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MSP Immigration Experiences?

MSP Immigration Experiences?

Old Feb 5, 04, 8:32 am
  #1  
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MSP Immigration Experiences?

I am flying BCN-AMS-MSP-SFO on 2/25 and am wondering what it will be like to go through immigration in MSP. I usually fly AMS-SFO non-stop.

Any tips or suggestions? I have @2 hours between flights and hope to be upgraded to WBC by then.

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Just trying to keep up with the gals in the trailer park next door.
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Old Feb 5, 04, 8:38 am
  #2  
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Just did it. 2 hours is plenty. Customs is smooth and fast, but the re-security sucks - one slow long line, so get through as fast as you can....
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Old Feb 5, 04, 8:47 am
  #3  
 
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MSP for customs isn't bad.... if the security line to go directly into the terminal is long, you may want to exit with MSP-local passengers, then re-enter security through one of the elite security lines. All security lines take you into the terminal, and the line by DL is sometimes shorter for elites than the NW line.

2 hours should be fine.
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Old Feb 5, 04, 9:47 am
  #4  
 
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I'm a big fan of MSP customs and immigration (although I haven't been through in over a year).

MSP only gets a few international flights a day, so the immigration workers have relatively light job-loads. Easy job (I presume) + good ol' midwestern friendliness = the most consistently pleasant immigration process I've found at any airport. When the MSP immigration folks say "welcome home!" they really mean it!
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Old Feb 5, 04, 1:07 pm
  #5  
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Yes, I expect the friendliness would be better there and will help ease the process. Good point.

I have changed planes often in MSP and notice that there are several security entrances coming off the parking garages. Is there a secret short line to go through? Maybe a special NW elite line?. That was a good tip re the DL elite line.

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Old Feb 5, 04, 1:18 pm
  #6  
 
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from the Red/Blue parking ramps you can access the "Skyway" security area. get your boarding card from a kiosk first. no bag check. there is no separate Elite line but I've never waited more than five minutes. I don't use it much unless my flight is leaving from the G/C/A/B Siberia gates and I don't feel like traipsing to the Club.
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Old Feb 5, 04, 1:50 pm
  #7  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by themicah:
MSP only gets a few international flights a day, so the immigration workers have relatively light job-loads. </font>
Cann't beat MEM The last time I went through MEM immigration, it was like a breeze.

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Old Feb 5, 04, 2:59 pm
  #8  
 
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If you look like Chinese or just visited China, then be ready for wait in line to scan every bag you have because MSP officials always suspect that you are bringing food to USA.

They are able to single out Chinese mostly due to small number of international flights arriving MSP. In fact, NW 19/20 might be the ONLY flight between MSP and Asia.

I got picked up by MSP custom officials EVERY TIME. Even if I told them, I am a college professor and an American citizen, I have visited China many many times, I know the roles regarding food, they won't listen to me.

Of course, after scanning, openning and searching every bag I have, they found nothing. If I had a tight connection schedule, then I would be in trouble.

I will avoid MSP now (I found DTW is more reasonable treating passengers who look like Chinese).

I may try SFO or LAX. There are many flights from Asia every day there. I figure custom officials can't possibly scan every Asia-looking passenger's bags or they will get overwhelmed.

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Old Feb 5, 04, 4:56 pm
  #9  
 
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Re. treatment of folks from China, that's unfortunate.... As themicah said, MSP has few international flights, so they will KNOW you're coming from AMS.

As far as re-entering security, you won't have to deal with the parking garage entrance.... after clearing customs/immigration, you can either 1. opt to pass security directly into the gate areas again, or 2. you can go downstairs and enter the unsecured part of the terminal, on the baggage claim level. If you go for option 2, then you'll come out in the baggage claim area, go upstairs to the ticketing level, and go through security. All total, there are about 4 spots to enter security.... 2 are by the NW counters, and one of these has an Elite shortcut. If the time is around a bank of departing NW flights and there is a concentration of people at the NW security lines, go to the next farther security line by DL, which also has an elite shortcut. The 4th line is at the far end beyond America West--- I don't recall if they have an elite shortcut or not.

