First time connecting through the US to CA

Old Jan 16, 20, 9:43 am
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First time connecting through the US to CA

I don't know if this thread applies here. If it's not, please move it and let me know.

I'm intending to travel from Singapore to Canada on Japan Airlines. My itinerary are as follows

SIN - TYO - ORD/DFW/JFK/LAX - YYZ (open jaw) YVR - TYO - SIN

As Japan Airlines does not have a direct flight to Toronto, I've to transit via one of the listed US airports to arrive at the final destination, Toronto.
  1. Am i able to transit airside at any of the listed airports?
  2. What can expect during security process at the listed airports and how long does the checks last (in hours)? This is gauge my connection time when booking
  3. I'm a Muslim and does have a Muslim sounding name. Will it affect my connection to my final leg of the outbound trip?
Any comment of the matter is appreciated
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Old Jan 16, 20, 10:42 am
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Hello @hashim17,

I moved your question to the relevant forum.

To answer your questions, US airports do not have international to international transit facilities. All passengers arriving on international flights which do not originate at airports with US CBP PreClearance facilities must clear US passport controls and customs inspections, and admitted to the US before connecting or transferring to their next flights regardless of whether those are to domestic or international destinations.

Immigration and customs inspections can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

Based upon anecdotal evidence, depending on your age and citizenship, a Muslim sounding name may result in extra scrutiny at US border controls.
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Old Jan 16, 20, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by hashim17 View Post
I don't know if this thread applies here. If it's not, please move it and let me know.

I'm intending to travel from Singapore to Canada on Japan Airlines. My itinerary are as follows

SIN - TYO - ORD/DFW/JFK/LAX - YYZ (open jaw) YVR - TYO - SIN

As Japan Airlines does not have a direct flight to Toronto, I've to transit via one of the listed US airports to arrive at the final destination, Toronto.
  1. Am i able to transit airside at any of the listed airports?
  2. What can expect during security process at the listed airports and how long does the checks last (in hours)? This is gauge my connection time when booking
  3. I'm a Muslim and does have a Muslim sounding name. Will it affect my connection to my final leg of the outbound trip?
Any comment of the matter is appreciated
1. No, there are no airside international connections at US airports. You need to enter the US, pick up your checked luggage, and then re-check your luggage for your next flight (this is actually easier than it sounds, as there are recheck desks for transferring passengers.)

2. This depends on the airport and terminal, but this and immigration could easily take two hours. I would build a comfortable buffer between arrival and departure in your planning.

3. I doubt it will add much time, but be prepared to explain the open-jaw in Canada. They may want to know how you plan to get from YYZ to YVR.
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Old Jan 16, 20, 11:11 am
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The open jaw from Toronto to Vancouver is due to I'll be redeeming Delta Skymiles on Westjet for a one way ticket from Toronto to Vancouver. I want to burn off my Delta Skymiles since they are no longer flying to Singapore and this is how i'm going to use them.
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Old Jan 16, 20, 4:50 pm
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As TWA884 explained, you will have to be admissible into the US in order to transit on your planned itinerary to YYZ.

