Do I have to go through customs twice if I have a layover?
You don't go through customs on a layover because you don't have your baggage. You DO go through immigration to leave the airport, and then you go through security when you come back, and probably a passport check before you get on the plane.
If your layover is in the same country, you generally do not have to go through customs again. However, if your layover is in a different country, you will typically have to go through customs and immigration. Another factor that may influence whether you go through customs is the airport you are connecting through.
In most cases, you'll receive your boarding pass for your connecting flight already when you check in for your first flight. This means you don't have to check in again for your next flight.
You'll go through customs and immigration both ways on an international trip—when you arrive in the foreign country you're visiting, and again when you return to your home country from abroad.
You'll get through customs in a couple of minutes (unless you are stopped for extra checks). It's immigration that can take time. If you have booked this as a single ticket and you meet the minimum connection time then the airline is responsible for getting you on the next available flight at no extra cost.
What is a good connection time? Travel advisers say there's a lot to take into account when booking connecting flights, but a general rule of thumb is 60-90 minutes between domestic flights and at least two to three hours for international itineraries.
When entering the United States from overseas, you must obtain your luggage and bring them through Customs and Border Protection (CBP). You will need to check them back into the airlines to make your next flight. Baggage not obtained after your international flight will not get to your final destination.
Whether or not you need to clear a passport check depends on whether the airport you have arrived from and your destination are within or outside the Schengen Area. In most cases, however, you will need to clear security checks on your way through the airport.
Customs Action Steps
While on your flight, your flight attendant will distribute a Customs Declaration Form. Most forms ask the point of exit and entry of your flight, your flight number, and what goods you may be bringing into the country (forms might list prohibited items for the respective country).
Customs and immigration are usually required at the connecting airport for international flights. You don't always have to for domestic flights. In most cases, passengers on layover flights must clear customs and immigration at the first point of entry.
When flying internationally with a domestic layover when do you go through customs?
When do you go through customs on international flights? Usually, you go through customs when you exit the airport at your final destination. However, if you have a layover in a different city in your destination country, you may need to go through customs before your connecting flight.
Here's what you're expected to encounter: If you checked a bag, you'll have to collect it from baggage claim from the international flight. You'll need to clear customs and immigration. Next, you'll recheck your luggage for the domestic flight.
When connecting between international flights, passengers are not required to undergo Immigration procedures if they are staying in the departure area (airside) until their next flight. However, Immigration procedures will be required if passengers wish to leave this area to meet a friend or to go outside the airport.
Leaving the US you have passport check and security. Entering Mexico you have immigration and customs. Leaving Mexico you have a passport check and go through security. Entering US you have passport check and customs.
You might have to go through customs during a layover, especially if your layover is in the Schengen Area (which consists of most countries in the EU). For example, if your final destination is Paris, France, but you have a layover in Madrid, Spain, you will actually go through customs in Spain, not France.
Most major carriers, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines, all prohibit the practice. "They can deny you boarding," Keyes said. "They can confiscate frequent flyer miles, or even in some cases, suspend you for a length of time from flying that airline."
Airlines have their own policies on how long they will wait for connecting passengers, which can vary depending on several factors such as the number of affected passengers and the impact on the overall flight schedule.
Skiplagging is a controversial practice where passengers book longer journeys and intentionally skip one leg of their trip to save money. Airlines dislike skiplagging because it leaves empty seats on flights and goes against their contracts of carriage.
Two to three hours is the minimum recommended time for an international layover, but more might be needed. Sally French is a travel rewards expert who joined NerdWallet in 2020.
If your itinerary was purchased as one ticket (as in: you have only one itinerary and one confirmation number), and the connection time was too short and you miss the second (or third) flight, you can rest easy, no matter what happens. The airline will simply put you onto the next available flight, free of charge.
Do I need to pick up luggage during layover?
When layover flights are booked with the same airline, your baggage will be automatically transferred through to your final destination. However, if the two flights are with different airlines, you may have to claim and re-check your baggage during your layover.
After you've checked in your baggage, it will be passed between flights automatically, ready for you to pick-up when you land after your final flight.
To get your baggage: After clearing immigration, proceed to the baggage reclaim area to collect your bags. If you are on an international flight connecting to a U.S. destination, make sure you claim your baggage before going through U.S. Customs.
To put it simply, having a connecting flight means you will have to change planes. You will not be flying directly from A to B, but there will also be C. You will fly from A to C, and then from C to B. Sometimes there will be more than a single stop.
But Frankfurt airport is well marked and easy to navigate (big though and busy). 1 hour is stressful but possible providing your carry on is well organized to clear secuirty (passport control will still be slow.) I prefer Munich and is much easier to do with a shorter connection time.