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International travel

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Dayton, Ohio
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55 posts
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International travel


I have never traveled to another country before, and I am having some trouble understanding how entering a country is done. I am flying into Dublin from the US. When I get to Dublin, do I collect my luggage and then go thru customs, or do I go thru customs before I collect my luggage, or do I only go thru customs when I leave Ireland for the return to the US? How long should I expect the process to take- from getting off the plane to leaving the airport for my hotel?

I am also confused about the return process?

If I have VAT to get reimbursement for, I first go to the “VAT counter” before checking my luggage. Once I am on the plane and underway, I complete pre-clearance forms and my customs declarations. I switch planes in Chicago for Dayton, Ohio- and I assume my luggage will be switched to the plane by baggage handlers? When and where do I go thru customs in the USA? Do I have to collect my baggage in Chicago, go thru customs, and then check the luggage (and myself) in to the new airline?

My trip is coming up soon (May, yippee) and I am starting to be worried about this process. If I can get a little help from all of you world travelers, maybe you won’t trip over me in the airport when I am wandering around lost and confused!


Kalispell, Montana
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11. Re: International travel

What would the customs steps be if we are flying out of Chicago, layover in London then on to Shannon, Ireland? Do we have customs in London?

Dublin, Ireland
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for Austria
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12. Re: International travel

there is a big difference between customs and immigration. as you are landing first in london, you will go through immigration to the uk, unless you are using an internal transfer system to continue flight to ireland. then you will have to go through immigration in ireland. presumably your bags will have been transferred, so you will have to go through customs in ireland. unlikely to be any problem unless you are acting suspiciously.

if you are going out of ireland to usa, then you will be pre cleared by american customs, in ireland

Scottsdale, Arizona
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13. Re: International travel

If you're taking British Airways through Heathrow, here's what will happen.

You'll go through immigration. Be sure to fill out the form they pass out on the plane - it's sometimes not clear you need to, depending on the crew. Immigration will have two stops - one for entering and one for leaving. They'll check your pasport and take your picture.

BA will check your bags through to Dublin, but you'll have to change terminals - which requires a shuttle bus ride. There will be loads of people going, so don't worry too much, just keep your eyes and ears open and you'll be fine. You will, however, have to go through gate security again. The Heathrow agents are nicer than our TSA, and the rules are the same, so it's pretty painless.

When you land in Dublin, you'll go through immigration. They'll ask why you're in the country, how long you're staying, that sort of thing - a few easy questions. They'll stamp your passport (if you have the book), and you'll go down to baggage claim to collect your checked bags and you're off on your adventure.

If you're not going through Heathrow, some of the details will be different, and if you post your connection info (e.g., land Heathrow and depart Gatwick or connect through Gatwick) someone is likely to be able to help.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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14. Re: International travel

One other bit I forgot. If your flight Dublin to the US goes through London, you won't go through preclearance.

Whether nor not you have preclearance is important because if you do it, you need to be at the airport 3 hours before departure, otherwise, 2 hours is enough and you clear customs when you arrive in the US.

15. Re: International travel

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