How does customs work if I have a connecting flight?
Do You Have To Go Through Customs During A Layover? 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.
Don't worry, you only go through customs at your final destination. Connecting flights are straightforward - just follow the signs to your next gate after landing. Safe travels!
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.
Connecting flight FAQ
In most cases, luggage is checked through to your final destination and you won't need to clear customs on your connection. Some countries, like the United States, are exceptions. The check-in agent will advise you on your specific itinerary when dropping your bag at your first airport.
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. If you haven't received it, you can go to the transfer desk or kiosk of the airline you're flying with to collect it.
5. 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.
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.
For domestic-to-domestic layovers, you normally won't have to go through security again during your layover. However, for all international layovers, you will normally have to go through security again, but this will depend on individual airport policy.
When you land in the United States, you'll first have to clear immigration. Then you'll have to wait at the baggage claim belt, and once you have all your belongings, you'll then clear customs. Once you exit the immigration hall there's almost always going to be a transit counter where you can re-check your bags.
If you have booked international connecting flights, you will normally have to go through customs and immigration at the connecting airport. This is particularly true of the United States and Canada.
Is 1 hour enough for International Connecting flights?
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.
The short answer is sometimes, but not always. Airlines may or may not hold a plane for connecting flyers depending on the circumstances.
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.
If you miss a connecting flight through no fault of your own, in most cases you have the right to be rebooked for free on the next available flight.
Officials will review your required passenger travel documents, such as passport, visa, green card, disembarkation card (provided by flight attendant during flight), immunization documentation, letters of confirmation or support, etc.
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.
Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment
Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States by accessing the Global Entry processing technology at selected airports.
How long does customs usually take? On average, it takes travelers 17 minutes and 53 seconds to get through Immigration and Customs. This number will vary based on the airport you're traveling through, the time of year you're traveling, and the time of day you're arriving at the airport.
- Fill out the forms fast. You do not need to write quickly but you should try and fill out all customs or immigration control forms as soon as possible. ...
- Take the stairs, not the elevator. People love the comfort of elevators. ...
- Have your documents ready.
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.
Is 1.5 hours enough for international layover?
For domestic flights, a short layover is usually 1-1.5 hours, as you will not have to go through security. For the reasons mentioned above, for international flights 2 to 3 hours layover is a good time to calculate. But often, flights come with 4-7 hours or even 10 hours and longer in this case.
The airline may choose to accommodate you by booking you on another flight, but that's their discretion, and you may be on the hook for change fees or even fare differences. If you miss a connection because your first flight was delayed, you're entitled to compensation depending on what caused the delay.
If it can be proven that you willfully bypassed the customs people, you would be subject to jail time. Willfully bypassing Customs is a federal crime.
When you go to your gate for your connecting flight, you will have to be screened by the Transportation Security Administration since you left the secure area of the airport upon exiting Customs .
Layover Duration Doesn't Matter
Whether your layover is a few hours or overnight, the airline will still transfer your bags to the next flight. Baggage handlers at the connecting airport have a limited amount of time to unload and reload bags onto the appropriate aircraft.