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What to expect

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What to expect

Can you knowledgable people give me an idea what we can expect if doing long haul (first time) and going from London to Auckland via USA.

I've read a number of scare stories and people on forums have suggested I try to avoid USA enroute.

I'm referring to the experience whilst transiting the USA, I take it we would have to get off the aircraft (to refuel or change aircraft I presume) but what can we expect from landing to taking off again a few hours later (not planning on stopping in USA)

Fredericia, Denmark
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1. Re: What to expect

You will go through immigration, so you need ESTA. You also need to go through customs.

Travelling The World
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for Alghero
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2. Re: What to expect

Get your ESTA before you book your flight.

Lake Crystal...
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3. Re: What to expect

It depends a great deal on where you are transiting, as well as the time of day, day of the week, etc. Usually the negative experiences get more 'publicity' than the positive ones. ;) You will do some version of: get off the plane, go through passport control, pick up your bags, go through customs, give your bags back, go through security, find the gate of your next flight, hang out, people watch, get a bite to eat, buy a souvenir, board your next flight. The key questions are How much time do you have between flights at your first stop in the USA? What airport? Do you have your paperwork in order?

San Diego
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for San Diego
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4. Re: What to expect

As people on here have mentioned there is no such thing as being "in transit" in the USA.

IF your plane touches down here you need your ESTA in place before you arrive and you are treated as if you were getting off and spending time here in the USA so you go through immigration/customs etc. You'll need to make sure you have about 3hrs. between flights especially if you change terminals.

Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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5. Re: What to expect

Avoid the US if possible. It will just make your journey so much less hassle. So many other options like: LHR to Sydney, SYD to AKL.

LHR to Vancouver, YVR to AKL - all on Air NZ.

Use the following websites to check what's available, but book directly with the airlines.



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6. Re: What to expect

I assume you travelling with Air New Zealand, Notts, if travelling to Auckland via USA. If so it will be via Los Angeles. ANZ have a dedicated transit lounge so it will be a lot easier and less hassle than other airlines. Don't worry it will be fine.

Wales, United...
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for Bargain Travel, Cruises
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7. Re: What to expect

I travelled to NZ via LAX with Air New Zealand. I would not do it again. There was a huge queue at immigration, and it took almost two hours before I could get to sit down again. After doing this both ways I vowed to either have a stopover next time, or fly a different route.

Edited: 25 May 2014, 17:29
Hants, UK
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8. Re: What to expect

How much cheaper/quicker is it to go via USA? The ESTA is $14 each person make sure you use the correct government site, there are ones that will charge you more than that.

Make sure you get the ESTA before you book your flight, if it's refused you will gave to get a visa, loads of hassle and dosh.

Cala d'Or, Spain
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9. Re: What to expect

I would fly via Singapore or Hong Kong with either BA/Cathay or Singapore Airlines with just one stop en route.

Both airports are superb for connections and avoid all the hassle of LA.

10. Re: What to expect

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