Simon Calder's Helpdesk: Can I avoid immigration queues in the US?
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Q. I have flight to New York JFK from Bristol via Dublin in July. You said on Saturday that JFK is among the worst in America for long immigration queues. Can I avoid them, and can you point to a web link to show what we do at Dublin?
Patrick Mason, Taunton
A. You should be in luck. Most transatlantic flights from Dublin - including, I believe, all New York departures - qualify for "pre-screening" by US Customs and Border Protection staff. You simply need to present yourself at the appropriate desk at Dublin airport at least 90 minutes before departure and will be cleared by immigration and customs. When you arrive in New York you are effectively a domestic passenger, and as soon as you have retrieved your baggage you are free to go.
Dublin airport has prepared a very useful web page, bit.ly/DubQuick, which includes a handy film by US CBP about the process.
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