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Can someone else pick up my bag? {Arriving international at SFO}

Can someone else pick up my bag? {Arriving international at SFO}

Old Mar 19, 2018, 3:24 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Polytonic
Pretty sure it's just two lines at SFO. The "normal humans" line, and the "you have expedited status" line, but they both feed into the same (two) agent(s) so it doesn't seem to be any faster to have two lines.
I know GE has its own line, but was asking about "Mobile Passport line" that the other user had mentioned was faster than GE...
Originally Posted by garykung
...
In fact, at SFO, your status matters more than GE.
...
Can't exactly say that I remember flying through SFO without status or GE, but priority/VIP tags can be hit or miss and your baggage can come out first or end up with the regular stuff.
Even if you get your baggage off the carousel first, you can still get stuck behind another international flight(s), and that's where the GE "priority" line might help.

I think I've done jetbridge-immigration-customs-tsa in SFO in about 15-20 min on several occasions with GE/Pre and *G on UA.

Originally Posted by garykung
...
Off topic - if GE does not come with TSA PreCheck, it is not worth applying GE as you won't save much time as TSA PreCheck.
While you are not guaranteed to get PreCheck on every flight due to random exclusion, GE basically gives you a Known Traveler Number which you can use for PreCheck.
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Old Mar 19, 2018, 3:58 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Polytonic
I'm not sure that's true. The GlobalEntry line at SFO is still the shortest of any line that I've experienced, by a long shot, even with the 3-4 broken kiosks at any given time. It's definitely saved me hours over the past few months.
Try Mobile Passport. You will be surprised.

Originally Posted by mr8
Can't exactly say that I remember flying through SFO without status or GE, but priority/VIP tags can be hit or miss and your baggage can come out first or end up with the regular stuff.
But in that case, GE is not a matter, as you are delayed by non-immigration-customs issue.
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Old Mar 19, 2018, 3:58 pm
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by mr8
I know GE has its own line, but was asking about "Mobile Passport line" that the other user had mentioned was faster than GE...
<snip>
I think I've done jetbridge-immigration-customs-tsa in SFO in about 15-20 min on several occasions with GE/Pre and *G on UA.
Ah, in my "two lines" case, I was referencing the two lines immediately after the bag carousel.

15-20min jetbridge-immigration-customs-tsa is roughly my experience as well (granted, for early morning arrivals).
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Old Mar 19, 2018, 4:23 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Polytonic
I'm not sure that's true. The GlobalEntry line at SFO is still the shortest of any line that I've experienced, by a long shot, even with the 3-4 broken kiosks at any given time. It's definitely saved me hours over the past few months.
I was through SFO immigration in about 90 seconds (including time at the kiosk) two weeks ago.

And there is a dedicated GE customs line, too.
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Old Mar 19, 2018, 5:05 pm
  #35  
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Originally Posted by ttuna3
SQ should be check the bag through to LAX per *A rules on separate tickets. If the OP bag(s) are checked through then they'll make it eventually. All they need to do is to file a missing/delayed bag report at SFO with whatever extra CBP paperwork is needed and UA will send it along.
but that is so much less dramatic!
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Old Mar 19, 2018, 8:07 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by bocastephen
Actually, if the OP is on separate tickets, they should budget 5-6 hours minimum for connection for delay and immigration hall chaos - once they arrive in SFO, they cannot do a bag re-check, they need to go upstairs to the ticket counter and check-in as a new passenger on their UA ticket. If they "misconnect", it's actually a no-show, not a misconnect.
Can they not check-in for the UA flight in the re-check area just outside Customs? My memory is fuzzy about SFO, but I thought there were agents behind a counter who usually help with things like that? I know that can happen at IAH and LAX, as I've done it.
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Old Mar 19, 2018, 8:29 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by garykung
Correct.

In fact, at SFO, your status matters more than GE.

SFO is relatively efficient in term of immigration and customs processing even when it is busy. The status matters more because 1) If you have checked bag, your baggage will be first to offload; 2) If no checked bag, you will most likely sit at the front of the plane, being the first group to disembark.

Off topic - if GE does not come with TSA PreCheck, it is not worth applying GE as you won't save much time as TSA PreCheck.
Im pretty sure they dont care about your priority tag on luggage at all. Ive seen too many times that my priority bag was the 5th batch to come out, sometimes even the last batch.
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Old Mar 19, 2018, 8:30 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by 1984SW
Can they not check-in for the UA flight in the re-check area just outside Customs? My memory is fuzzy about SFO, but I thought there were agents behind a counter who usually help with things like that? I know that can happen at IAH and LAX, as I've done it.
If the OP is checking bags, certainly - if they are not, then it's a crapshoot depending on the mood of the agent who may or may not want to put down their People Magazine long enough to bother doing the check-in vs waving the person upstairs to the counter.
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Old Mar 20, 2018, 1:33 pm
  #39  
 
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I'd probably check with the checkin agent at SQ, and inform the purser/FA on the SQ flight of your situation. From all the good things I hear about SQ, they may have someone greet you at SFO and escort you through the process with such a tight connection (especially if you are travelling in J or UA GS)

If everything is on one ticket you should be protected since per UA/SQ you are within the minimum connection time (otherwise they wouldn't ticket you). If you "misconnect" you'll be put on the next flight out of SFO (which is probably next hour since SFO <-> LAX is an extremely popular route). If the next available flight is for the next day you'll likely have to pay out of pocket for the hotel (airlines usually only cover mechanical, crew and weather (if *Gold) for hotel/vouchers) which any good travel credit card will cover. Otherwise you're on your own if you miss that flight (in which case I'd probably just purchase a cheap SW flight and ask SQ/UA to ARUNK the remainder of my itinerary so it doesn't get cancelled out).

