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How long to clear customs in BOS?

How long to clear customs in BOS?

Old Sep 29, 16, 1:22 pm
  #1  
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How long to clear customs in BOS?

First of all, I hope I'm posting in the correct spot.

Here's my question. I booked Virgin Atlantic today to fly nonstop to London from Boston. I actually live in Charleston, SC. (Small airport and expensive!) I got a great deal on the flight and will soon be looking for flights from CHS to BOS.

If my flight from LHR arrives in BOS at 1545, what is the earliest time you'd consider for the flight from BOS to CHS?

I know I'll have to clear customs, leave the international terminal and check back in and (re) clear customs to fly back home.

Should I be looking at flights leaving a 2000?

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 5:20 pm
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Originally Posted by tammymacb View Post
First of all, I hope I'm posting in the correct spot.

Here's my question. I booked Virgin Atlantic today to fly nonstop to London from Boston. I actually live in Charleston, SC. (Small airport and expensive!) I got a great deal on the flight and will soon be looking for flights from CHS to BOS.

If my flight from LHR arrives in BOS at 1545, what is the earliest time you'd consider for the flight from BOS to CHS?

I know I'll have to clear customs, leave the international terminal and check back in and (re) clear customs to fly back home.

Should I be looking at flights leaving a 2000?

Any advice would be appreciated.
I think the minimum connection time in Boston is 90 minutes. As for customs, what time of year are you flying? If this is peak summer travel, I would give yourself an hour to clear customs at this time. If your flight is delayed, it'll land smack in the middle of the other international flights coming in at that time, which could mean another 30ish minutes. All in, I would be comfortable with a flight anytime after 1900.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 5:37 pm
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Thank you!
tammymacb is offline  
Old Sep 30, 16, 5:41 am
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Originally Posted by BostonFlyer1624 View Post
I think the minimum connection time in Boston is 90 minutes. As for customs, what time of year are you flying? If this is peak summer travel, I would give yourself an hour to clear customs at this time. If your flight is delayed, it'll land smack in the middle of the other international flights coming in at that time, which could mean another 30ish minutes. All in, I would be comfortable with a flight anytime after 1900.
If you are not a US citizen, it may well mean another 120ish minutes. That's by experience! When coming to the US, I always plan an, overall, 3-4 hours long connection time (from arrival to departure, incl. terminal changes, etc.), although it's a fact that in 20% of the cases my stay at immigration was shorter than 15 minutes. Strangely, my shortest and one of my longest immigration clearance times (5 minutes and ~130 minutes, respectively) were both at ORD, arriving with TK at the same time of the day. My "negative" record was at MIA (a little longer than three hours) while in BOS I've never waited for longer than 30-40 minutes at immigration.

PS All of the above times were flying business class, i.e. being one of the first out of the plane.

Last edited by KLouis; Sep 30, 16 at 5:48 am
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Old Sep 30, 16, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
If you are not a US citizen, it may well mean another 120ish minutes. That's by experience! When coming to the US, I always plan an, overall, 3-4 hours long connection time (from arrival to departure, incl. terminal changes, etc.), although it's a fact that in 20% of the cases my stay at immigration was shorter than 15 minutes. Strangely, my shortest and one of my longest immigration clearance times (5 minutes and ~130 minutes, respectively) were both at ORD, arriving with TK at the same time of the day. My "negative" record was at MIA (a little longer than three hours) while in BOS I've never waited for longer than 30-40 minutes at immigration.

PS All of the above times were flying business class, i.e. being one of the first out of the plane.
If I can give you a tip, landing after dinner time at BOS is a good idea if you can swing it. Timing-wise, LX52 ZRH-BOS is about the best I've seen - 8pm arrival and the customs hall is usually empty. I have global entry so it doesn't matter a ton to me, but I've seen how bad it gets.
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Old Sep 30, 16, 6:14 pm
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Originally Posted by tammymacb View Post
First of all, I hope I'm posting in the correct spot.

Here's my question. I booked Virgin Atlantic today to fly nonstop to London from Boston. I actually live in Charleston, SC. (Small airport and expensive!) I got a great deal on the flight and will soon be looking for flights from CHS to BOS.

If my flight from LHR arrives in BOS at 1545, what is the earliest time you'd consider for the flight from BOS to CHS?

I know I'll have to clear customs, leave the international terminal and check back in and (re) clear customs to fly back home.

Should I be looking at flights leaving a 2000?

Any advice would be appreciated.
Do you have Global Entry? And/or do you have precheck? What airline would your connecting flight be on?
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Old Oct 3, 16, 6:26 am
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Originally Posted by PWMTrav View Post
Do you have Global Entry? And/or do you have precheck? What airline would your connecting flight be on?
I am a US citizen. I have precheck but not Global Entry (there isn't one location the state of SC for the interview!). I'm unsure of which airline I'll be using yet, only because I need a late flight out of BOS and I'm trying to decide the times.
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Old Oct 3, 16, 7:53 am
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Originally Posted by tammymacb View Post
I am a US citizen. I have precheck but not Global Entry (there isn't one location the state of SC for the interview!). I'm unsure of which airline I'll be using yet, only because I need a late flight out of BOS and I'm trying to decide the times.
I'd probably plan for 3 hours to be safe. Depending on the day of the week, customs may be busy when you land. Having precheck will help since you will change terminals to fly to CHS.

Odds are you will be through with time to spare, but it adds up. Plan for an hour at customs just in case, then time to get to your next terminal, the line to recheck your luggage, security, etc.
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Old Oct 25, 16, 1:31 pm
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Originally Posted by tammymacb View Post
I am a US citizen. I have precheck but not Global Entry (there isn't one location the state of SC for the interview!). I'm unsure of which airline I'll be using yet, only because I need a late flight out of BOS and I'm trying to decide the times.
You should be able to use the automated lines. Immigration isn't the issue nor is customs. At Logan as has been the case for decades it's baggage delivery that is completely erratic. It can be fast or painfully slow. I think you should be totally fine with 3 hours, fine with 2.
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Old Oct 25, 16, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by PWMTrav View Post
If I can give you a tip, landing after dinner time at BOS is a good idea if you can swing it. Timing-wise, LX52 ZRH-BOS is about the best I've seen - 8pm arrival and the customs hall is usually empty. I have global entry so it doesn't matter a ton to me, but I've seen how bad it gets.
Totally agree.. plus the usual PIA customs agents at BOS get tired by that time of night and tend to be less annoying.
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