I offer the DL idea because it seems NW passengers will join the closest lines to the NW counters--- even if the other checkpoints are empty. All 4 security lines will take you to the same place- just that the DL and HP ones require about 30 seconds more walking. Again, 2 hours will be more, more, more than plenty of time to make the connection.
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Old Feb 10, 04, 5:17 am
  #10  
 
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I was in WBC on NW43 from LGW yesterday, WBC was half empty and there were no lines at all at immigration so the whole thing took a few minutes, esp as my bag was about 4th off

I rechecked my bag and there was no line at all for the re-security, which didn't need any photo ID or boarding pass either for some reason or other.

I was in the Woldclub inside 10 minutes of deplaning, so I guess it all depends on time of day and other international flight arrivals.

Phil
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Old Feb 10, 04, 8:17 am
  #11  
 
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I find that international arrivals are more spaced out during the day then they are in DTW. I suppose the fact that the custom lobby is relatively small in MSP and that 2 jumbos arriving at once would be a disaster.
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Old Feb 10, 04, 8:54 am
  #12  
 
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As an Asian American who live in MSP and travel abroad quite often (to both Asia and Europe), I have never had any problem at MSP immigration. It usually takes about 10 minutes to get through immigration and customs if I don't have any checked bags. And I was fortunately enough that I have never been picked out for a custom search.
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Old Jan 13, 08, 4:57 am
  #13  
 
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Minneapolis St Paul International

On July 5th 06 my girlfriend from Hong Kong came to visit me and was stopped at msp intl immigration for questioning for whatever reason, one question led to another and she ended up getting sent back to Hong Kong, this was after a sixteen hour flight and eight hours sitting in an interrogation room and the final result was her signing a false confession to working in the country illegally and being black listed from the united states for ten years. When I spoke to the immigration officer instead of calling my girlfriend by her name he called her "china" and laughed at himself. After that I called up to the immigration office and spoke to my girlfriend, she was crying and hysterical and said that this immigration officer had been punching the table screaming at her, demanding that she sign the confession or she would be put in prison for 10 years, demanded that she hand over her email account and password and skimmed three years of our love letters. She had a job back in Hong Kong and more then enough money for three of her stays and the last thing she wanted to do was to work here for illegal table scraps. I had a mountain of proof that she hadn't worked here illegally including the signatures of 27 U.S citizens that would testify to her never lifting a finger.

This degenerate ([name removed by moderator]) wanted nothing more then to send her back for a statistic and make it appear if he was actually doing something. This immigration officer knew what he was doing was wrong, he appeared to be having a good time actually, just screwing up someones day like his whole life was screwed, I think More then anything, this pathetic sack actually got off scaring my 105 pound girlfriend. I wrote letters to about ten different agencies and received only one reply which in summary said "can't help ya, send your complaints here" here being a place I already wrote to. We did suffer damages, about $2,000 worth not including time. These officers are complete disgraces to our country.

As a U.S Citizen I have been harassed every time I passed through MSP immigration, customs, and even at security and then I had this happen to my girlfriend. Something is seriously out of order at this airport and I never intend to use it again.

Last edited by slippahs; Jan 13, 08 at 5:00 am Reason: http://www.flyertalk.com/help/rules.php#q74 name of officer removed
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Old Jan 13, 08, 5:03 am
  #14  
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Couple of things:

First of all, welcome to Flyertalk, Britton1. Sorry to hear about your girlfriend's experiences. Per our rules, I've deleted the name of the immigrations officer. (And, I just realized that the link to the rules above is incorrect, please refer to http://www.flyertalk.com/help/rules.php#q69 for more info)

Second, for housekeeping, let's move this thread to the Midwest forum and leave a redirect here.

Thanks.

slippahs
nwa WorldPerks forum co-moderator

Last edited by slippahs; Jan 13, 08 at 5:09 am
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Old Jan 15, 08, 3:51 pm
  #15  
 
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Passed through the Humphrey terminal in September last year.
Immigration were very polite & friendly but very thorough in their questioning.
The most thorough i have ever experienced on any trip to the US.
Kept on repeating the same questions over & over.
I think they could not believe that anyone would choose to come to MN on holiday without having relatives out there.

Had a bit of a grilling going back to the UK but i look on it as better to be safe than sorry and if 10 mins grilling of a couple of middle aged English tourists will help future immigration controls then i'm all for it.
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