As others have mentioned, your best bet is not to check in bags at all (just have carry ons) to avoid delays in getting your bags. Checked bags can easily add an hour to your journey. If you have GlobalEntry then as others have noted it is usually your best bet (enter that number in during check in for UA to get PreCheck). If you don't have it but are a US or Canadian citizen you should download the CBP Mobile Passport app which allows you to complete the necessities of immigration on the plane so when you deplane you just show a slip of paper to the agent. If none of that applies to you my recommendation would be to be the first off the plane (i.e. sit nearest the exit and grab your carryons the second you meet the gate saying, "tight connection" - you want to beat the rush to immigration queues basically.

Key with tight connections is to keep walking (don't stop) till you get to your gate. Once you clear the interview portion of the immigration and head for the baggage claim area head for the exits (since you've just got carry on) where there will be someone from CBP glancing at bags and asking random questions. Once you are through the exits you'll need to follow signs for the relevant terminal (I believe Terminal 3 is UA and since you'll be arriving in International Terminal G it should be a short walk). You'll need to head through security once again - if you have PreCheck or *Gold or are travelling in Business/First Class use the relevant security lanes (sometimes *Gold line is actually faster than Pre line) and head to your gate.

Hope that helps.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Mar 20, 2018, 5:00 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by j2simpso
I'd probably check with the checkin agent at SQ, and inform the purser/FA on the SQ flight of your situation. From all the good things I hear about SQ, they may have someone greet you at SFO and escort you through the process with such a tight connection (especially if you are travelling in J or UA GS)
They will not - SQ's ticket and responsibility ends upon arrival at SFO, and they don't really care about a UA GS member.

If everything is on one ticket you should be protected since per UA/SQ you are within the minimum connection time (otherwise they wouldn't ticket you)....
The OP is on two separate tickets, hence the root of the entire problem....but since they stated there is a contingency plan, they will be fine in the end, but they cannot have someone pick their bag up on their behalf.
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Old Mar 20, 2018, 7:35 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by AJ747M
Yep, definitely will travel without.

On another note, will airport employees help with getting through immigration/customs lines if I am running late for the connecting flight?
lets use proper terminology here. Youve talked about how these are separate reservations. You do not have a connecting flight - you can only have a connection if the flights are booked on the same reservation. You have another flight to catch, I get it, but it is by no means a connection.

If if youre asking if employees will help you cut the line so you can try and be on time for your next flight (on a separate reservation), I doubt it. Havent seen that happen for a long, long time. Also, no guarantees if you are running late that theyll rebook you - theoretically, they can have you buy walk up. Thats why people have suggested when traveling on separate tickets, you leave at least several hours, or overnight, between, so there is less risk in the event of a delay/cancellation.

As for baggage, which I know OP is not checking, but for reference, I wouldnt leave bag claim from an international flight without either the bag or filing the proper paperwork. This is because youll need to fill out not just delayed bag claim with SQ (which they might not let you file if there are still bags from the flight coming on the belt), but also CBP paperwork. Id guess you probably can get it back somehow if you leave customs without the bag, but probably not a proces youd want to go through.

Good luck to the OP.
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Old Mar 20, 2018, 11:13 pm
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by ttuna3
SQ should be check the bag through to LAX per *A rules on separate tickets. If the OP bag(s) are checked through then they'll make it eventually. All they need to do is to file a missing/delayed bag report at SFO with whatever extra CBP paperwork is needed and UA will send it along.
This isn't correct at all... It may be checked through to LAX but you still have to pick up bags at the first port of entry into the US, and recheck the bag after customs.
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Old Mar 20, 2018, 11:20 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by warrenw
This isn't correct at all... It may be checked through to LAX but you still have to pick up bags at the first port of entry into the US, and recheck the bag after customs.
The question is what happens if don't pick them up. If you follow appropriate procedure, the airline will in fact take them through customs for you and send them on to your final destination.

Whether UA would do that given that OP is on separate tix (and is not a US citizen) I don't know. I do know they've done it for me at IAH on a single ticket.

Think about what happens if they forget to load your bag at origin. You don't sit in limbo at the carousel for hours or days. You file the report, catch your next flight, and let the airline deal with the bag.
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Old Mar 21, 2018, 1:02 am
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee
The question is what happens if don't pick them up. If you follow appropriate procedure, the airline will in fact take them through customs for you and send them on to your final destination.

Think about what happens if they forget to load your bag at origin. You don't sit in limbo at the carousel for hours or days. You file the report, catch your next flight, and let the airline deal with the bag.
Oh ok I understand now - I actually didn't know they would do that if you had a connecting ticket!
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Old Mar 21, 2018, 1:46 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by AJ747M
Yep - a $75 USD 12 hour international flight! No award space on direct...

Thanks all for the help- knew it was a long shot. I'll travel without check-in baggage. As someone stated above, the SQ flight arrived into SFO late at night- I am booked on the last flight to LAX. Would rather risk it than stay overnight in SFO.
If I were an airport employee, I would be very suspicious if someone asks me to handle his bags through customs. As a passenger, I would hate to not be with my bag when it goes through customs in case they open it.

Check-in deadline is 30 or 45 minutes depending on if you have bags to check: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...s/default.aspx

Also, the nearest security checkpoint to the International Terminal in Terminal 3 is probably closed that time of the day. So, additional time is needed walking down Terminal 3.

Then of course I hope Swissport does not do this again: Swissport Ground Service Equipment Impacting Arrival (SFO)
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