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Customs at Calgary Airport

Saint Cloud...
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Customs at Calgary Airport

My mother, she is 80, and I will be flying from Minneapolis (Delta Airlines) to Kelowna BC (Air Canada) this November. This is our first international flight. I understand about going through customs, but my questions are-do we go to the actual baggage claim to get our luggage or is luggage left at customs for us to pick up? after clearing customs do we leave our luggage at customs so we can catch the next flight? are there electric carts to ride on to our next gate, if it is far from customs? and is 1 hour and 20 minutes going to be enough time between flights?

I thought this would be an exciting trip and now that our reservations are made and I have been doing some investigating about exactly how to get through customs, I'm getting worried about not making the next flight and also that it may be too much for my mother.

Edmonton, Canada
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1. Re: Customs at Calgary Airport

I cannot remember the layout for Calgary, but I know most airports operate the same, in that there is a baggage carousel inside the customs area. So you get off the plane and head through customs, and make your way to the international baggage area to collect your luggage, and from there you line up to go through another check. From there you can find the checkin for your Kelowna flight.

I am not sure if 1 hour and 20 minutes will be enough time, however let the agents know, and they may make arrangements to help you get to your next flight. 1 hour and 20minutes might be enough time, depending on how many other international flights get in at the same time.

seattle
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for Seattle
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2. Re: Customs at Calgary Airport

it can be a long walk from the gate you arrive to Customs in Calgary however if you see a volunteer in a white hat and red vest ask them and they will take you in a electric cart. Once you get to customs you show your passport to immigration then get a free luggage cart and collect your luggage. You push your luggage thru customs then put it back on a carousel to continue on. Go to the left where it says connecting flights and you'll be on your way. I think the time frame is ok.

Calgary, Canada
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3. Re: Customs at Calgary Airport

My mother, who is late 70's, travels back and forth between the states and Kelowna frequently, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends and family members. The walk from the plane to customs is very long. My mothers trick - before you board in the US ask the airline to make sure there is a wheelchair waiting when you arrive in Calgary. An attendant will pick you up when you get off the plane right at the door and whisk you through a shortcut (if anyone is travelling with your mother they can go with her and the attendant). They then take you right through immigration and customs and deliver you right to the gate of your next flight. The 1st time my mother requested a wheelchair she was sure she didnt't need one. Staff have always been wonderful to her and she now realizes that she doesn't need to panic and become exhausted - just thank the wonderful people that help make your journey a good experience. Someone on this post suggested getting a "white hatted volunteer" on the cart. Because they are volunteers they are not allowed in the restricted area so you need to get assistance from your airline. I live in Calgary - my mother in Kelowna and we are frequent visitors to YYC.

seattle
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4. Re: Customs at Calgary Airport

I fly from the US to YYC monthly and have always had the white hats waiting with the cart but yes, the wheelchair suggestion is also valid.

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: Customs at Calgary Airport

Definitely go with the wheelchair or a cart. Its an unbelievably long walk at YYC to get to customs, so if you can avoid it you should.

Edited: 03 August 2011, 21:26
Alberta
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6. Re: Customs at Calgary Airport

It is a very long walk, up and down an escalator, definately ask for a wheelchair. You will go through customs with your completed form, they write on it and you keep it with you, if you need to pay duty there is a cashier a little further where you pickup your luggage. After getting your luggage, you present your form to an agent as you exit. Will you already have a boarding pass for Kelowna and luggage tags?

Boston
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7. Re: Customs at Calgary Airport

To confirm all this as I went through Customs at Calgary just yesterday coming back to Boston, it was the longest process through Customs I ever experienced. The white hat guys are very friendly and helpful from what I could see. I was there at 4:45 AM for my 7AM flight and it was ample time but I am glad I didn't cut it any closer as the line very quickly filled up. Not many places to eat in the International section, really not a showcase airport, but do take advantage of what the other TAers recommend. Keep the passport and boarding passes readily available constantly as a huge number of officials keep checking them.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Customs at Calgary Airport

I thik you're referring to a different customs line than the OP was asking about. Taking a flight to Boston you'd clear US customs in Calgary. And yes, 5 am is rush hour (there are a fair number of 6-7 am flights popular with business travellers).

Connecting from Minneapolis onto Kelowna, the OP will be clearing Canadian customs. But it does raise the point that if they're travelling back the same way they will need to clear US customs during their connection (before boarding the flight to Minneapolis) and this isn't a connection you want to cut too short.

Boston
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9. Re: Customs at Calgary Airport

Correct and that's the one I was referring to, the return trip BACK to Boston. I don't recall much of an issue on arrival to Calgary fortunately.

Calgary, Canada
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10. Re: Customs at Calgary Airport

Just found out you can hire BNL porter service to help you from gate to gate at Calgary airport, and through customs. number is (403)291-2653. It costs $, but it will make the trip that much smoother. have a great trip.