PHO or LAX customs experience

 
Old Jan 22, 2005, 11:57 am
  #1  
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PHO or LAX customs experience

I have a choice of coming FC from PVR to YYC via AS or HP. I have been through LAX customs once before (5 years ago from Fiji). It was brutally slow, and all of us were lost in the "mazes" of lines. Things may be much faster now. We would only have a short connection time on AS through LAX. We could book the return on HP through Phoenix, thinking that might be a better experience. It has a layover of several hours, however, and is a bit more expensive. Any experiences with these two customs setups and/or other advice ?
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Old Jan 22, 2005, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Dmarsh11
I have a choice of coming FC from PVR to YYC via AS or HP. I have been through LAX customs once before (5 years ago from Fiji). It was brutally slow, and all of us were lost in the "mazes" of lines. Things may be much faster now. We would only have a short connection time on AS through LAX. We could book the return on HP through Phoenix, thinking that might be a better experience. It has a layover of several hours, however, and is a bit more expensive. Any experiences with these two customs setups and/or other advice ?
PHX has one of the best customs set-ups around for a large airport. The walk from the gate to the customs hall is rather lenghty but I've yet to experience really long lines. Once you exit the customs area you have to head back through security and to your connecting HP gate.

By going through PHX you will reduce your chances of queing behind five 747's that all arrived at the same time.

The only downside to PHX is that you will be on HP and AS probably has better service. F service on the HP flights will be a free drink in a plastic cup. If you are on a RJ you won't even get that.
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 2:44 pm
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Other options ??

Good advice. Actually, AP is most expensive (longest layover), back through PHX. Second is AA through DFW (shorter layover) and then AS is Cheapest (short layover). I assume with paid FF I get FC lounge access in each case. DFW has been good to us before, except the distance between terminals. Any others I haven't thought of ?
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 3:42 pm
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Customs in PHX is much easier and definitely more predictable than LAX, as has been pointed out. I'd choose to fly into/through PHX over LAX any day.

Be aware, though, because PHX has relatively few international flights, the customs agents don't have a lot to do, so I've received far more attention at this airport than at LAX where I'm just one of the thousands going through the process at any given time. This isn't much of a problem unless you're bringing home Cuban cigars, or have more purchases than your duty-free allowance provides for. They've upped the allowances significantly over the past couple of years, so this is less of an issue than it used to be, but it's just something to keep in mind. In my experience, airports like PHX, SEA, PDX all share this phenomenon. As long as you have nothing to hide, no big deal. If youre trying to bring those special cigars home for Grandma , it could be stressful.
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 1:00 am
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lax has never been an issue for me. not sure if you're a citizen or not, but they just seemed to wave all the citizens by; on the other hand everyone else on my flight from taiwan last time got the 3rd degree over counterfit goods.

as others have mentioned, there is a maze of lines, but they are doing a better job of directing people to the righ place and have seperate lanes for citizens that seperates you from a bunch of the crowd
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 8:58 am
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I always speed through LAX very easily.
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by jaguar
I always speed through LAX very easily.
I am a citizen (of Canada) and very proud of it. The problem was that we sat on the Tarmac on Qantas waiting for a spot and when we went inside there were 437,000 people going in lineups everywhich way, and uniformed LAX guiding us to the incorrect lines. The lineups went back and forth, and it was impossible to tell which customs line matched with which ribboned maze. We were told to go in a particular one because we were trying to make a connector to YYC on Canadian Airlines (Tells you the age of this story, doesn't it). The "Guards" got us in the wrong maze twice. We missed our connector by almost 2 hours by the time we got through, as did a dozen other people from different arrivals trying to make that same flight. Needless to say I am not looking forward to a repeat. It looked like the opening scene to "The Terminal" only with 10 times the lines and number of people.

Going through DFW, however has always been a joy and a treat. In all fairness to LAX, I still think YYZ is worse, and to be avoided at all cost (LOL).

Last edited by Dmarsh11; Jan 25, 2005 at 11:48 am Reason: Addition
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Old Nov 2, 2008, 3:09 pm
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Seeing as this thread is 3 years old (don't want to be accused of not searching )

Is 90 minutes sufficient time for an international-to-domestic connection at PHX on a Saturday night?
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Old Nov 2, 2008, 3:11 pm
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I've only come in INTL a couple of times through PHX, but it was always a cakewalk. 10-15 minutes a the most.
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