flight if there is a long delay in immigration and customs. I am "home".

In addition, I have Global Entry, which allows me to bypass the immigration line and go directly to baggage claim, customs and out the door. That's a real time-saver.

Ocn Vw 1K May 15, 11 10:00 am

For further discussion, I'l move this to the Travel->Los Angeles forum. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.

hoops7k May 15, 11 2:03 pm

You should have enough time to make the transfer but you never know what will happen. If you only have carry on I think that you make it. You may want to invest in Global Entry.I don't believe there is priority lines for Tbit. If your flight is late or you get searched in customs it can be close but since you are a us citizen I don't think you will have any problems. If you don't make it they should put you on the next flight but I have never had any experience with TK.

wdogg May 16, 11 11:03 am


Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach (Post 16389254)

Having said that, from my direct experience there is no way to accurately predict the time needed to clear immigration and customs. Sometime the lines are long, sometimes they are short. It depends on how many jumbo jets arrive at the same time, how many BCP personnel are on duty and if your fellow passengers ahead of you in line have their documents all in order.

From year to year, getting off the very same LHR to LAX flight I can see widely varying immigration lines. It is simply not predictable.

in the last few years i've flown into LAX from taipei, hong kong, tokyo and seoul and the immigration line wait is always YMMV. it's impossible to predict. i've had anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours when we had to evacuate the terminal.

i would guess that you're safe with a 2.5 hour stopover though. my average wait time would probably be around 20-30 minutes.

SoCal May 17, 11 8:00 am

You're landing on an international flight, right (otherwise Immigrtation is irrelevant)? We can give guesses, but that's it. Have you contacted the airlines? Were your two flghts purchased as one itinerary? Do the two airlines have an interline agreement, so that you can pass on your bags to a transit desk just after Customs? What will Turkish Airlines due IF you miss your connection? Yes, immigration lines vary depending on how many other flights land at the same time. I assume you are not a U.S. citgizen or permanent resident.

bzcat May 17, 11 12:46 pm

2:25 between international flights at LAX is asking for trouble. You can't make air side connection so you are at the mercy of immigration and customs. And then you have to check in with TK at least ~45 minutes before departure for baggage screening cutoff (assuming you will have a bag?). If you don't have checked luggage then may be...

bstndance May 17, 11 5:34 pm

It took 2 hours to clear immigration last month coming from SYD to LAX and I'm a citizen. My bags still weren't on the baggage carousel. Another 30 mins of waiting and another 20 in the customs line.

The customs line got delayed because someone decided to cut everyone in line because they had another flight to catch. The officer told her to go back in line and she decided to challenge him. Not only did she delay herself but she delayed everyone else with the pointless exercise of arguing with a CBP agent.

Yeah, you need lots of time for LAX.

Redhead May 20, 11 4:07 pm

I've flown through LAX on international trips (landing in TBIT) twice in the last month. One time the lines were crazy. I don't know exactly how long since I have Global Entry and no checked bags but I can tell you the lines were outrageous and looked to be well over an hour's wait. Then just last week the lines were much shorter. Again, I can't tell you exactly, but I would guess them to be closer to 30 mins (10 for immigration and 20 for customs - after you have your bag, no clue how long you'd have to wait for your bag)

When I've gone through immigration and customs in the AA terminal, the lines seem much shorter. But again, I LOVE my Global Entry. I timed my last trip through TBIT to be exactly 5.5 minutes from stepping off the plane onto the jetway to walking out past customs - an this was because there were 3 people in front of me using the kiosks!

TravellingMan Jul 19, 11 7:46 am

Sorry to awaken this thread from 2007.

I have family flying in on UA890 NRT-LAX. Flightstats shows this flight landing in T7. Will the CBP formalities be done in T7 or will they be bused to TBIT? I have someone going to meet them in LAX and need to give them the right terminal to meet.

wingless Jul 19, 11 10:46 am


Originally Posted by TravellingMan (Post 16755515)
Sorry to awaken this thread from 2007.

I have family flying in on UA890 NRT-LAX. Flightstats shows this flight landing in T7. Will the CBP formalities be done in T7 or will they be bused to TBIT? I have someone going to meet them in LAX and need to give them the right terminal to meet.

Tom Bradley is for international carriers only. The other carriers have their own immigration which is easy breezy and is located at that terminal.

TravellingMan Jul 19, 11 10:59 am


Originally Posted by wingless (Post 16756741)
Tom Bradley is for international carriers only. The other carriers have their own immigration which is easy breezy and is located at that terminal.

Thanks for your response.

sk3 Jul 19, 11 1:32 pm


Originally Posted by TravellingMan (Post 16755515)
Sorry to awaken this thread from 2007...

Don't be sorry! You did the exact right thing. :)

And thank you - because this thread was very informative and helpful to me since I'll be arriving at TBIT for the first time in about 10 years... (and specifically thanks to wingless for his haul a$$ suggestion!)

And to TravellingMan - good luck with your pickup.

bzcat Jul 20, 11 12:43 pm


Originally Posted by wingless (Post 16756741)
Tom Bradley is for international carriers only. The other carriers have their own immigration which is easy breezy and is located at that terminal.

Normally, yes. However if there is a flight that goes tech at the gate and end up taking up a gate, then there is a chance that the UA flight will be directed to remote stand and the passenger will be bused to TBIT.

I don't think this happens very often (at all?) with 777 because there are more gates available but it happens with regular frequency with UA and DL 747 because of limited 747 capable gate at their respective terminals. For example, if DL has a military 747 charter or if UA's Australia flight goes tech or there is ground delay and the departing 747s are still at the gates... the incoming 747 gets to park at remote stand.


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