As to which flight options to book - think about it this way: What will I do if I am delayed in US Customs? Any flight can be delayed - the idea is to investigate your "plan B" options in advance. When is the "next" flight from your US gateway city to YYZ? That next flight is the one your airline will likely try to rebook you on. If the next flight is an hour later, that's one thing - no big deal, but if the next flight is the next morning, then the consequences of a Customs delay could involve a hotel stay.
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Old Jan 17, 20, 8:59 am
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I believe it's easier for me re-do my itinerary by bypass US customs altogether. Thanks for all the replies.
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Old Jan 17, 20, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by hashim17 View Post
I believe it's easier for me re-do my itinerary by bypass US customs altogether. Thanks for all the replies.
US customs are not your concern, as I doubt you will be importing goods into the US. US immigration is what may take you a while. Note that Canadian authorities are equally inquisitive, but then you'll only have to deal with one set if you fly directly into Canada.
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Old Jan 17, 20, 11:17 am
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If you do choose to connect in the US, make certain that you have a paper print out of the WS e-ticket receipt. That will answer the open jaw question. No need to offer it (or anything) unless asked, but just have it handy in case the question arises. Also, depending on your citizenship and residence, make certain that you have documents required for entry to the US as the US does not have international transit.
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Old Jan 19, 20, 8:36 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
1. No, there are no airside international connections at US airports. You need to enter the US, pick up your checked luggage, and then re-check your luggage for your next flight (this is actually easier than it sounds, as there are recheck desks for transferring passengers.)
I believe that DFW is one of two U.S. airports that now offer ITI (international-to-international) baggage transfers that would not necessitate the OP's claiming and re-checking his baggage at DFW. But the OP would still have to go through U.S. immigration and be "admitted" to the U.S. to make his connecting flight to Canada.
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Old Jan 27, 20, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
I believe that DFW is one of two U.S. airports that now offer ITI (international-to-international) baggage transfers that would not necessitate the OP's claiming and re-checking his baggage at DFW. But the OP would still have to go through U.S. immigration and be "admitted" to the U.S. to make his connecting flight to Canada.
Correct, and I believe MIA is the other. But I wanted to keep things simple.
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Old Jan 27, 20, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by hashim17 View Post
I [*]I'm a Muslim and does have a Muslim sounding name. Will it affect my connection to my final leg of the outbound trip?[/list]Any comment of the matter is appreciated
What is your country of citizenship, what is the listed country of birth, and what is your ethnic background?

If you are using a Singaporean or Malaysian passport, born in SE Asia and are of just SE Asian and/or South Asian ethnic background, then it’s extremely unlikely that being Muslim or having a Muslim-sounding name will add any time at all at ORD and JFK than if you were Christian and had a Christian-sounding name in part and of otherwise the same background. There are exceptions, but of all the SE Asians and South Asian Muslims I know, encountering issues at US airports with CBP is far, far less frequent than at land crossings.
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Old Jan 27, 20, 2:58 pm
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Hi,
I'm Singaporean and holds a Singapore Passport.
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Old Jan 27, 20, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by hashim17 View Post
Hi,
I'm Singaporean and holds a Singapore Passport.
Then I wouldn’t expect any substantial delay because of perceived ethnic/religious identity at US airports of entry. Maybe a somewhat increased chance of being sent to Ag inspection, but most probably nothing more than that (if even that).
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Old Jan 29, 20, 6:50 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Then I wouldn’t expect any substantial delay because of perceived ethnic/religious identity at US airports of entry. Maybe a somewhat increased chance of being sent to Ag inspection, but most probably nothing more than that (if even that).
LAX routinely sends everyone (American and Canadian Citizens included) on Asian Flights (or at least PVG) to Agriculture Inspection. It usually isn't much more than an X-Ray, but it can take an hour or two.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by OSSYULYYZ View Post
LAX routinely sends everyone (American and Canadian Citizens included) on Asian Flights (or at least PVG) to Agriculture Inspection. It usually isn't much more than an X-Ray, but it can take an hour or two.
At LAX, maybe, and with all the Asian flights and what people put in checked luggage coming from Asia, that taking a long time there doesn’t need surprise me. But the OP was asking about perceived Muslim identity. Given how often my travel party members — which does include Muslims and/or those with Muslim-sounding names — and I go through (or assume some or all of us may go through) Ag inspections at US airports of entry in the CST and EST time zones, it’s almost never been because of perceived religion of my travel party members; and I can’t recall the last time Ag took us more than 30-45 minutes at any of these US airports in the NE/MidAtlantic and Midwest. There are times when almost the whole flights seem to be sent to Ag, but that was based on route/flight rather than any explicit selection based on perceived religious affiliation. Our coming in on European or US carriers via Europe seems to mostly spare us this.

My suggestion for perceived Muslim foreigners flying into the US is that JFK, ORD and MSP are amongst the better US ports of entry to reduce the chances of being hassled on the basis of perceived religion.
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Last edited by GUWonder; Jan 29, 20 at 7:29 pm
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