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Urgent Question for International Travelers: Americans

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Urgent Question for International Travelers: Americans

Old 07-19-2014, 10:49 AM
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Default Urgent Question for International Travelers: Americans

1st international trip and my wife's dad died. We got a flight home. Here is my question.

With the new flights they gave us, we will be returning through LAX and connecting to our home destination. What happens when we get to LAX? We have a 1:30 layover there and that doesnt seem like a lot of time.

We are coming back from Australia. 1st international flight so I dont know what the process is.
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:54 AM
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At LAX you must go through customs - if you are GOES, 1:30 will be plenty; if not, it might be very close (and that assumes same airline with luggage checked through to destination).
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by LI32 View Post
At LAX you must go through customs - if you are GOES, 1:30 will be plenty; if not, it might be very close (and that assumes same airline with luggage checked through to destination).
Yes. Same airline and packages should be checked to final destination... I hope. Im going to say no to GOES since I dont even know what that is.
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:56 AM
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You go through immigration passport control and I think grab your bags go customs, then put back on conveyer belt to final destination. Hour and half should be fine.
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:59 AM
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You'll come into LAX and go through the immigration line for US Citizens. There they will check your passport. Then you'll need to pick up your checked luggage and take that through customs. Immediately after customs you'll be able to re-check your luggage and it will be loaded on the connecting flight. Depending on terminals (arriving at an international terminal and departing from a domestic one) you'll be okay, but move quick (assuming your international flight is on time, which they usually are).
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:12 AM
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that seems like you cutting it close. Its a crap shoot how long the immigration line might be. I have walked right through and I have stood in line for 2 hours, and it seemed like the line never moved.
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jmiska View Post
You'll come into LAX and go through the immigration line for US Citizens. There they will check your passport. Then you'll need to pick up your checked luggage and take that through customs. Immediately after customs you'll be able to re-check your luggage and it will be loaded on the connecting flight. Depending on terminals (arriving at an international terminal and departing from a domestic one) you'll be okay, but move quick (assuming your international flight is on time, which they usually are).
^^ this is absolutely correct^^ Danny is correct also. Have seats near the front of the plane if possible. Use the New Clearance kiosks if they're available upon arrival at LAX. They will speed your clearance.
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:44 AM
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Also, it can help to pay a skycap. They tend to know ways to make it faster to the front of lines. Yeah, it will cost you $20 in tips, but they have proven vital to me. Also, you waste no time in figuring out where to go next as this is your first international flight.
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:05 PM
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Sorry to hear about your father-in-law.
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:34 PM
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And don't talk or text on your phone in the line, that is a big no no.

Also don't go to the bathroom before getting in line. I assume if you're flying from Australia it will be a big plane. All those people need to clear customs, don't wind up in the end.

I usually clear in ATL, which is almost always busy, but in some smaller airports it makes a huge difference how quick you can get to the line.
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:38 PM
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Unless things have changed in the last couple of years, the problem with LAX is that the various and sundry terminals are not connected in most cases. You will probably have to go outside of security and go back though at you domestic terminal.
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:42 PM
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Bottom line is just hustle when you land. Your either going to make the flight or not. Either way once your stateside you should have a ton of options if you miss. There is only so much. You can control.
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:50 PM
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Yea. Crazy about what you can control or not. This is our first international travel, and we got the call just a few hours after landing.
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Old 07-19-2014, 02:13 PM
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See if the flight crew can call ahead for you and have one of those people movers waiting to wisk you from gate to gate or gate to customs.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jmiska View Post
You'll come into LAX and go through the immigration line for US Citizens. There they will check your passport. Then you'll need to pick up your checked luggage and take that through customs. Immediately after customs you'll be able to re-check your luggage and it will be loaded on the connecting flight. Depending on terminals (arriving at an international terminal and departing from a domestic one) you'll be okay, but move quick (assuming your international flight is on time, which they usually are).
This.

Double check visa requirements, for example Australia requires a visa from most nationalities...
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:42 PM
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Very sorry about your father in law.

VISA not needed for coming back into US from Australia.

If you miss your connecting flight, will you miss the funeral? Why not call the airline back and see if there is a later connecting flight. Explain that there has been a death in the family and it's really important that you make your connection.

It will probably be fine. If you stick with what you have, research what later flights your same airline has so you are prepared. It may mean an additional connection to get you home.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jdm61 View Post
Unless things have changed in the last couple of years, the problem with LAX is that the various and sundry terminals are not connected in most cases. You will probably have to go outside of security and go back though at you domestic terminal.
As above. I flew international back to LAX late last year and in addition to the crappy lines at customs, I had to drag all my luggage outside and down to another terminal.

Unlike the airport lines, customs lines don't usually offer any slack for folks who need to get through quickly. Still worth a shot if you can find a sympathetic ear.

1.5 hrs is definitely cutting it close but is do-able. Hope for an early arrival and a late departure. If you miss the US flight, what happens?

LAX is at the bottom of my list for quality of airport and staff. Just suffer through it as best you can.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Flot View Post
As above. I flew international back to LAX late last year and in addition to the crappy lines at customs, I had to drag all my luggage outside and down to another terminal.

Unlike the airport lines, customs lines don't usually offer any slack for folks who need to get through quickly. Still worth a shot if you can find a sympathetic ear.

1.5 hrs is definitely cutting it close but is do-able. Hope for an early arrival and a late departure. If you miss the US flight, what happens?

LAX is at the bottom of my list for quality of airport and staff. Just suffer through it as best you can.
x3

The upside is that your flight from LA to wherever is 100% guaranteed to be late on departure.


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Old 07-20-2014, 02:13 PM
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Call the airline and explain that this is a grievance flight for the sad loss of a loved one.

Many times they will give you and your family priorities in various areas over others.

Worth a shot.
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